Scriptures

Marriage

Introduction

I understand that marriage isn’t for everyone and some people are very happy to remain single all their lives, but there are others who fall in love and want to spend the rest of their lives with that special person. Marriage is one of those beautiful gifts for God designed for life, but it should never be entered lightly.

I always recommend that couples should go through counselling before they get married, rather than after when times get tough. Yes, marriage has its challenges at times but in a good Christian marriage, God should always be at the centre of it, tying both couples together in perfect union.

‘Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.’ Ecclesiastes 4:12

The Bible is absolutely clear about the roles and responsibilities of both the husband and the wife in a marriage and God created the marriage institution because He had a plan from the beginning.

‘God said it was not good for a man to be alone.’ Genesis 2:18

God then He decided to create a suitable help for him.

‘After God created the woman for Adam, He brought her to him.’ Genesis 2:22

Look at Adam’s response,

‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.’ Genesis 2:23

Adam was like,

‘wow, she is incredible, thank you God!’

In Matthew 19:3, the Pharisees questioned Jesus if it were lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause. Jesus’ response was based on what was written in the law.

‘Haven’t you read, that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So, they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate.’ Matthew 19:4-6

Marriage was God’s idea for mankind, it’s a lifetime blessing for both couples.

Wives

‘Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.’ Titus 2:4-5

Love

Titus tells us that wives are to love their husbands, which basically means to be affectionate with their husbands. Titus also tells us that wives are to love their children, which means wives are to be fond of our own children and to act friendly towards them.

Self-control

Some translations use the word ‘sober’ which basically means to be habitually self-controlled and as Christians know, self-control is one of the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23.

‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’ 1 Peter 5:8

When you think about it, whenever we aren’t sober, or out control, angry, we won’t be in a position to discern what the devil is trying to do to you, and your families.

Wives, don’t open the door for him to destroy their marriages, and ultimately your homes, but, be alert, you can resist him with the word of God, and he will flee from your home.

‘Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’ James 4:7

Wives are to be wise in avoiding errors or evil, and selecting the best means to accomplish a purpose, this means they need to be cautious and not rash.

Pure

Titus tells us that wives are to be pure, to be pure from unlawful sexual intercourse, to be virtuous, to stay true to the marriage bed. This applies to both husband and wife.

In the home

It is important for wives to make sure that the affairs of their homes run smoothly. Keep things in order, cleanliness, and clutter out of your home.

‘She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.’ Proverbs 31:27

In other words, wives shouldn’t be lazy, or unproductive, they shouldn’t neglect their home and the people that live there. Wives, be aware of the state of your home, spiritually, and emotionally.

Kind

The word kind means possessing moral excellence or virtue. Having qualities which God’s Word requires.

Subject to their husbands

This doesn’t mean that they are their husband’s slave, it simply means wives are to obey their husbands when they follow the Word of God.

‘The wife must respect her husband.’ Ephesians 5:33

Be the best wife in the world

Think about the following verses and ask yourself if they apply to you and if there is an area in your marriage which may need addressing.

‘A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.’ Proverbs 12:4

‘Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.’ Proverbs 19:4

‘He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favour from the LORD.’ Proverbs 18:22

‘Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.’ Proverbs 21:9

‘Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.’ Proverbs 21:19

Husbands

‘Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.’ Ephesians 5:25

‘Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.’ 1 Peter 3:7

Love

What a high calling this is for husbands, they are to love their wives but not just any old way they want, they are to love them as Christ loved the church. This is all about sacrificial love, the kind of love which took Jesus to the cross and kept Him on it. And notice that the same way a husband loves himself, he is to love his wife.

‘However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself.’ Ephesians 5:33

‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.’ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Harshness

‘Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.’ Colossians 3:19

Considerate Peter tells husbands to be considerate with their wife. The husband need to know and understand what makes his wife happy.

Respect

Peter tells husbands to treat their wives with respect all the time. Husbands should be making embarrassing jokes, or comments about their wives be it at home, around friends and relatives, or in public.

Be the best husband in the world

Think about the following verses and ask yourself if they apply to you and if there is an area in your marriage which may need addressing.

‘Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love.’ Ecclesiastes 9:9

‘A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.’ Proverbs 15:18

‘May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.’ Proverbs 5:18-19

Conclusion

Marriage is a two-way street and the Bible says husbands are to love and sacrifice, wives are to submit.

‘Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. ‘For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.’ Ephesians 5:22-32

This picture of marriage in Ephesians expands into something much broader than companionship and intimacy. The marriage relationship illustrates the relationship between Jesus Christ and His church. Husbands are urged to lay down their lives in sacrificial love and protection for their wives.

When you think about it, what wife would not willingly submit to his leadership, if he kept her safe and loved her like Christ loved the church?

The Bible says husbands and wives are different yet equal.

‘Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewellery or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands.’ 1 Peter 3:1-5

‘Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.’ 1 Peter 3:7

In today’s society some people would have a big problem with these verses, especially when Peter speaks about the husband is to take the authoritative lead in their marriage and wives are to submit to them. but don’t miss the bigger picture in all of this, God wants it this way because its shows the example of the relationship between Jesus Christ and His Bride, the church.

Notice that Peter adds further encouragement for wives to submit to their husbands, even ones who don’t know Christ. Although it can be challenging at times, the Bible promises that the wife’s godly character and inward beauty will win her husband over more effectively than her words. Husbands are to honour their wives, being kind, gentle, and understanding.

Equality

Husbands and wives must remember that the Bible also clearly says that men and women are equal partners in God’s gift of new life. Although the husband exercises the role of authority and leadership, and the wife fulfils a role of submission, both are equal heirs in God’s kingdom. Their roles are different, but equally important.

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

Genesis 1:26

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