Recently I have written a couple of blogs that featured five statements that had made a difference in my life at different times. This format seems to be a positive one to use, so I plan to use the “5 Things” rule each week. If you have a catchy name for the five things that I can use, let me know.
One of the “5 Things” topics from time to time will be about books I am reading. I recently finished “The Four Laws of Love” by Jimmy Evans. Four of the five have to be my takes on the four laws. I will give you one more important takeaway as well.
The four laws come from Genesis 2, “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.” (Genesis 2:24-25 NLT) Here are my five takeaways.
The Law of Priority
A man leaves his father and mother and is joined by his wife. Your spouse becomes the number one priority in your life other than God. If you allow anyone or anything, no matter how good or important, to take time and energy that belongs to your spouse, you violate the law of priority. Some of the things that are important for us to prioritize are:
- Our communication
- Our relationships
- Our romance
If we do not set our priorities, someone else will.
The Law of Pursuit
We are to be joined by our spouse. Some translations use the word “cleave.” It means to pursue with great energy or cling to something zealously. The problem with most marriages is that we pursue vigorously before marriage only to focus on another conquest after we get married.
Your spouse wants and needs you to pursue them. God designed marriage to include two servants. The happiest of marriages are two servants in love. You are together for a purpose, and when you pursue that together, the rewards are tremendous.
The Law of Partnership
The two become one. This statement is a powerful principle. When you are married, nothing remains yours alone. You are one. Anything not submitted to joint ownership will result in the other person feeling violated. Marriage is not a one-way street – it is a place where both spouses need to participate. Dominance harms marriage. Mutual submission is the key to marital satisfaction.
Partnership is an area where marriages will continually grow. Finances is usually one of the early partnership tests for marriages. No single person should dominate the financial situation, even if it is a single-income family. Mutual respect will allow you to become the partners that allow your marriage to thrive.
The Law of Purity
They were naked and felt no shame. The statement includes sexual purity but is not limited to sex; it encompasses all aspects of our lives. They did not experience shame physically or emotionally. Emotional nakedness, where each partner can lay themselves before the other without fear, is a crucial aspect of happy marriages. When we can lay everything before our spouse, it shows we have nothing to hide.
One of the places where we need purity most is in conflict and anger. If we cannot manage our anger, our spouse will limit their interaction with us and often hide things for fear of retribution. Purity includes learning how to deal with conflict and managing our anger so our spouse feels safe to be naked in every area of life.
One of the things this book proposes is vision retreats for your marriage. The retreat includes only you and your spouse. I have heard of this concept before, and Barbara and I have tried it. Anything without a vision will flounder. We tend to wait until there is a crisis to address an issue. What would happen if we took time each year to talk about our goals and dreams for every area of our marriage and family. What are our communication goals? Financial goals? Parenting goals? What do we want for our children? What does intimacy look like in this season of our life?
When we disagree on the direction, a division is inevitable. Vision retreats allow us to bring clarity to our plans which will enable us to say yes to the right things and no the ones that do not match where we believe God wants us to go. If there is a purpose for you being together, doesn’t it seem logical to want to pursue what God wants every day in your home?
All marriage can and should grow. One of the ways you can do that is by reading a book together. The Four Laws of Love is a book that will benefit your home.