God commanded that we not worship carved images, whether in heaven, in earth, or in the sea.  He wanted to make sure everything was covered. God said, “Do not make images of Me and then worship them. Do not love or worship a substitute for Me. Love Me.”

Some religions have made pictures, statues, and idols and then called them holy. They are all imitations. They are all substitutes. And in marriage we should have no substitutes either.

Love your husband only.  Love your wife only.  Do not look for fulfillment in some other relationship or in some other thing.  Find your fulfillment in that relationship.

Pornography is a substitute.  When a man watches pornography, he is loving a substitute.  He is directing his passion and his sexuality toward those images.  That is a substitute, and he is robbing his wife of that intimacy.

Do not allow any substitute, no matter what it might be, to take the place of intimacy with your spouse. 

The Third Commandment of Marriage:  Speak Well of Your Mate

Exodus 20:7 gives us our third commandment of marriage, 

"You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”

Many misunderstand the term, in vain.  It means empty, meaningless, insincere, not showing due respect. 

When we speak flippantly or lightly about someone, we erode our respect for that person.  Some people are just far too casual in the way they speak of their spouse, and it erodes your respect for him or her.

In marriage, few things can affect the relationship like words.  Words are containers.  They can contain love; they can contain hate; they can contain joy; they can contain bitterness.

The book of James says that our tongue is like a rudder on a ship.  It will send the ship of your marriage in whatever direction your words go.  Some people are on the brink of divorce because they talk divorce.  Just listen to the words they say.  Are they negative or positive?  Critical or encouraging?

One night I was out with a couple of friends diving for lobster.  Some guys were out in one of those big, long speedboats drinking and zooming back and forth at 60 miles an hour. All of a sudden, BANG! The boat hit the rocks.

But it did not hit the rocks by itself.  It was steered into the rocks.  Just like the driver of that boat, some people are steering their marriage into the rocks of divorce, into the rocks of heartache, by the words they speak.

Think about what you say.  Are you building up your partner?  Learn to speak well of your mate.  Build them up with your words.  Be lavish with your praise.  You will be pleased with where those words will take your relationship. 

The Fourth Commandment of Marriage:  Spend Exclusive Time Together

The fourth commandment, found in Exodus 20:8-11,

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God.  In it you shall do no work:  you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.  For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.  Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”       

Sabbath means an intermission.  It means to put down your work and rest.  Take a break.  And holy means separate to the Lord.  “If you want a long-term relationship with Me,” God says, “We have to have time together.  I want special time, exclusive time.  I want a whole day.”