Good day great and special children of God. It’s another week and in fact the third week of the year. We thank God for His grace on our lives and for the many blessings that we will still receive from Him.
We will take the next few posts in observing the rules for marriage. Some would wonder if indeed there are rules to follow in marriage. It is often said that human beings are irrational beings and so our behaviors cannot be generalized; what works for Mr.A might not work for Mr. B. But there are God’s rules for marriage. The God who instituted marriage also stated the rules of engagement in marriage such that the institution will not collapse, and that it might be protected from chaos. But baseless traditions and unfounded norms have eroded the purpose and plan of God for marriage. The marriage institution as it is today is in chaos and on the verge of collapse basically because the people for whom the institution was established have refused to follow the rules of engagement. And some don’t even know that there are rules of engagement existing in the institution. Whereas some have substituted human tradition and norms for God's rules of engagement for marriage. But God who created marriage created it with rules to follow and the code of conduct and character requisite to thrive in the institution.
We have studied the “Overseer Husband” and “The Wife of Noble Character” which I will say are the codes of conduct and the codes of character that a man and a woman needs to imbibe for a successful marriage. So we will look at God’s rules of engagement in marriage.
Ephesians 5:22-30, 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 Savior. Now as the church submits 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.
However, each one of you also 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 behavior 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 cloths. 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 hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed her 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 hat nothing will hinder your prayers.
If we do not know that there are rules of engagement in marriage before now, then here they are before us in the scriptures above as stated in the Bible. These are not man-made rules postulated by any humans, but they are God given rules that should guide us in marriage. Even though there are other side instructions in marriage and there are code of conduct for every man and woman in marriage and there are characteristics of a man that makes him out to be a good and god fearing husband and also characteristics of a woman to makes her into a good and godly wife, but for the rules of engagement in marriage they as found in the scriptures above.
God’s rules of engagement in marriage starts with the wife; she is the first person to get the instruction for marriage from God. When I first came across these sets of scriptures, the first thing God showed me was the fact that the wives were the first to be addressed. Noting that it’s the same with all three scriptures even though they were written by two different men showed that it was not just a coincidence, but was deliberately stated so as a message on its own.
God’s instruction first came to the wives because the wife is the foundation builder in any and every successful marriage. The life and success of every marriage is determined by characteristic and inherent values of the wife. Proverbs 14:1 says, “The wise woman builds her home, but with her own hands the foolish one tears her down,” there are a whole lot of roles a man plays in marriage as the husband; most importantly, he needs to be on top of his game to be the head over his wife, but it is the woman who builds the home and not the man. So we are not surprised that God will begin the giving of His laws with the woman. The success of a marriage is determined by how well the wife builds the home (which is not the physical structure, but the marriage structure).
The law given to the wife who is the home builder of a successful marriage says “SUBMIT to your husband as unto the Lord and in everything.” To submit means “to willingly place yourself under the authority of another.” God did not give any exception to this rule, He didn’t say that you should submit yourself to your husband only when He is godly, or only when he is picking and paying the bills for the family upkeep and expenses or only when he is loving and caring. But all we have God say is that "wives submit to your husband as to the Lord."
Again, we read God instructing through Paul that wives should submit to their husbands in everything; so whether you are richer than him, wiser than him, godlier than him, older than him and every other clause that you might wish to add to it, the Lord says as long as he is your husband, he is your head and you are to submit to him. Any other rule in marriage for the wife that contradicts this rule is not from God and will only lead to chaos and eventual collapse of the marriage unit.
Proverbs 14:1 says, “the wise woman builds her home” and God’s instruction to the woman who will do well to build her home says “submit to your husband as to the Lord,” so a woman who submits to her husband is a woman who obeys the word of God and as such she is a wise woman. This is quite contradictory to what the tradition of today portrays that a woman who obeys her husband in everything is foolish. They say you cannot continue to do just what your husband tells you to do; in doing so, you are a fool. But what the Bible is showing us is that rather than obedience to your husband being foolishness, it is wisdom. This is one of the reasons why I always say that one of the greatest enemies to our marriage is TRADITION.
A woman will always worry when she is so very submissive to her husband and she gets nothing in return. Rather than her husband appreciating her devotion to him and the marriage he is mean to her and expending his love, attention and money on adulterous and lustful activities. Well in every covenant everyone has a role to play; your marriage is tripartite covenant between you, your husband and God. Everyone in this covenant relationship has a role to play and failure to play their role comes with great consequences.
The only sure fact in this tripartite covenant relationship is God, He will never fail in His role and He pays every other member back based on the quality and quantity of their input in the covenant relationship. Malachi 2:13 gives us insight into this role of God in our marriage covenant.
So your role as a wife is to submit to your husband and to do so in everything. God’s role is to judge and deal His wrath on the man/woman who breaks the marriage covenant by failing to perform his/her role to expectation and your husband's role is to love you unconditionally. By trying to avenge yourself in marriage is going beyond your role and infringing into God’s role with accrues its own punishment. But when you continue in your role of submission to your husband and you do so diligently and your husband fails in his role and also does so diligently, then God will perform His own role as a judge and will also do so diligently. So don’t let anything or anyone, not even your husband make you shift on obeying God’s law for your life in marriage which is to submit to your husband as to the Lord.
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