For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

Ephesians 5:31 (NIV)

We’ve been looking at the clues that the Bible gives us in Ephesians 5:21-33 to solve the marriage mystery.  What are the secrets to lasting love?  So far, we’ve uncovered three of the four clues found in the book of Ephesians.  Like the game, Clue, I’m identifying each Biblical clue with a room in our homes.

Clue #1:  The Kitchen is where we nourish one another’s souls with encouraging words and loving actions.  Verses 25-26 say, “Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church – a love marked by giving, not getting.  Christ’s love makes the church whole.  His words evoke her beauty.  Everything He does and says is designed to bring the best out of her.”

Clue #2:  The Library is where we study each other’s needs and learn how to speak one another’s love language.  Verse 33 tells us, So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

Clue #3:  The Hall provides the opportunity for us to walk hand-in-hand with mutual submission.  Verse 21 reminds us to “…submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Clue #4:  The Bedroom is the final clue for solving the marriage mystery.  The bedroom is the place of deepest intimacy.  It’s the place where we rest in our commitment to God and one another.  Commitment is the fuel that feeds the fire in a marriage relationship.  Couples that are committed to God and each other agree to work through rather than walk away from the hard times.  No marriage is perfect.  Every marriage will face struggles and tug-of-wars.  We’re all human.  The secret of a lasting love isn’t that you won’t have conflict.  It is the commitment to God that, in the midst of your conflict, you will stick together.  Unity can only be experienced in Christ. Think of your marriage like a triangle with God at the top.  Your mate is on one side, and you are on the other.  The closer you both draw to God, the closer you draw to one another.  The easiest way to express that commitment is to worship and pray together.  Why not renew that commitment this weekend at church?  When you both rest in your commitment to God and to each other, you feel secure with a love that will last a lifetime!

So how are you doing?  I’m including a Marriage Stress Test that we did last weekend at church.  It’s just eight questions.  Compare your results after you take the test.

MARRIAGE STRESS TEST

Do you look for ways to lighten your mate’s load? 

       Empty ___________________________________________ Full

                  1       2       3       4       5       6       7      8       9       10

Do you talk together about your stresses?

        Empty ___________________________________________ Full

                   1       2       3       4       5       6       7      8       9       10

Do you have fun together?

      Empty ___________________________________________ Full

                  1       2       3       4       5       6       7      8       9       10

    Do you have at least two marriage getaways a year?

        Empty ___________________________________________ Full

                  1       2       3       4       5       6       7      8       9       10

    Do you kiss each other goodbye every morning before

        you leave the house?

         Empty ___________________________________________ Full

                   1       2       3       4       5       6       7      8       9       10

   Do you pray together every night?

           Empty ___________________________________________ Full

                   1       2       3       4       5       6       7      8       9       10

    Do you go to church together every week?

         Empty ___________________________________________ Full

                   1       2       3       4       5       6       7      8       9       10

    Do you have a weekly date night?

         Empty ___________________________________________ Full

                   1       2       3       4       5       6       7      8       9       10

ADD UP YOUR SCORE

 0-31    Running on empty (Your marriage could collapse under crisis)

32-48  Your  emotional tank is only half-filled (Your marriage is susceptible)

49-62  Your emotional tank is 2/3rds full (Take it up a level and add the sizzle back to your marriage)

63-75  Your emotional tank is filling up (Your marriage is starting to sizzle)

76-80  Your marriage is sizzling or you’re in denial (Please check your spouse’s score card for a reality check!)