Thursday, May 28, 2015

What does that mean, "Render due benevolence?"

Through the years I have sat with many couples and talked with them before they got married, while they were married and in the midst of their married problems.  There are a couple of things that I tell couples often.  A few months ago my doctor and I were talking about situations he has with patients and their marriages and my situations in counseling marriages.  It was amazing how simple his answers were and how they lined up with scriptures.  In this devotional I am going to be as “straight forward” as possible, gleaning from our conversations that day.  So, with open eyes and an open heart, consider seriously what I am sharing.  It could very well save your marriage from destruction. 
Let’s start with a Bible verse.  In 1 Corinthians 7, verses 1-5 we read this.  It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.  The wife has not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband has not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency." 

The term “due benevolence” is a two way street that is ignored in our culture today.  Our excuse usually is that we are too tired or too busy.  Most women take offense to this as well as some men.  It’s ignored because we live in a society where it has to be “all about me.”  That selfish reality is destroying marriages, causing them to be susceptible to emotional affairs and physical affairs.  Eventually, it will lead to separation and divorce.  How many of our friends and family have divorced over the years and are no longer in church?  Social media has destroyed homes and relationships and made us an “all about me” society.

These verses in Corinthians are ignored in our busy society today.  But remember and understand that marriage was designed by the Lord for a man and a woman to become One Flesh.  The home, the husband and wife, were the first institution created in the Bible in the beginning. 

When you get married, you no longer have control over your own bodies.  As a pastor and a counselor, I hear about a lot of “defrauding going on” in the marriage bed.   Sex becomes a once a week thing or even worse.  I’ve never heard anyone come in my office and ask, “What can I do to save MY marriage?”  Usually it’s things like “they do this and that.”  Never is there a focus on the “I” or “ME” factor. 

Many men would like to have sex once a day.  I know that is hard to understand for ladies, but it’s true none-the-less.  Men are actually wired to be sexually driven.  Sure, that’s hard for a woman who works, who is pregnant, nursing or raising kids.   But ladies, pleasing your man could take only a few minutes or so and keep him from being so moody around the house.  Unfulfilled desires are the biggest factor of becoming the “two ships passing in the night” situation.

The Three Reasons
One of the first things that I share with a couple, whether they are about to get married or coming in for counseling is the “Three Reasons People Get Divorced”.   They may seem simple, but it is the simple things that spouses always ignore, that cost them.  These are in no given order of priority, but the first one is a big one where men are concerned. 

The first one is sex.  Whether it is the lack of it, intimacy issues, physical problems etc, sex is a big deal.  The second reason is money.  Financial problems create stresses that lead to many different problems emotionally and physically.  The third reason is children.  Children are a blessing from the Lord!  But better said, “the pressure of children” can create problems in your marriage relationship.

The verses that we started with plainly deal with the sexual relationship in our marriages.  If it is important for the Holy Ghost to inspire the writer, then each of us need to take it seriously.  Let’s deal with sexual relationships in our marriages for the rest of this article. 

One of the things I share with couples is found in Proverbs 5:15-19, “Drink water from your own cistern, And running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, Streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, And not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love.”

Ladies you are the cistern, or the covered pot to be correct.  No one has the right to touch that pot but the husband and only your husband can remove its cover.  The fountain (which should be clearly understandable), your man’s “fountain” doesn’t belong to him when married, but to you the woman.  If a man “disperses his fountain abroad” with someone other than his wife, he risks having “rivers in the streets”, or, easier said, children coming up to him from other partners saying, “Hey Daddy!”  This is because he is not satisfying his thirst or being denied his drink from his covered pot, his well, his wife.  Or in the case of a woman, she’s not being satisfied by her fountain, her husband.  How’s that for being straight forward?  Oh the Word of God is amazing when you really look at it.  It’s got the answers.  It’s life and medicine to ALL your flesh!

You see, if you are “defrauding one another”, as the verses in Corinthians talk about, you are opening up the door in your marriage for resentment, emotional issues and more!  Once you are married you give up the right of control over your body.  A lot of women and men defraud their spouse of their bodies.  They do it out of their own pride and selfishness.

As ladies and men too, we need to not think of sex as a chore. If you do, shame on you.  We need to let it be that we are making the most important person in our life happy.  When you have a crying baby, they quit whining and crying when you feed them.  Isn’t that right?

According to these verses in Corinthians, the Lord knew how important a satisfying sexual relationship should be.  When you deprive one another, it will harm and separate you emotionally.  If your man is not getting it from you he may go elsewhere.  Men have a physical need for sex that most women just don't understand and comprehend, but God did and He gave this scriptural instruction to us.  It is vital that we believe it and obey it!  We really can take this scripture at face value and obey it.  Yes it is that simple! But if you will think about it and obey it, then you could be reaping the rewards of doing things God's way.

So many spouses are Obsessive Compulsive about the wrong things at the wrong times. I heard one lady minister share to a group of ladies that when you loose your keys, you’ll dump your purse out, empty your pockets and more, till you find them.  Ladies have you lost your keys?  Your spouse is the most precious, best friend that you have in your life.  You should treat them as such.  You should love them and prize them.
The Bible tells us, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife.”  (Matthew19:5, Mark 10:7, Ephesians 5:31)  The word, cleave, means to “stick like glue or to forever chase after.”  Think about that for a moment.  When you first met you did things for each other.  You got a little crazy too, bedroom crazy.  You did things to “light the fire and keep it lit.”  The chase is important to your relationship.  Ladies, it’s really important to your man. 

Most men like doing things for their wives.  When you start to complain about what he does and deny him the opportunity, you will train him just like a whooped puppy and he will stop.  Men are really wired to chase.  Men are hunters and they love the hunt and the catching of the prize.  When you stop them from chasing you, they will become unfulfilled and they will draw back.  They will become emotionally damaged and it can even affect their “stamina.”  No drug can fix that but YOU.  You’ll be frustrated and not realize how it started. 
When your husband is in the mood and he makes advances toward you, don’t deny him, don’t push him off or make him wait too long.  He will eventually take it as you rejecting him.    Men have a sex drive that is powerful and it can be broken.  God made him that way.  Making it a matter of schedule or making him ask for a “time frame” will train him to stop.  It makes him feel emotionally rejected by you. You must make time and take the time for each other.  Men are emotional, but they are different in how they are wired.  Sure, there is balance in having the right time and moment for our intimacies.  But you should never cut him or her off.  The more you push your spouse away, they will become “gun shy” of you.  They will become afraid to touch and shy to advance.  With your husband, you’ll be breaking him, right out of how God made him.  When we do that, we are going against how the Lord designed us and going against His Word.

You wouldn’t send your kids to bed hungry would you? So many spouses send their most precious, best and intimate friend to bed hungry.  Most women will complain about their moody, angry, short tempered and irritable husbands.  Usually, it will come down to one thing, because of the whole due benevolence and chase factor.  One or the other has denied their needs.  Wake up husbands and wives before you lose your keys and you cannot find them anymore.  The Holy Ghost wrote these things a long time ago to keep your marriage from getting into trouble.  

If you want to affair proof your marriage, don’t push away or deny your spouse the fulfillment of their needs.  Let’s not become disobedient to the Word of God in these areas because we allow our own selfishness, pride and insecurities to dictate our bedroom practices.   
Ladies you need to understand or at least try to, that men are turned on by sight.  He needs to be drunk on you!  Don’t you want him to be consumed with thoughts of you? Are you doing things to make him drunk on you?  Song of Solomon talks about being drunk on love.  He needs to be drunk on your love.  Taken by you!  He should be dreaming about coming home to you, like a wino sniffing the cork who cannot wait for the next drink!

Let’s talk sniffing.  Your husband likes to sniff perfume and see you!  It’s a drug to him and draws him like a moth to the flame!  Ladies you know how to catch your man and make him not forget about you.  At the same time, men, you need to understand that women are turned on by touch.  They need your affection, slowly and gently.  They need your conversation and sweet touch.   

Men, you need to smell good and be clean.  Not all sweaty and nasty.  Fellows, you need to take your time and love your wife slow.  Never be a “wham bam thank you” kind of jerk.   Each of you, husbands and wives need to treasure one another.  According to 1 Peter 3:7, you are “heirs together of the grace of life.”  It encourages us to know that and walk it so that, “…our prayers be not hindered.”  Never forget the power of your precious intimate friend that the Lord brought to your life.  What a great prize the Lord has blessed you with. 

Let me close with this story.  My father is a private pilot.  Years ago on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon he would take me to this grass strip airport.  All the “old pilots” would be sitting on this porch area and they would tell flying stories.  As a young kid, oh about 11 or 12, some of these were absolutely hilarious.  One day my Dad was up flying with someone and I was waiting for him to land and we were going to go get some ice cream or something.  One of the older men there was telling a story and it was so funny.  He got to the end of his story and after everyone had gotten over their laughter, he piped up loudly and said, “Boys, this has been fun today!  But it’s time for me to go home and play with mama.  You all would be wise to do that too!”   This guy was in his 80’s. 

What a statement.  It rings true today.  Don’t lose your keys.  Don’t send your dearest and most intimate friend to bed hungry.   Render “Due Benevolence” to each other.  You’ll find that a lot your problems will be cured.