Scripture: Ecclesiastes 9:9, ‘Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun— all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labour under the sun.’
Observations: I almost find this verse comical in its contradictions. It starts with three positive phrases – ‘enjoy life,’ ‘with your wife,’ whom you love,’ and it finishes with three negative phrases, ‘all the days of this meaningless life,’ ‘this is your lot in life,’ and ‘your toilsome labour under the sun.’ Strangely enough it’s the negative view that predominates Ecclesiastes. Solomon has laboured the point that no matter how you live, death overtakes everyone. We toil and labour and then we die. However he concludes that we ought to make the best of it. We are to eat and drink with gladness (v7), and work with all our might (v10), and enjoy our spouse. There are three things worth noting in this first part of the verse. Firstly, it is expected that we love our spouse. Of course biblical love isn’t based solely on our emotions, but on God’s covenantal faithfulness to his people. Our spouse isn’t just someone we like but someone we are committed to. Secondly, this spouse is ‘yours,’ they don’t belong to someone else. The law was crystal clear that you weren’t to enjoy someone else’s wife. Thirdly, You are to ‘enjoy life’ with your spouse. Being married isn’t meant to be a burden, but a blessing. Life is difficult, and relationships aren’t always easy, but your marriage is meant to be a safe haven. If your marriage isn’t bringing you joy then maybe you need to work on your marriage. A modern proverb says, ‘A happy wife, a happy life!’ and ‘a happy husband, a happy life,’ is also just as true.
Application: Firstly, do you love your spouse? I didn’t ask do you like them, but do you love them, are you committed to them, are you faithful to the promises you made to them when you got married? Secondly, have you defined the parameters of your marriage to ‘this person that I married?’ When it comes to your marriage, no one else matters. Thirdly, is your marriage bringing you joy? If not what are you going to do about it? Divorce isn’t an option, rather you need to take proactive steps to make your marriage what God intends it to be. Will you do whatever it takes to build a marriage that brings you joy?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, You instituted marriage when You first created humanity, and You based it on the relationship that You experience within the Trinity. Lord, may my marriage reflect the love that You have for Yourself, the love that the Father has for the Son and the Spirit, and the Son for the Father and the Spirit, and the Spirit for the Father and the Son. Lord, may I give my life in service to my wife, that she may know that in this world there is no one that matters more to me than she does. Lord, she is Your gift to me, may I bring her joy as she brings joy to me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.