Temperance is “moderation or self-restraint, especially, in eating and drinking”. If I eat too much at a special dinner, I am usually miserable that night and do not sleep well. The next day, I may still feel full and sluggish. I have done this before. If I eat too much every day, over and over, I will gain weight. As I continue to eat, my weight increases and there are consequences to my body. I may get short of breath or run out of energy or have trouble finding clothes. The extra weight strains my joints and my heart. My life expectancy goes down.
If I drink too much, I might get sick or do something stupid or hurt myself or hurt someone else. There were times in my life when I drank too much. If I drank like that night after night, year after year, I would be destroying my body. My organs would be affected and I would shorten my life span.
Either of these in excess would kill a marriage. There is great wisdom in exercising moderation and self-restraint. If fact, it is not only wise to do that with food and drink but is every area of marriage. I think it boils down to respect. It is respect for myself and my spouse. It is thinking of her/him above myself. It is taking care of myself so that I am healthier and have the possibility of living longer. It is placing value on the body God has given me by not abusing it and by taking care of it. This allows me to fully embrace the gifts and opportunities that God gives me each day. It allows me to be more of the husband that God intends me to be.
Temperance movements were prevalent in the late 1800’s and the first part of the 1900’s. The movement’s goal was to restrict the consumption of alcohol. There were marches and demonstrations focused on temperance.
What if you had a ‘temperance movement’ in your marriage? What if you exercised moderation and self-restraint (which basically is being unselfish)? It would mean, with God’s help, controlling yourself from anything that would or could hurt your marriage. It could be a difference maker. How about taking that first step today?