When you think about time, what is most important to you? Is it the same for your spouse? Learning to use your time well in your life and marriage begins with an agreement.
“Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” – Amos 3:3
In the first two segments of Time & Marriage, we have learned that our time comes from God and, like everything else, it belongs to Him. This week we begin looking at some guidelines the Lord provides in the Bible to help us know how best to use our time. By following these principles we can learn how to use our time to serve Him and grow in our walk with Him as a couple.
One thing God makes clear in His Word is we must both be committed to the same purpose for our marriage if we are going to use our time well together.
First, the Bible says we are to be one as a couple. Jesus said this about marriage in Mark 10:7-9: “‘But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’”
Being one does not mean we have to have the same personality, always think the same way, always like the same things, and so forth. But it does mean we must come to agreement about how God wants us to serve Him. Otherwise we’ll spend all our time running in different directions and not serve Him by using the gifts and abilities He’s given us together.
Another Scripture that teaches us this is Amos 3:3: “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” God is speaking to the people of Israel here about why they are facing hardship. They will not agree with God, so they are not walking with Him. The result is disaster.
The same is true in our marriages. If we do not agree together, we cannot walk together. If we don’t seek God together, we will not walk together. And even if we walk together in some ways, it won’t be as God intends and the result will be disastrous.
A question I always ask couples in premarital and marital counseling is: “Why did God bring you together?” Many don’t have a good answer to this question. Or they say something like: “Because we love each other.”
That’s not a bad answer, but there is more than that. To find the purpose for our marriages, we have to start by asking ourselves: “What is God’s plan for us as individuals and as a married couple?” It is only when we seek Him and His plan for us that we will be good stewards of our time.
Satan uses substitutions to God’s purpose to destroy relationships. How many marriages have failed because spouses begin pursuing and serving something else instead of God and each other? They are not necessarily bad things that we pursue. They may be things like making money, a good career, hobbies, and friendships.
These can be good things if we let God lead us, but Satan can use them to separate us. Satan pulls apart, but God always seeks to draw us closer together.
God’s plan is that we first pursue our relationship with Him and with each other. Then those other things will fall into their proper place in our lives. They will be tools we can utilize to serve and bless Him, each other, and other people. That’s the reason God put us together. That’s His plan for our lives. That’s our purpose. And that’s how we must use our time.
God put it this way through Paul in Galatians 5:13-14: “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Understanding our purpose is an important step in being good stewards of our time. Pursuing our relationship with God and pursing our relationship with each other is where we begin. Then we can begin as a couple to seek how God wants us to serve Him together.
Questions for Discussion
♦ Read this week’s post together and discuss what God is teaching you.
♦ Think about how you use your time, spiritual gifts, talents, and abilities. Do you use them to serve God and others, or do you only use them for your good? There’s nothing wrong with using them on yourselves at times. But is that all you do?
♦ Do you discuss and work together to use your time, or do you see your time as yours only? What can you do better to use your time as God desires? How can you help each other with this?
♦ Review your use of time this past week. How much was spent on building your relationship with God? How much was spent on serving God, your spouse, and others? How much was spent on serving yourself? If you are not pleased with your answers, what specific steps can you take this week to improve?
♦ Pray together and ask God to help you this week to spend your time in a way that will please Him.
Next week we will look at some other Scriptures that will help guide us in using our time to serve God and others.
Until then, may God bless you and your marriage in all His wonderful ways,