In America we have about 2.4 million marriages recorded and we also have about 1.2 million divorces recorded.
- About 31 percent of a person's friends, aged 35 to 54, who are married, engaged or cohabiting have already previously been married.
- People who have been married many years (say, 35-plus) and have never been divorced have almost no chance of the marriage ending in divorce.
- The rate of divorce per year per 1,000 people has been declining since 1980.
- The rate of people living together outside of marriage in increasing.
- The average length of a marriage in the USA is about 11 years.
The statisticians estimate that a young couple marrying for the first time today has a lifetime divorce risk of 40 percent.
Let me establish my personal testimony here at the beginning. I have been married only once. I have been married to the same woman since March 6th, 1971. After nearly 43 years, I still love and cherish my wife. We do not always agree, but I do respect her opinions and give serious consideration to her advice. God has been my help to provide for my wife and three children who are now adults and have their own families. My wife has been a “keeper at home” and I have been the sole “breadwinner.”
Surely everyone would agree that something has gone wrong with the commitment to marriage among folks in our world today. The marriage vows are broken sooner and more easily than ever before in our nation. We ought to look at what the Bible has to say about the members of a family and the relationship of the husband and wife. We will begin with the husband. Let us go back to the Beginning and see what God has said.
Genesis 2:18“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
Some women have interpreted this verse to mean that a man cannot function or make good decisions without her advice and commands. The Word does not say that God made man a governor or a ruler. He made man a helper or a help meet, someone suitable to be his companion. Let us look a little further in this chapter.
Genesis 2:21-2421 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
God made the woman for man. God made the woman from the flesh and bone of Adam. In order for man to reproduce and populate the world, he must have a suitable companion. It was the will of God that Adam and Eve have children and that they multiply upon the earth. A wise proverb says: “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.”
When Noah’s family disembarked from the ark God told them to replenish the earth. Genesis 9:1, “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”
This story has not ended yet. You know what happened in the Garden of Eden. Eve disobeyed God and her husband. She ate the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. She not only listened to the deceitful lies of Satan and ate the fruit; she also took of the fruit and gave it to her husband.
1 Timothy 2:13-1413 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
They both disobeyed God and they both suffered the consequences. What were the consequences?
Genesis 3:16-1916 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.
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
The word “rule” in verse 16 means dominion, governor, reign, rule, have power over. God made man the stronger one and the ruler. God made woman the weaker vessel and in subjection to her husband. This is not a popular teaching, but it is scripturally sound and according to the plan of God. You cannot design and develop a better or more proper plan than that which God has designed. When people begin to order their lives and affairs contrary to God’s plan, there will be trouble and evil.
Matthew 19:3-63 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Division is the result of sin. Divorce is the result of sin. If it were not for some transgression, people would enjoy the blessings of marriage and holy matrimony. Self-centered people break their vows. They do not keep their word. People have come to expect divorce and so many of them have quit saying their wedding vows. Why make a vow if they know they do not intend to keep the vows.
Ephesians 5:22-3322 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
These are strong statements and many professing Christians who do not possess true salvation and the grace of God have endeavored to explain away the meaning of these verses of divinely inspired scriptures. If men would love their wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; AND IF, wives would “submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord” we would have strong marriages and happy homes.
Christian husbands must provide for the protection and support of their wives and children.
1 Timothy 5:8But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
If a man is capable of providing for his family and he does not do so, he has denied the faith. He is not a Christian. He is a reproach to the name of Christ and is worse than an infidel, a non-believer.
Ephesians 6:1-41 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Many fathers have rough-housed their children and aggravated them in order to teach them to stand up and defend themselves. This method of training is unrighteous. Mean people or mean parents are not respected.
Deuteronomy 6:6-76 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
This is not the duty only of the mother. Mother and father must be active in teaching the children the commandments of the Lord. Too many fathers have given themselves so exclusively to making a living that they have neglected living the life of holiness before their children.
The husband must be the spiritual leader of the home. He must be a representative of his Heavenly Father. Our Heavenly Father has made provisions for all of His children. If our needs are not being met, it is because we have left the Father’s house, not because He forsook us.
Proverbs 17:6, “Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.”
I am speaking to the fathers. Are you the glory of your children?
Are you the ornament of beauty in the lives of your children?
Are their lives a reflection of your training in righteousness?
Perhaps you have not performed well as a father; may I encourage you to learn from your mistakes and share with your children your understanding of the mistakes you made and help them learn a more perfect way of becoming a Christian Husband.