“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.”
Moses is reminding the people of the laws of God. These were the standards which would govern individuals and the nation. If they followed His precepts, they would be blessed by God, and would be attractive to the world around them. Like a light in the darkness, Israel would draw men to the Lord. Tucked away in this list of regulations is a principle, that if heeded, will lead to a blessed and happy marriage. Certainly, a happy and healthy family life will serve as a strong witness in a world. A world where so many marriages are falling apart, and children are the victims of a fallen and sin-filled world.
The principle here is very simple. For the first year of marriage, nothing was to matter more to the man than making his wife happy. Business trips, and even the protection of the nation against invasion, was to take a back seat to the happiness of his wife. God is not suggesting the husband have a calendar, marking off each day, as if it was a prison sentence to be completed. Instead, the early years of the relationship is where the foundation is laid. If a man can convince his wife that nothing matters more to him than she, he will be well on his way to having a happy, married life. Paul put it like this,
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, . . .” Ephesians 5:25
Psychologists tell us, the greatest need a woman has is to know that she is loved. A wife who knows the love of her husband can handle just about anything.
Whether you are a husband or a wife, perhaps it is time to make an effort to invest in the happiness of your spouse. Instead of thinking of all the ways you’ve been disappointed, why not spend time thinking of ways to pour love into your spouse, and see if the God who parts the seas, is able to put life into your relationship. Remember, there is more at stake than your personal happiness, the whole world is watching.