Wedding vows are derived from the roles and responsibilities that Scripture places upon the husband and his wife. The majority of these principles can be gleaned from Paul's treatment of a married couple's responsibilities toward each other under Christ in Ephesians 5:22-33. Today we will begin a six-part series on marriage and relationships. We will look at marriage and some of its challenges from several different perspectives.
The Roles and Responsibilities Scripture Places upon the Husband and his Wife.
(Part 1): As A Woman of God
As women of God, we are given clear distinctive direction in our acceptable character development God expects from us in scripture as we grow in Christ! So easy is it to boast in our God-given talents and abilities, but to leave our attitudes and intentions at an immature level.
To avoid becoming self-righteous and vain in our lifestyles, we must first realize we must be the "light of Christ" first that we desire in a future life mate or husband. Too many of us are quick to point the finger of judgment at a man for not living up to "our ideals" of Christian manhood when we are yet "undone" in our own lives and thinking patterns.
Shortcuts to the "meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." In NO way am I discounting God's mandate for a husband to love a wife "as Christ loved the church." However, we are going to give an account for our obedience to the Lord, not our husband's.
Proverbs chapter 21 Verse 19 says "It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman." Are we contentious and angry women? Are we so aware of others' faults, that we have yet to examine ourselves and be willing to apply God's corrective words from the Holy Bible to correct our own lives? Contentious and angry are opposite emotions from being meek and quiet.
Are we the women whose main intentions are to glorify God or the women who choose to use God to glorify and draw attention to ourselves? God knows our hearts, and "by our words, we will be justified or condemned." (Matthew chapter 12 verse 37) We must also be mindful also that "marriage is honorable and the bed undefiled, but whoremongerers and adulteresses God will judge."(Hebrews chapter 13 verse 4)
There are women who are still seductresses, expecting the deep respect a dedicated woman of God deserves after initiating and/or committing fornication with a man to win him over.
To summarize, women are just as accountable as men to live as Christ has enabled us to trust and obey Him in All things. We must be a willing vessel demonstrating the character of Christ, especially if we desire a husband who lives for God. (I Peter chapter 3 verse 4) should come right after, "which is in the sight of God of great price.)
(Part 2): Guidelines for the Married Couple as a Woman of God
Marriage is a covenant relationship ordained by God himself! "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled, but whoremongerers and adulterers God will judge." -according to Hebrews chapter 13 verse 4. Then why are so many in the family of God unable to resolve marital conflicts? The key for some may be in the word "honorable."
Where there is self-ambition and strife, there is no room for honor. Marriage between a man and a woman is supposed to be a representation of Christ's relationship to the church. Honor must come from both parties, husband and wife to one another. Of course, two different people from different backgrounds and families will have disagreements. We are to seek peace and go after it or "ensue it." 1Peter chapter 3 verse 1. Verses 8 and 9 tell us to have compassion, encourage one another, and not to "render evil for evil." The bible says, "Submitting one to another in the fear of God," and then "Wives submit to your own husbands as unto the Lord."- Ephesians chapter 5, verses 21-22.
It goes on to say, verse 23, the "husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church," and "husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it." Also, husbands must not abuse the wives but nourish and cherish their bodies as their own, loving the wife as himself. The wife is to "reverence her husband," meaning regard and treat him with deep respect.
What if a husband is seen as not "obeying the Word?" The wife is instructed to be in subjection to him that he may be won by the godly conduct (conversation) of the wife coupled with fear." Fear meaning reverence once again. - 1Peter chapter 3, verses 1-6.
The feminist worldly view has infiltrated the church, causing wives not to even consider this approach, which is demonstrating the rejection of God's word. Even if physical abuse is involved, in I Corinthians chapter 7, a wife that "departs" is told to "remain unmarried and to be reconciled to her husband." That supports God's strong stance against strife and divorce.
Pick Your Counseling Partner Wisely
Marital counseling can be beneficial in times of disagreement and should be from an experienced married unbiased minister/counselor who sits to listen equally to both husband and wife. After all, as the word of God says, "the blind cannot lead the blind."
An unmarried person who does not have a history of maintaining a successful Bible-based marriage themselves is virtually inadequate for the job of mediating between two married people. Beyond praying for the couple, they should limit any involvement directing them to someone qualified. Generally, it is the counseling setting that the true intent or motive of the heart comes forth.
Both Husband And Wife Would Need To Be Counseled Together
"Homewreckers" and "busybodies" focus on using one person who complains to them about the mate. The mate is not heard so the complainer gets the negative boost and support they are seeking to end the marriage. This should be avoided by married struggling couples at all costs!
So much more could be said, but ladies in Christ, we have a guide for our place in marriage to be "helpmeets," "heirs together according to the grace of life" and a loving witness by our chaste godly lifestyle to our husbands for which we will one day give an account to God for. The answer is plain and simple, marital success lies in our commitment to obey direction from God's word.
(Part 3): Why God Has Rules And Laws
How would you live if there were no rules? Rules can keep us safe and rules can help us to get along peacefully with each other. One of the first places where we run into rules is in the Bible (Genesis 2:15-17).
When considering marriage, it is essential that the foundation (the rules) of their home be first established.
"Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3)
Christian Principles and Practices
A Christian home is established by Christian principles and practices.
Of course, what may be agreed to in the beginning does not necessarily ensure either party will remain true to those promises.
There are those who argue that “by law” I have “the right” to divorce my spouse on a “no fault grounds,” but for the Christian man or woman of God therein lies the potential dilemma. Your right depends on whose authority you are operating under. (The Law of the Land or The Law of God)
Love and Authority
A lasting marriage hinges on the foundation of two principles; Love and Authority.
Love is essential in any marriage but that is just one component necessary to sustain a successful marriage. There's another component that is equally as important and should be mutually agreed to before a marriage ever takes place, it's called authority. It is this issue of authority many married couples struggle with when they become angry with each other, the element of love is then often placed in the backseat. Without authority, the environment of conflict has room to grow, which allows room for hatred to infiltrate both the heart and the home.
So when we don't respect those in positions of authority (Police, Judges, God, etc.) or those God has placed in positions of authority (Mothers, Fathers, Husbands, Pastors, etc..) problems may occur.
For Christians, true love is centered around possessing and demonstrating God’s Love, and God is to be our authority on all things. To have a lasting marriage is more than just saying “I’m in love” or boasting about how great a lover you may think you are or how much income you bring to the table. The purpose of getting married is far more reaching than just having a clear conscious to be intimate with someone we desire. A Christian marriage means you are willing to make a commitment (for better or worse) and accept certain responsibilities. The commitment is not just to our spouse, but one made to God and before God.
It is this aspect of their "stated" commitment (made before God) that reminds the couple that their behavior towards one another should always be one that would be found acceptable under the authority of God.
So, Why Do We Need A Lesson On Authority?
Without teaching about authority, people will begin to make up their own rules.
There Are Two Types Of Authority:
(Primary & Delegated)
Primary Authority: Is the authority that resides in God.
God is our maker and, therefore, God has the absolute right to command and it is our duty to obey him. (Isa 44:24, Isa 45:18)
Delegated Authority: Is the right to command and to enforce obedience given to another by the one holding primary authority.
The Prophets were the first to receive delegated authority from God
Jesus had delegated authority - Matthew 28:18; Luke 9:35; 2Peter 1:17
Jesus delegated His authority - Matthew 10:5-7, 18:18; Luke 10:16
Authority Involves Obedience
Authority commands and instructs. Authority also condemns and punishes (i.e. a parent correcting a disobedient child) or (God's punishment to the disobedient man or woman of God), etc.
Children, adults, men, and women, are all subject to someone having authority over us. Whether or not we agree or submit to that authority is a different matter. However, it doesn't change the fact that God has delegated authority to certain individuals and the husband's authority differs from that authority given to the wife.
"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." (1Cor 11:3)
A Christian woman's willingness to accept the authority God has appointed unto her husband (through the scripture) is vitally important and a determining factor to consider when one contemplates entering into a marriage relationship. This is especially important because there will be times of disagreement when making a final decision that this authority comes into effect.
Generally, most couples have a pretty good idea of what they are getting into when they decide to get married. For some, marriage was a calculated gamble, “the spouse had some good qualities that outweighed his/her shortcomings” or “I can change him/her after I get married.”
Unfortunately, that strategy doesn’t always work out well. There are times when a marriage may not be all you hoped it would be. Instead of smooth sailing, you now encounter turbulence and strong opposition and resistance from your spouse.
So what do you do if you, or your spouse, become discontent in your marriage? There is an endless litany of grievances or excuses the parties could use to justify their dissatisfaction with each other. It could include allegations of being mistreated, deceived, lied to, cheated, hurt, or maybe you just wanted a different lover because the one you currently have is not fulfilling all of our desires.
Without adhering to the proper rule of law, we create chaos, arguments, resentment, bitterness, vindictiveness, and eventually hatred toward one another. So how are we as Christians to properly resolve our grievances. There is the right way and there is the wrong way and both reveal the true intent of the heart.
God’s Rule Of Law: Concerning Lawsuits (Divorce Is A Lawsuit)
Going to Court Against Christians
1 Corinthians 6:1-10 (NLV)
6 Why do you go to court when you have something against another Christian? You are asking people who are not Christians to judge who is guilty. You should go to those who belong to Christ and ask them. 2 Did you not know that those who belong to Christ will someday judge this world? If you judge the people of the world as guilty, are you not able to do this in small things? 3 Did you not know that we are to judge angels? So you should be able to take care of your problem here in this world without any trouble.
4 When you have things to decide about this life, why do you go to men in courts who are not even Christians? 5 You should be ashamed! Is it true that there is not one person wise enough in your church to decide who is right when people argue? 6 Instead, one Christian takes another Christian to court. And that court is made up of people who are not Christians! 7 This shows you are wrong when you have to go to court against each other. Would it not be better to let someone do something against you that is wrong? Would it not be better to let them rob you? 8 Instead, you rob and do wrong to other Christians.
The Body Is to Be Holy
9 Do you not know that sinful men will have no place in the holy nation of God? Do not be fooled. A person who does sex sins, or who worships false gods, or who is not faithful in marriage, or men who act like women, or people who do sex sins with their own sex, will have no place in the holy nation of God. 10 Also those who steal, or those who always want to get more of everything, or who get drunk, or who say bad things about others, or take things that are not theirs, will have no place in the holy nation of God.
(Part 4): You’re Not The Boss And Me – Oh Really?
To be subject means to submit your will to someone. It does not mean you are forced to do something against your will. The first example of this is found in Gen 3:3, 6. Eve was subject to God but she was not "forced" to obey God.
We all have rights and privileges, but not everyone has equal rights (equal privileges). God is sovereign, it is God who decides which rights (or privileges) if any, each of us is given. God knows what is best for us, therefore, God’s decisions are just but they are not based on equal rights.
The Woman God Created:
- The woman was created: For him (the man)- (1Cor 11:9),
- The woman was created: To help Him (the man)- (Gen 2:18)
- The woman was created: To submit to her husband (the man) in everything (Eph 5:24); and
- The woman was created: So he (the man) shall rule over thee (the woman). (Gen 3:16)
It is easy to accept God’s authority when it agrees with our own interest. It is far more challenging to accept God’s authority when we feel it is not fair or prevents us from obtaining something we strongly desire.
The fact remains, whoever is, or was appointed, to be in charge is the one to be listened to.
All things are either God Arranged or God Allowed.
Everything is subject to the authority of God Almighty!
- Christ is subject to ….…….the authority of God,
- Man is subject to …………..the authority of Christ,
- The woman is subject to.. the authority of the man,
- The wife is subject to ……the authority of her husband,
- Children are subject to ….the authority of their parents; and
- Saints are subject to ……..the authority of those who have rule over them (pastors, etc.)
All Christians, claiming to be subject to God, must go to a source where God instructs, and that source is the Bible.
We know obedience is essential for ORDER and SALVATION. By doing things according to God’s Word we know that we are pleasing God.
Matthew 7:21 (NASB) — he who does the will of My Father in heaven
Luke 9:35 (KJV) — This is my beloved Son: hear him.
John 3:36 (NASB) — he who does not obey the Son will not see life.
John 17:20 (KJV) — “which shall believe on me through their word (The Apostles)”
Since all of God’s word is authoritative (Psalm 119:160 HCSB), and the Bible is the word of God, any teaching that is different from the Bible is in error, wrong, and false.
The Purpose of Order – Is To Rule & Govern
God and Man:
Gen 1:26 — God said, Let us make man … and let them have dominion... over all the earth
Heb 9:27 — And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Acts 17:31 — Because he [God] hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man [Jesus] whom he [God] hath ordained;
Man and Woman
1Cor 11:3 - But I would have you know, that the head (authority) of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
1Cor 11:9 - Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
Parent and Children:
Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
Eph 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
Col 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
Husband and Wife:
Gen 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife,
Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Eph 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular (husband) so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
1Pe 3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
1Pe 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
*Note: Peter makes an important distinction – these wives were not simple-minded women but extraordinary women. They were extraordinary because they were “holy women” who submitted to their husbands, not necessarily because he was so good, but because they “trusted in God” (they submitted themselves to God) thereby accepting their placement and role as assigned them by God.
We also must accept the fact that as Christians we are to adhere to the law of God and not incorporate laws under a different legal system, in order to sidestep the part of God’s laws we don’t like. In many countries, upon on reaching a certain age, it is legal to have a sexual relationship outside of marriage, as well as same-sex marriages, but under God, it is "unlawful." The authority under which you submit to may be both legal and sinful.
(Part 5): What is the Difference between Christian Women of the Bible and Christian Women Today?
Many women have now entered into the workforce that had "traditionally" been thought of as man's work. Women work in factories, as construction labors, police officers, military service, and many other fields of study.
If there is one question we need to ask ourselves if there is a difference, what is the difference between Christian women of the Bible and Christian women today?
Women enjoy having the opportunity to make their OWN money.
Money often has a way of changing our perspective on how we handle our personal matters.
*This Section Is Under Construction, We Will Be Back Soon. Thanks
(Part 6): LGBT and Marriage
Equal rights has become a very important issue in this country. For example, an activist is a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change. Some activist promotes equal rights for minorities to end racial discrimination. We have female activist (feminist) who seek to obtain equal pay and employment opportunities for women, as to end gender discrimination. All of these movements are movements to obtain equality, which most would agree sounds "fair." Many of these movements have now been obtained, not only for women but for various other minority groups, like the LGBT groups of individuals (which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ). It has opened doors that allow individuals to marry whomever they so desire. Due to changes in the laws that govern this country, they have now become the law of the land.
Conflict occurs when we have cross jurisdictions between two governing bodies of laws (Equal Rights vs God's Laws). Satan uses many deceptive tactics, often under the guise of "fairness and equal rights" in order to lure us away from obeying God's laws. For example, The "equal rights" that wives enjoy today, are the same equal rights the LGBT group of individuals enjoy today, yet there are other elements of the LGBT rights that are in direct conflict with the law (will) of God, especially those that govern marriage and the relationships between a man and a woman (as husband and wife).
As mentioned in Part 4, in the United States, we have now legalized same-sex marriage and this has become the Law of the Land (in America). As Christians, we are not to be lured into submitting ourselves to an authority (law) other than the authority given us from God. The authority you submit to could be both legal and sinful. (To be continued)
*This Section Is Under Construction, We Will Be Back Soon. Thanks
*This Section Is Under Construction, We Will Be Back Soon. Thanks