Marriage by the Book

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What is a Biblical definition of marriage? Why do we celebrate marriage? What is the effect of sin on marriage? What are the roles in a marriage? Here is a look at what the Bible has to say to answer …

What is a Biblical definition of marriage? Why do we celebrate marriage? What is the effect of sin on marriage? What are the roles in a marriage? Here is a look at what the Bible has to say to answer these questions.

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  • 2 hours of presentation to this point, Her Role-5. Northwest Baptist Ch., precisely ended here, by God’s grace.

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  • 1. Marriage by the Book RMNI.org Jim Sutherland, Ph.D.
  • 2. 2 ““Hey, Adam !”Hey, Adam !” Genesis and the Garden are factualGenesis and the Garden are factual history.history. If they weren’t, thenIf they weren’t, then PaulPaul (2 Cor. 11:3; Eph.(2 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:31; 1 Tim. 2:13-14);5:31; 1 Tim. 2:13-14); LukeLuke (Luke 3:38),(Luke 3:38), JudeJude (Jude 1:14) and(Jude 1:14) and JesusJesus (Gen. 1:27;(Gen. 1:27; 2:24; Matt. 19:4-6) were wrong. Would2:24; Matt. 19:4-6) were wrong. Would Jesus quote a myth to argue againstJesus quote a myth to argue against divorce?divorce? Adam was so real, you could haveAdam was so real, you could have delivered a pizza to him.delivered a pizza to him.
  • 3. 3 Many in the US cannot even defineMany in the US cannot even define marriagemarriage America has drifted so far from truth, thatAmerica has drifted so far from truth, that “gay” marriages are being performed“gay” marriages are being performed around the county by government agencies,around the county by government agencies, and even by some churches, such as someand even by some churches, such as some in the United Methodist church.in the United Methodist church. Christians are pushing for a constitutionalChristians are pushing for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as onlyamendment to define marriage as only between a male and a female.between a male and a female. ““Since they did not think it worthwhile toSince they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave themretain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what oughtover to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.” (Rom. 1:28, NIV).not to be done.” (Rom. 1:28, NIV).
  • 4. 4 The Minority StandThe Minority Stand In a country in which pluralism is theIn a country in which pluralism is the accepted posture—where no particular truthaccepted posture—where no particular truth claim is higher than another—and all mayclaim is higher than another—and all may be “right,” Christians should unashamedlybe “right,” Christians should unashamedly rely upon the truth claims of the Bible, andrely upon the truth claims of the Bible, and rejoice that we don’t have to submit to therejoice that we don’t have to submit to the changing tides of research studies, liberalchanging tides of research studies, liberal psychology or the current majority view forpsychology or the current majority view for guidance.guidance. Christians believe in universal truth, moralChristians believe in universal truth, moral absolutes, in Christ, and the Bible withoutabsolutes, in Christ, and the Bible without apology. We even believe in innateapology. We even believe in innate differences between the sexes and roles fordifferences between the sexes and roles for husband and wife.husband and wife.
  • 5. 5 What is Marriage? • Marriage is the union of a male and female by covenantal vows and mutually exclusive physical union, becoming “one flesh” (Gen. 2:24) before God. • Francis Schaeffer saw that the natural destiny of the man/woman relationship is union, through degrees of intimacy. In courtship we “emotionally undress” to reveal our true self, and in marriage move to physically undressing (Joe Novenson). • God exists as a tri-unity. There was love among the Trinity before humans (John 17:24-Schaeffer). Being in His image, we desire union and a love-intimacy.
  • 6. 6 What is Marriage? • After the Fall, marriage became an ideal crucible for Christian growth. The mate becomes a relentless mirror of our character. My wife used to think she was a pretty good Christian until marriage got in the way. Marriage brings out our sin. • When single it is easy to please self and minimize exposing yourself. • The married state throws a Christian upon God to make it work. Christians must rely upon God for ultimate truth and justice and to even to decide who is really right!
  • 7. 7 Fallout From the Fall • All relationships are corrupted: with God, spouse, family, other kin, with employers, the larger society and even anger against self (Francis Schaeffer) in self-destructive behavior. • Husbands abuse power, wives wrest power, both exploit sex. Nakedness between mates became shameful, indicating a breakdown of intimacy generally. The need to communicate may turn to nagging (5 times a besetting sin of women in Proverbs). • We tend toward selfishness generally. • The command to bear children became a pain.
  • 8. Why Do We Celebrate Marriage?Why Do We Celebrate Marriage?  10% of the US population was10% of the US population was currently divorced in 1998 (19.4currently divorced in 1998 (19.4 million).million).  34% of all Americans and 53% of34% of all Americans and 53% of Blacks between 25-34 refrain fromBlacks between 25-34 refrain from marriage.marriage.  33% of born-again American33% of born-again American Christians have been divorced,Christians have been divorced, compared to 34% of non-Christians,compared to 34% of non-Christians, according to Barna Research (2001).according to Barna Research (2001).  44% of those under age 35 have44% of those under age 35 have cohabited, and 25% of born-againcohabited, and 25% of born-again Christians have cohabited (Barna,Christians have cohabited (Barna, 2001).2001).
  • 9. 9 Why Marriage? (1. For Companionship--“It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make a helper suitable for him.” God, Genesis 2:18 (NIV) Life is enjoyed together (1 Pet. 3:7)
  • 10. 10 Why Marriage? (2. She is a sign of God’s favor. Even after sin entered the world: “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” God, through Solomon, Proverbs 18:22 Married men live longer than single or divorced men. A noble wife “crowns” him (Prov. 12:4) She is man’s “glory” (1 Cor. 11:7).
  • 11. 11 (3 Two Are Better Than One They are more productive (Ecclesiastes 4:9). One can nurse the other when sick (Eccles. 4:10). They can warm each other at night (Eccles. 4:11). They can defend themselves better, normally (Eccles. 4:12).
  • 12. 12 (4. Marriage is God’s instrument to “fill the earth and subdue it,” then to “rule” it (Gen. 1:28). This is stated just after reminding us that God created male and female in His own image (v. 27)—He who created and rules the universe. We cannot fill the earth asexually. We are joint-heirs of the earth.
  • 13. 13 (5 Marriage is for mutual sexual joy (Prov. 5:15-21) • Eve was presented to Adam as a gift —the most beautiful girl in the world —drop-dead gorgeous.
  • 14. 14 (6 We are to glorify God together 1 Cor. 10:3 “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” The focus of life remains God. Pleasing God comes before pleasing the spouse, if there is a contest. We form a “ministry team” (Joel Hunter) when we marry.
  • 15. 15 The Mystery of the Mate MARRIAGE IS A MYSTERY 2  1 FLESH (Gen. 2:24) They are so much “one” that God won’t answer the husband’s prayers if he is inconsiderate of his wife (1 Pet. 3:7). • Why does a wife stay with an abusive or irresponsible husband? – The Desire of the wife is for the husband (Gen. 3:16b)
  • 16. 16 The Mystery of the Mate • Familiarity does not breed contempt. • Men generally stay as beauty fades. • The sexual relationship can get much better with years--even after the ecstasy of the honeymoon. • What causes a woman to ride with her man a lifetime? • How can such opposites coexist? • [How do a male and female cardinal stay together?]
  • 17. 17 Headship--defined • “With great wisdom the Bible mandates no particular style, manner, or set of behaviors that alone qualify as biblical headship. In fact, there are probably as many legitimate expressions of headship as there are variations of personality. Biblical headship is simply the exercise of a God-given authority whereby a man does all that is within his power to see that love, justice, and mercy rule in his home, even where fostering such qualities requires his own personal sacrifice.” --Bryan Chapel • Each for the Other, p. 68
  • 18. 18 The Husband’s Headship  This headship derives from the order of creation— Adam was created first, and woman for man (1 Tim. 2:12-14) Christ is the head of man, and man is the head of woman (1 Cor. 11:3). Adam was not deceived by Satan, Eve was. Adam however did not protect her, but allowed his wife to sin, being with her when she ate the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:6). Husbands fail to be godly leaders because of laziness or fear.
  • 19. 19 His Headship • The Father exercises authority within the Godhead, sending the Son and Spirit and the Son obeying the Father (John 14:16; 15:10). The church (bride) should submit to Christ (Eph. 5:24). Marriage is analogous. • Cults pervert the divine Groom/Bride analogy. Cultic grooms exploit, lie, manipulate and take from the Bride, giving false truth, holding false authority, giving false community and a false worldview, leading to destruction. • The wife should submit in “everything” (Col. 3:18; Eph. 5:24), except if told to sin. She may disagree, and she should provide her perspective, but not disobey.
  • 20. 20 His Headship--2 • Headship is not fun. He takes final responsibility before God for decisions. When there is a stalemate, he must break the tie. Sometimes he will submit to his wife’s desires (Eph. 5:21). • The wife trusts that God will bring good from his decisions (Rom. 8:28) —even bad ones. • Children are to submit to the authority of both parents, if present.
  • 21. 21 Headship--3 • Husbands, given (generally) greater physical strength and desire to subdue, will sometimes abuse that power, even beating his wife—a sin against his own body (Eph. 5:28). • Wives may think that beating is a sign of love, or manipulate him to beat her so that she can get something (Uganda). Half of India’s women think wife-beating is sometimes justified. • The husband is designed more to “conquer” the world at work and at war. He is known at the city gate—she at the city well.
  • 22. 22 Justice in MarriageJustice in Marriage  Without Christ, the husband has noWithout Christ, the husband has no recourse or buffer, and may rely uponrecourse or buffer, and may rely upon punishing/bullying to get what hepunishing/bullying to get what he wants. He exacts justice.wants. He exacts justice.  Without Christ, the wife has noWithout Christ, the wife has no recourse except wits and charm andrecourse except wits and charm and finally leaving.finally leaving.  Without the cross of Christ no bufferWithout the cross of Christ no buffer exists between spouses, no ultimateexists between spouses, no ultimate payment for wrong.payment for wrong.
  • 23. 23 Justice in MarriageJustice in Marriage  With Christ, we understand that HisWith Christ, we understand that His cross ultimately paid for every sin,cross ultimately paid for every sin, whether or not our spouse or childrenwhether or not our spouse or children “confess.”“confess.”  With God, nobody eludes justice.With God, nobody eludes justice. Vengeance is His, and He will repayVengeance is His, and He will repay (Rom. 12:19).(Rom. 12:19).  It isn’t worth wasting days in vexationIt isn’t worth wasting days in vexation over the sin of another. None will avoidover the sin of another. None will avoid justice, including those in denial, thejustice, including those in denial, the unrepentant and the hard of heart.unrepentant and the hard of heart.
  • 24. 24 The Husband’s RoleThe Husband’s Role • ““Husband” means “gardener.” He is theHusband” means “gardener.” He is the cultivator of the garden, which is his wife.cultivator of the garden, which is his wife. How does your garden grow?How does your garden grow? • She blooms in a loving environment. His majorShe blooms in a loving environment. His major job is to love his wife (Eph. 5:25; Col. 3:19).job is to love his wife (Eph. 5:25; Col. 3:19). This love (This love (agape—Greek)agape—Greek) isis not based uponnot based upon the performance of the one loved, but is basedthe performance of the one loved, but is based more upon the character of the one loving.more upon the character of the one loving. Love is practically defined positively at 1 Cor.Love is practically defined positively at 1 Cor. 13:4-7 as being patient, kind, “rejoicing with13:4-7 as being patient, kind, “rejoicing with the truth,” protective, trusting, hopeful andthe truth,” protective, trusting, hopeful and persevering.persevering.
  • 25. 25 His Role--2His Role--2 • The obverse of love is not being boastful,The obverse of love is not being boastful, proud, rude, selfish, easily angered, notproud, rude, selfish, easily angered, not keeping track of offenses and not delighting inkeeping track of offenses and not delighting in evil (mistakes and faults of the spouse).evil (mistakes and faults of the spouse). • This love reflects Christ’s self-sacrifice for theThis love reflects Christ’s self-sacrifice for the Church (Eph. 5:25). Christ will never forsakeChurch (Eph. 5:25). Christ will never forsake the Church (Heb. 13:5), He forgives, Hethe Church (Heb. 13:5), He forgives, He intercedes for, and He shows grace (unmeritedintercedes for, and He shows grace (unmerited favor).favor). • Living together without marriage blasphemesLiving together without marriage blasphemes the picture of Christ and His bride (Schaeffer).the picture of Christ and His bride (Schaeffer).
  • 26. 26 His Role--3His Role--3 • Christ works for the purity and holiness of theChrist works for the purity and holiness of the Church (Eph. 5:25-27). The husband shouldChurch (Eph. 5:25-27). The husband should promote her spiritual nourishment throughpromote her spiritual nourishment through taking her to worship, agreeing in prayer,taking her to worship, agreeing in prayer, intercession, encouraging her devotionalintercession, encouraging her devotional reading, answering questions (1 Cor. 14:35)reading, answering questions (1 Cor. 14:35) etc., and spiritual leadership generally.etc., and spiritual leadership generally. • Christ gives the “abundant life” to His BrideChrist gives the “abundant life” to His Bride (John 10:10-11), which is not material. Her(John 10:10-11), which is not material. Her needs came before His comfort.needs came before His comfort. • He is to provide for theHe is to provide for the family’sfamily’s materialmaterial needsneeds, or he is, or he is worseworse than a heathen (1 Tim.than a heathen (1 Tim. 5:8). He is responsible to provide, not her.5:8). He is responsible to provide, not her.
  • 27. 27 His Role--4His Role--4 • He is toHe is to trytry to understand her, to live with herto understand her, to live with her in harmony (1 Pet. 3:7). That knowledge willin harmony (1 Pet. 3:7). That knowledge will guide activities and expectations. I don’t tryguide activities and expectations. I don’t try to watch videos with Judi.to watch videos with Judi. • He does well to provide her freedom, as didHe does well to provide her freedom, as did the husband of the Prov. 31 wife. I believe hethe husband of the Prov. 31 wife. I believe he will have to answer to God for the stewardshipwill have to answer to God for the stewardship of his wife’s abilities. Did he help themof his wife’s abilities. Did he help them blossom? I know a Christian who discouragedblossom? I know a Christian who discouraged his wife’s formal studies, photography andhis wife’s formal studies, photography and normal social interaction with men (even whennormal social interaction with men (even when he was present). She finally sued forhe was present). She finally sued for (unscriptural) divorce.(unscriptural) divorce.
  • 28. 28 His Role--5His Role--5 • Willard Harley identified 5 needs of wives, derivedWillard Harley identified 5 needs of wives, derived from years of marriage counseling. They are:from years of marriage counseling. They are: “affection, conversation, honesty and openness,“affection, conversation, honesty and openness, financial support and family commitment.”financial support and family commitment.” Affection does not necessarily include sexual love.Affection does not necessarily include sexual love. • Women (right brain-dominant) are more verbalWomen (right brain-dominant) are more verbal than men (left brain-dominant).than men (left brain-dominant). • If her “head” is dishonest or secretive, this putsIf her “head” is dishonest or secretive, this puts the ship of the marriage/family into uncharted andthe ship of the marriage/family into uncharted and foreboding waters. I meet dishonest men inforeboding waters. I meet dishonest men in financial counseling.financial counseling.
  • 29. 29 His Role--6His Role--6 • She should notShe should not havehave to go to work unless he is notto go to work unless he is not there. The wifethere. The wife needsneeds financial security far morefinancial security far more than does he. She should have accuratethan does he. She should have accurate knowledge of finances.knowledge of finances. • He is to protect his family physically andHe is to protect his family physically and emotionally, as far as possible.emotionally, as far as possible. • Love blossoms in mutual commitment and relativeLove blossoms in mutual commitment and relative security. An absent huband/father is like a birdsecurity. An absent huband/father is like a bird straying from its nest (Prov. 27:8). She wants astraying from its nest (Prov. 27:8). She wants a secure nest in which to raise their children.secure nest in which to raise their children. Commitment to all children is increasinglyCommitment to all children is increasingly important with blended families.important with blended families.
  • 30. 30 His Role—7His Role—7 • He is NOT herHe is NOT her – FatherFather – BossBoss – CriticCritic – Commander or DictatorCommander or Dictator – GodGod He cannot even provide forHe cannot even provide for allall herher needs—only God can.needs—only God can.
  • 31. 31 Her Role: She is to be chaste and submissive in everything, in the Lord (1 Pet. 3:1-2). She is to love him (1 Pet. 3:6-7; Titus 2:4). This is not only the husband’s role. She is to help her husband. Normally this means that she is “busy at home” (Titus 2:5; 1 Tim. 5:14). The Prov. 31 wife took care of her household before engaging in outside business. If she can take care of home and business too, no problem, with his approval. She provides a clean environment from which to operate, including a clean clothes and home. If she must work fulltime, then he should share the household responsibilities. She provides the primary care and nurture of the children, as her body was designed to do, and since he must work, generally outside the home, to support the family.
  • 32. 32 Her Role--2 She nurses when he is sick and may need to provide temporarily due to sickness or to support her husband in school as he prepares for a better job. She needs to be flexible to meet the changing needs of her home, the developmental needs of children, and her husband. Role #1 is wife. Mother is Role #2. Daughter is Role #3. They are to leave parents and cleave to each other (Gen. 2:24). She, while being more verbal, is not to be contentious.
  • 33. 33 Her Role--3 Willard Harley’s understanding of the 5 greatest needs of the husband are: “sexual fulfillment, recreational companionship, an attractive spouse, domestic support, admiration”. “Since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone, but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife” (1 Cor. 7:2,4, NIV). The best sexual relationship is within a stable and loving relationship.
  • 34. 34 Her Role--4 At marriage we grant exclusive sexual rights to each other (1 Cor. 7:2-6). These rights are not to be used as weapons. God invented sex to be outrageously fine. The Song of Solomon ch. 4 describes the pleasures of married romantic love. God could have designed reproduction without pleasure and there could be no category as sexual joy. Sin drives us apart—sex draws us together, and I think by design. It’s hard for me to stay mad at my wife for more than 3 days. The marriage bed is pure (Heb. 13:4). God will judge those who defile it with another lover. Her breasts are to satisfy the husband at all times and the husband is admonished to be ravished with his wife’s love (Prov. 5:15-23).
  • 35. 35 Her Role—5 William Mattox reported that University of Chicago researchers “released the results of the most ‘comprehensive and methodologically sound’ sex survey ever conducted. They reported that religious women experience significantly higher levels of sexual satisfaction than non-religious women.” This has been termed, “the revenge of the church ladies.” Why? They benefit from no prior sexual experience. They benefit from a commitment to marriage permanence. They enjoy far more sexual freedom and lack of guilt. “Finally, church ladies appear to benefit from the belief that God created sex.” The sexual relationship can get better with time, instead of worse, as might be expected. A married Christian husband likened sex to the frosting on the cake. But all that frosting without a base would not be good—the base is needed to make the frosting taste good.
  • 36. 36 Her Role-6 “A woman disobeys God when she ignores, undermines, or counters the properly expressed authority of her husband. At the same time, the apostle’s example [the wife submitting as the Church to Christ] frees the wife from submission to ungodly demands since the church’s submission to Christ never includes participation in evil or yielding to what dishonors God’s plan for his people.” --Bryan Chapel Each for the Other, p. 81
  • 37. SingleMoms God takes special care of widows and “the fatherless” (Deut. 14:29; 16:11, etc). We can do “all things” through Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:13), even raising children alone. Stay involved in a church with godly men, who may show kindness toward your children. Some may become a more godly influence than the spouse would have been. Churches should help single moms, through teams of deacons giving individualized guidance and assistance.
  • 38. SingleMoms Some churches have a periodic car maintenance day in the parking lot for singles who cannot afford it. Other churches provide daycare for Moms who must work. Go to the elders/deacons for guidance as needed. Cry out to God for your children (Lam. 2:19, cf. Isaiah 29:22-24). He wants godly children, so you are praying in God’s will and you will receive your request (1 John 5:14).