Malachi was the last prophet in Old Testament times. Despite all that God had done for Israel and even after their return to their homeland after 70 years of exile, they had become indifferent toward God.
Like Israel in Malachi’s day, we too can become indifferent toward God. We may still call ourselves Christians and may still attend church—at least occasionally, but we fail to recognize that our lives are one whole, not a collection of separate parts. When we neglect our relationship with God, it profoundly impacts every other area of our life and vice-versa.
Be On Guard
So, it was in Israel. Among other issues, Malachi exposed the following sin in their lives:
Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer looks with favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.
“The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the Lord Almighty.
So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.
Men, perhaps never in history have we been inundated with so many temptations in this regard: pornography, R-rated movies, the prevalence, ease and acceptance of divorce, business travel, spending much time with female co-workers, etc. None of us is immune to such temptations. Marital disharmony and even divorce can seem to sneak up on us. I also recognize that responsibility for a healthy marriage rides on both husband and wife. Lately, I’ve heard of so many wives who engage in extra-marital affairs, often to the surprise of their unsuspecting husbands.
For this reason, we must do as the Lord warns in Malachi to “be on our guard, and not be unfaithful.” This requires active, deliberate effort on our part. Cultivate love for your wife every day. Never take her for granted. Allow her to blossom in her own right. Encourage her, love her, provide for, and protect her. Serve her. Involve her in your life. Be willing to sacrifice for her (Ephesians 5:25) and continue to woo her your whole life. Be faithful to her, your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:25-33
Personal Application: Tell your wife every day that you love her. Compliment her on her looks. Plan things you can do together and make great memories. Spend time with other couples who love each other and offer healthy examples of marriage.
Wendell Morton and Jim Grassi, D. Min.
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5