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Updated: Oct 14, 2021

It is still early in the morning.

I'm planning to do something different in family worship today.

I plan to kiss the bible. Why? First, because it saves me from the pitfall of a life of misery.

It saves me from a miserable marriage.

Second, I want my kids to have a memory of what the bible means to daddy.

Do you know what a pitfall is? "A pit flimsily covered or camouflaged and used to capture and hold animals or men. A hidden or not easily recognized danger or difficulty" (Merriam-Webster).

I almost got tricked into the "pit" of doing marriage by default.

When you have not learnt something new, a new method of operation,

you revert to what's already stored in your mind.

So, you operate by default.

When I was a young boy, I observed the way some men did marriage. In the evenings, for example, the men would shower after a hard day's work, get dressed, apply cologne, then march to the town square to play domino until midnight. They leave their wife and kids at home languishing for their presence. Married, yet acting single.

In my young, untutored mind, I imagined this to be the standard by which real manhood is judged, and the norm by which marriage is practiced.

An occasional evening with the boys is in order, but depriving your family of quantity and quality time every day and night is devastating to a marriage.

Doing marriage by default: *The married man who roams the street at night, getting home at 4:00 AM the next day. *The girl that yells at her husband, because that's how Mommy did it. *The man who cheats because that's how the friends celebrate their youthful prowess. And they clap themselves when the guys meet up. *The wife who is domineering because she was trained by the media. The list continues.

I breathe a sigh of relief. I bow my head in gratitude.

God did not institute marriage, then leave us to flounder in the quicksand of ignorance.

He saves us from the pitfall of doing marriage by default, when we inherited a flawed perspective of marriage from the media, friends and in most cases, our upbringing.

He gave us the ultimate marriage manual. Let's unearth the secret to marital success that transcends any cultivated tendency or man-made proposition:

How to treat your wife. *Lead her into the presence of God, as Abraham did. *Cheer her up: "shall cheer up his wife" (Deuteronomy 24:5). *Cherish her, as your own body *Honor her, as the weaker vessel *Sacrifice for her good as Christ, the church.

How to treat your husband. *Respect him (Reverence his position) *Affirm him, as Sarah did (Praise, encourage and validate him) *Help him. God made you his helper *Love him with your gentle and tender spirit, as a daughter of Abraham's seed.

How to treat the kids *Provide for them, else you are worse than an infidel. *Bring them up in the fear of God for they cannot bring up themselves. *Teach them about life and they will not depart from it. *Converse and play with them (It's called bonding). *Give them a godly example, as Moses commanded the people.

Traits you must possess. *Humility. God can replace the stony heart with one of flesh *Be ready to apologize. God leads to repentance *Be ready to forgive. Be reconciled to your spouse. *The spirit of a servant: Serve your spouse/ Outdo each other in showing honor

Lloyd Allen

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