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.
2 hours of presentation to this point, Her Role-5. Northwest Baptist Ch., precisely ended here, by God’s grace.
Marriage by the Book
Marriage by the Book
Jim Sutherland, Ph.D.
““Hey, Adam !”Hey, Adam !”
Genesis and the Garden are factualGenesis and the Garden are factual
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
Adam was so real, you could haveAdam was so real, you could have
delivered a pizza to him.delivered a pizza to him.
Many in the US cannot even defineMany in the US cannot even define
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).
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
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.
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.
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
• 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!
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
• 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
• We tend toward selfishness generally.
• The command to bear children became a pain.
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
34% of all Americans and 53% of34% of all Americans and 53% of
Blacks between 25-34 refrain fromBlacks between 25-34 refrain from
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,
(1. For Companionship--“It is not good
for the man to be alone, I will make a
helper suitable for him.” God, Genesis
Life is enjoyed together (1 Pet. 3:7)
(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
A noble wife “crowns” him (Prov.
She is man’s “glory” (1 Cor. 11:7).
(3 Two Are Better Than One
They are more productive
One can nurse the other when sick
They can warm each other at
night (Eccles. 4:11).
They can defend themselves
better, normally (Eccles. 4:12).
(4. Marriage is God’s instrument
“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.
(5 Marriage is for mutual sexual joy
• Eve was presented to Adam as a gift
—the most beautiful girl in the world
(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
We form a “ministry team” (Joel
Hunter) when we marry.
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
– The Desire of the wife is for the husband
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
• “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
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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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
• 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
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.
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
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.
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
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
• 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
His Role—7His Role—7
• He is NOT herHe is NOT her
– Commander or DictatorCommander or Dictator
He cannot even provide forHe cannot even provide for allall herher
needs—only God can.needs—only God can.
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
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
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
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
Role #1 is wife. Mother is Role #2.
Daughter is Role #3. They are to leave
parents and cleave to each other (Gen.
She, while being more verbal, is not to be
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
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).
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
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.
“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
Each for the Other, p. 81
God takes special care of widows and
“the fatherless” (Deut. 14:29; 16:11,
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.
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).