MARRIAGE

 

DEFINITION:  Biblically, marriage is the union of one man with one woman  and the relationship that exists between them.

 

FACTS ABOUT MARRIAGE:

Fifty-percent of all marriages end in divorce.  That is why it is important to deal with marriage problems before they intensify.  

 

The biblical plan is that two people become one (Genesis 2:24).  God intends for marriage to be between one man and one woman for life (Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:10-11; Jeremiah 32:19; Mark 10:9).

Be sure you marry “in the Lord.”  Believers are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers (1 Corinthians 7:39; 2 Corinthians 6:14). If you are already married to an unbeliever, you are to remain with them unless they decide to depart because it is possible that you will be able to win them to the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:15-16).

 

Do not marry someone in need of reform.  The problems that you have with them now will only intensify.  Marriage was not intended to be a “reform school.”

 

Pre-marital checklist.    

-Marriage should be only with the opposite sex–one man, one woman, for life: Genesis 2:18,22.

-You are required to cease dependence on your parents: Genesis 2:24.

-You must live together as one in legal and sexual union: Genesis 2:24.

-You must love and dwell with  your partner for a lifetime:  Mark 10:9.

-Believers must not marry unbelievers:  2 Corinthians 6:14-15,17.

-Be sure you have discussed and agreed on spiritual matters of faith, finances, communication, children, child discipline–every major area that will affect your union

 

Do not expect:

-Marriage to solve your personal problems.

-Religious differences to be insignificant.

-To change the attitudes, beliefs, or conduct of your spouse.

-That sexual passion alone will sustain your marriage.

 

Problems arise because of carnality.   Whether in the church, the home, or between friends and family members, problems arise because of carnality in the lives of believers (1 Corinthians 3:3).  In a marriage, problems arise most frequent in the areas of sexual compatibility, in-law problems, finances, discipline of children, and spiritual issues.

 

A good marriage is based on God’s will and His Word.  Unless the Lord builds your marriage and your home, you are laboring in vain (Psalm 127:1).

A good marriage is based on basic tenets of respect for your mate, realistic expectations of one another, acceptance of your mate, and an ability to forgive. Good communication is vital to a good marriage, as is a genuine commitment to one another.  Spiritual unity is most important.

God can heal all wounds.   Whether it be a small misunderstanding or a major problem in a marriage, the Lord will heal your relationship if you will let Him (Jeremiah 30:17).

 

Note:  You do not have to remain in a marriage where there is physical violence, child abuse, or illegal activities.  Many innocent partners have suffered dire consequences because they did not remove themselves and their children from such environments–including violent death or criminal prosecution for not protecting their children.

DEALING WITH  MARRIAGE:

Make a commitment to each other and to the relationship.  Do not accept excuses for a poor relationship such as: “We never should have been married in the first place”; “Our families don’t get along”; or “We have grown apart.”  All of these are issues that can be resolved on the basis of God’s Word which mandates forgiving and being forgiven.

 

Seek the root cause of problems.  What is causing the problems in your marriage?  Is it unforgiveness, inability to accept each other, adultery, finances, problems with in-laws, spiritual disunity, disagreements over children, sexual incompatibility, communication problems, etc?  These are some of the main problems in marriages. Deal with the root causes of the surface manifestations of marital unhappiness and disharmony.

 

Examine what you have done to try and solve these problems.  Has what you have tried worked?  Have you tried God’s way–including forgiving one another, praying, and studying the Bible together so you can build your marriage on the Word of God?

 

Ask forgiveness.  Seek forgiveness from God and from your spouse.  If adultery was involved, the adulterous relationship must be totally severed by the offending party.

 

Pray together.  Pray about your problems instead of fighting about them.

Study the Word of God together.  All problems in marriage can be resolved by application of biblical principles.  The question is, are you willing?

 

Attend church together.  Find a Bible-believing church with a strong couples ministry where you can continue to strengthen your marriage and establish biblical goals for your marriage.

 

Fellowship with couples who have strong marriages.  Do not hang out with couples who fight and bicker.  Develop relationships with those who model qualities of a positive marriage and learn from them.

 

Agree to these standards.

-We commit ourselves to live for God and allow Him to control our marriage.

-We commit to growing together spiritually.

-We commit our finances, communication, sex life, and children to the Lord and will follow His

direction in each of these areas as well as every area of our lives.

-We will pray individually about a matter before we come together to talk about it.

-We will not discuss things in an angry, hostile, loud manner.

-We agree to hear the other person’s opinion and accept alternate views.

-We will not go to bed angry.

-We agree to forgive–not dwelling on a past offense by continuing to bring it up.

 

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT MARRIAGE:

Marriage relationships in general.

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”  (Genesis 2:18)

 

The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’for she was taken out of man.”  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. 

 

(Genesis 2:23-24)

Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. (Psalm 127:1)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’  But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)

 

“It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’  But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.  (Matthew 5:32)

 

“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”  Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.  I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”   (Matthew 19:7-9)

 

But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate. (Mark 10:6-9)

 

You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?  (1 Corinthians 3:3)

 

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders  (1 Corinthians 6:9)

 

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.  Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)

 

A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. (1 Corinthians 7:39)

 

Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.  (1 Corinthians 11:3)

 

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

 

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.  (Hebrews 13:4)

Husbands.

 

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord. (Psalm 128:3-4)

 

He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord. (Proverbs 18:22)

 

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Mathew 5:28)

 

But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5:32)

 

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,  and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church–for we are members of his body.  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh… However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.  (Ephesians 5:22-29, 33)

 

Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. (Colossians 3:19)

 

If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her… But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? (1 Corinthians 7:12, 15-16)

 

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. (1 Peter 3:7)

 

Wives.

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”  (Genesis 2:18)

 

Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. (Genesis 3:16)

 

A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones. (Proverbs 12:4)

 

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. (Proverbs 14:1)

 

Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord. (Proverbs 19:14)

 

A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping. (Proverbs 19:13)

 

Better to live in a comer of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. (Proverbs 21:9)

 

Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife. (Proverbs 21:19)

 

A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand. (Proverbs 27:15-16)

 

Proverbs chapter 31:  The model wife.

 

And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?  (1 Corinthians 7:13-14,16)

 

Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3)

 

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  (Ephesians 5:22-24)

 

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. (Colossians 3:18)

 

In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. (1 Timothy 3:11)

 

So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. (1 Timothy 5:14)

 

So in everything, do to others what you would have them Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. (1 Peter 3:1-2)

 

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:3-4)

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