This is the final post on applying the Sermon on the Mount to marriage – and this is the difficult one!
“But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.“
We know Jesus was talking here about those who meant evil to the listener, but the ideas behind this should be applied to all, and most especially to our spouse! If we are to “love our enemy” how much more should be loving the women we married?
I don’t think the first bit says we should stand around and be abused physically. The Greek seems to indicate a slap, not a right cross. The point is not to jump to match any assault, and I would extend that to verbal assaults such as insults or groundless accusations. You may or may not need to deal with these things, but learn to respond rather than react.
The part about the tunic and cloak is a call to give more than you are required to give. This means giving your wife more than she expects, more than she has the right to expect, and even more than she “demands”. I realise this sounds like it could set a dangerous precedent, but Jesus didn’t seem to be worried about that.
The extra mile is similar. The Roman law of impressment allowed any Roman solider to conscript a Jewish native to carry his pack for one mile. (At 1.47 km, a Roman mile was slightly less than a modern mile.) The pack could weigh 100 pounds (45 kg) or more, so just the first mile was a big deal. Clearly, Jesus isn’t asking us to do just small extras; He was suggesting we do things that inconvenience us a good deal!
What would happen if you started to do these things with/for your wife? I think the common fear is she would take advantage of you. Let me ask you; is your wife that selfish? If she is, you have big problems already! If you start doing these things and she consistently takes advantage of you, get some third-party help ASAP! On the other hand, maybe she’ll react well – maybe she’ll start to do some of the same for you. Even if she doesn’t, you’ll be showing her a deeper level of sacrifice and love, which is good on you.
Great tweet of the week:
Sex is a sacred way to minister to your spouse and worship the Lord at the same time. @intimacy4life
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
Our Marriage is None of Your Business ◄ Actually, it is…
Black and Married with Kids
Do Not Disturb
Learning to Listen ◄ Could you do better at listening?
The Generous Wife
Journey to Surrender
Five Big Marriage Mistakes ◄ Yeah, I’d avoid these!
WIFM? ◄ Start thinking this way and your marriage is in trouble.
One Flesh Marriage
4 Ways To See More Lingerie ◄ Understand her “hang-ups”.
Redeeming Marriages with Jack and Janet
“They Didn’t Even Smell of Smoke!” ◄ Yes, you can really get over past marriage hurts.
What It’s Not About ◄ Your sin is probably not about what you think it’s about.
The Romantic Vineyard
I Interrupt This Normal Blog Post… ◄ Once again, Tom shows us the right way to care for a wife.
…to Love Honor and Vacuum
When Your Past Hurts Impact Your Marital Battles ◄ This is written to women, but the point is just as valid for men.