Sustaining Marriage

Young couples with children
Dashing here and dashing there,
and at pains the work to share –
– paid employment, nappies, chores ( –
“these are mine, and those are yours”);
shuttling children everywhere,
quick to feel it isn’t fair
if he wants his favourite leisure,
and you like some different pleasure;
– rarely sitting down together,
past reviewing, plans preparing,
hurt confessing, wisdom pooling
bond of partnership cementing:
friendship, caring love maturing.

Before the fall they knew no shame,
no secrets from their Maker,
but also did not hide away
their thoughts from one another.

And shielding areas of your life, –
not sharing with your wife
or husband, won’t preserve the peace –
provokes suspicion, strife.

Encourage married friends to value
joint efforts, time together,
to increase understanding, and
commitment to each other.

Confiding strengthens confidence,
productive frank discussion, –
for he must some decisions take,
with her wise contribution.

Leaning and Supporting (1 Peter 3:1-7)
Holiness in daily living,
in your job and in your home:
your relationships are giving
witness of what Christ has done
in your spirit, in your heart,
– for his pleasure set apart.

Gentleness of life is winning
(Christians imitate your Lord!)
– and it’s shown when wives are willing
by their life and by their word,
for their husbands’ leadership
in their bonds of partnership.

Husbands, – show consideration,
work together as you ought, –
listen, with appreciation
of your wife’s advice and thought:
so there’s joy, support, and prayer
through the trials that you share.

Skill cosmetic and in dressing
will not long endure and last,
and it won’t so much impress him
as what stays when these are past:
godliness, the spirit’s beauty,
grows in love and wisdom’s duty.
Tune: 87 87 77 eg ‘All Souls’

Patience learnt, a little drop, –
unnoticed, and unpraised:
but I managed now to stop
from saying what I could have.
I realised that it would have
caused hurt or anger, nothing good.

No-one knows I feel inside
pleasure, though I can’t confide
my progress, tiny victory,
to anyone but the Lord!

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