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murjahel

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CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE

 I Corinthians 7

Many have accused Paul of prejudice against marriage. Paul is often misunderstood because people have taken verses out of context. The background and traditions of that day have become unknown to many today. Some assume Paul was saying one thing, when in actuality the meaning is contrary to their connotations.

Most of what Paul says about marriage, is from the Lord, who instituted it. It is not Paul's ideas we are reading, but it is the Lord's teaching of truth. Paul is careful to document anything he says in his epistles that is from him, and not from the Lord. What the Lord says is infallible. There are no contradictions, perhaps misconceptions, misinterpretations of what is said.

 

THE BIBLICAL VIEW OF MARRIAGE

 

I Corinthians 7:2

"...let every man have his own wife..."

The word "let" means "allow." So we should allow every man to have a wife. This does not mean that every man is required to marry, but that the gospel puts no hindrance to marriage.

 

Proverbs 18:22

"He that finds a wife, finds a good thing."

Jesus attended a marriage at Cana, and blessed it with His first recorded miracle. (John 2:1-11)

God said in Genesis 2:18:

"It is not good that man should be alone..."

Paul was answering some particular questions of the congregation at Corinth. His instructions regarded some problems peculiar to that place and that time.

I Corinthians 7:1

"Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me..."

Paul is not giving the whole of the thoughts of God on the subject of marriage. Rather he is seeking to settle questions that have been raised. His subject is therefore limited to those specific problems.

Paul dealt with marriage as it was in Corinth, not as it is in God's plan, and in the future ideal... In Corinth, marriage was arranged by the parents. Love played little, if any, part in the deciding of marriage partners. Very often the bride and the groom met each other only shortly before the wedding. Thus, you will notice that Paul addresses fathers in verse 36, for they often had the determining vote on the subject.

Many of the new converts, who were as yet unmarried, were promised to a young woman that they did not know. Oftentimes she was still not converted from the pagan, promiscuous lifestyle of the unsaved Corinthians... Therefore, Paul begins his answer to the questions on marriage with this counsel...

I Corinthians 7:1

"...It is good for a man not to touch (Greek = haptomai = to set on fire, to attach oneself to) a woman..."

Paul is not saying that remaining single is preferred above marriage, but that with the present crisis in Corinth, it is better to remain unmarried now, and settle some issues, and re-arrange the long-range plans, in order that some marriage unions that would be disasters would not be entered into.

Paul is not putting marriage on a low level, but putting it upon a high level. He is counseling restraint, and not following through with planned marriages made by an unsaved father... Things had changed with the conversion of many in Corinth. What once would have been an acceptable union, would now, with the conversion of one of the two promised partners, be unwise.

Some had already realized this, and were trying to remain unmarried. Many of these were finding it to be difficult to remain unmarried. Paul spoke here to that particular problem. He did allow them to go ahead and marry...

I Corinthians 7:9

"But if they cannot contain, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn..."

There are practical realities, and Paul understood the desires of young couples wanting to marry, and desiring sexual union with one they love and with whom they want to spend their lifetime. Paul is addressing particular problems of some in Corinth... but he is very careful to show what is a command from God, and what is his opinion and advice.

On some he commands...

I Corinthians 7:10

"And unto the married, I command, yet not I, but the Lord, let not the wife depart from her husband..."

On others he advises...

I Corinthians 7:

vs. 6 "But this speak this by permission, and not of commandment..."

vs. 7 "For I would that..."

vs. 8 "I say therefore to..."

vs. 12 "But to the rest speak I, not the Lord..."

vs. 25 "...I have no commandment of the Lord, yet, I give my judgment..."

vs. 35 "And this I speak..."

vs. 40 "...after my judgment, and I think also that I have the Spirit of God..."

THE PRESENT DISTRESS

I Corinthians 7:26

"I suppose therefore that it is good

for the present distress..."

Persecution was great at this time, and it was dangerous to be a Christian. Sometimes, the revelation of one being a Christian meant the loss of livelihood, and sometimes even death. In such situations, , celibacy was preferable. Marriages would have such a burden attached, that it was wise to postpone the wedding until things subsided.

The newly married couple were to spend a year together, without working... This was to allow them to spend much time together, and build a loving relationship. This honeymoon was an ideal way to start the marriage. Yet, with the persecution, the stigma of being a convert to an outlawed religion, and the poverty made such a honeymoon virtually impossible... it was wise to postpone weddings for a while.

Marriage at that time would make the persecution more difficult. If a man had to be concerned with the safety of his new wife, it would be more difficult to make the decisions forced upon him by the persecutors. While in the ideal, marriage is the taking to oneself a helpmate, a companion, one who could help the other through the sufferings.... in this case, the marriage would be a hindrance. Knowing the "present distress" makes the words of Paul take on a different meaning than many have imposed upon his words.

Enoch was a very holy man... He "walked with God... and begat sons and daughters..."

 So marriage does not make one to be less holy.

Some missionaries though have forgone marriage so not to put a mate through the hardship of the circumstances of their ministry. Jesus speaks of "eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake..."

Paul desired the people to postpone marriage for the present distress, the trouble at hand... but is not saying that all his advice was to be followed for more normal, or for other circumstances.

Some fathers desired to keep their daughters from marrying the man to whom she was promised. If he had not accepted Jesus, this would put a great burden on the converted daughter to be married to a pagan, who would most likely persecute her for her faith. And even if the man to whom she had been promised had accepted Jesus, the marriage would have a shaky start due to the persecution, and the lack of resources at the present time to have the year long honeymoon. The "present distress" must be considered while interpreting Paul's advice.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR THOSE CONTEMPLATING MARRIAGE

A. EACH PERSON MUST DETERMINE THE WILL OF GOD FOR THEMSELVES

It is dangerous to try to impose celibacy on someone else. "Forbidding to marry" is one of the doctrines of devil's mentioned in I Timothy 4:1-3. Therefore, we must be careful to avoid, wherever possible, forbidding a young couple that are in love to marry.

Being in love may be a good reason to marry, but it is not a perfect reason. One may be in love with someone unsuitable. One may be in love with one that cannot be trusted. Love is not always lasting and enduring. Falling in love is not an irresistible emotion. Love needs a good foundation, and needs to still be built upon throughout the whole marriage.

B. MARRIAGE IS A SACRED TIE, THAT SHOULD NOT BE BROKEN

When people marry, they make a promise to each other and to God. This is a pledge and a vow. Since it is a vow to honor this union, any breaking of this union purposely is a sin.

Ecclesiastes 5:4

"When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for He hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed."

Whenever the vows to God in a marriage are not kept, the results are very tragic. The discord and heartaches that result affect many innocent lives. Marriage is a God-given institution. Divorce destroys that which God instituted. Either divorce itself is sin, or the divorce is a result of a sin. God does not desire divorce. The sickest person can be healed by God; and likewise the most troubled marriage can be healed by God.

James 1:13

"Let no man say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted of God:' for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempted He any man."

The purpose of the religious wedding service is to emphasize the spiritual side of marriage. The religious service does not make the marriage have a spiritual significance, for all marriages have the spiritual element whether the ceremony is religious or simply civil. God instituted marriage, and is present at all ceremonies.

C. GOD WANTS TO BLESS MARRIAGES, AND BE THE HEAD OF THE MARRIAGE UNION

If the two entering into the marriage will remain submissive to God, the marriage will have a blessing upon it that will astound the world. The submission to God is not a one time event at the wedding.

The two can stray from submissiveness to the Lord, and the marriage will cease to be blessed.

Jesus does His best work on a marriage from the inside, if He dwells in the hearts of both of the couple, He can heal every hurt, bandage every attack from the devil, and lift up the fallen and broken marriage. If one or both do not have the Lord dwelling within them, the marriage has a handicap that is almost more than can be borne in our society.

The wedding is a contract between God and two people who want to unite and become ONE. God witnesses every marriage, and unites each couple that weds in a new way. The two become ONE.

Man was not meant to be alone.

Mark 10:7-8

"A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become ONE flesh."

 

This ONENESS comes when two individuals are united into this special relationship called marriage. It does not come by love alone. It only occurs and continues as the two totally give themselves to and for each other. Any straying from that ONENESS is destructive to the marriage.

Some attempt marriage and want to have separate friends, separate interests, and separate religious faiths. These things make the marriage a TWO - who occasionally try to have a ONENESS.

D. THE LORD JESUS IS THE BOSS

The vows in marriage are meant to show the closeness and oneness of the union. The two are to share each others' total love, health, wealth, circumstances, and to give themselves totally to each other. This is a submissiveness to the other partner that is only possible in a marriage.

When we enter marriage, we are to vow to work together as a unit, and not individually. The age long argument of "Who's the boss?" illustrates the breakdown of that concept. For the idea in that question is that there are TWO, and that ONE should be the BOSS. However, if there is only ONE, how can there be a BOSS?

 

It is like the two hands of our body, each hand is a separate entity, in one way; and yet - they are both part of the same body. There is no argument on which hand is the boss. The boss is the head of the body. In the same way, when two people join in marriage, they are part of the ONE body, and Christ is the head of the family, the two are like the two hands which join together in the work for the Lord, following His instructions.

 

The two hands being both part of the same body will work together, aid each other, care for the hurts inflicted on either, and each follow the instructions of the head of the body.

 

One hand is usually dominant, and in most cases, a person is right-handed. The right hand, being then the most agile and strong, is more likely to lift the load, carry the burdens, and do the more difficult tasks. Since I am right-handed, I pitched the baseball with my right hand, and the left hand caught the ball when someone threw it back. This teamwork was like the two who become part of one body, and work together then as one. The one hand may be more agile, and the other may have another role in which it can play the key role, but they are two who work together as one.

 

The two partners in a marriage have the husband who is the "head", but this is not a role of despotic leadership, but of dominant burden bearing. The husband bears the heavier load in responsibility.

The beautiful institution of marriage has been torn apart by the argument of "Who's the boss?" True marriage as instituted by God does not need a DESPOT. When a devoted couple has become ONE in their interests, ONE in their mutual caring, and ONE in their desire to fulfill the other's needs -there is no need for a BOSS.

 

Traditionally, the authority was vested in the husband. Many have mistakenly tried to make a few verses in the Bible to propagate that concept. Women's lib has tried to change the concept, and put the woman in control. Some of this generation have attempted to make it a 50-50 deal. All of these concepts have resulted in an enormous divorce rate, and many, many unhappy marriages.

Let's look at what the Bible teaches.

Ephesians 5:21-25

"Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it..."

At first glance, many have seized on the "husband is the head of the wife..." These have tried to make the wife the obedient and second- place member of a TWO-SOME.

How can this be, if they are to be ONE?

The truth is that both are to submit to the other (verse 21). The husband is given the job of being the head (under Christ) when differences appear. Yet, the harder, and more responsible job is given the husband. He is to love his wife "as Christ loved the church." What a challenge! How can any husband measure up to that command. There is no husband of any time who has totally measured up to that challenge.

Yet, the complaint that is often heard is the one about wives not obeying the husband. If a woman ever married a man who would love as Christ loved the church... she would have no trouble submitting and remaining ONE in caring and seeking to fulfill the husband's needs and desires.

The husband is given so difficult a task, that to love as Christ loved the church, is a lifetime, insurmountable task. Christ so loved the church that He left all the power, joys, and riches of heaven... to be born in a lowly stable, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and live in the poverty of this world for 33 years. At the end of His earthly life, He died for this church. Can any husband measure up to such love and sacrifice?

If a husband could love that way, would he be seeking to dominate, boss, and be a despot to the wife? Would he demand that she obey? Or would he be seeking to fulfill her every need? Would he give his all for her? Would he remain in the ONENESS of the relationship that God desires?

 

The wife of such a husband would find it easy to allow the husband to be the head, for his decisions would not be selfish, cruel, or unloving. His decisions would almost always be for what she wanted, what she needed, and what she desired. How easy for a wife to allow a man to be her SERVANT.

 

That's right, I did use the word "SERVANT" for the husband. For we are commanded to be the "HEAD" as Christ was, and Christ was a "HEAD" Who took the form of a "SERVANT" for the church.

Philippians 2:5-7

"Let this same mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a SERVANT..."

The idea of being like Christ, is a heavy challenge, for it makes the husband to be the "SERVANT" of the wife. He will seek to please and care for this wife, as Christ pleases and cares for the church. As Christ was the "Head", and yet took the role of SERVANT willingly; so the husband should willingly take the role of SERVANT to the wife. Then the husbands are closer to fulfilling the heavy task placed upon them.

 

The truth of the teaching of the Bible, on "Who's the BOSS?" is that the husband may be the HEAD, but he is instructed to be the HEAD as Christ is the HEAD. This puts the husband in the position of being a SERVANT seeking to please a wife that he loves dearly.

 

If those in marriages would seek to fulfill the verses in Ephesians, there would rarely be a divorce. Instead, many men seek to dominate and rule. Some women seek to liberate themselves and rule themselves. Some try to evenly divide the decisions 50-50. Unfortunately, few try to have the ONENESS of union, and few men will love their wives so much that they willingly make themselves the SERVANT to the wife. In God's plan for marriage, though the man is the HEAD, he is to love too dearly to ever be despotic, domineering, or bossy.

 

I have preached this many times.

No one has ever given Scripture to prove this

teaching incorrect.

Yet, I find many who reject its truths,

live different ways,

have failed marriages, and wonder

why God let it happen.

 

If BOTH would live marriage as the Lord

commanded,

it would be beautiful.

 

Few try.

Marriage has become scary for many.

They prefer 'living together' and that is a sure

way to disaster.

God's way is beautiful, but few have

the will to try it.


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murjahel
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murjahel

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Reply with quote  #2 

 

Christian marriagre is beautiful.

it is far more than most think,

it is more than  business.

it is two people becoming one,

joining in the work of God,

 

and joining in relationship to work

as one....

 

it is beautiful and compainionship together...

 

the loving part is something that cnnnot be

pretended...

God has to do the giving of love...

God gives at salvation..

He gives the fruit of the Spirit

at the moment of savation...

 

Love, joy, peace, etc is all present at the moment of

salvation..

it is real and present...

not created and built alont the way...

but all present and flowing...

 

perhaps it is lost in time...

less love, less joy...

and Christians express and have the fruit less...

but at salvation, the love is great enough

to love your worst enemy...

 

at marriage, there should be love

in great and complete measure...

and

it should grow from there...

 

marriage should be loving and complete

at beginning..

and grow from there...

 

it takes cooperation with God...

and completeness with Him...

 

more to come...

murj will teach more...

john will too...


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murjahel
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Adam

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you for the post on marriage. It is a great message and I agree with your interpretation of Paul’s letters. 

I think that Paul is more than clear that the husband is to be a servant, just as Christ came as a servant...so, it is unfortunate that so many throughout history have misinterpreted scriptures to make them appear to say that God wants men to be authoritarian leaders in every situation, while women should just be quiet and obey.

I truly believe that it has suppressed the use of spiritual gifts in many women…gifts that would’ve built up the body of Christ and resulted in the salvation of many. It is tragic.

One interesting thing I learned (although, I have not consulted the Greek myself yet, so I cannot prove that this is accurate) about Ephesians 5:21-22 is that the two verses should really be one sentence and one verse.

The way it was interpreted into English says: (RSV)

Vs. 21:  Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Vs. 22:  Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord.


The words in verse 22, “be subject,” do not appear in the Greek text at all…they were added by the interpreters. Without them, the two verses would become one sentence, reading (and this is how it reads in the Greek):

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ, wives to your husbands, as to the Lord.

This doesn’t seem to make a big difference in the message, at first. But, by adding those extra words, the one sentence was able to be split into two, and it was easy then to make two separate verses out of the one statement. Doing this resulted in having the one separate verse (22) that says nothing but:

Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord.

This allows people to completely ignore verse 21, or just conveniently leave it out of a message on Christian marriage. Especially back when the Bible was translated into English, many women were not taught to read, and relied on men to read scriptures to them. How convenient it must have been to be able to read only verse 22 to a woman wanting to learn her role in marriage, while ignoring what was originally supposed to be the first half of the verse (in verse 21). 


Adam

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Reply with quote  #4 
“Love, joy, peace, etc is all present at the moment of

salvation..

it is real and present...

not created and built along the way...

but all present and flowing...

 

perhaps it is lost in time...

less love, less joy...

and Christians express and have the fruit less...

but at salvation, the love is great enough

to love your worst enemy...

 

at marriage, there should be love

in great and complete measure...

and

it should grow from there...”

----------------------------------------------------------

This is just a personal comment on what you stated above, and not one I can really back up with much scripture…but I think people believe they end up having “less love” over time, whether in marriage or in life, because they don’t “feel” love as they once did. 

But…sometimes love is something that a person does, rather than just something that a person feels.  Our day and age puts such great emphasis on emotions, to the point that we medicate ourselves to suppress some emotions and intensify others, that I think we have forgotten that sometimes love is action…not emotion.

In the famous scriptures about love in I Corinthians 13, Paul defines what love is.  His definition of it involves actions…things that people do and don’t do…not things that people feel. Of course these things, such as having patience and being kind, etc., can result from emotional feelings of love…but the emotion is not necessary to have love.


Gracechick

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Reply with quote  #5 
This is a good reminder on marriage. 
 
I read on MSN there is a small resurrenge in the quiver full teaching where women have as many children as the Lord sends.  And she is to be the quiet, submissive and hardworking wife while her husband leads the family in all things.
 
I wonder how truely happy these women and children are when the families are so huge and they are to be the submissive ones.  What if the women is gifted in ways she cannot pursue, because her husband does not deem it of God?  Been thinking about that article recently.

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murjahel

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God created mankind, male and female..

And together, we were made in the ‘image of God’

 

 

There are distinctive things about men,

and other distinctive things about women...

 

 

These differences are good,

and together,

we make up the image of God....

 

 

So when two people come together to marry...

They become ONE flesh...

And a unity that is to have a bond that makes us more like God...

So, we are most like God,

most able to communicate and fellowship

with Him, when in the union of marriage...

Otherwise, we are 'half'...

not 'one'...

 

This is hard for mankind to comprehend,

and many marriages are unions of

one saved, one unsaved....

and the union with God is not completed.


This is hard.

And even when both are Christian,

too often, lack of education and

experience in the plan of marriage,

keeps some from the greatness of the marriage

plan as set out by God.

 

 

Genesis 2:18

"...it is not good for man to be alone..."

Why?

Adam had just named all the animals in the garden...

God had them all come up to him,

and he thought of a name for them...

That likely took a long time...

But as Adam did that,

he noticed that all the animals came,

 male and female...

For they were to bring forth many more of their species...

And as Adam likely pondered this..

God saw the loneliness in Adam,

and that not one of these animals could

satisfy that lack of companionship...

So God said...

"It is not good for man to be alone..."

 

 

There is a joke told of

God talking to Adam...

Saying,

"I am going to make a helper for you, Adam...

This helper will be with you,

encourage you, and help you..

You will help her, encourage her,

 and be there for her too...."

Adam answered...

"How much is this going to cost me?"

God replied....

"an arm and a leg"

Adam responded...

"What can I get for a rib?"

(end of joke)

 

When God made Eve from that rib...

Man immediately loved her...

God has put a magnetically charged attraction between men and women...

And when two come together to marry,

they should feel that attaction...

That attraction has made them desire to be joined in matrimony...

That desire should be strong, overwhelming,

and its source is God.

Some join out of lust and human desire,

some join out of other reasons,

but when God puts love,

and an attraction not just to the physical,

but also to the inner person within that

physical frame,

it is beautiful and wonderful.

 

God instituted marriage...

and desires to see man and woman

come together to be helpers

one to another...

and to God's plan for that new

'one'  in His work...

 

God bonded Adam to Eve...

And there was a uniting of them,

as He gave one to the other...

And this was the first marriage...

 

Attending the first marriage,

was Adam, Eve, and God...

Genesis 2:22-24

"And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man,

made He a woman,

and brought her unto the man.

And Adam said,

This is now bone of my bones,

flesh of my flesh,

she shall be called Woman,

because she was taken out of man.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother,

and shall cleave unto his wife,

and they shall be one flesh..."

 

 

So there in the garden,

with the first two of this creation,

God instituted marriage...

 

In this world, there are debates,

can marriage be two men, two women...

 

Man's laws may change,

but the Word of God is clear...

Christian marriage is a man and a woman,

together with God,

becoming a oneness,

that earthly marriage cannot comprehend...

or copy

 

For two people, who are to be better together,

than they could be alone...

join in wedlock, Christian marriage,

and are united in a spiritual union,

of oneness...

with love from the husband for the wife

to be so strong, it resembles the love

of Jesus for His church...

That love unites in a special way.

 

Too often, the woman wants that kind of love,

but will not yield to what her part is..

or the man wants the woman to do her

part, and he is unwilling to love as that for his part.

 

That may be a marriage,

but it is not God's plan for marriage.

The heartache in such unions is impossible

to describe, for it is so hard to have

a happy life, if either of the two do not

do their part.

 

A man loving as he should will never

be bossy...

a woman submitting to that love will

find her husband is a servant,

but she will never seek to take advantage

of that love... but submit to that love.

 

How beautiful when it is how God

planned it...

How awful some marriages become

when the plan is not followed.

 

At any marriage today,

 we need three people at least...

God...

The bride...

The groom...

 

 

A minister, rabbi, or priest

may stand representing God to unite a couple...

But God should still be invited...

 

And we should recognize the permanence,

and sanctity of the union...

 

I will be discussing

more on the way to keep the

blessing of God on a marriage...

how to restore marriages that lost

or never had the union God wants...

and

how to institute new marriages

as God wants...

 

more to come


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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam
Thank you for the post on marriage. It is a great message and I agree with your interpretation of Paul’s letters. 

I think that Paul is more than clear that the husband is to be a servant, just as Christ came as a servant...so, it is unfortunate that so many throughout history have misinterpreted scriptures to make them appear to say that God wants men to be authoritarian leaders in every situation, while women should just be quiet and obey.

I truly believe that it has suppressed the use of spiritual gifts in many women…gifts that would’ve built up the body of Christ and resulted in the salvation of many. It is tragic.

One interesting thing I learned (although, I have not consulted the Greek myself yet, so I cannot prove that this is accurate) about Ephesians 5:21-22 is that the two verses should really be one sentence and one verse.

The way it was interpreted into English says: (RSV)

Vs. 21:  Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Vs. 22:  Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord.


The words in verse 22, “be subject,” do not appear in the Greek text at all…they were added by the interpreters. Without them, the two verses would become one sentence, reading (and this is how it reads in the Greek):

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ, wives to your husbands, as to the Lord.

This doesn’t seem to make a big difference in the message, at first. But, by adding those extra words, the one sentence was able to be split into two, and it was easy then to make two separate verses out of the one statement. Doing this resulted in having the one separate verse (22) that says nothing but:

Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord.

This allows people to completely ignore verse 21, or just conveniently leave it out of a message on Christian marriage. Especially back when the Bible was translated into English, many women were not taught to read, and relied on men to read scriptures to them. How convenient it must have been to be able to read only verse 22 to a woman wanting to learn her role in marriage, while ignoring what was originally supposed to be the first half of the verse (in verse 21). 




 

Great analysis...

thanks...


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam
“Love, joy, peace, etc is all present at the moment of

salvation..

it is real and present...

not created and built along the way...

but all present and flowing...

 

perhaps it is lost in time...

less love, less joy...

and Christians express and have the fruit less...

but at salvation, the love is great enough

to love your worst enemy...

 

at marriage, there should be love

in great and complete measure...

and

it should grow from there...”

----------------------------------------------------------

This is just a personal comment on what you stated above, and not one I can really back up with much scripture…but I think people believe they end up having “less love” over time, whether in marriage or in life, because they don’t “feel” love as they once did. 

But…sometimes love is something that a person does, rather than just something that a person feels.  Our day and age puts such great emphasis on emotions, to the point that we medicate ourselves to suppress some emotions and intensify others, that I think we have forgotten that sometimes love is action…not emotion.

In the famous scriptures about love in I Corinthians 13, Paul defines what love is.  His definition of it involves actions…things that people do and don’t do…not things that people feel. Of course these things, such as having patience and being kind, etc., can result from emotional feelings of love…but the emotion is not necessary to have love.



 

yes...

and in a future lesson,

will go into the 'fruit of the Spirit'

for marriage love,

and the losing of it,

follow the same ways..

and

to restore marriages,

to create a Christian marriage,

we need to employ those methods..

 


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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gracechick
This is a good reminder on marriage. 
 
I read on MSN there is a small resurrenge in the quiver full teaching where women have as many children as the Lord sends.  And she is to be the quiet, submissive and hardworking wife while her husband leads the family in all things.
 
I wonder how truely happy these women and children are when the families are so huge and they are to be the submissive ones.  What if the women is gifted in ways she cannot pursue, because her husband does not deem it of God?  Been thinking about that article recently.


 

It is hard,

when one sees and knows a ministry

the mate is not into...

 

there are answers...

and we will get to things like that shortly

in this study...

 

have strength...

things are going to change for you...

and ministry is going to blossom for

many of us shortly...

 

love is the key to getting things flowing...

restoration of love in many marriages,

or institution of love into new marriages

will bring a final blossoming of

ministries...

 

'ask largely'


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actually, she can pursue it...

otherwise, wives with unsaved husbands

could not even go to church....

 

the Bible says to submit,

but it says as unto the Lord...

 

if what the Lord wants is

not what the husband wants,

the wife is to obey the Lord...

 

the order of marriage

always has the Lord first...

 

orders of the husband,

or of the wife over the mate,

are secondary to what the Lord commands...

 

so...

if the Lord wants ministry

and the husband disagrees

the Lord is to be followed...

 

He will not try to disrupt the marriage,

nor destroy its union in most every case...

so, following the Lord and

finding what and how He wants things done

is paramount

 

love will be a key...

the husband needs to find the love that

will want what is best for the wife...

the wife must also love...

and in love, it is hard to err...

for God is love...

 

submission of a wife is not to have

a 'boss' under Christ...

Christ is the 'head' and the husband is

to bring Christ's orders only...

and if he errs,

the wife does not look to the husband

as boss,

but as one who has missed the instructions

of His head... i.e. Jesus...

 

so... in love, the wife can confer with Christ,

her 'Boss' and try to get the husband to hear

what that 'Boss' is saying...

 

love is still the key...

 


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To come toward marriage,

and to know what God wants of each

partner in that union to one,

will make those with the love of God

to long for that relationship....

 

to not want that kind of commitment

will make one flee that union...

for

it takes total commitment, and vulnerabilty.

 

If the partner fails in the commitment,

the other one is totally vulnerable to being hurt..

and hurt greatly...

 

It takes great love to be willing to

yield to that vulnerability...

 

imagine the hurt of Hosea,

having purchased his wife from a life

of prostitution,

and later have her return willingly to it...

and having to repurchase her...

 

imagine the hurt...

 

now, he could suffer that hurt,

or have let her go...

or never married her in the beginning

because of fearing that hurt...

 

his choice was hard...

one way made his story be so wonderful

in God's eyes, that God recorded it in the Word

to give teachings for eternity..

 

 

the other way, Hosea would have been

safe and peaceful..

but his ministry would have been greatly

curtailed...

 

so... our choices can make us vulnerable...

 

not all will have the kind of experience

as Hosea, hopefully only a very few...

 

but in marriage,

if both are to commit to the love

and submission to each other as commanded,

it does make them vulnerable...

 

if unwilling,

do not marry...

for that is not God's way,

and leads to certain disasters..

 

if willing,

then know that God is going to be

blessing that marriage to the max...

and can give miracles galore in blessing it..

 

so, for those contemplating marriage,

that level of commitment is God's way,

and any other way is out of order...

 

for those in marriages,

restoring, or starting that kind of commitment

at a late date, is possible,

but will take some prayer, and work...

 

for those in situations where one or both

remain unwilling to commit that way,

then, prayer is vital...

 

we will deal with all those kind of situations...

 

more to come,

am looking forward to teaching the

'fruit' reception in marriage...


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GRACES are the fruit of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22-23.

We call them 'graces' for they are

given freely, not having to deserve them.

 

In marriage, the love itself,

as designed by God, is a grace.

 

God gives a special love,

to go over respect, admiration,

friendship, lust, passion,

and this love He gives is

more powerful and absorbing than

any could imagine.

 

Hollywood has tried to portray

love as they see it.

It does not come close to what God wants

to give.

 

Some seek Hollywood's idea of love...

and it is sometimes pictured as good...

but

God's intimacy, self giving love,

non bossy, totally submissive,

totally vulnerable love,

comparable only to the love of Christ

for His church,

where He left all of heaven's glories

to spend a lifetime giving Himself totally

to birth the church....

that is the kind of love,

that is a grace,

from God to marriage.

 

Some ruin it... spoil it...

Some neglect it and lose it...

but God gives grace...

just like He did the graces of the fruit of the Spirit...

 

These are given to all Christians at the moment of salvation. These are:

"LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONGSUFFERING, GENTLENESS, GOODNESS, FAITH, MEEKNESS, TEMPERANCE..."

These are the evidence that the Lord has made the saint into a "new creation."

We are to be recognized as a child of God by these signs.

 

Like the fig tree that the Lord cursed after coming to it expecting to find figs, and found none; many today are supposed to have these fruit, and have ceased to bear the fruit that the Lord desires. ( Mark 11:12-14)

 

As in the Old Testament,

 when Isaac returned to find the wells

that Abraham had dug, he found

 they had been filled with stones.

 

The fresh water seemed to be gone.

 Yet when the stones were all removed,

the fresh water still was there in the well.

 

In the same way, many Christians seem

to have little of the fruit evident in their lives.

 

Many marriages have been given the 'grace' of

God's love,

but have let stones of unforgiveness,

failures of many kinds,

etc etc..

be stones and stop the flow of that grace of marriage's love.

 

Unclogging the stones from marriage is the way

to get the water of blessing flowing in the well.

 

When it is unclogged,

love will flow.

 

Oh, how desperately that should be sought.

Throwing out all the rocks can be hard

and difficult.

Yet, it is worth it.

 

 


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II Timothy 3:5

"HAVING A FORM OF GODLINESS,

BUT DENYING THE POWER THEREOF,

 FROM SUCH TURN AWAY.."

 

Just as some Christians, some

churches, are only a 'form of godliness'

but have 'denying the power' they should have,

so, many marriages are in such a 'denial' state,

and only a form.

 

I Corinthians 14:1

"FOLLOW AFTER CHARITY,

 AND DESIRE SPIRITUAL GIFTS,

 BUT RATHER THAT YE MAY PROPHESY."

 

Many want power. Many want God's power working

in their marriages.

It is frustrating when the power is missing from most marriages.

 

They have the "FORM" (morphosis, an outward semblance)

 This "form" is often called "tradition," and may be beautiful, and meaningful.

 Yet, the power of marriage, as designed by God,

 is missing.

 

The gifts of marriage, and the power to be there,

 are not in operation.

 

 There is a reason. The reason is that they are "DENYING" (arneomai, to act in opposition to profession, to have deeds show that the profession was false), the power.

 

How do we "deny" the power of our faith,

and especially one part of it,

the marriage part?

 

The context of II Timothy 3:5 shows the reason.

 

 In verse 2, "LOVING SELF", and not others is shown as the cause.

In verse four, "LOVING PLEASURE MORE THAN GOD"

 is shown as a method

of "DENYING" the "POWER."

 

Misplaced love saps the power out of Christianity,

and out of the marriages of Christianity.

 

Misplaced love caused the power to dissipate.

 

So we need to look at the subject of love,

 and discover its secret.

 

Ephesians 4:30

"GRIEVE NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD."

Grief is deeper than sorrow. Herod felt sorrow when he took the head of John the Baptist. Grief springs from love. The deeper the love, the greater the grief. Herod felt no grief, only sorrow. The Spirit feels grief, because He loves greatly. If the Spirit can be grieved, He must love us greatly. If we grieve the Spirit by our lack of love, the power of the Spirit cannot flow.

Note the context of the verse on grieving the Spirit. In the context the emphasis is love, or rather the lack of it, that grieves the Spirit.

So, a lack of love,

or misplaced love,

will grieve the Spirit,

remove alot of God's potential blessings on a marriage.

 

vs 25 "PUT AWAY LYING"

vs. 28 "STEAL NO MORE"

vs. 29 "LET NO CORRUPT COMMUNICATION PROCEED OUT OF YOUR MOUTH"

vs. 31 "LET ALL BITTERNESS AND WRATH AND ANGER AND EVIL SPEAKING BE PUT AWAY FROM YOU, WITH ALL MALICE"

When the Spirit sees the lack of love in the midst of Christians, and the Christians in a marriage,

 it grieves Him.

 

 The gifts and the power of the church is sapped.

Galatians 5:22

"THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE..."

If the Spirit brings a harvest of love, He Himself must be love. The word "love" is the Greek word, "agape." This word refers to a strong, tender compassionate devotion, recognizing the spiritual worth of even the most unlovely of personalities. If the Spirit is to bring this into our lives when He dwells within, how can we deny this kind of love and expect Him to be there to let power flow through us.

Romans 15:30

"THE LOVE OF THE SPIRIT"

The Holy Spirit engenders us with a personal love, a love pure in content.

True love in a marriage is sourced from

the Holy Spirit.

He gives this love at the beginning of every

Christian marriage.

What the married couple do with it

will determine if they have a blessed and empowered

marriage, or a weak, anemic, destroyed marriage.

 

Paul, in the context of Romans 15:30,

recognized the need of prayer and power to come upon him while on the way to Jerusalem.

So, by "the love of the Spirit", Paul requests prayer. Without the love of the Spirit,

 the prayers would have little power.

Without the love of the Spirit in a marriage,

there is little power.

II Corinthians 6:6

"BY KINDNESS, BY THE HOLY SPIRIT,

BY LOVE UNFEIGNED..."

Note that the "Spirit" is sandwiched in the verse between "kindness" and "love". Whenever the Spirit is allowed to work, kindness and love flow.

I Peter 1:22

"SEEING YE HAVE PURIFIED YOUR SOULS IN OBEYING THE TRUTH THROUGH THE SPIRIT UNTO UNFEIGNED LOVE OF THE BRETHREN, SEE THAT YE LOVE ONE ANOTHER WITH A PURE HEART FERVENTLY."

When your soul is purified into obedience to the Holy Spirit, the result will be true agape love for the brethren. When this happens, the Spirit's power will be able to flow.

Colossians 1:8

"WHO (Epaphras) ALSO DECLARED UNTO US YOUR LOVE IN THE SPIRIT."

Your love is inspired by the Spirit. We become like those with whom we live. Because we dwell with the Spirit daily, and His presence fills us, we should have a great amount of love. In the context of the above verse, Paul says that because of their love, they will be "STRENGTHENED WITH ALL MIGHT..." (verse 11) If love is present, power will be present.

The Holy Spirit is likened unto a dove (Matt. 3:16). The dove is a lovebird. As God spoke out of heaven -"THIS IS MY BELOVED SON...", the love-bird dove descended upon Jesus.

The Trinity loves each other.

 When this Spirit comes upon a marriage,

 His nature should also come upon us.

 

 Jesus began His powerful ministry after the dove descended upon Him. The marriage is blessed at the wedding when the love of the Spirit comes upon the marriage.

We need the Dove of love upon us.

The Holy Spirit is called the "COMFORTER." (John 14:16) He comforted the early church. Comfort is an outlet of love. If the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to comfort the believers, how can we get grudges, bitterness, anger toward those He is showing love and comfort, and not grieve Him and His power?????

 

Romans 5:5

"AND HOPE MAKETH NOT ASHAMED,

 BECAUSE THE LOVE OF GOD

 IS SHED ABROAD IN OUR HEARTS

 BY THE HOLY SPIRIT,

 WHICH IS GIVEN UNTO US."

 

The Spirit floods our hearts with love.

At salvation, this happens.

At the beginning of every marriage,

this happens.

 The more He has of us, the more we can exhibit the love of heaven.

 

When we cease to love another,

the Spirit is grieved

and the power of the Spirit dissipates.

 

 The Spirit is shedding love upon us, as we receive it and let it flow from us, so will His power.

 

Communion, fellowship...

is vital to a marriage.

Its source is also God.

.

II Corinthians 13:14

"THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS,

 AND THE LOVE OF GOD,

 AND THE COMMUNION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

BE WITH YOU ALL. AMEN."

 

Note that it is the "communion" that we are to have with the Spirit. Communion is fellowship. Fellowship is impossible without love. The communion of the Spirit demands love between the marriage partners, who also are in fellowship with the Spirit.

 

 

I Corinthians 14:1

"FOLLOW AFTER CHARITY (love),

AND DESIRE SPIRITUAL GIFTS."

 

If we follow the order of the above verse, we will first "FOLLOW AFTER" the love,

 and then DESIRE spiritual gifts.

 

To "FOLLOW AFTER" is from the Greek word - diokete. It means "to chase down and pursue." This indicates there should be a great effort made to achieve love.

Then we are told to "DESIRE" the gifts. The word "DESIRE" means "to earnestly want."

We earnestly want the gifts and the power of the Spirit in operation in blessing the marriage.

Yet, some don't want to chase down the love that God wants.

If we seek the gifts, and do not have love, we become "LIKE SOUNDING BRASS AND A TINKLING CYMBAL." (I Cor.13:1)

 

Gifts and blessings are linked to love in many places in the Scripture.

 We want gifts and blessings in our marriages.

 

Some have been given a blessing many years ago,

 and haven't seen it operate for years.

 

  The reason deals with the flow of love.

 

If we learn to unlock the flow,

 by using the key of love,

 we shall have gifts and power in abundance.

 

  In the lack of love, we will find a "FORM OF GODLINESS, BUT DENYING THE POWER THEREOF."

.

What is this love ?? See I Corinthians 13:4-8

"SUFFERS LONG" = patient, will allow others to hurt them without retaliation

"KIND" = love in action, deeds that show love

"ENVIES NOT" = not envious or upset by another's blessings

"VAUNTS NOT ITSELF" = humble, love in hiding

"NOT PUFFED UP" = not stuck on self, not glued to a mirror admiring oneself

"DOES NOT BEHAVE UNSEEMLY" =polite, not rude

"SEEKS NOT HER OWN" =seeks good for others

"NOT EASILY PROVOKED" = good tempered

"THINKS NO EVIL" = not looking for faults in others

"REJOICES NOT IN INIQUITY" = not happy when others fail

"REJOICES IN TRUTH" = not deceitful

"BEARS ALL THINGS" = does not retaliate

"BELIEVES ALL THINGS = trusts

"HOPES ALL THINGS" = has positive goals

"ENDURES ALL THINGS" = works hard, no effort is deemed to great for the other

"NEVER FAILS" = doesn't quit

When love is sought and received from the spirit

in the course of the marriage,

there is great blessing.  When it is neglected, denied, ignored, or abused, there is a lack of power in teh marriage.

 

Whenever love is poured out,

 the result is the POWER  of God in the

marriage is undeniable, and brings

manifold blessings .

 

We can unleash the power of the Spirit,

 see many signs and wonders,

if we simply let love flow.

 

If we stop the love from flowing,

seek to protect ourselves from hurts,

so we hold back our vulnerability ...

we cease seeing the power of God's blessings.

 

This works in marriages,

in churches, in Christian's lives.

 

Here we are discussing marriage,

Christian marriage.

 

 

 


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Christian marriages ...

 

Have you ever seen

(I am sure you have)

a junkyard?????

 

Car after car,

dented, damaged, rusted,

parts missing off most...

 

not a pretty sight...

 

many marriages,

or the marriages even in the churches of today,

are alot like that junkyard...

 

Why?

 

The Lord's plan is not being followed...

and the resulting disasters are not pretty.

 

Some make a living,

going to junkyards,

picking out a car,

seeing some value in it,

putting things back together...

restoring....

and end up with something beautiful

and valuable.

 

God loves to take brokenness,

and what has become junk,

and restore too.

 

He can do a better job than anyone.

 

He also wants to open eyes of those

considering marriage,

and help them avoid ever being on the

trashpile of a junkyard.

 

Too many men are trying to be

boss..., but  ... Jesus is 'Boss'..

too many women are fighting submission

to the Lord ... too...

 

Men have the hardest role in marriage...

They are given great responsibility,

great servanthood,

this servanthood is both to the Lord,

 and to the wife

and are mandatory.

 

Rejection of those principles puts

many a marriage on the scrapheap.

 

Since marriage is to be a 'oneness'...

it takes both parties to be doing their part.

One can try to do their part,

but if the other of the 'one'

does not... it is still  damaged ...

 

The heartache of marriage counseling

is harder than most think.

One of the two in the marriage

can want and cry for help...

but if the other one does not want it,

it is a useless battle to help them.

 

It takes both...

 

I have seen both kinds of endings

married... ending in divorce...

 married and widowed...

 

I made more than my share of mistakes

in marriage...

men are pretty stupid sometimes,

and do not understand as much as

women expect that dumbhusband to know...

LOL

and I was a normal dumb person...

and learned some things too late...

 

I should have avoided getting married

till I smarted up a bit... LOL

 

I am not perfect, and do not come here

to tell anyone to do as I did...

for I learned some things along the way

of my hard past...

 

I find the answer in Scripture,

not in my perfect example...

for it was not perfect...

 

We all fail in marriage,

none of us have been perfect...

 

I do not want to condemn anyone,

for I could be at the top of the list...

I needed to learn God's plan for marriage

from seeing what did not work...

and then seeking to see how it should have been...

 

Now at 64,

not of great health,

not of great wealth...

not looking like Swartzenegger's muscles

with Brad Pitts face... LOL

I doubt any woman could love me

enough to want to marry me...

 

Time is also short,

not enough time left on this earth,

not enough energy to court a woman...

so...

looks alot like I am stuck just

recommending to some of the rest of you

that are in marriages,

or soon to have a marriage,

that

here is the Bible way...

and God's ways always work...

 

I have been telling you the 'murj'

part,

now I am revealing the 'john' advice

 

Don't give up...

there can be successful marriage...

I wish I could have a chance to have

one that was the way God intended...

it would be beautiful...

 

Some of the rest of you,

if you would read and study the lessons

in this thread...

consider the Scripture,

verify it yourself in Bible study,

talk to the Lord in prayer...

can

still restore what has been on the junkpile,

or build a marriage that will never be

in a junkyard...

with the Lord's help...

 

The part about Abraham's wells,

the lack of flow of love...

is a vital part to start with,

after recognizing Who is really

the 'Boss' (i.e. Jesus)

 

God bless !


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 MARRIAGE

I Corinthians 7

Many have accused Paul of prejudice against marriage. Paul is often misunderstood because people have taken verses out of context. The background and traditions of that day have become unknown to many today. Some assume Paul was saying one thing, when in actuality the meaning is contrary to their connotations.

Most of what Paul says about marriage, is from the Lord, who instituted it. It is not Paul's ideas we are reading, but it is the Lord's teaching of truth. Paul is careful to document anything he says in his epistles that is from him, and not from the Lord. What the Lord says is infallible. There are no contradictions, perhaps misconceptions, misinterpretations of what is said.

@

THE BIBLICAL VIEW OF MARRIAGE

@

I Corinthians 7:2

"...let every man have his own wife..."

The word "let" means "allow." So we should allow every man to have a wife. This does not mean that every man is required to marry, but that the gospel puts no hindrance to marriage.

Proverbs 18:22

"He that finds a wife, finds a good thing."

Jesus attended a marriage at Cana, and blessed it with His first recorded miracle. (John 2:1-11)

God said in Genesis 2:18:

"It is not good that man should be alone..."

Paul was answering some particular questions of the congregation at Corinth. His instructions regarded some problems peculiar to that place and that time.

I Corinthians 7:1

"Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me..."

Paul is not giving the whole of the thoughts of God on the subject of marriage. Rather he is seeking to settle questions that have been raised. His subject is therefore limited to those specific problems.

Paul dealt with marriage as it was in Corinth, not as it is in God's plan, and in the future ideal... In Corinth, marriage was arranged by the parents. Love played little, if any, part in the deciding of marriage partners. Very often the bride and the groom met each other only shortly before the wedding. Thus, you will notice that Paul addresses fathers in verse 36, for they often had the determining vote on the subject.

Many of the new converts, who were as yet unmarried, were promised to a young woman that they did not know. Oftentimes she was still not converted from the pagan, promiscuous lifestyle of the unsaved Corinthians... Therefore, Paul begins his answer to the questions on marriage with this counsel...

I Corinthians 7:1

"...It is good for a man not to touch (Greek = haptomai = to set on fire, to attach oneself to) a woman..."

Paul is not saying that remaining single is preferred above marriage, but that with the present crisis in Corinth, it is better to remain unmarried now, and settle some issues, and re-arrange the long-range plans, in order that some marriage unions that would be disasters would not be entered into.

Paul is not putting marriage on a low level, but putting it upon a high level. He is counseling restraint, and not following through with planned marriages made by an unsaved father... Things had changed with the conversion of many in Corinth. What once would have been an acceptable union, would now, with the conversion of one of the two promised partners, be unwise.

Some had already realized this, and were trying to remain unmarried. Many of these were finding it to be difficult to remain unmarried. Paul spoke here to that particular problem. He did allow them to go ahead and marry...

I Corinthians 7:9

"But if they cannot contain, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn..."

There are practical realities, and Paul understood the desires of young couples wanting to marry, and desiring sexual union with one they love and with whom they want to spend their lifetime. Paul is addressing particular problems of some in Corinth... but he is very careful to show what is a command from God, and what is his opinion and advice.

On some he commands...

I Corinthians 7:10

"And unto the married, I command, yet not I, but the Lord, let not the wife depart from her husband..."

On others he advises...

I Corinthians 7:

vs. 6 "But this speak this by permission, and not of commandment..."

vs. 7 "For I would that..."

vs. 8 "I say therefore to..."

vs. 12 "But to the rest speak I, not the Lord..."

vs. 25 "...I have no commandment of the Lord, yet, I give my judgment..."

vs. 35 "And this I speak..."

vs. 40 "...after my judgment, and I think also that I have the Spirit of God..."

THE PRESENT DISTRESS

I Corinthians 7:26

"I suppose therefore that it is good for the present distress..."

Persecution was great at this time, and it was dangerous to be a Christian. Sometimes, the revelation of one being a Christian meant the loss of livelihood, and sometimes even death. In such situations, , celibacy was preferable. Marriages would have such a burden attached, that it was wise to postpone the wedding until things subsided.

The newly married couple were to spend a year together, without working... This was to allow them to spend much time together, and build a loving relationship. This honeymoon was an ideal way to start the marriage. Yet, with the persecution, the stigma of being a convert to an outlawed religion, and the poverty made such a honeymoon virtually impossible... it was wise to postpone weddings for a while.

Marriage at that time would make the persecution more difficult. If a man had to be concerned with the safety of his new wife, it would be more difficult to make the decisions forced upon him by the persecutors. While in the ideal, marriage is the taking to oneself a helpmate, a companion, one who could help the other through the sufferings.... in this case, the marriage would be a hindrance. Knowing the "present distress" makes the words of Paul take on a different meaning than many have imposed upon his words.

Enoch was a very holy man... He "walked with God... and begat sons and daughters..." So marriage does not make one to be less holy. Some missionaries though have forgone marriage so not to put a mate through the hardship of the circumstances of their ministry. Jesus speaks of "eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake..."

Paul desired the people to postpone marriage for the present distress, the trouble at hand... but is not saying that all his advice was to be followed for more normal, or for other circumstances.

Some fathers desired to keep their daughters from marrying the man to whom she was promised. If he had not accepted Jesus, this would put a great burden on the converted daughter to be married to a pagan, who would most likely persecute her for her faith. And even if the man to whom she had been promised had accepted Jesus, the marriage would have a shaky start due to the persecution, and the lack of resources at the present time to have the year long honeymoon. The "present distress" must be considered while interpreting Paul's advice.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR THOSE CONTEMPLATING MARRIAGE

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A. EACH PERSON MUST DETERMINE THE WILL OF GOD FOR THEMSELVES

It is dangerous to try to impose celibacy on someone else. "Forbidding to marry" is one of the doctrines of devil's mentioned in I Timothy 4:1-3. Therefore, we must be careful to avoid, wherever possible, forbidding a young couple that are in love to marry.

Being in love may be a good reason to marry, but it is not a perfect reason. One may be in love with someone unsuitable. One may be in love with one that cannot be trusted. Love is not always lasting and enduring. Falling in love is not an irresistible emotion. Love needs a good foundation, and needs to still be built upon throughout the whole marriage.

B. MARRIAGE IS A SACRED TIE, THAT SHOULD NOT BE BROKEN

When people marry, they make a promise to each other and to God. This is a pledge and a vow. Since it is a vow to honor this union, any breaking of this union purposely is a sin.

Ecclesiastes 5:4

"When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for He hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed."

Whenever the vows to God in a marriage are not kept, the results are very tragic. The discord and heartaches that result affect many innocent lives. Marriage is a God-given institution. Divorce destroys that which God instituted. Either divorce itself is sin, or the divorce is a result of a sin. God does not desire divorce. The sickest person can be healed by God; and likewise the most troubled marriage can be healed by God.

James 1:13

"Let no man say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted of God:' for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempted He any man."

The purpose of the religious wedding service is to emphasize the spiritual side of marriage. The religious service does not make the marriage have a spiritual significance, for all marriages have the spiritual element whether the ceremony is religious or simply civil. God instituted marriage, and is present at all ceremonies.

C. GOD WANTS TO BLESS MARRIAGES, AND BE THE HEAD OF THE MARRIAGE UNION

If the two entering into the marriage will remain submissive to God, the marriage will have a blessing upon it that will astound the world. The submission to God is not a one time event at the wedding. The two can stray from submissiveness to the Lord, and the marriage will cease to be blessed.

Jesus does His best work on a marriage from the inside, if He dwells in the hearts of both of the couple, He can heal every hurt, bandage every attack from the devil, and lift up the fallen and broken marriage. If one or both do not have the Lord dwelling within them, the marriage has a handicap that is almost more than can be borne in our society.

The wedding is a contract between God and two people who want to unite and become ONE. God witnesses every marriage, and unites each couple that weds in a new way. The two become ONE.

Man was not meant to be alone.

Mark 10:7-8

"A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become ONE flesh."

This ONENESS comes when two individuals are united into this special relationship called marriage. It does not come by love alone. It only occurs and continues as the two totally give themselves to and for each other. Any straying from that ONENESS is destructive to the marriage. Some attempt marriage and want to have separate friends, separate interests, and separate religious faiths. These things make the marriage a TWO - who occasionally try to have a ONENESS.

D. THE LORD JESUS IS THE BOSS

The vows in marriage are meant to show the closeness and oneness of the union. The two are to share each others' total love, health, wealth, circumstances, and to give themselves totally to each other. This is a submissiveness to the other partner that is only possible in a marriage.

When we enter marriage, we are to vow to work together as a unit, and not individually. The age long argument of "Who's the boss?" illustrates the breakdown of that concept. For the idea in that question is that there are TWO, and that ONE should be the BOSS. However, if there is only ONE, how can there be a BOSS?

It is like the two hands of our body, each hand is a separate entity, in one way; and yet - they are both part of the same body. There is no argument on which hand is the boss. The boss is the head of the body. In the same way, when two people join in marriage, they are part of the ONE body, and Christ is the head of the family, the two are like the two hands which join together in the work for the Lord, following His instructions.

The two hands being both part of the same body will work together, aid each other, care for the hurts inflicted on either, and each follow the instructions of the head of the body.

One hand is usually dominant, and in most cases, a person is right-handed. The right hand, being then the most agile and strong, is more likely to lift the load, carry the burdens, and do the more difficult tasks. Since I am right-handed, I pitched the baseball with my right hand, and the left hand caught the ball when someone threw it back. This teamwork was like the two who become part of one body, and work together then as one. The one hand may be more agile, and the other may have another role in which it can play the key role, but they are two who work together as one.

The two partners in a marriage have the husband who is the "head", but this is not a role of despotic leadership, but of dominant burden bearing. The husband bears the heavier load in responsibility.

The beautiful institution of marriage has been torn apart by the argument of "Who's the boss?" True marriage as instituted by God does not need a DESPOT. When a devoted couple has become ONE in their interests, ONE in their mutual caring, and ONE in their desire to fulfill the other's needs -there is no need for a BOSS.

Traditionally, the authority was vested in the husband. Many have mistakenly tried to make a few verses in the Bible to propagate that concept. Women's lib has tried to change the concept, and put the woman in control. Some of this generation have attempted to make it a 50-50 deal. All of these concepts have resulted in an enormous divorce rate, and many, many unhappy marriages.

Let's look at what the Bible teaches.

Ephesians 5:21-25

"Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it..."

At first glance, many have seized on the "husband is the head of the wife..." These have tried to make the wife the obedient and second- place member of a TWO-SOME. How can this be, if they are to be ONE?

The truth is that both are to submit to the other (verse 21). The husband is given the job of being the head (under Christ) when differences appear. Yet, the harder, and more responsible job is given the husband. He is to love his wife "as Christ loved the church." What a challenge! How can any husband measure up to that command. There is no husband of any time who has totally measured up to that challenge.

Yet, the complaint that is often heard is the one about wives not obeying the husband. If a woman ever married a man who would love as Christ loved the church... she would have no trouble submitting and remaining ONE in caring and seeking to fulfill the husband's needs and desires.

The husband is given so difficult a task, that to love as Christ loved the church, is a lifetime, insurmountable task. Christ so loved the church that He left all the power, joys, and riches of heaven... to be born in a lowly stable, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and live in the poverty of this world for 33 years. At the end of His earthly life, He died for this church. Can any husband measure up to such love and sacrifice?

If a husband could love that way, would he be seeking to dominate, boss, and be a despot to the wife? Would he demand that she obey? Or would he be seeking to fulfill her every need? Would he give his all for her? Would he remain in the ONENESS of the relationship that God desires?

The wife of such a husband would find it easy to allow the husband to be the head, for his decisions would not be selfish, cruel, or unloving. His decisions would almost always be for what she wanted, what she needed, and what she desired. How easy for a wife to allow a man to be her SERVANT.

That's right, I did use the word "SERVANT" for the husband. For we are commanded to be the "HEAD" as Christ was, and Christ was a "HEAD" Who took the form of a "SERVANT" for the church.

Philippians 2:5-7

"Let this same mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a SERVANT..."

The idea of being like Christ, is a heavy challenge, for it makes the husband to be the "SERVANT" of the wife. He will seek to please and care for this wife, as Christ pleases and cares for the church. As Christ was the "Head", and yet took the role of SERVANT willingly; so the husband should willingly take the role of SERVANT to the wife. Then the husbands are closer to fulfilling the heavy task placed upon them.

The truth of the teaching of the Bible, on "Who's the BOSS?" is that the husband may be the HEAD, but he is instructed to be the HEAD as Christ is the HEAD. This puts the husband in the position of being a SERVANT seeking to please a wife that he loves dearly.

If those in marriages would seek to fulfill the verses in Ephesians, there would rarely be a divorce. Instead, many men seek to dominate and rule. Some women seek to liberate themselves and rule themselves. Some try to evenly divide the decisions 50-50. Unfortunately, few try to have the ONENESS of union, and few men will love their wives so much that they willingly make themselves the SERVANT to the wife. In God's plan for marriage, though the man is the HEAD, he is to love too dearly to ever be despotic, domineering, or bossy.


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murjahel
John
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