IS MARRIAGE YOUR priority?
Part 4 continued from November 10th
Husbands, God calls you to be your wife’s leader and lover. To some extend we have seen what that means. But knowing what it means is of little value unless it is applied to your relationship with your wife. Knowing these facts will not promote oneness in marriage. Performing them will.
I ask you, therefore, to seriously examine your relationship with your wife in the light of these truths. Look back over what we have seen about your responsibility to be your wife’s leader and lover. Specifically note areas where you are failing and where you should improve. When you have identified those areas:
- Make confession of your sin to God and to your wife (1 John 1:9; Matt. 5:23, 24; James 5; 16).
- Seek cleansing from this sin and all your sins through the blood of Christ (Eph. 1:7).
- Ask the Holy Spirit for power to be different (Luke 11:13; Gal. 5:16, 22, 23).
- Move out in obedience to the Word of God, and make the necessary changes (Phil 2:12, 13, 13; James 1:19-24).
Choice Number One: “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother…”
God’s Mandate for Marriage is to leave our parents. Leaving our parents means that our relationship to our parents must be radically changed. So if this is first, how should our relationship to our parents change?
- You now relate to them as adults, as friends, and as your honored parents. God picked them for you, put you into their home, and as long as they live you must honor them!
- You must now choose to value and respond to your mate’s plans, goals, ideas, opinions, and practices rather than those of your parents.
- You must now seek the affection, approval, assistance, and counsel of your mate rather than of your parents.
- You must choose to repent of any and all bad attitudes towards your parents. If not that spiritual flaw will leave open a place for the devil to hinder you emotionally regardless of how far you move from them.
- You must choose to stop trying to change your mate simply because your parents do not like him the way he is.
- It means that you make the husband and wife relationship your priority human relationship. Yes, you should be concerned about being a good son/daughter – or mother/father, but you should be more concerned about being a good husband/wife than about being a good son/daughter or father/mother. Children do not need indulgent parents who continually neglect each other. They need parents who will demonstrate how to face and solve problems. They need parents who will show them how to be good husbands and wives; how to relate to other people.
Choice Number Two: “…and shall cleave to his wife …”
God’s blueprint for marriage directs husbands and wives to cleave to one another. A good marriage is based more on commitment than feeling or animal attraction.
- Therefore, when two people get married they promise that they will be faithful to each other regardless of what happens.
- The wife promises that she will be faithful even if the husband is afflicted with bulges, baldness, bunions, and bifocals; even if he loses his health, his wealth, his job, his charm; even if someone more exciting comes along.
- The husband promises to be faithful even if the wife loses her beauty and appeal; even if she is not as neat and tidy or as submissive as he would like her to be; even if she does not satisfy his sexual desires completely; even if she spends money foolishly or is a terrible cook.
- Marriage means that a husband and wife enter into a relationship for which they accept full responsibility and in which they commit themselves to each other regardless of what problems arise.
In many ways getting married is like becoming a Christian.
· When a person becomes a Christian he leaves his former way of life, his self-righteousness, his own efforts to save himself, and turns to Christ, who died in the place and stead of sinners.
· In this act of turning to Christ, he commits himself to Christ. The very essence of saving faith is personal commitment to Christ in which a person promises to trust Christ faithfully and completely and to serve Christ faithfully and diligently, regardless of how he feels or what problems arise. (Compare
· Just so, God’s kind of marriage involves a total and irrevocable commitment of two people to each other.
· God’s kind of marriage involves cleaving to one another in sickness and health, poverty and wealth, pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, good times and bad times, agreements and disagreements.
Choice Number Three: “…and they shall become one flesh…”
God’s blueprint for marriage involves one flesh. At its most elementary level, this is referring to sexual relations or physical union. Consider I Corinthians 6:16.
Within the bounds of marriage, sexual relations are holy, good, and beautiful, but if they are entered into apart from the “leaving and cleaving” they are ugly, degrading, and sinful. (Study Heb. 13:4.)
The idea of the wife’s submission  is not a very popular one in our day. Some resistance to a wife’s biblical submission is only a sinful rebellion against the will of God. But sometimes it reflects a wrong understanding of what the biblical wife’s submission really involves. To clarify a wife’s biblical submission, let me correct the incorrect ideas about submission by showing what biblical submission is not.
2. BIBLICAL SUBMISSION IS COMPLETELY LIBERATING. Submission does not mean that the wife becomes a slave. Actually, the wife is never more free than when she is in submission to her husband, for then she is free to become all that God intended her to become. (Study the description of God’s ideal wife in Proverbs 31:10-31.)
3. BIBLICAL SUBMISSION PROMOTES COMMUNICATING. Submission does not mean that the wife never opens her mouth, never has an opinion, never gives advice. (Compare Proverbs 31:26; Acts 18:26; Judges 13:21-23.)
4. BIBLICAL SUBMISSION IS MAXIMIZING OUR CALLING. Submission does not mean that the wife becomes a wallflower who folds up and allows her abilities to lie dormant. (Compare the full use that God’s ideal wife made of her talents and abilities in Prov. 31.)
5. BIBLICAL SUBMISSION IS ACTUALLY DIVINE. Submission does not mean that the wife is inferior to the husband, Jesus Christ was not inferior to Mary and Joseph, and yet the Scripture says that as a child, “He continued in subjection to them” (Luke 2:51). Jesus Christ was in no way inferior to God the Father. He was and is fully and completely God, in every sense. Yet the Scripture asserts that there is order and structure in the Trinity. Jesus said, “I can do nothing on my own initiative, as I hear I judge….I do not seek my own will but the will of Him who sent me” (John 5:30), and Paul declared, “I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman and God is the head of Christ” (I Corinthians 11:3). Certainly this does not imply that Christ is inferior to God the Father. Rather it teaches that there is a division of labor and responsibility in the Trinity. In like fashion, the submission of the wife in no way implies inferiority. Instead, it teaches the necessity for order and structure, for a division of responsibility within the home. Genesis 1:26, 27; 2:23; and Galatians 3:28 all assert the equalitarian status and dignity of women and men.
This sermon will conclude tomorrow November 12th as we look at “What is a biblical wife’s mandate in marriage.”
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