Genesis 2:18, 21-24
The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’…and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
As Christians, The Holy Bible is your blueprint for marriage. Husbands – you are to love and sacrifice, Wives – you are to submit. Ephesians 5:23-24 says, For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
The picture of marriage expands into something much broader, with the husband and wife relationship illustrating the relationship between Christ and the church. Husbands are urged to lay down their lives in sacrificial love and protection. And in this safe and cherished embrace of a loving husband, what wife would not be willing to submit to his leadership?
Some readers will quit right here. After all, “husbands taking the authoritative lead in marriage” and “wives submitting” are not popular messages in today’s world!
If you are already married or seeking to be married, I urge you to continue. There is much to learn about this beautiful union between a MAN and a WOMAN.
1 Peter 3:1-5, 7 says, In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands, even those who refuse to accept the Good News. Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words. They will be won over by watching your pure, godly behavior. Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty … You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God … In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat her with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. If you don’t treat her as you should, your prayers will not be heard.
This illustration of marriage typifying the relationship between Christ and the church adds further encouragement for wives to submit to their husbands, even those who don’t follow Christ. Although this is a difficult challenge, the verse promises that her godly character and inward beauty will win over her husband more effectively than words.
If we’re not careful, we will miss that these verses highlight the equal partnership of husbands and wives in God’s gift of new life. Though the husband exercises the role of authority and leadership, and the wife fulfills a role of submission, both are equal heirs in God’s kingdom. The roles are different, but equally important.
The deeper purpose of marriage is to make us confront our own character flaws, the behaviors and attitudes we would never have seen nor faced otherwise. If we allow the challenges of marriage to force us to confront ourselves, we will be applying a spiritual discipline of tremendous value.
I believe God designed marriage as an instrument to make us more like Christ and overcome immoral living. God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy. Can we lay down our own ambitions to love and serve our spouse? Through marriage we can learn about unconditional love, respectful honor, how to forgive and be forgiven. We can see our shortcomings and grow from that insight. We can develop a servant’s heart, and draw closer to God. As a result, true soul happiness can be discovered, and this, I believe is one of God’s ultimate desires and purposes for designing the covenant of marriage.
Sadly, hollywood is a point of reference for many marriages. A Christian marriage is not like a hollywood marriage. There is no prenuptial agreement. It is not an experiment to see if it works. It is a complete surrender.
If you follow this blueprint, marry Jesus first; you will experience a beautiful gift from God. Don’t be tempted with any other scheme, It won’t work! Trust me, I know, I’ve been happily married for 12 years. Amen.
Scripture of the day: Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? ~ 2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV
Pastor Peter Okereke Jr.
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