Click to return to Marriage (Part 1) BIBLICAL REASONS FOR MARRIAGE

Companionship.
The first reason given in the Bible for marriage - Gen.2: 18,21-25
God fashioned a wife for Adam to fill the gap in his existence.
We see that:
The first concept of marriage originated entirely with God. Adam had no part in it. It was not a plan he formulated. It was God, not Adam who decided that Adam needed a wife.
It was God Who formed Eve for Adam.
It was God who presented Eve to Adam. Adam did not have to search for her.
God determined the way in, which Adam and Eve were to relate to each other. The end purpose of their relationship was perfect unity.
This means that a Christian who seeks God’s guidance will enter into marriage not because it is his or her decision but because it is God’s.
This is totally contradictory to the popular secular concept of marriage.
The Christian man will trust God both to choose and to prepare for him the bride he needs and vice versa. This is the biblical pattern of marriage and it stands in sharp contrast with the standards of the world today or even with those accepted in many sections of the church.
Derek Prince had clear direction from the Lord for his first and second wife. The Lord said to him ‘I have joined you together under the same yoke and in the same harness' God will always confirm.

The marriage relationship is pointed to and is symbolic of the relationship between Christ and the church [Ephesians 5:32]

The first responsibility is to establish independence from the parents [leave].

The second responsibility is to establish commitment to one another [cleave].

The third responsibility is to establish intimacy with one another [become one flesh].

The fourth responsibility is to establish transparency with one another [naked and not ashamed i.e. be honest and don’t be secretive with one another].

NOTE THE A-4 FORMULA FOR A HAPPY HUSBAND

1. ACCEPT

2. ADMIRE

3. APPRECIATE

4. ADAPT

SUBMISSION:

The wife should be consulted regularly [communication again!] and often her advice should be taken [Helpmeet, not doormat!]

However, the final decision rests with the husband. Relief, ladies - God holds him responsible as head of the family, not you!

Are there limits to submission?

Yes- when submission becomes destructive.

The wife [or employee] should then explain why submission cannot be given and appeal to the offending husband to be reasonable.

WE NEED TO SERVE ONE ANOTHER

You are committed before God to try and make him/her happy.

The three keys to serving one another are: -

[1] UNDERSTAND

[2] APPRECIATE

[3] SERVE

We need to understand the nature of marriage

We need to understand our spouse

We need to appreciate our marriage

We need to express our appreciation of our partner

Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’

DEALING WITH ANGER:

Anger destroys love the Bible says ‘Be angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath’ [Ephesians 4:26,27]

Anger is expressed in a number of ways. A spouse can:

SUPPRESS [HOLD DOWN THEIR ANGER]

REPRESS [IGNORE OR SHUT OFF]

EXPRESS [BLOW OFF STEAM]

CONFESS [ TALK ABOUT IT]

[Rev. Noel Kromhout]
Excerpts from his book on marriage

It is always best to talk about the issue. Please note that one should always address the issue and not attack the person.

In a relationship where a spouse has held resentment or bitterness there needs to be forgiveness. Forgiveness is a choice and the Lord commands us to forgive, to overlook an offence and to love. This verse says it all:

Forget it and forgive it and thrust from your mind
The thing that was hurtful, unjust and unkind,
Turn it right out of your heart and your head,
A grievance will grow if it's constantly fed,
With thoughts of resentment that stir up again
The cause of the trouble, reviving the pain,
The bitter remembrance in time will destroy
Your health, your composure, your peace and your joy
Warping your character, bringing you low,
Forgive it, forget it, be free and let go.

COMMUNICATION: DISCOVERING TRANSPARENCY

What can you do to improve the level of communication in your marriage? Simply by being transparent with one another. However couples need to use discretion as discussed below.

Transparency can transgress

"Where there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise" [Proverbs 10:19]

Transparency can wound

"There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" [Proverbs 12:18]

Since the Bible encourages transparency but cautions against too much, how can we tell which is appropriate and inappropriate?

Transparent communication involves the complete emotional and personal truthfulness. Transparency is sharing your heart. [James 5:16]
Transparency is not sharing everything about you with everyone.

Transparency is not verbal impulsiveness - saying what you feel when you feel it [immaturity and lack of self-control] [James 1:19]
Transparency involves sharing your feelings and emotions with someone who is committed to you. It means being vulnerable with that person.

Couples need to recognize the importance of transparency and how it can benefit your relationship.

Transparency yields personal benefits

a. It contributes to self understanding and leads to emotional maturity.
b. It gives peace of mind.

Transparency communicates love. It says, "I need you"
Transparency defeats isolation and leads to oneness [poor communication and poor relationships go hand in hand]

Being aware of the barriers to transparency:

a. Childhood programming has established a pattern of suppression and repression of emotions.
b. A poor self-image causes one to fear rejection.
c. A false concept of manhood and pride prevent men from sharing their feelings.
d. A false concept of spirituality makes us hesitate to share ourselves.
e. Bottled up anger leads to the use of silence as a weapon.

CONFRONTATION

Our motivation for confrontation should always stem from a desire to improve the relationship or seek the other person’s best interests.
If we confront to release anger, we destroy rather than build up.

Some people are afraid that if they are outspoken and critical they may lose the love and approval of the people who matter to them. Speak the truth in love. Confront and muster the courage. Tell the person what you are feeling and what you expect from the relationship, otherwise confrontation is likely to be misinterpreted.

GOD'S ORDER FOR THE FAMILY 'HEADSHIP'

Divine order is an order of authority and responsibility, which is spelled out in the Bible.

The head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God' [1 Corinthians 11:3]

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord" [Colossians 3: 20]. Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he shall not depart from it. [Proverbs 22:6 ]

God has ordered the family according to the principle of `headship' each member of the family lives under the authority of the `head' whom God has appointed'

CHRIST, THE `HEAD' OF THE HUSBAND: LORD OF THE FAMILY

HUSBAND, THE `HEAD' OF THE WIFE: CHIEF AUTHORITY OVER THE CHILDREN

WIFE: THE HELPMEET TO THE HUSBAND (GENESIS 2:18) SECONDARY AUTHORITY OVER THE CHILDREN

CHILDREN, OBEDIENT TO PARENTS

[Genesis 1: 27] says, So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female he created them. The fact that we are men and woman is the result of a deliberate act of God to reflect his own image.  That is the way God ordered things in creation.

What you think about this will affect your whole family life. In creation God gave to Adam a leadership role, a headship role with regard to his wife. That was not just a cultural thing but was built in to the way God wants men and women to relate to each other.

The first born in God’s understanding was given a certain responsibility in leadership within the family.

1 Tim 2: 13 Adam was created first and then Eve.

Genesis 2 - 18 says that Eve was created as a helper for Adam [old translation helpmeet]. This did not mean she was inferior but as a helper she was subject to and had to submit to the headship of Adam. A prime example of this submission is the relationship between Abraham and Sarah in Genesis: even with regard to coming alongside your children there is a role of leadership or headship.

Adam named her Eve. Before the fall it says she shall be called woman. It indicates authority in the relationship. The way Eve and Adam fell into sin [Genesis 3] the serpent spoke to Eve first. The serpent’s approach was the opposite of God’s approach. Both before the fall and after the fall you find God coming to and speaking to Adam first. Why? Because he loved him more? No. Because he assumed in Adam there was leadership and responsibility and he was holding the man first and foremost to account. That is how God dealt with him - he came first to Adam- even though it was the woman to whom the serpent came. God holds the man accountable. What was the serpent doing in going first to Eve? He was deliberately undermining God’s order. Headship between Adam and Eve. Both the husband and wife fell for it. It was the overthrowing of God’s order for the husband and wife. Result. Rom 5:12 Sin entered the world through one man-Adam. It does not say that sin entered the world through Eve! Obviously God held Adam responsible for Eve’s actions. Even in sin Adam is given a leadership role. In Adam [head of the human race] all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of the Lord. The man will no longer exercise his leadership in a loving tender way, he will rule.

However under the New Covenant Jesus redeemed us from the curse and restored us to his original creation purposes.

Jesus restored dignity to women. Jesus cut across cultural conventions to speak with women - even Samaritan women. In those days it was unheard of.

Eph 5:22:24 Wives are subject to their husbands. Husbands love your wives. Wives submit to your husbands that order, was established for the protection of the woman and for harmony in the home.

A woman is supposed to be a helpmate as she was taken from Adam's rib. The very thought of being subject to your husband might stir up negative, rebellious feelings.

Proverbs 31 presents the Bible's most complete and beautiful picture of what a good wife should be.

Submission:

SUBMISSION - A MEANS OF PROTECTION.

The husband’s authority and a wife’s submissiveness to that authority is a shield of protection against Satan’s devices.

Are there limits to submission?
Yes, when submission becomes destructive.
Then the wife or employee can explain why submission cannot be given and appeal to the offending party to be reasonable.

THE SINGLE WOMAN OR WIDOWS.

The church is the protector of ‘widows and orphans’ [see Acts 6.1, James 1; 27] when a woman did not have the protection of a father or male relative or a husband she was to look upon the leaders of the church as her spiritual head. She would receive spiritual counsel and protection.

If you are a woman on your own and you do not have a husband to pray with and cover you it is important that you are under a church authority and have a prayer partner to pray with.

If you are single as a Christian you have to be celibate. An outstanding example of celibacy is the Apostle Paul. [1Cor.7.7] " I wish that all men were as I am [that is celibate] but each man has his own gift from God, one has this gift, another has that."

GOD'S ORDER FOR CHILDREN.

Children obey your parents in everything for this pleases the Lord. [Col 3:20]

Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. [Prov. 22:6]

God saves families. The example of Noah who constructed an ark for the salvation of his household [Genesis 7:1, Hebrews 11:7] the jailer in Philippi who was saved together with his household [Acts 16:31] Zacchaeus - salvation came to his whole household. [Luke 19:9]

The family who prays together stays together- [you know that saying]

Life is so pressurized and in the haste of our lives we say, "God is great but He can wait, got to hurry or I’ll be late" instead of setting time aside to worship and be in his presence. We can be a Martha [busy doing things] instead of a Mary at Jesus’ feet.

GENERATION CURSES

[Proverbs 26.2b] ‘the curse causeless shall not come’

The psalmist said in Psalm 107:2 ‘let the redeemed of the Lord say so.’ This tremendous truth establishes the basis of your authority. When Satan hears it, he trembles. God has set you free and gives you the authority to ‘break the generation curse.'

A curse can go down to the 3rd and 4th generation Exodus [20:5b] but the blessings of God are upon ‘them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations [Deut 7:9b]

Conditions must be met if blessings are to be received. Only upon obedience will God bless any man. When the righteous turn from righteousness and commit sin they are cursed again.
The Bible teaches that there are curses for disobedience and blessings for obedience
Obedience = head and not the tail
In Derek Prince's book on blessings and curses he lists a number of things that can bring about a curse. These are listed below:

Causes of a Curse

1. Acknowledging and /or worshipping false gods
2. All involvement with the occult
3. Disrespect for parents
4. All forms of oppression or injustice, especially when directed against the weak and the helpless
5. All forms of illicit or unnatural sex
6. Anti-Semitism
7. Legalism, carnality, apostasy
8. Theft or perjury. Withholding from God money or other material resources to which He has a claim
9. Negative words spoken by people with relational authority such as father, mother, husband, wife, teacher, priest or pastor
10. Self-imposed curses
11. Pledges or oaths that bind people to ungodly associations
12. Curses that proceed from servants of Satan
13. Soulish talk directed against other people
14. Soulish prayers that accuse or seek to control other people.

Listed below are a number of things that would Indicate a curse over a person's life:

1. Mental and/or emotional breakdown
2. Repeated or chronic sicknesses [especially if hereditary]
3. Barrenness, a tendency to miscarry or related female problems, deformed babies
4. Breakdown of marriage and family alienation
5. Continuing financial insufficiency
6. Being "accident-prone"
7. A history of suicides and unnatural or untimely deaths

We are not guilty of our ancestor’s sins but we do suffer the consequences of their disobedience.

Derek Prince was in a meeting and the Lord showed him a family with a daughter in a plaster cast. As he was about to pray for them the Lord said that there was a curse over the family. He went up to the father and related what the Lord had shown him. The father said that his daughter had broken her leg in the same places 5 times and it would not heal. Derek Prince prayed over the daughter broke the curse and her leg was healed.

Being unequally yoked can be the cause of a curse.

[Ezra chapter 9 and 10] - Israelites had to separate from their heathen wives. The Israelites had intermarried and they were forced to separate and get rid of their heathen wives and children otherwise they would be cut off from Israel.

Under the law a Hebrew was not allowed to marry a heathen. They had mixed with the heathen and were bound in by paganism. The nation was at stake and it was the cleansing of the whole nation. It must have taken great courage and grace to put away wives and children who were no doubt loved as dearly as families today. Evidently many heartaches and much suffering continued for years. Ezra continued to go into prayer and fasting for the suffering of the people.

In 1 Cor. 7: 12,13 Under the New Covenant the Apostle Paul says this no longer applies and the marriage bond saves the partner.

The unbeliever by virtue of being one flesh with a Christian is not considered living in unlawful relationship. It also refers to the spiritual influence and power the Christian holds over the unbelieving companion. There is still a principle involved, do not get married to an unbeliever. The spiritual gap is too great and the Lord's word tells us in 2 Cor. 6:14 "Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?"

BREAKDOWN OF FAMILY - ALIENATION

The Hebrew name for husband, "baal", meant `owner' and in primitive Israel,  annulment of the marriage right took place at the husband's will. The book of the covenant shows that the wife so put away lost the right to be fed and clothed by the husband [ex. 21.7.11] unless she was redeemed by her own relatives and thus set free to marry another man. In Deuteronomy 24.1-4 it is enacted that the husband must give a dismissed wife a "bill of divorcement' - a document releasing her from all claims on his part and setting her free to marry again. The Lord teaches that marriage rests on the original creative ordinance of God making the bond between man and wife indissoluble and that the Mosaic legislation with regard to divorce was a concession to natural hardness of heart and did not correspond to its original divine purpose. Matthew 19: 4-9, 5:31] divorce was permissible only in the case of unfaithfulness [Matthew 5:32, 19:9].

Genesis 2:24 says `therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh.'
In the case of a divorce that cleaving is broken, there is a tearing and you are half a person.

There are so many broken people who are defeated by the circumstances they find themselves in and are in need of restoration.

Single parenthood was never really part of God’s plan.

Most people enter into a marriage with a positive feeling that it will be for better and that it will be for a lifetime. But time and again a family unit is broken up and the marriage ends in divorce? And how sadly disillusioned one can become when lives are shattered, homes are broken up and one partner finds herself/himself with the tremendous responsibility of single parenthood. What happens then? How does one cope?

Marriage is a fragile and complex union, which must be worked on and invested in continually. Often it needs godly wisdom and perseverance to preserve it. For a single parent it is so much harder if you have never committed your life to the Lord Jesus Christ. You have no anchor to hold onto.

Children need a secure home and the love of both mother and father. It is not fair to the single parent or to the children to be brought up by one parent.

The single mother lacks a lot of things - she is without the love of a man,
She is without the security of a marriage
She is without the protection of her husband
She has tremendous pressures and demands to cope with
The financial strain is often enormous
She is often lonely
She is denied a normal and balanced social life.
How do you deal effectively with the situation?  Without the Lord Jesus Christ it is impossible; you have no anchor on which to hold.
You see it is not our ability but His ability that counts. It is not our strength but His strength, which is made perfect in weakness
"He is the rock, and our strength and shield
He is the God in whom we can put our trust
And a very present help in times of trouble"

I remember when I was going through a tremendously difficult time in my life the Lord gave me a vision. I saw the Lord Jesus Christ carrying me in the air. I knew that He was with me and carrying me through situations The Lord has promised that He will never to leave us nor forsake us.

Lets us not judge anyone who is divorced - given the same circumstances you don’t know what you would have done in that situation.

Jesus said to the people who wanted to stone the woman caught in the act of adultery [John 8:7:11] So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And they which heard it being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more. They all turned around and walked away.

Most intimate relationships such as marriage have a natural rhythm of intense closeness and drifting apart at times.

Ecclesiastics 4:9 says, "Two are better than one because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up." This is talking about spiritual warfare. You cannot rage a battle on your own. Because of the principle of agreement it is imperative that we have a prayer partner to pray with. That is why it is so hard for a person on their own.

According to society marriage is a contract between two individuals, which can be easily dissolved.

The Pharisees tried to trap Jesus by referring to an ordinance in the Law of Moses that permitted divorce for reasons other than marital unfaithfulness. To this Jesus replied: Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning [Matthew 19:8]. Jesus once again directed the Pharisees to the beginning - that is the pattern established at the opening of Genesis.

Jesus deliberately directed the Pharisees to the book of Genesis and the particular way in which God had united Eve with Adam. In other words, he upheld the plan of marriage established there by the Father as still being in force in his day and as the only divinely ordained standard for marriage.

There are various passages in the Bible, which depict how marriage is affected by a period of decline of cultural attitudes towards marriage. In Jeremiah 25:10 - 11 God warns the people of Judah of the desolation to be brought upon them by Nebuchadnezzar's impending invasion. ‘I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp.

A culture that no longer makes the joyful celebration of marriage central to its way of life is doomed and there is the silencing of the voices of the bridegroom.

Because marriage is the precious foundation and cornerstone of all society the destructive spirit of our age manifests itself most strongly in our divorce laws.

Restoration of a culture will be marked by restoration of marriage as a source of joy and a cause for celebration.

Today God is visiting and renewing his church by the Holy Spirit. Divine renewals have always been heralded by ‘the voices of bride and bridegroom’. It is God who has appointed and matched the man and woman one for another.

Reference Derek Prince [God is a Matchmaker]

[Malachi 2:16] tells us God hates divorce. Marriage is for life - divorce is contrary to God’s order.

All divorces were considered the complete dissolving of the marriage bonds and in consequence of this they were free to remarry. Any woman or man who obtained a divorce on grounds other than those allowed was to remain single, or remarry their former companion.

I am sure most people enter into a marriage with a positive feeling that it will be for better and that it will be for a lifetime, but what happens when a family unit is broken up and the marriage ends in divorce? And how sadly disillusioned one can become when lives are shattered, homes are broken up and one partner finds herself/himself with the tremendous responsibility of single parenthood. What happens then?

At all times the marriage unit must be preserved and the marriage worked at. Children need a secure home and the love of both mother and father. It is not fair to the single parent or to the children to be brought up by one parent.

The Lord has taken many people through deep waters but they have come out stronger as a result. They are able to help others in their situation. What the enemy has meant for evil God is going to turn around for good. So we don’t look at the circumstances but in the eyes of faith. [Hebrews 11.1] Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith is ". forsaking all I trust him!" 

Statistics show that alcoholism, mental illness, drug abuse are markedly higher among divorced persons. There is a stigma to being a divorced person.  The Lord allows tearing down and He also restores the desolation.  [Isaiah 58 : 12]  "And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waist places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations and thou shalt be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in.  Meaning  The wastelands will be restored to a habitable state, and the blessings that should have been enjoyed for many generations will be yours. God is looking for families that are ready to become his witnesses. Around us is the breakdown of family life. People are looking for help desperately. The world needs lived out examples of good family life.

It is my prayer that families will be restored, set free and healed.

If you never felt pain,
Then how would you know that I'm a Healer?
If you never went through suffering,
How would you know that I'm a Deliverer?
If you never had a trial,
How could you call yourself an Overcomer?
If you never felt sadness,
How would you know that I'm a Comforter?
If you never made a mistake,
How would you know that I'm Forgiving?
If you knew all,
How would you know that I will answer your
questions?
If you never were in trouble,
How would you know that I will come to your rescue?
If you never were broken,
Then how would know that I can make you whole?
If you never had a problem,
How would you know that I can solve them?
If you never had any suffering,
Then how would you know what I went through?
If you never went through the fire,
Then how would you become pure?
If I gave you all things,
How would you appreciate them?
If I never corrected you,
How would you know that I love you?
If you had all power,
Then how would you learn to depend on me?
If your life was perfect,
Then what would you need Me for?

This Material is © Copyrighted By Eleanor Ment
None of this material may be used for any reason whatsoever without the prior expressed permission of Eleanor Ment.

FOOTPRINTS

One night a man had a dream. He dreamt he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonging to him, and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints, he also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.
This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it, "Lord, You said that once I decided to follow You, You’d walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me".
The Lord replied, "My precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and depression when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."  Author Unknown

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