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Date: December 6

Category: Marriage and Relationships

Deuteronomy 24:5
"When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be charged with any business; he shall be free at home one year and shall cheer his wife whom he has taken."

Slobodan & Ljiljana KrstevskiThe first year of marriage is the most important year of the entire marriage. That first year sets the stage for the rest of the marriage. That's why it's so important for a couple to start their marriage off right. The first part of this verse says, "When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be charged with any business." In other words, a newly married man is not to be given any kind of responsibility, whether in war situations or in business far from home, that would require him to leave his home for a long period of time.

So instead of going out with the army or being charged with a business far from home, what is the newly married husband supposed to do? Well the second part of this verse says, "He shall be free at home one year and shall cheer his wife whom he has taken." The Holman Christian Standard Bible says that a husband is to stay home for one year "so that he can bring joy to the wife he has married." In other words, a husband is to stay home so that he can make his new wife happy. That is the first and primary responsibility of a newly married husband. He is not to focus on himself, but he is to focus on his wife.

Now if a husband doesn't know how to bring joy to his wife, all he has to do is ask her. She will tell him exactly what makes her happy and what doesn't make her happy. That's how he can learn to bring joy to his wife. Also, he can learn by reading the Bible. The Word of God is a great guide. For example in Ephesians 5:25 it says, "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her." So a husband should consider how Christ related to the Church to determine how he should relate to his wife. Not only that, but he should also consider the "golden rule" that Jesus taught us in Matthew 7:12, "So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to and for them, for this is (sums up) the Law and the Prophets."

Another example is found in 1 Corinthians 7:3 where we read, "The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights (goodwill, kindness, and what is due her as his wife), and likewise the wife to her husband." In other words, a husband can bring joy to his wife by making love to her. In this verse, we also see that the only context in which sex is holy is within marriage. So another way a husband can make his wife happy is by being faithful to her. There are all kinds of ways that a husband can learn to make his wife happy.

In 1 Corinthians 7:33 we read, "But the married man is anxious about worldly matters – how he may please his wife." A wife likes nice clothes, so a good husband would please his wife by getting her nice clothes. A wife likes kind words, so a good husband would speak kind words to her. He should never talk negatively toward her, but always talk in favourable terms. There is a saying that goes: a way to a man's heart is through his stomach, but a way to a woman's heart is through the door of a restaurant. So since a wife likes to go out for dinner, a good husband should take his wife out to a nice restaurant once in awhile.

In 1 Peter 3:7 we read, "In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God's unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off. [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively.]" We see from this passage that a husband should live with his wife in a considerate way, meaning he should learn to understand her. So a good husband will be attentive, affectionate, compassionate, and gentle with his wife. Those are all ways that a husband can bring joy to his wife.

All of these elements are important to remember when a husband spends his first year of marriage at home cheering his wife. When a husband does all these things in his first year of marriage, he is more likely to continue doing them throughout the rest of his marriage. But if he doesn't do these things in the first year of marriage, then he is setting himself up for failure. So if you're a newly married man, then heed to this teaching and bring joy to your new bride. If you're a husband who hasn't been doing what you should be doing as a husband, then start now! That is what God desires from us – He wants us to bring joy to the wife whom we have taken.

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