A GODLY MARRIAGE
A Christian marriage is the union of one man and one woman who have first consecrated themselves to Jesus Christ, then experienced the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and are living their lives together in the harmony of the Holy Scriptures. Unity is a critical characteristic of a Christian marriage; thus, it is essential that both the man and the woman be sanctified so that unity can be experienced. Without the second work of grace, the carnal nature will rise up and cause division in the marriage. Carnality, selfish pride and covetousness, is at the root of all division and divorce. A carnal, un-sanctified person is not an acceptable mate for marriage.
If a couple finds themselves in a marriage where one (or both) is not sanctified, this grace should be diligently sought after to preserve the marriage. If your pastor does not teach the vital experience of sanctification (as a distinct and subsequent work of grace), then you should seek a man of God who has been ordained and called by the Holy Spirit to guide and counsel you and your family.
The Bible has much to say about marriage. It is a very important relationship which forms the foundation for the family and the whole structure of society. Satan is consistently and continually working to destroy the Christian marriage. Where and when possible Satan wants to prevent the Christian marriage. When this holy union is formed, Satan will work to destroy it.
The Holy Bible establishes the duties and responsibilities of both the husband and the wife. The greatest malady of all nations is the failure of their ministers and leaders to set a holy example of a Christian marriage before their people. The instructions for a Christian marriage is not popular or acceptable with the majority of people. Many people are in bondage to their carnal and sinful desires and they will not submit to the righteous principles of God's Word.
As it is with any subject of discussion, a Christian marriage is established upon the divine law of love. God's love is the power, the force and the strong bond which “glues” human relationships together. If the marriage and the family is not established and built upon the foundation of divine love, then it will surely fall apart when the trials and tests of life come against it.
The standard for marriage is clearly set forth in the Holy Scriptures. Many carnal preacher have distorted and confused the issues of marriage until most people are no longer instructed properly in the state of Holy Matrimony. Come and see what the Bible teaches about marriage.
And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
Adam was created first and then Eve was created to be a mate to Adam, male and female, created to be suitable for procreation. According to this statement, Eve was made to “help” Adam in the work which God had appointed him. The word “help” signifies an assistant, i.e. someone who is in some manner weaker than the one being helped. This understanding communicates with the words of the Apostle Peter: 1 Peter 3:7, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” In the same sentence where the Apostle instructs the husband to honor his wife, he also reminds the wife that she is to submit (as the “weaker vessel”) to her husband. This message has been largely ignored in the pulpits of our sleepy, lukewarm congregations. Preachers are not willing to uphold the righteous administration of the marriage, the family and the home. The message is clear that the husband is the head of the wife and the family. This is the divine will of God and it can not be improved upon by men's modifications to the God given rules of administration for the marriage and family. The degradation and destruction of the marriage and family is directly related to the failure of pastors to teach the divine rules of authority for the marriage and the family.
Men have become emotionally feminine and weak, leading to women usurping the authority of the man. Men have not resisted this usurping of authority, they readily and timidly released it to the aggressive wife (who really needed her husband to be “the man” whom she could admire and respect). Although most men resented this loss of authority, they were not willing to prepare themselves and consecrate themselves to the task of being a trustworthy authority for the wife and family. Some men seem to even embrace this shift of authority. They saw it as an easy road to shift the burden of efficient and effective management of the home to someone besides themselves. How sad. Stay with me. Don't leave me. Study the Word and know the doctrines of God's Word. Only the truth can make you free of the evil influences at work against us.
21 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.
This is the first marriage when God brought Eve to Adam and she became his wife.
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.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
God took one of Adam's ribs and made him an help meet, suitable to assist him in his divine assignments. She was not taken from his head to rule over him. Neither was she taken from his foot to walk over and abuse her. She was taken from his side next to his heart so that he would love her and care for her all the days of his life. The man must be a man. He must be mature and capable of providing for his wife and children. He must leave the home of his mother and father. He should not need to be supported by his own mother and father. If he can't be the head of his own home, then he should not seek a wife. When he marries a wife, he must cleave to her as his own flesh. The word cleave can be defined as “to glue” to one another. Nothing should separate them.
11 Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord your God.
12 Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you:
13 Know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you.
In the Old Testament, the Israelites were given a divine law which prohibited their marriage to gentiles, heathen, non-Israelites. The reason for this rule was that God knew that those unbelievers would turn the hearts of the children of Israel away from the one true God. They would begin to worship false gods and commit sins which were an abomination to the God of all heaven and earth. This same principle is carried oven into the Christian marriage. A justified and sanctified child of God should not marry any person who is not also justified and sanctified. The carnal person (man or woman) will cause division in the home as well as in the congregation.
And that we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons:
This law was a perpetual law throughout the Old Testament and carried over into the New Testament. In all circumstances, the right of Christian marriage is only as it is in the will of the Lord. First Corinthians 7:39, “she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.” This rule “only in the Lord” applies to both men and women. Christians must not marry sinners. Pray earnestly that you do not marry an unsanctified person.
22 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.
It has become very apparent that for the last two generations we have formed too many excuses for not obeying this principle of God for the Christian marriage. The world has affected the beliefs of the people in church of God congregations. The congregations largely hold that the husband and wife are equals and in many instances they believe that the wife has the superior sense in most matters.
This law of submission is offensive to unsanctfied women. It is believed by most to be a misogynistic carry over from the time when men held women as chattel. Nothing could be more wrong than that belief. The principles of the husband being the head of the wife goes back to the beginning in the Garden of Eden when God established the rule.
Genesis 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.” Women have rebelled against this law from its beginning until this day.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Who among you think that you have a right to refuse to submit to Jesus Christ as the head of the church? Who among you think that a woman has a right to refuse to submit to her husband, especially if her husband be a Christian. We are talking about holy matrimony. We are not talking about marriages among sinners. When does a woman have the right to veto the decision of her husband? Does the wife have equal authority to the husband in their life decisions? Should a husband be subject to the wife; in that if she disagrees with his decision, he must either agree with her; or, not carry out the decision he would have made? I have been told by church of God pastors that if a wife disagrees with her husband's decision, he should not act on that decision until he has his wife's agreement. In other words, the husband's decision to act is vetoed by the wife's disagreement. I am in wholehearted agreement with the necessity of the husband honoring his wife and allowing her to help him make wise and mutually beneficial decisions. However, the husband has the responsibility and the authority to make the best decision he believes is in accordance to the will of the Lord Jesus Christ who is his head. The Word of God puts the burden of authority and responsibility on the shoulders of the husband. If he makes a bad decision, he may hurt his wife and his family; and, God will deal with the husband in that matter.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Shame on those husbands who have neglected to be the provider and protector which the wife and children need. Jesus Christ loved the church so much that He gave His life for it. I would ask the husbands, “Do you love your wife enough to defend her and die for her?”
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.
When the husband fulfills his responsibilities to his wife, she would be foolish not to love, respect and submit to such a loving husband.
3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
These are the sober responsibilities of a church of God wife. What woman has the right or the liberty to refuse to obey this counsel. For a wife to neglect her duty to her husband and children is akin to blasphemy. If she willingly rebels against these precepts, it is blasphemy.
18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
These are the guidelines for a fruitful Christian marriage. The children must be taught and trained to submit to their parents. The wife must be taught to submit to her husband. The husband must be taught to submit to Jesus Christ. The expression “as it is fit in the Lord” means “as it is proper in the Lord.” The wife is counseled to submit to her husband because God requires it and therefore it is the proper thing to do. The wife should hold confidence in the help of the Lord that if her husband does not see the wisdom of her advice then God will correct him, either by failure or by chastisement. It would be less damaging for a family to suffer from the husband's bad decision; than, for the wife to disobey God's word and usurp the authority of the husband. Husbands, don't be bitter against your wife when you have made a decision which was contrary to her advice and your decision proved to be the wrong one. Wives, don't be proud against your husband by being critical of his mistakes. Pray for him and yourself that you may both grow in grace, knowledge and wisdom..
1 Timothy 3:1-12
1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
God has not given to us a confusing message or one that is difficult to understand. It just takes a sanctified experience to conform to the standard of a Christian marriage and a Christian home. The character qualifications of a Christian husband is not different from that of a bishop. A man is not qualified to become a bishop unless he already has these character traits. Men, we must measure to the standard.
1 Timothy 2:9-15
9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
The law of submission is no different for the wife than it is for the husband. The wife must submit to her husband and the husband must submit to Jesus Christ. If the husband submits to Jesus Christ; then the wife should be pleased to submit to her God given husband. These are strong words for men and women, husbands and wives. How shall we escape if we neglect a message made so clear?
1 Corinthians 7:1-16
1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
Paul is speaking about “touching a woman” in a manner that incites or stirs up passion. The Greek word implies “to attach oneself, to set on fire.”
2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.
7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
The apostle Paul makes it very clear that the husband and wife are to serve one another. The body of the husband belongs to his wife. Likewise, the body of the wife belongs to the husband. The only restriction put on this relationship is the mutual agreement to fast and pray for the purpose of petitioning the Lord with some important burden.
In the case of a marriage where they are une qually yoked together, the saved person must ask God for the grace to keeps the vows, commitments and responsibilities of the marriage. It may be that the good conduct of the saint will win the victory for the unsaved spouse.
1 Corinthians 7:27-28
27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.
28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
Paul was totally consecrated to the Lord and the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was fully aware that a single person has a greater liberty to serve the Lord than does a person who is married and has great obligations to their spouse. Nevertheless, it is not a sin to be married or to want to be married. God has designed and ordained the men and women marry and serve Him in their unified commitment. Every Christian marriage ought to be a living example of the unity which God brings into that relationship.