fam03 Biblical principles for a solid marriage

Biblical Principles for a Solid Marriage

By David Cox
[f03] v1 ©2005 www.coxtracts.com
Can be freely photocopied, see website for details

A Biblical Foundation

There are three biblical foundations for a biblical marriage that pleases God and is a pleasure for those involved:

(1) Obedience to God and His will, (2) An understanding and practice of biblical love, and (3) An understanding and respect of the principle of one flesh (sex). The decision of which person you marry is something personal, but once made, God enters this relationship to ratify (make legal) the relationship and to make it obligatory for life Matthew 19:6.

Obedience to God and His will – The basis for happiness and eternal life is the same, obedience to the will of God. Because of this, both persons should be Christians, saved and striving to serve God. John 6:40 says that the will of God is that all believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life. In 1 John 2:17, it says, “he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

The basis of salvation is obedience to the will of God, and this first starts when we accept Jesus as our personal Savior. But the rest of the Christian life revolves around this spirit of obedience to God. What is outside of what God wants is sin, and we should reject it, but what God says and wants (His will) we should impose as our guide and rule.

Biblical Love – Love is not a sickness that one gets against his will and out of his control, like the flu. God commands the man to love his wife, and the wife is to love her husband. To love is simply a command that one obeys if he or she is obedient to God, and it is sin if they do not. Love is not something out of our control, but it is a decision that one imposes on his own life, or one that he refuses to do in disobedience to God as any other of God’ commandments.

Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives”. Titus 2:3-4 “aged women… teach the young women to love their husbands, to love their children.” Both husbands and wives ought to love each other. This is something that each person must decide to do in obedience to God, something he must strive to do as a spiritual activity, and is something that others may even instruct you in how to do it or how to do it better. In the case of the woman, she should love her husband being in subjection to his judgment in matters of their family and marriage 1Pet 3:1-6. For the man, he should dwell with her giving her honor, respect, and great esteem as something of a great value, very fragile that we don’t want to break, put under stress, or difficult situations 1 Pet 3:7. Simply put, the man’s whole spiritual life and relationship with God is disturbed when he does not walk well with his wife. One complies with the commandment to love by a spiritual activity of his own will, or he is in rebellion to God.

1 Corinthians 13:4-6 Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind ; (love) envieth not; (love) vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity …

One Flesh Principle – Matthew 19:6 “Wherefore they are no more twain (two), but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” Mark 10:8 “they are no more twain (two), but one flesh.” The phrase “one flesh” signifies having sexual relations, but is not limited to that, it means much more. Sex is the physical union between two people, but in the marriage, on flesh is also the joy of enjoying life and living with each other. God gave man the woman to be his perfect helpmate, because he did not have anybody to socially share his life with Genesis 2:18. This aspect is just as much cultural, social, spiritual, and romantic as physical. Practically this means that the two are a single unit. Eph. 5:29 “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it.” For example, if you want to understand how this works, put your hand on the table and take a hammer and beat it until you break all the bones in your hand. Would anyone really do this? No. Why not? Simple because it is a part of his own body and what hurts my hand hurts me. What causes pain to my hand causes me pain. Within the marriage relationship, there is no gain for anybody neither in fighting nor in causing problems for the other person. All ill will, stress, problem, or pain for your mate hurts you, and you should look to avoid it as energetically as you would protect your hand from the hammer.

Problems of Sanctification and Sex – We should understand that the Christian marriage should be one in which both are seeking to make the life of the other the most beautiful and pleasant one possible. Each one should strive for a home atmosphere where a Christian can live well with the Lord. 1 Peter 3:1-7 speaks of an order in the home, and comments that the woman should be subject (even with unsaved husbands) and should adorn themselves with a meek and quiet spirit in obedience to their husband. Later (3:7) the husbands should “dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor to the wife as the weaker vessel” and they should “love their wives, and not be bitter against them” (Col. 3:19) so that their “prayers be not hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).

Part of this Christian atmosphere is that the two live and serve God correctly. Their sanctification (to be free from sin) enters here. 1 Thess. 4:3-4 “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification that ye should abstain from fornication. That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor.” For this same purpose God has commanded “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud (deny) ye not one the other… that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” Christian couples simply cannot allow sex to be used as a weapon or to hurt each other. Each one must meet the other’s sexual needs.

Work and Homework for the Man

The Man’s Problem – In Gen. 2-3 God informs us of how sin entered the world. God commanded Adam to dominate the earth, his work (the garden), his home, and his marriage, and to defend them Gen. 1.26, 28. He created Eve to be an ideal helpmate (Gen 2:18), not to dominate him. In the fall, God punished Adam (Gen 3:17-19) for having listened to his wife, and for letting her take the leadership and make the decisions. The problem with men is that they do not take the leadership that God commands and demands of them. The majority prefer to leave leadership to their wives (and even children) which is exclusively their responsibility. The home will never be what it should be until this is corrected. Moreover it is the man’s place to correct whatever is wrong in the home or marriage. He must be the one with the initiative.

Provider – God commanded the man to work Gen. 2:15. The man should support himself, his wife, and his family, and to do otherwise, is to deny his Christian faith and be “worse than an infidel” 1 Tim 5:8. “If any would not work, neither should he eat” 2 Thess. 3:10-11. We should not have pity or help economically other “Christians” who are not striving to sustain themselves . This falls principally to the man. 1 Thess 4:11-12 “study to be quiet, and to do your own business (work), and to work with your own hands… that ye may have lack of nothing.”

Spiritual Teachers – We return to the garden. God gave instructions to not eat of the tree. The devil changed the instructions of the Word of God, and Eve fell into his trap by believing him. But Eve was not created until after God had given Adam these instructions, so it fell to Adam to instruct his family, his wife, in the Word of God. Adam failed to do this adequately, and everybody was hurt by Adam’s failure as a spiritual teacher of his family. In the spiritual world, protecting is by teaching and imposing God’s will on our lives.

In 1 Tim. 2:8-15 Paul exhorts the men to pray “without wrath and doubting (dialogs, discussions, and contentions).” Part of this is that woman behaves well (is modest) 2:9-10, and the other part is that the women neither teach nor usurp authority over the man 2:11-12. The woman should neither be a leader in the home nor in the church, nor dominate the man. In spiritual instruction, she should be silent in the presence of men. 1 Cor 14:34 “Let your women keep silence in the churches, for it is not permitted unto them to speak, but… to be under obedience.”

Work and Homework for the Woman

Ideal Helpmate – The woman should find her happiness in fulfilling her purpose, that is to be the perfect or ideal helpmate to her man (Gen 2:18). This speaks of completing or making beautiful the man’s life. 1 Cor. 11.8-9 “the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” The word “helpmeet” has the idea to surround, to have a surrounding presence, to fulfill needs or make sufficient. 1 Tim 2:15 uses the word “saved” which is where the woman redeems herself for what Eve did in the garden providing she fulfills her mothering duty in faith, love and holy sobriety (soundness, modesty).

To be Subject – The Christian woman should adorn herself with modesty, but she should also be subject to her husband. To be subject is to recognize the curse in the garden and to act according to how God commands us, especially for the woman to be subject. Gen. 3:16 “thy desire shall be to thy husband.” This means to recognize and support your husband’s leadership. Eph. 5:22-23 “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… as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” While the homework of the husband is to love and show this love and tender care to his wife Eph 5:25, the wife is to be subject and supportive of her husband, his leadership, and his responsibilities, not taking the leadership from him nor over lording him with her will.

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2 thoughts on “fam03 Biblical principles for a solid marriage

    • I don’t think this tract promotes slavery for women. Each person, man and woman, have their duties and obligations in a biblical marriage. Neither is a dictator. Both are under submission to God’s law, God’s will, and must seek to please God. If you consider serving God, obeying God as a loving child of God slavery, well, your view is perverted and unbiblical. We serve God freely, voluntarily, and with great pleasure in the way God indicates, and this means the woman must be subservient to the man (not dominate him), and the man must be the overall leader of the home, and support his wife’s leadership over the children. This is not being a slave owner nor dictator. It is being an obedient child of God. Therefore, it is MORE DIFFICULT for man than the woman, because he must ultimately bear the financial burden of the home, not the woman. He must bear the spiritual burden of the home, and in both of these, the woman supports her husband’s leadership. If you consider this slavery, it is willing slavery to serve God as He dictates, not for our own temper-tantrums. Read carefully the curses God gave the man and the woman. The woman is (again because she was created to the man’s helpmate, not his supervisor) set under the man where God had made her place, and this time it is specifically stated because Adam listened and harkened to Eve, he was cursed. These positions set by divine mandate are not up for your nor my interpretation, nor are they for debate. They are divine mandates. Change the divine mandate and you walk the way of the devil!

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