Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Titus 2 Truths: Love is Always Discipline

Last week we thought about what it means in practice to love our husbands and we are going to reflect on this a bit more today. As I was thinking about this I read a sermon by J.R. Miller written in 1894 which has much to say to us now in 2007. It is called Secrets of a Happy Home Life and you can download the whole article here. He writes:
In the last analysis, home happiness depends on the wife. Her spirit gives the home its atmosphere. Her hands fashion its beauty. Her heart makes its love. And the end is so worthy, so noble, so divine, that no woman who has been called to be a wife, and has listened to the call, should consider any price too great to pay, to be the light, the joy, the blessing, the inspiration of a home.

Men with fine gifts think it worth while to live to paint a few great pictures which shall be looked at and admired for generations; or to write a few songs which shall sing themselves into the ears and hearts of men. But the woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.

Some marriages are unhappy. How can husband and wife live happily in their wedded life? Wedded happiness is a lesson that must be learned. No two lives brought into this close relation can blend into one without self-discipline. "Marriage is the beautiful unfolding of many years."

Ofttimes it takes a long while for a wedded pair to learn the lesson of living happily together. They are discouraged because such love as theirs does not yield perfect happiness from the very first day. It always costs to learn the lesson. The block of marble must wane, as the statue is sculptured and grows. There must be the cutting away of much in both lives; there must be restraint, self-denial, self-effacement, while they are being trained to live one life rather than two. Love is always discipline.
Maybe you are single just now or looking towards getting married. This is such an important lesson to learn as we prepare for what may lie in the future. Much difficulty and heartache can be avoided if we realise that there is hard work involved in "sculpting the statue" of a good marriage. And there may well be a lot of corners in our lives that will need to be chisled off! As we thought last week, love in a marriage takes work and a lifetime of commitment.

One important practical way in which we can be disciplined to show love to our husbands is by taking time to support and nurture his spiritual life. In particular, praying for our husband should be a top priority each day. Nancy Leigh DeMoss has written a helpful prayer guide which takes you through 31 days of prayer for your husband and it is certainly worth printing off and putting in your bible.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Thanks for a very encouraging post and one that is very timely for me! I am beginning a study with the women in our church on marriage. I am excited about going through the book, Love that Lasts (which you referred me to a while back) with mostly younger women and these words on the discipline of marriage are ones I will share with them. Thanks for continuing to help those of us endeavoring to be Titus 2 women.