All this talk about marriage, being single, having children and the idea behind commitment (please re-read previous entries for reference) have made me re-think what God intended for marriage. So, I read through some scriptures, and gave it some thought (and prayer) as I tried to re-focus on His intended will.
And, once again, I am reminded of the beauty of marriage as God intended it to be - a mutually satisfying, mutually loving, respectful and mutually desired state. No hint of a baby's daddy or baby's mama, sperm banks, two or three women (or men) 'on the side', fooling around or trophy wives. A whole lot of love, a whole lot of respect, and a whole lot of God is more like He intended for us.
Oh, how wonderful it would be to go back to God's original plan!
Following are some points that I gleaned from my recent study of God's word:
1. THE MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP COMES FIRST (AFTER GOD)
Genesis 2:23 - Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh
Notice a man leaves both mother and father to be with his wife. And also notice this is before there is any mention of children, friends or other family members. In other words, the marriage relationship comes first. The only One you should love more is God. Period.
2. DIVORCE IS THE LAST OPTION
Matthew 5:31 - ....But I say to you that whoever shall put away his wife, except for cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever shall marry her who is put away commits adultery
We divorce for so many reasons nowadays, but, most often I hear the phrase 'we grew apart'. As you can see, the Bible does not make provision for 'growing apart'. Except for adultery (and if an unbelieving husband/wife leaves his or her spouse), the Bible says you should stay married. So, again, unless you have a very good reason, if you are married, you should stay married.
3. HUSBAND AND WIVES ARE TO BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER
1 Corinthians 7:3 - Let the husband give to the wife proper kindness, and likewise the wife also to the husband.
This should be basic, but so often it is not. A lot of people consider their husbands or wives their favorite 'target', the object of their misery, the causer of all their pain. The Bible says that, instead, we should be kind to our spouses. Kindness - wouldn't it be nicer if there were a whole lot more of that going around?
4. SEX SHOULD BE A MUTUAL PLEASURE (one of my favorites:)
1. Corinthians 7:4-5 - The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband. And likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife. Do not deprive one another, unless it is with consent for a time, so that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer.....
This verse is basically saying that neither the husband or wife has the 'right' to continually say no. That means no 'holding out', playing games or depriving him or her of yourself. And, if you need to pray or fast for an extended period of time, to get your spouse's consent - let him or her know what is going on. Sex was meant to be a pleasurable coming together of a husband and wife. Is it that way for you?
5. HUSBANDS SHOULD LOVE THEIR WIVES AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH
Ephesians 5:25 - Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it,
I love this verse as well. This scripture admonishes husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church - in other words, be willing to sacrifice himself for her. To nurture and care for her. To love her and to cherish her. (I could go on and on....) It even goes on to say that the husband should love the wife as much as he loves himself - and no man ever hated himself.
6. WIVES SHOULD RESPECT THEIR HUSBANDS AND SUBMIT TO THEM AS UNTO GOD
Ephesians 5:22 - Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
I'd love to be able to stop at the last scripture, but, ladies there are instructions for us as well. (And, yes, I have just as much of a problem with the word 'submit' as you do!) The best explanation I've seen of this passage is where John Gill says 'This is an instance, explaining the above general rule; which subjection lies in honour and reverence, and in obedience; they should think well of their husbands, speak becomingly to them, and respectfully of them; the wife should take care of the family, and family affairs'. In other words, that submission comes through love, not subjugation, humiliation or a master-servant relationship. But through love.
And, we are reminded that we are to submit ourselves to our husbands as unto the Lord. Now that's deep. For the Lord I will give my all. And what the Lord is saying to me is that that commitment must be the same as what I will give to my future husband. And that we (women) are to serve our husbands as if serving God. So, our husbands must love us without condition, and we must obey as if we are obeying the Lord. (Hey - don't get mad at me - I'm just interpreting!).
Let me know what you think. There are, I'm sure, numerous other scriptures in the Bible about marriage. The above scriptures simply represent my favorites. And though I struggle sometimes with the idea of a Godly marriage (especially this whole 'submission' thing), I would truly love to understand what God's original plan was for a husband and wife. All opposing views welcome!
Religion, Spirituality, Christian, Christianity, Articles, Marriage
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