One of my all-time favorite Christian choruses has to be “Refiner’s Fire” by Brian Doerksen. I absolutely love the lyrics and I must say that this part always tears me up:
My heart’s one desire
Is to be holy
Set apart for You, Lord
I choose to be holy
Set apart for You, my Master
Before that song came out in 1990, I hadn’t really thought about what the word “holy” meant. To be honest with you, I kinda thought it meant being religious. I’m embarrassed to admit that now, but that was about the sum of my knowledge. I was a church goer and a Bible reader; I had Christian friends, and I taught Sunday school. That was my definition of “holy.”
I later came to realize that being holy meant that we are dedicated to the Lord and set apart from all things impure:
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’ 1 Peter 1:15 & 16
The word “holy” in the Greek translation is hagios coming from the word hagnos, which is defined in Strong’s Concordance (G53) as:
- exciting reverence, venerable, sacred
a) pure from carnality, chaste, modest
b) pure from every fault, immaculate
In the same way, it’s a beautiful thing when a husband and wife live in holy matrimony… when a man and a woman are dedicated to each other and set apart from anything that could destroy or damage their marriage.
This requires sacrifice on our part. Sacrifice might be anything from giving up something that distracts us from our relationship to career choices that we make. I hope and pray that we are living this way to please God, but let us also give attention to pleasing our husbands.
Saying “I do,” and being united in holy matrimony is more than a ceremony. It’s a life-long commitment of giving. And in the same way that being holy was more than attending church and reading my Bible, marriage is more than just living in the same house and putting up with each other. It’s a continual giving of ourselves in dedication one to another.
We’re constantly faced with challenges that threaten to tear our marriage apart: disrespect, pride, financial stress, infidelity (emotional and physical), disappointment, and a lack of communication.
Anyone of those things, if left unchecked, can quickly become a wedge in your marriage.
But there are actions you can take – right now – if both partners are willing to try:
1. Start communicating more. I knew a couple who scheduled half an hour each day to just talk after the baby went to sleep. No electronics, just thirty minutes of being in each other’s company and promoting conversation. That was 20 years ago, and they’re still going strong today.
2. Pray. Pray for each other and with each other often.
And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12
3. Be Mindful. Love deliberately. Don’t take each other for granted. Make an effort to build each other up. And most importantly, stay alert. Satan isn’t the boogie monster hiding under your bed. He comes in sheep’s clothing, luring us to step into temptation, and then to step deeper again. Sin is appealing, which is why it’s so tempting. In today’s world, it’s only a click away.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8 KJV
Keep your marriage holy and pure, each set apart for the other.
You are loved by an almighty God,
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