by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries
To enjoy life, we must accept and stay within the boundaries God gives
The book of Ecclesiastes shows us that since we and our works are destined to perish, we must not waste our lives trying to justify our existence with pursuits that ultimately mean nothing. It examines major efforts of life in light of the reality that we all – eventually – die and warns us the pursuit of intellectual accomplishments, wealth and luxury, politics, and religion. But it also recommends that we fear God and enjoy life. But in enjoying life comes with boundaries and in Ecclesiastes 9:9, Solomon gives wise instructions to husbands when he tells them to enjoy life with their wife.
To husbands, Solomon says, “Enjoy life with the wife you love all the days of your futile life.” When he talk about life being “futile,” he does not mean worthless, but because our lives are like a vapor, it is fleeting and temporary. For Ecclesiastes 9:9, Solomon is saying, “Since you only live for so long, enjoy life with the wife you love” and when he says “enjoy life” – he means in the full sense of “and Adam knew his wife Eve.”
“Enjoy life with your wife” means just what you think it means
Yes, Solomon is saying that you should find sexual pleasure with her. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, “A husband should fulfill his marital responsibility to his wife, and likewise a wife to her husband. A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does In the same way, a husband does not have the right over his own body, but his wife does. Do not deprive one another sexually — except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
Paul also in Ephesians 5:25 that husbands are to love their wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. And then in verse 28 he wrote that husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. Sexual intimacy in marriage should be an expression of the love you share. However, it is not the only way to express your feelings to your wife. Here are seven other ways to show her you love her.
Enjoy life with your wife through your actions towards her
Love her through your actions. There is a reason that people say, “When momma ain’t happy, aint nobody happy.” So if you want to enjoy life with your wife, be sure your actions are a demonstration of the love you have for her.
The word “love” is a verb – it’s an action. It’s what you do. But it’s also how you do it. Colossians 3:19 says, “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them” If you are to love her as Christ loved the Church, then your actions should mirror Christ’s. Your actions should always be kind and considerate. You can tell your wife you love her a thousand times a day, but if your actions don’t show it, she will never believe your words.
Enjoy life with your wife through consideration and respect
In 1 Peter 3:7, Paul writes, “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you in the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”
Being considerate means doing things for her – like doing the dishes or opening the door for her. Respecting her means you speak to her and about her as your equal because she is a co-heir in eternal life. She is not inferior to you. When Paul says the wife is the weaker partner, he was referring to physical strength. So, even if you both work outside of the home, use that brawn and strength God gave you to take some of her heavy load off her shoulders.
You can also demonstrate consideration by thanking her for what she does to keep your home neat and tidy – and don’t be part of the problem in it getting messy again.
Enjoy life with your wife through loving her as you love yourself
Ephesians 5:28 says: “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” The same way you take care of yourself is the way you should care for her. It’s treating her the way you would want to be treated.
Enjoy life with your wife through spending time with her
Love her by spending time with her. Instead of watching the game on TV, take her out to a memorable place that is special to the two of you. Go hiking together, take a walk on the beach at sunset or enjoy a picnic. Solomon advised that husband enjoy life with their wife because life is so short. We never know when the end of life will come so spend the time with her now. You may never get another chance to take that dream vacation, renew your wedding vows, or check of your bucket list. Never stop dating her. Don’t put it off. Spend time with her now.
Enjoy life with your wife by being faithful
Love her by being faithful. On your wedding day you made a vow to her and to God that you would love her (and only her) until death separates you. God considers adultery a very serious sin. There is no compromise. You can’t flirt with another woman, but claim to be faithful as long as you don’t touch her. In Matthew 5:28, Jesus said, “everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
This includes pornography. In today’s world with technology advancing all the time, it would also include virtual reality and programs that allow you to pretend to be another person and interact with people all over the globe in a virtual world.
Adultery, whether the physical act, or just lusting in your heart, destroys families. Even if it does not lead to divorce, the trust is broken and the relationship is never the same. Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:3, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality.” Being faithful to your wife leaves no from for even a hint of sexual misconduct of any kind.
Enjoy life with your wife by loving her like Christ loves her
God appointed husbands to be the head of household and Christ to be the head of the man. In this role, the husband is the spiritual leader of the home. Ephesians 5:25-28 describes what being a spiritual leader means. Paul wrote in these verses, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” That’s a tall order!
The only possible way for husbands to achieve this is through the help of the Holy Spirit. Not only did Christ give his life for the church, he also came to serve and demonstrated it through washing the disciples feet. He forgave even when he was being nailed to a cross. He offers mercy and grace. Jesus gave Himself up for us and so husbands must give up themselves for their wives, including his own interests. If your wife is having a difficult time submitting to your leadership, then you might want to check and see if you are loving her like Christ, because if you are, she will have no trouble with Biblical submission.
Enjoy life with your wife by following 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
Demonstrate a 1 Corinthians 13 love. In verses 4-8, we find that love is patient, kind, does not envy, is not boastful or conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish or provoked, does not keep a record of wrongs, rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things and it never ends.
Enjoy life with your wife by being intentional and determined
You can’t be passive and enjoy life with her. If you need ideas of ways to intentionally love your wife, grab a copy of my book, “God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars.” This book has 365 activities to help you intentionally love each other. See the information on the book below along with links to purchase a copy.
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God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce
What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?
God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:
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