Do men work? Can women work? Who is to submit to whom? What if we disagree?
Let us look and see what the Bible says about marriage.
God is the one who instituted the state of marriage when He gave Eve to Adam. Adam then spoke what the rule for husbands and wives would be- they leave their father and mother and cleave to each other. Christ repeats this in the gospels, and Paul also restates it in Ephesians 5:31- For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Some argue that it's only the man that is told to leave his father and mother, but I wonder how these men would feel if they knew their wives had a hard time obeying them when their fathers said something else. I was raised to obey my dad, so for me to obey my husband instead is challenging (that's why it's nice for the women to leave her father and mother, also). This part is my opinion.
You should test drive the car before buying it! That's not what God says. He says you're suppose to wait until after the marriage or it's fornication.
Well, we plan to get married. We are just going to live together until we can afford it. Doesn't fly either! God says that there is a difference between living with a man in a sexual relationship and actually being married to him!
In John 4:18, Christ shows that there is a difference between having a husband and living with a man and acting like you're married- For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
Fornication is not marriage. Living with someone and pretending to be married is not marriage. There is a difference.
Well, the state looks at it as though we are married after living together for 7 years. That's fine! How does God look at it?
Hebrews 13:4- Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
So marriage is something that is more than just sex and living together. In most of the world, a marriage is only considered legal after a ceremony. America gives out a marriage license. The Bible says that we should obey the laws of the land, so you should get a marriage license to be married.
If you think you can get around this, just look at the second part of that verse. God thinks so highly of marriage that he considers the bed defiled when you go around it. And he promises to judge those people.
I Corinthians 14:33, 40- For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let all things be done decently and in order.
Each country has a way to go about getting married. It keeps people from being confused, and God is not the author of confusion.
Proverbs 18:22- Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.
This verse should be looked at "if it be found in the way of righteousness". I don't think that Ahab obtained favor of the Lord when he married Jezebel- even though it appears by today's standards that she was a good wife to Ahab- she loved him, she tried to give him what he wanted, she even helped him run the kingdom! But, she was NOT God's will for his life and helped to lead him and all of Israel into a very wicked time that cost 4 kinds and her entire family line their lives! So, this should be kept in mind when searching for a wife.
As with any institution that God ordains, each person in the family has a role to perform.
What is expected from husbands?
Ephesians 5:23- For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
The husband is the head honcho, the top dog, the one who runs the family. So what is his job as the head of the family?
Ephesians 5:25-29- Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
The first duty is to love, sacrifice, nourish and cherish. This is all in reference to his wife (children aren't mentioned). If a man truly loves his wife, he will take care of his/her children. In fact, the Bible says that if a man doesn't provide for his family he has denied the faith (he's not acting like a Christian)- I Timothy 5:8- But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
Well, they aren't my biological children! The Bible says they are of your house, meaning they live their and you're suppose to take care of them; it doesn't say they are your children (biological or otherwise).
But I can't stand these kids! Then you shouldn't have married their mother! If God wanted you to marry that women, then he wants you to take care of her kids. That's Bible!
Colossians 3:19- Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
The other thing that men are suppose to do is keep from being bitter. Why? Because we all have a sin nature! As wives, we can do things that really hurt our husbands. These small, seemingly insignificant things can make him bitter.
I Peter 3:7- Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
The husband is to dwell with the wife. No mention of any other family there- not her parents, not his parents.
You're a Bible believer! Aren't you? You are suppose to obey God! Not your parents after marriage! Not your wife! You submit to God whether your parents and wife are for you or against you! Let God deal with them, you obey Him!
The husband suppose to honor her as a weaker vessel. He's not told to obey her. He's not told to ask her opinion or follow her advice. He's told not suppose to expect things of her that she can't do. She's not only weaker physically, but spiritually and emotionally (and that's why the man is the head, because he won't be easily deceived). She fell in love with your displays of manhood! Keep it up!
So, husbands are to love, provide (work a job to pay the bills), cherish, nourish (her and her children), honor, sacrifice, and not be bitter and not expect things out of her that she can't do.
What about wives?
Colossians 3:18- Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
Wives are suppose to submit to their own husbands. Not anyone else's husband- their own!
Ephesians 5:22, 24- Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
They are suppose to submit as unto the Lord. They obey their husbands like they would obey Christ. If you are a Christian, you should be striving to obey God, and by obeying your husband you are doing just that. When they feel like it? When he's right? Nope, it says in everything!
You don't understand! He's dumb as a box of rocks! He can't do anything without me! The Bible doesn't say obey him if he's smart or competent.
Couple Colossians 3:18 with Ephesians 5:22, 24 and you'll see that you are to obey your husband in everything as it is fit in the Lord (as long as it doesn't go against the Bible) and as you would obey the Lord.
What if he asks you to do something you don't want to do?
I Peter 3:5-6- 5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
Well, he doesn't ask my opinion. He doesn't value my advice. I try to tell him things, but he just doesn't listen! That's nowhere in the Bible!
Abraham asked Sarah to say that she was his sister instead of his wife, not once, but twice!! She obeyed him (she wasn't lying because she was his half sister) because he wasn't asking her to sin. What was the outcome? God protected her! Obeying your husband even when you don't agree will put God's hedge of protection around you. She also had the right attitude, calling him lord (that's a very important piece of the puzzle).
How was she adorned?
I Peter 3:1-4- Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
Wives are to be adorned with a meek and quiet spirit. Their conversation (which can mean both speech and actions) should be chaste, godly. The Bible says that an unsaved husband should be able to be saved by his wife's speech and actions!
I tell him what the Bible says! This doesn't mean following him around quoting Scripture at him!
It goes on to say that it's not in what you wear (although if you are pleasing God you will dress modestly), but it's the inside man- the spiritual man that is growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. It's not something that get old and wrinkly as we grow- it gets strong and beautiful and tempered.
Titus 2:1, 3-5- But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
The older women should have been obeying and submitting during their younger years that when they are old they can teach the newly married women how to act. They shouldn't be drinking and spreading rumors (or prayer requests). They should be tempered, holy, closer to God so that when they speak, it's God's Words coming out of their mouths. They should teach the young women to keep their homes, be modest, and love and obey their husbands. What does the Bible say about this? Verse 1 says it's sound doctrine; verse 5 says that the word of God is blasphemed when they don't!
Why do you have to mention drinking? That has nothing to do with marriage! Oops! Did I kick your god? The Bible thought it fitting to mention drinking wine right smack in the middle of talking about a woman's role as the wife!
If you were offended by the above, you're really not going to like what's next!
I Corinthians 14:34-35- Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
Uh oh! Did I just make someone mad, again? This verse says that women are suppose to learn from their husbands. They aren't suppose to be teaching the men in the churches. Women aren't to be pastors, ministers, or any other position in the church where they are put above men. This is another reason why the husband is the head- He is suppose to be guiding the house spiritually!
I have a women pastor and she's wonderful! She may be wonderful, but she's anti-biblical. There I go again, getting all politically incorrect and believing God instead of the popular consensus.
So, wives are to submit, obey, honor, keep their houses (clean and take care of things), love their husbands, dress modestly, and learn to become tempered and holy so they can help the next generation of newly weds.
Can a wife work? I don't see anywhere in the Bible where it says that she cannot. But, she shouldn't let her duties at home slip because of a job- her home is her first calling!
Do you agree with what the Bible says? Well, in the words of Paul in I Corinthians 14:38- But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
It's no skin off my back! You're the one who will stand before God and give account of what you do in the body- not me!
Marriage can be a wonderful thing! Its two different families coming together to form something completely new. It has some compromise involved, but let me caution you- never compromise the truth just for peace in the home. Never compromise God's will for your life just to make your spouse happy. Going to church, reading your Bible, avoiding the appearance of evil, fleeing fornication, prayer and the other things that are necessary for the Christian walk should never put on the table. You find a good King James Bible Believing, Sound Doctrine preaching and teaching church you go to it alone if you have to. You do what God wants of you and let the Lord deal with your spouse (just remember to have the right attitude about it and keep within the parameters of what God expects from you).
Too many marriages end up in divorce because people are ignorant of what God says about the matter. Then they want to blame God for things going wrong! If you would obey what God says, you would see a lot of things happening differently.
What about divorce? What happens if you remarry? What does God think about that? Next month, we'll look at what the Bible says about these subjects.