What does God intend for marriage? How can you have the kind of marriage God has in mind for you and your spouse?
[Roy Holladay] There are many diverse cultures around the world that have traditions about marriage, what marriage should be like, how you know, a husband or wife should relate to one another. Many of those societies say they base their teachings upon the Scripture. And you will find that they will say that the husband is the head of the wife, and she must submit to him. However, in many cases women are mistreated, they’re abused, they’re beaten, they’re treated as second class citizens. They must obey every whim of their husband or else they’re rebellious. You know, if they don’t do that type of thing, they cannot appear in society or you’re out alone in public alone, they have to have a man with them. They have to wear garments that cover every inch of their body so that you don’t see anything, so you don’t lust after them, it’s from the top of their head down to their feet, and they have to submit to every sexual advance a man might make even if it’s marital rape.
They claim they obtain their authority from the Holy Scriptures or from their holy book, whatever religion that they might have. Now, is this what the Bible teaches? Does the Bible condone or allow this type of treatment of women? Is this what God meant when He said that a man you know, is to be the head. What does the Bible mean when it says the man is the head and the wife is to submit to him? Is that authority for the man to treat his wife in any way he wants to? Does it mean that he can do anything? And if she doesn’t do what he says you are rebellious. You know, is that what it means? What does the Bible say?
In so-called Christian societies today, there’s a great difference in opinion on marriage. You’ll find some are very strict, some are very lenient, many apply the laws of marriage especially dealing with women through their own interpretation, their own cultural bias, their own tradition, their own human reasoning. And so they reason and they come up with how they think this law should be applied. Seldom do people go to the Bible, read it for what it is says, fast and pray to understand. But they read it, and they automatically read their own thoughts, their own bias into it. I think a good example of that is occurring right now in the United States, and in many nations that are called Christian, that is marriage is being redefined. And the Supreme Court is helping that, nudging that along, that marriage is being redefined from a man and a woman to any type of couple, man and man, woman to woman.
And we don’t know where that will ultimately lead to. Under the guise today of tolerance, of understanding, of equality and justice, of diversity and difference, laws are being adopted relative to marriage that have nothing to do with the Bible or godly standards and values that you see in the Scriptures. This is one reason why you find that the U.S. is hated by many nations. They look at some of our values, what we do, not just what we say, but what we do, what we practice, and they think you know, this is totally ungodly. Today, we want to take a look at some of the fundamental spiritual laws of God governing marriage, we want to see God’s great law that governs marriage. The great laws and principles of God as revealed in His Word.
Let’s take a look at some at some of these great principles and see how they apply to marriage. So first of all, what I’d like to do is to cover with you, we could go through a number of things, but I’d like to lay out about 5 basic principles or laws as they’re defined in the Bible. And again, I will call these the great laws of God governing marriage, the great principles of God as revealed in the Scriptures. First of all is simply this, God created marriage and family relationship. He is the one who ordained it, created it, established it.
Let’s go back to Genesis Chapter 2 and verse 18 in our Bibles. Genesis 2:18 Genesis 2:18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
American King James Version×. And let’s notice here, the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone. I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Now, the word “helper” here is not a derogatory term. It is the same basic root word, the root word is used of God, how God helps us. He comes to our aid. He is there to assist us. So the Bible describes God as a helper. You know, the Holy Spirit in New Testament is called what? The Helper. It helps us. It aids us. It helps us to overcome. It gives us the power to grow and to change. So a wife is to be a help to her husband is what it’s basically saying, not a hindrance. The word “comparable” means similar or alike. You might remember here Adam had looked around, he’d you know, he named all of the beast, well, verse 19, he names all the beasts, but there’s nobody comparable to him. Nobody looks like him.
And so God created the woman and she was suitable. The word means in front of him. And he looked at her, it was sort of a reflection of himself. He could see one who was comparable, suited for him. In verse 20, so Adam gave names to all the cattles and the birds, to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him or suitable for him, meant for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep, you might remember the whole section here. And God took a rib and flesh, and He created the woman. Now, in verse 23 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.”
And therefore, “a man shall leave his father and mother, be joined to his wife and they should become one flesh.” They were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed. So you find several principles here governing marriage delineated. And this means that God was the one, when He established marriage, He established principles to govern marriage. He didn’t just say, “Okay, you’re married.” And then they say, “Okay. What does that mean? What do you mean married? I have no idea.” No. He told them. “Leave your father and mother.” They might say, “We don’t have a father and mother.” But you’re going to have children and they will leave you.
And then you’re to become one flesh because truly they were one flesh. God took out of Adam and created a woman. And so from one came two. And so you had a one flesh relationship. So God created marriage, first great principle, and He ordained the principles that would govern marriage. Secondarily, God created us male and female. Now, why did He do that? Why have a male and a female? God didn’t bring to Adam Joe, He didn’t bring to Adam, you know, Tom, Dick or Harry. He brought him Eve. And she was different, but she looked like him. She was suitable for him.
Back in Genesis Chapter 1 in verse 27, let’s notice Genesis 1:27 Genesis 1:27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
American King James Version×, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him. Male and female He created them.” So male and female both possess qualities of God. Even though we’re different, we all possess certain qualities, attributes of God and we’re made like Him in form and shape. And so verse 27, God created man in His own image. In the image of God He created him. Male and female He created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, subdue, have dominion over the fish of the sea and so on.’” They were to have dominion over the earth. So God created us male and female.
God is the one who is responsible for the differences in men and women. It didn’t happen because of evolution. In other words, you didn’t have something climbing from slime, coming from scum, and you know wiggling up on the bank, and one went off and became a female, and one went off and became a male. You know, how does that happen? Because long before that can transpire, they’re dead because they’re not reproducing themselves. So you find God is the one that made this that way. Let’s notice in Matthew 19 in verse 4, Jesus Christ put His stamp of approval on this when He tells the religious leaders here. He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female?” That’s the way God created us from the get-go, from the very beginning. So God created us male and female. All things were created, you might remember, through Him and without Him. There was not anything made that was made, and yet God did it, the Word, through the Word and He did it through the Spirit by the power of God.
Now, let’s notice also, a third great principle, and that is marriage was intended to be for life. Marriage was intended to be for life. In other words, for as long as you live. Notice here in Matthew 19 again in verse 4. We’ll read and pick up the story, “He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female?’ And said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, be joined to his wife,’” in other words, she is called his wife, “and the two shall become one flesh.” So there is a one flesh relationship.
“So then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together let not man separate.” So it was very clear that was God’s purpose from the very beginning. Now as we find beginning in verse 7 that God did allow divorce, that was not His original intent. In verse 7 he said to them, why then…or they asked him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce and to put her away?” And He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts.” Because of your hard heartedness, your unconvertedness permitted you to divorce your wife. But from the beginning God’s original intent, this was not so. He says, “For I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality and marries another, commits adultery, and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
So there is an exception. God will allow divorce when there is sexual immorality. This is one of the reasons you find there is more than one reason mentioned in the Bible. But here was a legitimate reason for putting away a mate. Now, let’s notice in Romans 7, and we’ll begin here in verse 1, Romans Chapter 7:1. It says, “Do you not know brethren for I speak to those who know the law, now I’m speaking to those who know God’s law, that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law.” See, there is a law that says that she is bound to her husband as long as he lives. “But if the husband dies she is released from the law of her husband.” She’s no longer bound to him. “So then if while her husband lives she marries another, she will be called an adulterous; but if her husband dies she’s free from the law, so that she is no adulterous though she has married another man. Therefore my brethren you also become dead to the law through the body of Christ.” So through Christ’s sacrifice, Christ died, did He not? And he was resurrected. You and I are likewise supposed to die when we’re baptized. The old man dies, the new man rises up so “that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.”
So Ancient Israel had been married. The Old Covenant was described as a marriage covenant also. So the husband died, and then we as true Christians, our old man, or old way of life is supposed to have died too. Then we are free to remarry. So Christ died to make it possible for Israel, and mankind as a whole too marry Him, to become His bride. We know these are spiritual analogies, but on a spirit level, a spiritual level.
So marriage was meant to be for life. Another principle, marriage is a one flesh relationship. That implies a commitment to God. It implies also a commitment, a one flesh relationship, that you are committed to that person, whoever is part of that one flesh relationship. Let’s go back again to Matthew 19 and notice again, what Christ refers to here. Verse four, “He answered and said to them, ‘If you’ve not read that you made them at the beginning, made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’” So when you get married, the two become one flesh. “So then they are no longer two but one flesh.” You become one unit. A husband and wife. “Therefore, what God has joined together let not man separate.”
Now, why is this important? Why did God ordain from the very beginning a man and woman would become one flesh. Now, we know that that takes place in the most intimate relationship between a man and a woman within marriage, but it also applies to mentally being on the same play, page, you know hopefully your dreams, your hopes, everything that you do, that you share, you become one in your approach. But let’s notice that there is even a greater reason, Ephesians 5:30 Ephesians 5:30For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
American King James Version×, and this I think reveals something that many times we never stop and think about, Ephesians 5:30 Ephesians 5:30For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
American King James Version×. Talking about the Church here, “For we are members of His body, His flesh and of His bones.”
You stop and think about it. You and I, as members of the Church, we become a part of the Body. What makes us a part of the Body? It is the Spirit that baptizes or places us within the body. So you find we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this reason, or because of this, because that is true, the relationship between His bride and him, or you know the members of the Church, that we become not just one flesh in the sense physically, but through His Spirit. It is through the Spirit of God. That we are united with Christ, and that there is a unity and a harmony that we have. So for this reason or because of this, a man shall leave his father and mother, be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. Why? Because of what Christ has done for us. So the laws of marriage formed the basis of what our relationship with God should be like. When you look at what God spells out as far as the laws governing marriage, there are also the principles that tie in with how a marriage or our relationship or marriage should…our marriage function and teach us what a relationship should be like with Christ, and our relationship with Him should likewise vice versa teach us the same.
One final law I’ll touch on today, and that is simply this, the great law of marriage is love. The great law that covers marriage is love. All relationships, I don’t care what they are, are based upon love, or should be based upon love, which is an outgoing concern for others, or outgoing concern for a person, equal to the concern that we have for ourselves. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves. The Bible says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, might,” and to love your neighbor as yourself. Certainly, that applies to our mate, that we should love them as ourselves.
Our mate, think of it this way, our mate is our self. If you’re one flesh, your mate is you, you know, in that sense. And you never hate your own body. So we love, or to love one another. Notice Ephesians 5:25 Ephesians 5:25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
American King James Version×, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church. He gave Himself for her.” So we are to love our wives as Christ loved the church. So again, we see this reciprocal understanding. Christ is the example on how our marriages should function. And you learn in marriage how you should submit also to Christ. You should be learning that lesson. Titus 2:4 Titus 2:4That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
American King James Version×, notice. Titus 2:4 Titus 2:4That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
American King James Version×, we read this about “The older women should teach the younger women, admonish to the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children.”
So not only does the Bible admonish the man to love his wife, but the wife is admonished to love her husband. So love helps to form the foundation. God set the example of love by creating us, by offering up His life for us and sending His Son to die for us. So you know, God has made it possible. And you might remember a few weeks ago I spoke on the subject of marriage. It was basically directed more to the men. Although a lot of the principles covered both. And today I want to focus more on women. And how should a woman respond to her husband? And how do these great laws of marriage, how do they affect how you relate to your husband?
Let’s back up here to Ephesians the fifth chapter. Last time we spent a lot of time in Ephesians 5. And let’s notice here in verse 22. It says, “Wives, submit to your own husband as to the Lord.” Let me ask you, how do you submit to the Lord? How are we supposed to submit to Jesus Christ? Do we submit halfway, partway, three quarters of the way? Well, if you read the Bible as I do back in Luke 14:26 Luke 14:26If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
American King James Version×, it says that if you come to God and want to be a Christian, then you must put Him first before everyone, everything. And that He should come first in our lives. So “wives, submit to your own husband as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is the head of the church and He is the savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husband in everything.” Now, the word “everything” means everything. You know, subject to their wives in everything.
Now, what does the word “submit” mean here? If you will look it up, it comes from the word in the Greek hupotasso , and it means “to arrange under, to be subordinate, to be subject, to subject oneself, to obey, to yield.” Actually, additional information about it, it’s a great military term, meaning “to arrange troops or division in a military fashion underneath a commander or a leader.” And it goes on to say, in a non-military use it was “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility in carrying a burden.” And I want you to notice it says “voluntary.”
Now, the reason for a wife’s subjection of the kind indicated here is brought out again. Notice verse 23, “It is found in the relationship of headship. In the marriage union, the husband holds the same relationship, namely that of headship, as Christ holds to the church. And the headship of one represents the headship of the other.” So you find how closely how God and Christ works with the Church. And the marriage relationship, how closely they tie in together. Now, one of the important points here, it was a voluntary attitude of giving in. You know what? A husband cannot force a woman to be under his authority or headship. In fact, the more I command my wife to be under my authority probably the less she’s going to be under it.
My wife is a very submissive and loving and giving wife. But when a man comes up and says, “Me in charge. Me Tarzan. You Jane you’ve got to do everything I tell you. Jump. If you don’t jump you’re in trouble.” That’s not how God has ordained the marriage relationship to be. A husband cannot force his wife. You can’t force another human being to do anything. It has to be of a volunteer. Why? Why would a woman volunteer to do such a thing? Men, have you ever asked yourself that? Why would your wife volunteer to be under your authority? That’s a good question. That’s one we need to ask ourselves. She will because of the love, respect and treatment her husband gives her. If she knows that her husband truly loves her, respects her, honors her, and that he has nothing but her welfare and her good in mind, she will willingly as a rule yield to him. Yes she’s commanded to, I mean there is a command to do this, but she will do it so more willingly if her husband loves her and treats her properly. That’s just a fact of life. You know, that’s how things go.
Now, we know that in the absence of government, anarchy can set in. Whenever there isn’t any government have ever noticed when riots take place and police are no longer in control of the streets, what happened? Well, the mob begins to break into buildings and they’ll steal televisions, they’ll steal anything they can get their hands on they think they can get away with, until law and order is restored. No society can survive under anarchy. The same is true in a home. There must be a head, and there has to be obedience to that head. Now, the point is God ordained a place of headship be given to the man. You know, that’s His doing. That’s not my doing. You know, that’s His doing. He indicated this by creating man first, and creating the woman for the man to help him.
Thus both in order of creation and purpose of creation, He put man in place of authority, and woman in the place of submission. I mean that’s the way God set it up. That means though that if man is going to be the head, guess what? You better be the head. You better be a leader. You better do what’s best for your family and good for your family. You know, just to say “I’m the head” means “Go get me a beer,” that’s not being the head. The head guides the rest of the body, doesn’t it? Your head tells, “Pick up your foot and walk. Move your hand. Oh, look at that.” You know, you reach over and pick it up. And so the head is in charge but it does what is good for the body.
How many men lead their families, teach their families today in a loving way and in a godly way like Jesus Christ does the Church? See, there’s the perfect example. Now, submission never implies inferiority. A woman is not inferior to the man. The woman is not a second class citizen. We need to understand this concept I think completely. Although, there is spiritual equality. Every one of us sitting here whether you’re a man or woman, you have just as much a chance to be in God’s Kingdom and have a position of rulership and that depends on what you do, how much you overcome, how much you grow. It doesn’t depend upon your gender. It depends upon your spiritual growth and development and in your character development. So even though there’s a spiritual equality between men and women, there remains a physical, positional, and functional difference.
There is a physical, positional, and functional difference. Physically, we’re different. You can have babies, we can’t. You know, physically, we’re designed different. There are designated functions for a husband and a wife, which a man cannot change because God ordained them. He’s the one who ordained those principles and any endeavor to change will bring frustration, vanity and emptiness into a person’s life.
And why do we find so many unhappy marriages, miserable marriages, upset marriages is because somewhere somebody is violating some of the fundamental principles and laws that govern that relationship. Let’s notice in 1 Corinthians 11:3 1 Corinthians 11:3But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
American King James Version×. 1 Corinthians 11:3 1 Corinthians 11:3But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
American King James Version×. Notice it says, “I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ.” So the man’s under authority too. The head is Christ. And you know, I’ve had women say, “Well, you know, that’s good, they’re under Christ, but He’s not down here telling them what to do all the time.” Well, He is actually, but you know, they mean in the sense that a husband and a wife. And then it says here, “The head of a woman is a man, and the head of Christ is God.”
Do you realize that Jesus Christ is under authority? Jesus Christ is submissive to God the Father, but He is not an inferior being. He is a part of the God family, on the level of God, both are on the God level, but the Father is in charge. Period. The Father is in charge. Jesus Christ willingly submits Himself to His Father. And you can say, “Well, you know, He’s got the same type of power, and all of this. Why doesn’t He just go out and do His own thing? Take His angels.” Well, no. He willingly submits to the Father and He’s willing to do that. All you have to do is go back and read the Book of John. In the Book of John, you’ll find over and over Christ said, “My Father is greater than I am. What my Father told me to say that’s what I say.” And He always gave the glory to God.
In 1 Corinthians 15, move forward here a few chapters, and verse 20, let’s notice this, 1 Corinthians 15:20 1 Corinthians 15:20But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.
American King James Version×, “Now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.” So God will resurrect every human being, but each one in his own order. Verse 23, says, “But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, after those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He will deliver the Kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all the rule, all authority, all power, and He must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet.”
“The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For ‘He has put all things under His feet.’ But when He says, ‘all things are put under Him,’ it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.” That’s the Father. “Now when all things have been made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him.” So brethren, for all eternity, the Word, Jesus Christ our Savior, will be subject to the Father. The Father will be in charge. And we will all be under both of them. As it says here, “That God may be all in all.” And why is this set up that way? So that God can be in all of us. And that His character, His nature, His outlook, His attitude, His approach is in us and will be there for eternity.
Now, the woman is not inferior to the man. In many ways, she is superior. She may be in devotedness, in sympathy, in diligence, in endurance. She may have skills, abilities, talents that her husband does not have. My wife in the past has been a very accomplished musician. I’ve never played anything, but you know, she has and you know, she’s gotten all kinds of honors. But I’ve never had that. We all have different talents, don’t we? We have different gifts that God gives to us. However, a woman should try to marry someone that she can truly relate to and respect. If a woman is so far superior to her husband that, you know, she loses respect for him… Now, you want to marry someone that you can respect and that you’re compatible in many different ways.
Wives are commanded to submit to their own husbands as to the Lord. So we submit to Christ, and you know what? Jesus Christ serves us. He gives to us, He’s our helper. The Holy Spirit is given to us to help us to achieve salvation. So the same thing is true in a marriage, the same principle in a marriage. The husband submits to his wife in many different ways by exercising servant leadership as the head of that relationship, by serving the needs of his wife. The wife submits by honoring her husband as the head, by following his leadership and his guidance.
John Piper gives a definition of wifely submission. “Submission is a divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership, and help carry it through according to her gifts, according to the abilities that God has given to her.” Let’s notice over here in Colossians 3:18 Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
American King James Version×. Colossians 3:18 Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
American King James Version×, “Wives, submit to your husbands” to your “own husbands” and I want you to notice, it doesn’t say a wife has to submit to every man. I’ve known men in the church who thought any woman walking around had to submit to what he wanted. It doesn’t say that, “to her own husband, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.” So He wouldn’t have mentioned that unless it is something that it might be easier for a man to do, to become bitter toward his wife.
So a man is to be the head, he is the lead, he’s to serve his wife, but he is not to domineer her. And there’s a difference. Domineering means “to be overbearing, to be a tyrant, to be arbitrary in authority.” “You do it because I said so. That’s the only reason you need.” You know, that’s not good enough. Other words that describe domineering are “oppressive, dictate, bully, intimidate, browbeat, persecute.” Well, that’s not the way a man is to treat his wife. And a wife will not respond to that, I’ll guarantee you. She will respond to love and to kindness and if her husband is there to serve her and help her with her needs.
A man does not have the right to abuse or misuse his wife. A woman does not have to put up with that. Submitting doesn’t mean the woman is inferior, or a second rate citizen, it’s simply a matter of learning to be under authority. Learning to do that women are not meant to be second class citizens or to be subservient. To be subservient means “to be in an inferior capacity, slavish, showing extreme compliance.” You’re just sort of walking along, groveling 10 feet behind, you eyes down, never looking up. You know, that’s not the way God intended. There are some men who won’t even allow their wives to go shopping. It’s not wrong for a man to go shopping. I’m just glad I don’t have to do that all the time. Now, there are times that I do. My wife is doing something, “Can you go get this or that?” A man could say, “No. That’s your job.” But that’s, you know, that’s not the way a marriage is supposed to function.
I want you to notice, and I think this is a quote here from the “Complete Word Dictionary of the Bible” that “God has made one woman to become a wife to one man and she is so constituted by God Himself. But this is not due to her being inferior to her husband, for they are both the equal before God. It is a willing personal subjection demonstrated in Ephesians 5:21 Ephesians 5:21Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
American King James Version×of submitting yourself, one to another, in the fear of God.” The word translated into “one another” is indicative of equality of concern.
“In society all human, men and women in various positions of leadership are following and dependency are equal.” I don’t know if I would agree with that precisely, but we may be equal in the sight of God, yet their functions vary and their responsibilities are diverse. Guess what? If you go to work someplace, unless you’re the owner of the company, you’re under somebody. You have a boss. And when the boss says, “Well, I want this report, or I want that done.” Guess what? You do the report, you get things done. You’re there to help him. You’re there to carry out what he wants. So we all have varying functions and responsibilities.
I have a boss. I got several bosses. And I’m under authority when it comes to work. I can’t just run off and do what I want to do. A church pastor, even though he’s out here on his own, he has directives, policies, things that he has to do, that he has to follow their procedures that he has to follow. We’re equal before God, and yet we have various functions and responsibilities. So God created men and women to have various functions, various responsibilities, various duties. We don’t necessarily all do exactly the same thing. It says, “If we accept certain functions under a fellow human being, we must subject ourselves to that individual to accomplish a common goal, maybe what the company’s trying to do.
So everybody in the company isn’t a secretary, everybody in the company isn’t vice president. Everybody doesn’t keep the books. Somebody has got to get out on the floor and make the widgets. Somebody’s got to do the selling. You know, and everybody has his function that he carries out. But if everybody works together guess what? You make the widget, somebody sells them. You’re able to make a profit, everybody gets paid, everybody works together, but everybody carries out his own function and duty.
It goes on to say, “Only a wife can bear children. And to do this she must subject herself to her husband. The functions are equally important though different. And they are different and not because we want them to be because God made this that way.” God has created us that way. Remember the great laws that I mentioned, you know, God has made us, and He’s put those laws into principle. Notice that the same principle applies to the Church. One function of marriage is to help us to understand the relationship with the Church to Christ, and vice versa. Relationship of the Church to Christ help us understand the relationship in marriage. And our relationship in marriage helps us understand our relation to Christ.
So as we’re going through marriage, it helps us understand what we should be doing as far as the Church. And we read about the Church. What we should be doing as far as our marriage. Let’s notice in 1 Corinthians 12, this principle is outlined clearly for the Church, and it applies in marriage likewise. 1 Corinthians 12:4 1 Corinthians 12:4Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
American King James Version×. We read there are “Diversities of gifts, but same spirit.” Among human beings, we all have different gifts, different talents, different abilities, skills. Verse 5, “There are differences of ministry” or service, “but it’s the same Lord. There are diversities” or differences “of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.” So we all don’t do the same activity within the Church.
We all have different functions, different responsibilities. But the manifestation of the Spirit has come to each one to profit for the profit of all. And so what we do is to profit everyone. Now, verse 18, “Now, God has set the members each one of them in the body just as He pleases.” So you have been placed in the Body as God pleases. It might not be what we want, but it’s what God wants. He’s put us all here for that reason. And we are you know, the Church, His Bride, and He also places us in various functions. Now, we all have various functions within marriage as He pleases, or as He has ordained. It might not be what we ordained, but it’s what He has ordained. That the man would have the headship, the wife would be submissive, together they would form a unit, they would become a separate unit, separate body each one performing their function within the marriage, working together, and if they do you know, apply the laws of God then that marriage will work and they will be blessed.
Would it not be easy for a woman to submit to Jesus Christ? Have you ever stopped to ask yourself that? If Jesus Christ were your head, would it not be easy to submit to Him? You say, “Well, He’s perfect. Part of the answer to that would depend on if you knew that your husband were Jesus Christ. What if he didn’t tell you he was Jesus Christ and you know, you are under His authority. You know, God did marry once in the Old Testament to a woman who was unconverted in Ancient Israel. And she was constantly rebelling against a perfect husband. God gave her His perfect law. He gave you know, Ancient Israel His way of life. What was the problem? Well, the problem was they were without the Spirit of God. Without the Spirit of God, a woman will not submit from the heart or with her whole being.
And without the Spirit of God, it’s difficult for any human being to submit to authority. Let’s notice in Hebrews 8:7-8 Hebrews 8:7-8 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8 For finding fault with them, he said, Behold, the days come, said the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
American King James Version×. Hebrews 8:7 Hebrews 8:7For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
American King James Version×. What God is doing today under the New Covenant, the new marital relationship is He’s correcting the problem with the Old. Notice verse 7, “If in the first covenant had been faultless, no place would have been sought for the second. Because finding fault with them, He said, ‘Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah—not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant.’” See, the problem was they broke the covenant. They disobeyed. They were not obedient. The fault in the marriage was not the husband. It was in this case with the wife.
You might remember Deuteronomy 5:29 Deuteronomy 5:29O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!
American King James Version×. Even when God entered into the relationship with Israel, this is what he said, “Oh, that they had such a heart…that they would fear Me always and keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever.” They did not have the heart to obey. And so what God is doing here as Hebrews 8:10 Hebrews 8:10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, said the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
American King James Version×says, that He’s putting His law in our minds, He’s writing them in our hearts, “and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” So God is writing His law into our hearts and our minds. So it takes the Spirit of God to obey from the heart, and to submit willingly. Relationships between humans are guided by spiritual principles.
Submission is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. A fruit of humility. Submission is not an automatic fruit of human nature. That’s not the way human nature reacts. How do I know? Let’s go back to Romans 8. I remember Romans 8:7 Romans 8:7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
American King James Version×. “The carnal mind is enmity against God.” It’s hostile against God. “It is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can it be.” It can’t be a subject, it’s hostile against God’s law. So you know, it can’t be the law of God is spiritual, and since man is merely flesh, he cannot submit himself to it. The implication is that man needs something else in order to submit himself to God. And what is that? Well, you can back up through this whole chapter, and you’ll find Verse 6, “To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” And so Verse 10, “If Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” And then you know, it goes on.
You can read this whole chapter. It talks about the attitude. The implication is you have to have the Spirit of God to be able to submit to God. Same attitude holds for a wife. She recognizes the godly bond of marriage, the Spirit helps her to submit to her husband. I’m not saying there aren’t women in the world who don’t try to submit to their husband. But to submit the way God wants us to is something that comes from God. And submission is a response normally to a husband’s love, and understanding of the bond of marriage. Think of it this way. How does conversion affect a marriage? Ever stop to think about it? How does your being converted, how does that affect your marriage? Well, let’s just look at one aspect. What about selfishness? All human beings are selfish. If you could really begin to operate on a different level of concern for people, not out of selfishness, but out of love and concern for them.
And not be selfish, what does that do for your marriage? You know that there are certain things that if you change in your life, selfishness is one of them, vanity could be another, arrogance could be something. You just stop and think about being self-centered. You know, how people are self-centered. If you can change that one thing, how much of your life will be affected because you’ve changed that one thing in your life, where everything you do will be affected. What if instead of you just selfishly thinking about yourself all the time, “She mistreats me. She doesn’t do this for me. She’s always doing that.” Instead you’re thinking, “How can I please my wife? How can I help her? How can I serve her? How can I make her day go better?” If she had a rough day with the kids “what can I do to you know, help her?”
So you know, this is the way your mind is going. You think more about serving and giving. Now this one, it implies an attitude of love or outgoing concern doesn’t it? Isn’t that what the Spirit of God is supposed to do for us? What about instead of being vain, you develop humility. What will humility do for a marriage? What will humility do for any relationship between two people? How much does selfishness influence so much of what we do? Our approach to others, our spending, our needs, and change in this one area can have a tremendous impact. What if a husband only thinks about what he can purchase? Then have enough money for his wife, a new dress or buy something she might want?
But if he needs a tool, he always buys a tool. If he needs a gun, he’ll buy a new gun. If he needs a fishing equipment, he’ll go out and buy the fishing equipment. Is he thinking of his wife? Well you see, these are principles that all of us need to think about. So actually, I’ve only scratched the surface here in this sermon. I didn’t turn this thing on, but I know I’m getting close to the time. Let’s finish today by going over here to Proverbs 15:3 Proverbs 15:3The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
American King James Version×. Proverbs 15:3 Proverbs 15:3The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
American King James Version×, an interesting scripture, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” So God watches you. He watches me. He watches all of us. He’s watching our marriages. What kind of marriages do we have?
God inspects and watches what occurs in our marriage. Are we learning lessons? Are we growing? None of us are perfect in our marriages. I certainly am not. We all have room for growth, for development. But it takes the Spirit of God to elevate a marriage to the plane that it should be which is a spiritual plane. The basis of rule, the basis of submission, both flow from the same thing. That’s love, godly love. We must all learn to submit. We must all learn to have love. And the family of God will operate on these principles forever. So what we’re doing now, on the physical level is helping to teach us about our job for all eternity.