A New Testament Perspective on the Marriage

A NEW TESTAMENT PERSPECTIVE ON THE MARRIAGE

(PART 3: BUILDING AND MAINTAINING SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIPS)

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC)

I)  INTRODUCTION – A FEW WEEKS AGO I BEGAN A SERIES ON BUILDING AND MAINTAINING SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIPS.  WE HAVE COME TO UNDERSTAND THAT 1) OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IS THE KEY TO ALL OTHER RELATIONSHIPS.  2) GOD HAS CLEARLY OUTLINED THE ROLE OF MEN AND WOMEN IN THE MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP FROM THE BEGINNING IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN WITH THE FIRST FAMILY.  WE ALSO LOOKED AT HOW THIS IDYLLIC SETTING WAS IMPACTED AS A RESULT OF SIN AND HOW IT FIRST GRAVELY DAMAGED ADAM AND EVE’S RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND SUBSEQUENTLY THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH EACH OTHER.

THIS MORNING I WANT TO GO TO THE NEW TESTAMENT, WHICH DEFINES THE NEW COVENANT ESTABLISHED THROUGH THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST.  WHEN WE ENTER INTO THIS NEW COVENANT WE DO SO UNDER GOD’S TERMS AND CONDITIONS.  THE NEW COVENANT HAS MADE PROVISION FOR THE ATONEMENT FOR OUR SIN AND FOR THE RESTORATION OF OUR INDIVIDUAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH GOD AND IN DOING SO IT PROVIDES A BASIS FOR THE RESTORATION OF ALL OTHER RELATIONSHIPS BEGINNING WITH THE MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP.   AFTER OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD THE MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP THE NEXT MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP AS IT IS THE CORNERSTONE FOR THE RELATIONSHIPS WITHIN THE FAMILY AND SOCIETY.   IF THE HUSBAND / WIFE RELATIONSHIP IN A HOME IS NOT WORKING IT UNDERMINES AND HINDERS THE DEVELOPMENT AND NORMALCY OF ALL OTHER RELATIONSHIPS WITHIN THE FAMILY AND EFFECTS SOCIETY AT LARGE.

II) WHAT THE NEW TESTAMENT HAS TO SAY TO HUSBANDS (EPH. 5:25 – 31, COL. 3:19, 1PETER 3:7, TITUS 2:6)

A)       THE MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP UNDER THE NEW COVENANT IS TO BE THE SAME KIND OF RELATIONSHIP AS CHRIST HAS WITH THE CHURCH.  CHURCH IS NOT THE BUILDING, BUT THE “EKKLESIA” THE ONES CHRIST HAS CALLED AND CHOSEN.  WE FIND A TYPE OF THIS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT WHEN ABRAHAM SENT HIS SERVANT BACK TO HIS COUNTRY TO FIND A WIFE FOR ISAAC.  REBECCA WAS CHOSEN BUT AS A RESULT OF THIS CHOOSING HAD TO LEAVE HER PARENTS AND FAMILY AND GO TO HER HUSBAND, AND SCRIPTURE SAYS “ISAAC LOVED REBECCA”.

B)       THE HUSBAND IS TO BE THE HEAD “KEPHALE” OF THE WIFE AND THE HOME EVEN AS CHRIST IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH.  SPEAKS OF SPIRITUAL AND NATURAL AUTHORITY EXERCISED WITH THE TENDER LOVE: IN THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE VERSE 29 SPEAKS OF THE HUSBAND NURTURING, CAREFULLY PROTECTING, AND CHERISHING HIS WIFE, AS CHRIST DOES THE CHURCH.

C)      THE HUSBAND IS TO PROVIDE A PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL COVERING FOR HIS WIFE AND SHOULD NOT HESITATE TO LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS WIFE EVEN AS CHRIST GAVE HIS LIFE FOR THE CHURCH.  HUSBANDS ARE TO LOVE THEIR WIVES EVEN AS CHRIST LOVES THE CHURCH.

D)      MEN ARE TO BE THE SPIRITUAL HEAD OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD LEADING IN THE STUDY OF GOD’S WORD MENTORING AND TEACHING GOD’S WORD TO HIS WIFE AND HIS CHILDREN.

E)       HUSBANDS ARE TO BE CONSIDERATE AND UNDERSTANDING TO THEIR WIVES.  THEY ARE TO LOVE THEIR WIVES AS THEIR OWN BODIES, GIVING THEMSELVES WHOLLY TO THEIR WIVES TO PROTECT, ENCOURAGE AND NURTURE THEIR PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT.  MORE SPECIFICALLY, HUSBANDS ARE TO:  1) TO BE SELF-CONTROLLED (TIT 2:6) PROVIDE FOR THEIR WIVES SPIRITUAL AND DOMESTIC NEEDS (EPH 5:22 – 23, GEN 3:16 – 19), 1 TIM 5:8), LOVE AND PROTECT THEM (EPH 5:25-33), 3) HONOR THEM, BE UNDERSTANDING TO THEM, BE APPRECIATIVE AND THOUGHTFUL TO THEM (COL 3:19, 1 PET 3:7), 4) BE ABSOLUTELY FAITHFUL TO THEM (EPH 5:31, MATT 5:27-28).

F)       WHEN WE DO THIS MEN WE ARE THE BENEFICIARIES: A WIFE SO LOVED AND NURTURED THRIVES AND BECOMES VIBRANTLY ALIVE, WITH A SENSE OF WELL BEING RADIATING FROM HER COUNTENANCE.   SHE BECOMES THAT COMPANION, PARTNER, HELPER AND LOVER THAT BRINGS US JOY, EXCITEMENT AND CONTENTMENT.

III)           WHAT THE NEW TESTAMENT HAS TO SAY TO WIVES (EPH 5:22 – 24, COL 3:18,

1 PETER 3:1 – 6, TITUS 2:3 – 5)

A)       WIVES ARE TO SUBMIT THEMSELVES ONTO THEIR HUSBANDS WHETHER THEIR HUSBANDS ARE CHRISTIANS AS IS FITTING AND PROPER AS ONTO THE LORD.  THEY OFTEN ARE THE ONE WHO POINT THEIR HUSBANDS TO CHRIST BY THEIR VIRTUE AND GODLINESS.  (WIVES SHOULD RESPECTFULLY DECLINE TO COMPLY WITH A HUSBAND’S DIRECTIVES THAT WOULD CONSTITUTE SIN AGAINST GOD – THAT WOULD NOT BE FITTING ONTO THE LORD.)

B)       TO SUBMIT MEANS “TO YIELD IN LOVE” TO THE HUSBANDS RESPONSIBILITIES OF GOD APPOINTED LEADERSHIP.  (THIS IS BECOMES A PROBLEM WHEN THE HUSBAND FAILS TO MAKE GODLY CHOICES OR TO LEAD IN A GODLY MANNER.)

C)      THE BEAUTY OF A TRULY BEAUTIFUL WOMAN RADIATES FROM HER INSIDE.  THERE IS A FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH IT IS CALLED JESUS ON THE INSIDE.  A GODLY WOMEN IS BEAUTIFUL ALL OF HER LIFE – THE UNFADING BEAUTY OF A GENTLE AND QUIET SPIRIT.

D)      WOMEN ENCOURAGE YOUR HUSBAND TO BE THE MAN THAT GOD HAS CALLED HIM TO BE: 1) LOVE HIM (TIT 2:4), 2) RESPECT HIM (EPH 5:33, 1 PET 3:1-2), 3) BE HIS HELPMATE AND ASSISTANT (GEN 2:18), PRACTICE PURITY (TIT 2:5), PRACTICE BEING SUBMISSIVENESS (EPH 5:22), DEVELOP THAT QUIET AND GENTLE SPIRIT (1 PET 3:4), BE A GOOD MOTHER (TIT 2:4) AND HOMEMAKER  (1TIM 2:15, 5:14; TIT 2:5).

IV)          CONCLUSION:  TO BOTH MEN AND WOMEN:

THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT THE MAN AND HIS WIFE ARE HEIRS TOGETHER OF THE GIFT OF LIFE (PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL).  WE COMPLETE EACH OTHER SPIRITUALLY AND PHYSICALLY FINDING FULFILLMENT AND PURPOSE THAT WE CANNOT FIND ALONE.  WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY THAT HAS DISCOUNTED THE VALIDITY AND RELEVANCY OF GOD’S WORD.  THERE IS A GROWING DISTRUST AND DISRESPECT BETWEEN THE MEN AND WOMEN TODAY.  THIS REFLECTED IN OUR HIGH DIVORCE RATE, ABANDONMENT OF MARRIAGES AND ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS.  THIS SITUATION HAS LED MANY MEN AND WOMEN TO GIVE UP ON MARRIAGE ALTOGETHER TO LIVE IN SAME SEX RELATIONSHIPS THAT ARE ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN BY GOD.  WE HAVE FAILED TO UNDERSTAND AND APPLY GOD’S WORD OR FOLLOW GOD’S PLAN AND WE ARE THE LOSERS ALONG WITH OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN.   WHAT IS THE ANSWER?  IT IS TIME TO HUMBLE OURSELVES AND ASK GOD’S FORGIVENESS AND UNDERSTAND AND APPLY GOD’S WORD.   GOD LOVES YOU AND WANTS YOU THE VERY BEST FOR YOU – WHY DO WE SETTLE FOR LESS?

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