PARTNERS WITH A PURE HEART
Zechariah and Elizabeth provide an outstanding example of what it looks like to be a couple after God’s own heart. Their marriage exhibits what a couple’s obedience to God looks like in real, everyday life. Here’s what we know about this couple who lived in the hill country of Judah so many centuries ago. Picture this: It has been 400 years since God last spoke to man. In a backwater part of Israel, a godly but barren couple named Zechariah and Elizabeth are about to be rewarded for their love and devotion. Sure, there was love and devotion for one another. But greater than that, there was love and devotion in both their hearts for God. Like Adam and Eve, who initially walked with God in the cool of the day and obeyed His commands, Zechariah and Elizabeth also lived obediently, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord (Luke 1:6). As a result God prepared to use them as His instruments to provide the messenger who would announce the coming of God’s Son, the Messiah.
Read: Luke Chapter 1
Lessons for Wives from Elizabeth
Grab hold of God’s strength to walk on and grow spiritually.
Elizabeth was a daughter of a priest of Israel. She could trace her lineage back to Aaron, the first high priest of Israel. And she had married a respected priest. Everyone had predicted a long life with many children for this special couple. But sadly, real life hadn’t turned out as predicted. And instead of seeing her as blessed, the religious community saw Elizabeth’s barrenness as a curse from God. How is life turning out for you? Maybe your dreams are all coming true, or maybe you feel like you’re still waiting for life to get started. Maybe you feel like there’s too much pain and disillusionment to handle. Life has a way of putting detours, roadblocks, and immovable barriers in your path. This was Elizabeth’s story—a life of dashed dreams. But rather than have a pity party, Elizabeth chose to gain spiritual strength from her condition. She refused to allow her sorrow to drag her down. Instead, she reached out to grab hold of God’s strength. How do you cope with discouragement, disappointment, adversity, and dashed dreams? Take a lesson from Elizabeth, whose name means “God is my oath.” No matter what your situation, look to God for strength each day. A wife after God’s own heart does not look at the day’s problems; she looks at the power of her God to assist
her with those problems! Like Elizabeth, cling to God, whatever your circumstance. Elizabeth was an amazing woman and a wife after God’s own heart. She matched her husband, the priest, with her own spiritual maturity…which is a good word for all Christian wives! Even in marriage and maybe as a result of marriage, you need to be purposefully growing spiritually. You cannot control your husband’s growth, but you can control yours. What will that growth produce in you? You will become a wife who walks by the Spirit. A wife filled with God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—His fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). You do your part to be blameless, and pray that your husband will want to follow Zechariah’s example in his walk with God.
Lessons for Husbands from Zechariah
Commit to praying for your wife.
You would expect a godly husband to pray faithfully for his wife, wouldn’t you? Especially if he knew there was a deep burden she was carrying day after day. Zechariah did. When the angel Gabriel spoke to Zechariah, he said, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer is heard” (Luke 1:13). It’s obvious from the angel’s words that Zechariah had prayed for Elizabeth to bear a child. He may have been praying for this very thing for years, and he may have been praying for it while he stood where the angel found him, right there before the altar while tending his priestly duties. Zechariah’s prayers for his wife are a model for your mission as a husband. Do you want to be a more caring and loving husband? Then your first assignment is to determine the Number One burden, challenge, or heartache your wife is dealing with, and then faithfully pray for her. Maybe you know what it is, and you just haven’t been as faithful as you should be to present her difficult life-situation to God for His help. So, now is definitely the time to start. And if you don’t know what her problem is, ask her…and then commit to diligently praying for her regarding this matter. Imagine what it will mean to her to know that you are joining with her to carry her greatest struggle…together. And to top it off, to know that at least one person—the most important person in her life, you!—is faithfully presenting her problem to the loving, all-powerful God of the universe for His help.
SPOUSE ‘BOX’ ACTIVITY
Today you’ll use the (2) two sets of post it notes. One for the husband and one for the wife. Wives…use your post it notes today to write encouraging scripture verses for your husband. Post them in fun and strategic places throughout your husband’s day. Restroom, dresser, mirror, vehicle, lunch sack, coffee cup, etc. Husbands…use your post it notes today to write prayers, or ways you’re praying for your spouse. Post them in fun strategic places throughout your wife’s day. Of course, make sure you commit to a day of prayer for your wife