Marriage (Part 2)

B. There is, though, a qualification needed. 1. In EPH 5:25, Paul is speaking about the one-time death of Jesus Christ out of love to a spotted, unholy, blemished object. This is unconditional. EPH 5:26-27. 2. This was the covenant's legal establishment. As noted above, that aspect of Christ's love to the church will never be withdrawn. 3. Christ will never put away His bride. He has committed to love her. The marriage bond is eternal. 4. Husbands are to love their wives “...as Christ LOVED the church, and GAVE himself for it;” (EPH 5:25), i.e., givingly, with commitment, unconditionally. 5. Contrast the above with “Loving your wife as Christ LOVES the church.” 6. How does Christ in daily practice love His church (i.e., the individual saints that are part of “the church of the firstborn”)? Conditionally. a. He cares for her, nourishes her and cherishes her. EPH 5:29. b. He is merciful and compassionate to her in consideration of her nature. HEB 4:15; 5:2 c/w 1PE 3:7. c. He intercedes for her. HEB 7:25. d. He forgives her sins upon confession and repentance. 1JO 1:7-9. e. But He also instructs her and expects her to honor his instruction. MAT 28:19-20. (1) He praises her for faithfulness. 1CO 4:5; 2CO 10:18; MAT 25:21. (2) He does not praise her for disobedience. 1CO 11:17, 22. f. He stands ready to withdraw fellowship from her, withdraw favor from her, judge her, rebuke her and chasten her and even turn her over to Satan for corrective punishment if she persists in sin. REV 3:19; 1CO 5:5. g. He may even slay because of sin. 1CO 10:9-11; 11:29-30; REV 2:23. h. The marriage will remain intact but its sweetness will be soured. (1) He still loves her unconditionally as touching the covenant of eternal life but His practical relating to her is very conditional. (2) She has grieved His Spirit and He has established how He will deal with her until she repents and submits to Him. i. Whereas Christ's ongoing love for His bride can provide some helpful ideas for a husband, there are obviously limitations as to how strictly His model is to be followed. j. Remember that Paul's instruction in EPH 5:25-27 is emphasizing the sacrificial love that Christ demonstrated at Calvary. (1) The object of His love was a corrupt, cursed enemy of God. (2) Husbands do well to remember that they are not the pure Husband, but are by nature corrupt, cursed and enemies of God as much as are their wives. VI. Marriage A. honourable: Worthy of being honoured; entitled to honour, respect, esteem, or reverence. B. Marriage was instituted before sin entered. GEN 2:18-24. C. Unlike the creation, marriage survived the fall intact. To this day, marriage is still what it was before sin entered. is an honourable institution. HEB 13:4. Marriage Page 3 1. Whereas God altered the creation and the relationship He had with man after sin entered, God did not alter marriage. His rule remains as it was: one man and one woman bound together for life. 2. Men have sought to alter marriage but no alteration has come from God. D. Thus, marriage is not some old, worn-out, useless institution to be mocked and discarded. It will only be discarded at the resurrection. MAT 22:30. E. Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman. MAL 2:14; JOB 31:1. 1. It is a covenant regulated by God. He establishes its rules and they are not alterable. a. Other covenants may be voluntarily struck between individuals regardless of sex or number but not marriage. b. Other covenants may be dissolved by mutual consent for many different reasons without incurring God's displeasure towards either party but not marriage. The marriage covenant is only dissolved for both parties by death. 1CO 7:39. 2. Marriage binds a man and a woman to each other. ROM 7:1-3. 3. They are so bound as to be considered one. MAT 19:4-6. 4. The marriage covenant is a social contract which society is bound to respect. EXO 20:14, 17. F. Marriage was ordained for companionship. GEN 2:18-22; MAL 2:14. 1. companion: One who associates with or accompanies another; a mate; a fellow. 2. Husband and wife are “...heirs together of the grace of life” (1PE 3:7). They should experience and enjoy life together. 3. Marriage was originally provided to meet man's need for companionship. 4. A man who neglects to associate with his wife frustrates her very purpose for being his wife. 5. A woman who neglects to associate with her husband fails to fulfill her God- ordained purpose. 6. The woman is an help meet (suitable) for the man to assist him in the pursuit of his calling. GEN 1:26-28; PRO 31:10-12. 7. A good marriage is a friendship. SON 5:1, 16. G. Marriage is God's means for avoiding sinful sexual connection. 1CO 7:1-2, 8-9. H. Marriage is the godly means of procreation. GEN 1:28; 1TI 5:14. 1. A good marriage facilitates the healthy development of children. 2. Children provide a strong reason to make a marriage work. 3. Loving parents will consider their children's need for the marriage rather than only their own desires. VII. It is important to correct some misconceptions about marriage. A. Love is not the basis of marriage; it is a duty of the marriage. EPH 5:25; TIT 2:3-4. 1. Love is primarily behavioral rather than emotional. 2JO 1:6. 2. You choose to love. It is an act of will. a. The question is not, “Do you love?” but, “Will you love?” b. God loved us as an act of will. He did not love us because we were so lovable and attractive. ROM 5:8; 1JO 4:10. c. Isaac loved Rebekah after their marriage covenant was made. GEN 24:67. 3. This is not to say that emotional love plays no role in selecting a mate or maintaining a marital relationship. GEN 29:18; SON 2:5. Marriage Page 4 a. However, the heart is the seat of desire (PSA 37:4) and the heart is deceptive. JER 17:9. b. How many have married based solely upon the heart's desire for the attractiveness of someone only to find out later that they were incompatible? c. Consider that a blind person could find happiness and satisfaction from someone who is unattractive to the eye. B. True love will not just happen. 1. You have to work at love. It will cost you something. 2. True love considers more than itself and its own feelings; it looks out for the good of its object. 1CO 13:5. 3. True love is concerned with giving. JOH 3:16; EPH 5:25. a. Ask not first, “What can I get?” but, “What can I give?” b. The first concern of love is not to be loved but to love. 1JO 4:10. 4. The first mentioned characteristic of perilous times is “...men shall be lovers of their own selves...” (2TI 3:1-2). a. Living for someone else is contrary to man's sinful nature. b. Selfishness is a major cause of marital problems. 5. If spouses invest in one another, their heart, which includes their thoughts, their will, and their emotions, will be in the relationship. MAT 6:21. 6. If both husband and wife choose to love each other according to the Biblical definition of love, they will have a perfect bond and their marriage will work. 1CO 13:4-7; COL 3:14. C. Marriage is not an experience of perpetual infatuation and romantic ecstasy. 1CO 7:28; ECC 3:5. 1. Mere infatuation focuses on the satisfying emotions that one is feeling; it is primarily selfish. 2. Since emotions change, emotions are not adequate to define love. Married people do not always feel in love. It is at such times that true love saves a marriage. 3. Some marry on an emotional high thinking that this is love but are left with emptiness when they come off their high. D. Marriage will not be free of trouble. 1. Life in this world is characterized by trouble. JOB 14:1. 2. Marital companionship provides help in bearing trouble. ECC 4:9-12. 3. Marriage brings its own set of troubles. 1CO 7:28. 4. Those who expect a trouble-free marriage are setting themselves up for trouble! a. A good marriage is not one where neither party errs or troubles. b. A good marriage is rather one where couples strive to minimize troubles but expect troubles, work through troubles, learn from troubles and do not let troubles darken the heart and ruin the relationship. 5. A marriage is two imperfect and different people living as one and this will cause conflict. a. Marital conflict can be a useful tool in maintaining mutual respect and enforcing accountability. b. Human nature is such that most people do not respect a pushover. c. Conflict lets each partner know when his/her behavior is selfish and disrespectful towards the other. Selfishness and disrespect are toxic to a marriage. d. Without such conflict, improper behavior or attitude can go unchecked, thus Marriage Page 5 breeding resentment in the other that can later result in an explosion in the relationship. 6. Being committed to making the marriage work will give you the mindset to work through your conflicts to a resolution. E. Marriage is not necessarily a relationship where all one's needs are met by the spouse. 1. No single individual can supply every need of another. 2. It is not a sign of a bad marriage when each partner needs other friends and diversions. 3. A man can understand another man in ways a woman cannot and vice versa. 4. David found a love in Jonathan that he did not find in women. 2SAM 1:26. 5. Love for the Lord must take precedence over love for one's spouse since He meets needs no spouse can meet. LUK 14:26; PSA 23:1; 62:5-6. 6. Couples should steer between the extremes of total dependence and complete independence. 7. A spouse who is emotionally needy and expects the other to fill every void is setting the relationship up for failure. a. You need to learn to resolve your emotional neediness yourself through your relationship with God. b. It is Jesus Christ Who completes us, and no other. JOH 1:16; COL 2:10. VIII. Mutual trust is essential to a healthy marriage, as it is to any relationship. A. This requires that couples be truthful with each other. B. Lying destroys trust, which is necessary to healthy relationships. JER 9:1-8. C. Marital love is jealous. SON 8:6. 1. This heightens the need for trust. 2. A man does not love his wife very deeply if he does not care if she has affairs with other men and vice versa. 3. Adultery has a lasting reproach because of jealousy. PRO 6:32-35. 4. God so respects jealousy in a marriage that in the case of adultery, He allows the innocent party to put away the guilty party and to remarry without sin. MAT 19:9. D. While jealousy figures into a marriage, it should not spill over into mistrust where there is no cause for mistrust. 1. Suspicion makes good relationships impossible. 2. You cannot prove innocence to one who is determined to believe guilt. 3. When suspicion rules, even silence becomes a crime.
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