|Vol. 13 No. 7 July 2011||
Marriages have problems. I know that sounds negative, but it is true. If you thought everything was going to be perfect when you married because you had found “Miss Right” or “Mr. Right,” think again! Even after many years of marriage, there will still be challenges. Marriage, after all, involves a man and a woman with human frailties. We all make mistakes.
What causes problems in marriage? To start with, there is certainly a difference between men and women. I am not just talking about the obvious physical differences. For instance, women are usually more romantic. Men generally want to be recognized for accomplishments. They want the wife to admire them. Women want their husbands to listen and empathize. Men usually do not want to get into a deep discussion about feelings. Problems also come from how to handle finances, problems with in-laws, how to correct and/or punish children, etc.
What do we do with challenges in marriage? The number one answer is: love one another, from the heart, fervently. Make sure you show and communicate to your spouse your utmost commitment to the marriage; understanding it is a lifetime commitment. Always make sure your spouse is emotionally secure in the relationship, even when there is conflict. Determine to let God’s Word be your guide in solving problems. Each spouse must be dedicated to the Lord and be living according to the will of God. These steps will take you a long way in handling problems in marriage.
In addition, always keep the lines of communication open. Do not keep things from your spouse that he or she deserves and needs to know. Honesty is always the best policy. Keep in mind Matthew 7:12 and treat you spouse as you wish to be treated.
Somewhere along the way, someone came up with a good way to handle disagreements. (1) Discuss one matter at a time. Do not bring up past problems unless pertinent. (2) Calmly state the problem and offer solutions, not blame. Decide together what is needed to work out the problem and then (3) implement the solutions. Do not use expressions like “you always” or “you never.” Do not say, “What’s wrong with you!” Rather use expressions such as “I feel,” “please,” “I’m sorry” and “I love you.”
Finally, if you need help, get help. Let the preacher or elders give you guidance from the Word of God. If your problems are beyond their knowledge and ability, they can recommend professional help. Remember, true love is the key.
God, in Ezekiel 8, gave Ezekiel several visions about the evil in which the Israelites were involved. In verses 10-11, Ezekiel saw elders of the Israelites worshipping false gods. They were worshipping every kind of animal and creeping thing. These men were seen with censers in their hands. These censers held incense that was burned to the gods.
In Chapter 7, God made reference to a rod that had blossomed. This rod was a rod of violence and wickedness. This was to remind the Israelites about the rod of Aaron being chosen by God in Numbers 17. That was done because of Korah and others wanted to be important like Moses and Aaron.
The censers here are very possibly mentioned as another reminder of Korah. God had told all those aligned with Korah to bring a censer to the Tabernacle. Aaron and Moses were to bring their censers as well. God killed Korah and his family. He killed with fire the 250 that had their censers. He then had those censers made into broad plates to cover the altar of God. This was supposed to be a warning and a reminder to the Israelites that no one except the priests was to approach God in the Tabernacle to offer incense.
In Ezekiel 8, not only were non-priests offering incense on censers, but they were offering the incense to false gods. They were compounding their sins. This made God very angry. God was going to punish Israel for wickedness.
Today, God only accepts spiritual offerings from His priests. All Christians are priests (1 Peter 2:9). The prayers of Christians are censers of incense in God’s eyes (Revelation 5:8). Make sure you become a priest. Study your Bible and learn what is necessary to become a priest under the New Testament. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.