When a Man Has Taken a New Wife
by Bryan Matthew Dockens
To ensure the longevity of marriage, newlyweds should take serious measures to protect their relationship.
Enjoy Your Honeymoon
Did you know the concept of a honeymoon originated with God? Of course, He never called it that, but notice: "When a man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war or be charged with any business; he shall be free at home one year, and bring happiness to his wife whom he has taken" (Deuteronomy 24:5).
Granted, this was a statute of the old covenant, which has been done away. Nevertheless, the concept is relevant. God understands the fragility of a new marriage not properly cared for. It is worth noting the context: this honeymoon precept immediately follows laws on divorce (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). Clearly, God's will is to prevent divorce by encouraging togetherness.
Marrying just before shipping off to battle may be romantic, but is not wise. Neither is it prudent for a married couple to delay moving in together in order to complete a goal like college; it would be better to marry later. Nor should a newlywed undertake any business venture that requires considerable time away from home. Marriage is intended to cure loneliness (Genesis 2:18). Let it.
Get Your Own Place
The practice of some couples moving in with the parents of either the bride or groom is ill advised. Since the beginning, God has taught, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). "Leave" means "leave"; it does not mean "move in with"!
What business does a man have in taking a wife whom he cannot provide a home for? "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (I Timothy 5:8).
Privacy is important for a new marriage to succeed because even the best marriages involve occasional conflict and newlyweds need the freedom to resolve their disagreements without an audience. Lacking the opportunity to discuss matters openly, problems will not be resolved, inevitably leading to bitterness and resentment (Colossians 3:19).
Privacy is also necessary because a godly couple, having previously practiced abstinence (I Corinthians 6:18), needs the freedom to overcome inhibition (I Corinthians 7:3; Hebrews 13:4). A nervous couple should not have to worry about what parents or in-laws may notice or overhear.
To enjoy marriage, newlyweds should live together, apart from their parents.