In the part one of this discuss, we dealt with the rule for the woman in marriage. We were able to understand from God's word that a woman will be fulfilling her God given assignment when she submits to her husband in all things. We learnt that the wife is the physical container in which God has packaged all of the man's help and favour, and so in order to deposit what we are carrying into our husband's life and fulfill our God given destiny, we need to submit to our husbands as unto the Lord.
In the part two of the series we learnt about the importance of letting God take the lead as we make a choice of a life partner. We learnt from God's word the importance of letting God be the basis of our marriage decision. As a woman it is most important that we allow God make the decision for us on who to marry so as not to sign off the authority of your life to the wrong husband, remember you must submit to him in all things as to the Lord. So if it is the Lord who has directed your path to the man He created you for, then you can be sure of rest and peace of mind as you imbibe the act of submission in line with God's instruction for your life in marriage.
The Rule for the Man in Marriage.
Ephesians 5:22-31, 33
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 Saviour. 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 the 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 must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
1 Peter 3:1-7
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 behaviour of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 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. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their trust in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
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.
Genesis 2:18, 20b-25
The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make a helper suitable for him
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
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 the man."
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
As a woman I will want to seek permission to address the men on this issue. I do not write as one trying to give instruction (I am never empowered to do such), but to humbly share with you the truth of the word of God. This will enable us have a balance on the topic we are looking into, and ultimately achieve by the grace of God a beautiful marriage and a restful home just as God intended it at the beginning.
From the passages we have above, the second but most powerful instruction on the issue of marriage is given to the man, and this instruction says "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 the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself." One point that came to mind when I thought of this instruction is the fact that God will want the man to love his wife as his own body. Then the Spirit of God made me realize that in truth the wife is actually an extract from the man's body. She is a by-product of the man cause she was taken out of the man.
Never mind the fact that she is from a different country, a different state, a different tribe, a different dialect different skin colour, different race, different nation, whatever the differences are between you and your wife, that does not negate the truth of the word of God that she was formed from the rib that was extracted from your body and so she is a product of your body and the Lord desires that you love and care for her as you would your own body.
Again Paul said to love your wife unconditionally just as Christ loves the Church. I just hope that the men are prepared for this because invariably what the Lord is demanding from the man is that as much grace as they have received from Christ and following in the footsteps of what Christ did and is still doing for the church, they Lord demands they do exactly the same for their wives. So if Christ did forgive the church despite all the rejections, you are to do the same for your wife; if Christ did lay a divinely acceptable way living for the church, then you are to do the same for your wife; if Christ did love the Church unconditionally, then you are to do the same for your wife; if Christ did shed His blood for the church, then you are to do the same for your wife; if Christ is presently interceding and is the Advocate of the church before God, then you are to do the same for your wife. You are to do all these things bearing in mind that she is heir with to the gracious gift of life.
Proverbs 18:22 says "He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favour from God." As a man if you have been seeking the face of God for divine favour in your life and by virtue of your prayers the Lord hands you a woman to be your wife, what we are learning now is that the answer to your very long prayers has been handed over to you in the person of the wife the Lord has given you.
Again we learnt from Genesis 2:22-25 that God on seeing that the man needs help, formed a woman from the rib of the man and packaged in her all of the help that he can ever need based on the assessment of God. So your wife as the Lord has made her is carrying in her your divine help and favour as God Lord deems it necessary. As a man wherever you go and whatever you do as long as your God given wife is by your side, then your divine favour and divine help is by your side. This explains why you see men with virtuous wives flourish, even in the face of trials. When we read the book of 1 Samuel 25, we will see the role of that intelligent wife Abigal in the life of her mean husband Nabal.
When as a man you understand fully the role of your wife in your life, that she is the totality of the grace of God for your life, then it will not be difficult to love and care for her as the Lord has command you to. When Peter spoke to the husbands in 1 Peter 3, he said, "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." So it appears that a man who has not learnt to love and treat his wife with respect as God has command it be done stands the risk of his prayer hindered.
For the man who has not learnt to treat kindly and love dearly the favour of God for his life in the person of his wife, life gradually becomes a struggle, because that which is needed to end the struggle in his life has been greatly despised by him.
To love your wife is great gain, I cannot comprehend the wisdom of God as He has so perfectly issued the right instruction fitting to the man in marriage and the woman in marriage. I once heard a message preached by Joel Osteen on marriage and he made a very valuable point to the men, he said a man can only get out of his wife as much as he has put in her (Not his exact words). So to say that you can only expect to reap the value of what you have sown in your wife. If you have learnt to sow love into your wife then you can be sure that you will reap from your wife the fruits of what you have sown. The Lord will grant you grace to be all that He expects you to be.
This will be the last series on this topic, for more articles on related topics such as: The Father and the Children, The Mother and the Children, The Role of In-laws and External Influence in Marriage, Divorce, Handling Disputes in Marriage, Sex in Marriage, please click on the link, most of the articles are free.
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