Sermon: God’s Great Laws of Marriage

Sermon: God’s Great Laws of Marriage


[Roy Holladay] There are many diverse cultures
around the world that have traditions about marriage, what marriage should be like, how
you know, a husband or wife should relate to one another. Many of those societies say they base their
teachings upon the Scripture. And you will find that they will say that
the husband is the head of the wife, and she must submit to him. However, in many cases women are mistreated,
they’re abused, they’re beaten, they’re treated as second class citizens. They must obey every whim of their husband
or else they’re rebellious. You know, if they don’t do that type of thing,
they cannot appear in society or you’re out alone in public alone, they have to have a
man with them. They have to wear garments that cover every
inch of their body so that you don’t see anything, so you don’t lust after them, it’s from the
top of their head down to their feet, and they have to submit to every sexual advance
a man might make even if it’s marital rape. They claim they obtain their authority from
the Holy Scriptures or from their holy book, whatever religion that they might have. Now, is this what the Bible teaches? Does the Bible condone or allow this type
of treatment of women? Is this what God meant when He said that a
man you know, is to be the head. What does the Bible mean when it says the
man is the head and the wife is to submit to him? Is that authority for the man to treat his
wife in any way he wants to? Does it mean that he can do anything? And if she doesn’t do what he says you are
rebellious. You know, is that what it means? What does the Bible say? In so-called Christian societies today, there’s
a great difference in opinion on marriage. You’ll find some are very strict, some are
very lenient, many apply the laws of marriage especially dealing with women through their
own interpretation, their own cultural bias, their own tradition, their own human reasoning. And so they reason and they come up with how
they think this law should be applied. Seldom do people go to the Bible, read it
for what it is says, fast and pray to understand. But they read it, and they automatically read
their own thoughts, their own bias into it. I think a good example of that is occurring
right now in the United States, and in many nations that are called Christian, that is
marriage is being redefined. And the Supreme Court is helping that, nudging
that along, that marriage is being redefined from a man and a woman to any type of couple,
man and man, woman to woman. And we don’t know where that will ultimately
lead to. Under the guise today of tolerance, of understanding,
of equality and justice, of diversity and difference, laws are being adopted relative
to marriage that have nothing to do with the Bible or godly standards and values that you
see in the Scriptures. This is one reason why you find that the U.S.
is hated by many nations. They look at some of our values, what we do,
not just what we say, but what we do, what we practice, and they think you know, this
is totally ungodly. Today, we want to take a look at some of the
fundamental spiritual laws of God governing marriage, we want to see God’s great law that
governs marriage. The great laws and principles of God as revealed
in His Word. Let’s take a look at some at some of these
great principles and see how they apply to marriage. So first of all, what I’d like to do is to
cover with you, we could go through a number of things, but I’d like to lay out about 5
basic principles or laws as they’re defined in the Bible. And again, I will call these the great laws
of God governing marriage, the great principles of God as revealed in the Scriptures. First of all is simply this, God created marriage
and family relationship. He is the one who ordained it, created it,
established it. Let’s go back to Genesis Chapter 2 and verse
18 in our Bibles. Genesis 2:18. And let’s notice here, the Lord God said,
“It is not good that man should be alone. I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Now, the word “helper” here is not a derogatory
term. It is the same basic root word, the root word
is used of God, how God helps us. He comes to our aid. He is there to assist us. So the Bible describes God as a helper. You know, the Holy Spirit in New Testament
is called what? The Helper. It helps us. It aids us. It helps us to overcome. It gives us the power to grow and to change. So a wife is to be a help to her husband is
what it’s basically saying, not a hindrance. The word “comparable” means similar or alike. You might remember here Adam had looked around,
he’d you know, he named all of the beast, well, verse 19, he names all the beasts, but
there’s nobody comparable to him. Nobody looks like him. And so God created the woman and she was suitable. The word means in front of him. And he looked at her, it was sort of a reflection
of himself. He could see one who was comparable, suited
for him. In verse 20, so Adam gave names to all the
cattles and the birds, to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a
helper comparable to him or suitable for him, meant for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep, you
might remember the whole section here. And God took a rib and flesh, and He created
the woman. Now, in verse 23 Adam said, “This is now bone
of my bones, flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman because she was
taken out of man.” And therefore, “a man shall leave his father
and mother, be joined to his wife and they should become one flesh.” They were both naked, the man and his wife,
and they were not ashamed. So you find several principles here governing
marriage delineated. And this means that God was the one, when
He established marriage, He established principles to govern marriage. He didn’t just say, “Okay, you’re married.” And then they say, “Okay. What does that mean? What do you mean married? I have no idea.” No. He told them. “Leave your father and mother.” They might say, “We don’t have a father and
mother.” But you’re going to have children and they
will leave you. And then you’re to become one flesh because
truly they were one flesh. God took out of Adam and created a woman. And so from one came two. And so you had a one flesh relationship. So God created marriage, first great principle,
and He ordained the principles that would govern marriage. Secondarily, God created us male and female. Now, why did He do that? Why have a male and a female? God didn’t bring to Adam Joe, He didn’t bring
to Adam, you know, Tom, Dick or Harry. He brought him Eve. And she was different, but she looked like
him. She was suitable for him. Back in Genesis Chapter 1 in verse 27, let’s
notice Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created
him. Male and female He created them.” So male and female both possess qualities
of God. Even though we’re different, we all possess
certain qualities, attributes of God and we’re made like Him in form and shape. And so verse 27, God created man in His own
image. In the image of God He created him. Male and female He created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them,
‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, subdue, have dominion over the fish of the sea and
so on.'” They were to have dominion over the earth. So God created us male and female. God is the one who is responsible for the
differences in men and women. It didn’t happen because of evolution. In other words, you didn’t have something
climbing from slime, coming from scum, and you know wiggling up on the bank, and one
went off and became a female, and one went off and became a male. You know, how does that happen? Because long before that can transpire, they’re
dead because they’re not reproducing themselves. So you find God is the one that made this
that way. Let’s notice in Matthew 19 in verse 4, Jesus
Christ put His stamp of approval on this when He tells the religious leaders here. He answered and said to them, “Have you not
read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female?” That’s the way God created us from the get-go,
from the very beginning. So God created us male and female. All things were created, you might remember,
through Him and without Him. There was not anything made that was made,
and yet God did it, the Word, through the Word and He did it through the Spirit by the
power of God. Now, let’s notice also, a third great principle,
and that is marriage was intended to be for life. Marriage was intended to be for life. In other words, for as long as you live. Notice here in Matthew 19 again in verse 4. We’ll read and pick up the story, “He answered
and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them
male and female?’ And said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave
his father and mother, be joined to his wife,'” in other words, she is called his wife, “and
the two shall become one flesh.” So there is a one flesh relationship. “So then they are no longer two, but one
flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together let
not man separate.” So it was very clear that was God’s purpose
from the very beginning. Now as we find beginning in verse 7 that God
did allow divorce, that was not His original intent. In verse 7 he said to them, why then…or
they asked him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce and to put
her away?” And He said to them, “Moses, because of the
hardness of your hearts.” Because of your hard heartedness, your unconvertedness
permitted you to divorce your wife. But from the beginning God’s original intent,
this was not so. He says, “For I say to you that whoever divorces
his wife, except for sexual immorality and marries another, commits adultery, and whoever
marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” So there is an exception. God will allow divorce when there is sexual
immorality. This is one of the reasons you find there
is more than one reason mentioned in the Bible. But here was a legitimate reason for putting
away a mate. Now, let’s notice in Romans 7, and we’ll begin
here in verse 1, Romans Chapter 7:1. It says, “Do you not know brethren for I speak
to those who know the law, now I’m speaking to those who know God’s law, that the law
has dominion over a man as long as he lives? For the woman who has a husband is bound by
the law.” See, there is a law that says that she is
bound to her husband as long as he lives. “But if the husband dies she is released
from the law of her husband.” She’s no longer bound to him. “So then if while her husband lives she
marries another, she will be called an adulterous; but if her husband dies she’s free from the
law, so that she is no adulterous though she has married another man. Therefore my brethren you also become dead
to the law through the body of Christ.” So through Christ’s sacrifice, Christ died,
did He not? And he was resurrected. You and I are likewise supposed to die when
we’re baptized. The old man dies, the new man rises up so
“that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we
should bear fruit to God.” So Ancient Israel had been married. The Old Covenant was described as a marriage
covenant also. So the husband died, and then we as true Christians,
our old man, or old way of life is supposed to have died too. Then we are free to remarry. So Christ died to make it possible for Israel,
and mankind as a whole too marry Him, to become His bride. We know these are spiritual analogies, but
on a spirit level, a spiritual level. So marriage was meant to be for life. Another principle, marriage is a one flesh
relationship. That implies a commitment to God. It implies also a commitment, a one flesh
relationship, that you are committed to that person, whoever is part of that one flesh
relationship. Let’s go back again to Matthew 19 and notice
again, what Christ refers to here. Verse four, “He answered and said to them,
‘If you’ve not read that you made them at the beginning, made them male and female,’
and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.’” So when you get married, the two become one
flesh. “So then they are no longer two but one
flesh.” You become one unit. A husband and wife. “Therefore, what God has joined together
let not man separate.” Now, why is this important? Why did God ordain from the very beginning
a man and woman would become one flesh. Now, we know that that takes place in the
most intimate relationship between a man and a woman within marriage, but it also applies
to mentally being on the same play, page, you know hopefully your dreams, your hopes,
everything that you do, that you share, you become one in your approach. But let’s notice that there is even a greater
reason, Ephesians 5:30, and this I think reveals something that many times we never stop and
think about, Ephesians 5:30. Talking about the Church here, “For we are
members of His body, His flesh and of His bones.” You stop and think about it. You and I, as members of the Church, we become
a part of the Body. What makes us a part of the Body? It is the Spirit that baptizes or places us
within the body. So you find we are members of His body, of
His flesh, and of His bones. For this reason, or because of this, because
that is true, the relationship between His bride and him, or you know the members of
the Church, that we become not just one flesh in the sense physically, but through His Spirit. It is through the Spirit of God. That we are united with Christ, and that there
is a unity and a harmony that we have. So for this reason or because of this, a man
shall leave his father and mother, be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one
flesh. Why? Because of what Christ has done for us. So the laws of marriage formed the basis of
what our relationship with God should be like. When you look at what God spells out as far
as the laws governing marriage, there are also the principles that tie in with how a
marriage or our relationship or marriage should…our marriage function and teach us what a relationship
should be like with Christ, and our relationship with Him should likewise vice versa teach
us the same. One final law I’ll touch on today, and that
is simply this, the great law of marriage is love. The great law that covers marriage is love. All relationships, I don’t care what they
are, are based upon love, or should be based upon love, which is an outgoing concern for
others, or outgoing concern for a person, equal to the concern that we have for ourselves. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves. The Bible says, “Love the Lord your God with
all your heart, soul, mind, might,” and to love your neighbor as yourself. Certainly, that applies to our mate, that
we should love them as ourselves. Our mate, think of it this way, our mate is
our self. If you’re one flesh, your mate is you, you
know, in that sense. And you never hate your own body. So we love, or to love one another. Notice Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your
wives, just as Christ also loved the church. He gave Himself for her.” So we are to love our wives as Christ loved
the church. So again, we see this reciprocal understanding. Christ is the example on how our marriages
should function. And you learn in marriage how you should submit
also to Christ. You should be learning that lesson. Titus 2:4, notice. Titus 2:4, we read this about “The older women
should teach the younger women, admonish to the younger women to love their husbands,
to love their children.” So not only does the Bible admonish the man
to love his wife, but the wife is admonished to love her husband. So love helps to form the foundation. God set the example of love by creating us,
by offering up His life for us and sending His Son to die for us. So you know, God has made it possible. And you might remember a few weeks ago I spoke
on the subject of marriage. It was basically directed more to the men. Although a lot of the principles covered both. And today I want to focus more on women. And how should a woman respond to her husband? And how do these great laws of marriage, how
do they affect how you relate to your husband? Let’s back up here to Ephesians the fifth
chapter. Last time we spent a lot of time in Ephesians
5. And let’s notice here in verse 22. It says, “Wives, submit to your own husband
as to the Lord.” Let me ask you, how do you submit to the Lord? How are we supposed to submit to Jesus Christ? Do we submit halfway, partway, three quarters
of the way? Well, if you read the Bible as I do back in
Luke 14:26, it says that if you come to God and want to be a Christian, then you must
put Him first before everyone, everything. And that He should come first in our lives. So “wives, submit to your own husband as
to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as
also Christ is the head of the church and He is the savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to
Christ, so let the wives be to their own husband in everything.” Now, the word “everything” means everything. You know, subject to their wives in everything. Now, what does the word “submit” mean here? If you will look it up, it comes from the
word in the Greek hupotasso, and it means “to arrange under, to be subordinate, to
be subject, to subject oneself, to obey, to yield.” Actually, additional information about it,
it’s a great military term, meaning “to arrange troops or division in a military fashion
underneath a commander or a leader.” And it goes on to say, in a non-military use
it was “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility in carrying
a burden.” And I want you to notice it says “voluntary.” Now, the reason for a wife’s subjection of
the kind indicated here is brought out again. Notice verse 23, “It is found in the relationship
of headship. In the marriage union, the husband holds the
same relationship, namely that of headship, as Christ holds to the church. And the headship of one represents the headship
of the other.” So you find how closely how God and Christ
works with the Church. And the marriage relationship, how closely
they tie in together. Now, one of the important points here, it
was a voluntary attitude of giving in. You know what? A husband cannot force a woman to be under
his authority or headship. In fact, the more I command my wife to be
under my authority probably the less she’s going to be under it. My wife is a very submissive and loving and
giving wife. But when a man comes up and says, “Me in charge. Me Tarzan. You Jane you’ve got to do everything I tell
you. Jump. If you don’t jump you’re in trouble.” That’s not how God has ordained the marriage
relationship to be. A husband cannot force his wife. You can’t force another human being to do
anything. It has to be of a volunteer. Why? Why would a woman volunteer to do such a thing? Men, have you ever asked yourself that? Why would your wife volunteer to be under
your authority? That’s a good question. That’s one we need to ask ourselves. She will because of the love, respect and
treatment her husband gives her. If she knows that her husband truly loves
her, respects her, honors her, and that he has nothing but her welfare and her good in
mind, she will willingly as a rule yield to him. Yes she’s commanded to, I mean there is a
command to do this, but she will do it so more willingly if her husband loves her and
treats her properly. That’s just a fact of life. You know, that’s how things go. Now, we know that in the absence of government,
anarchy can set in. Whenever there isn’t any government have ever
noticed when riots take place and police are no longer in control of the streets, what
happened? Well, the mob begins to break into buildings
and they’ll steal televisions, they’ll steal anything they can get their hands on they
think they can get away with, until law and order is restored. No society can survive under anarchy. The same is true in a home. There must be a head, and there has to be
obedience to that head. Now, the point is God ordained a place of
headship be given to the man. You know, that’s His doing. That’s not my doing. You know, that’s His doing. He indicated this by creating man first, and
creating the woman for the man to help him. Thus both in order of creation and purpose
of creation, He put man in place of authority, and woman in the place of submission. I mean that’s the way God set it up. That means though that if man is going to
be the head, guess what? You better be the head. You better be a leader. You better do what’s best for your family
and good for your family. You know, just to say “I’m the head” means
“Go get me a beer,” that’s not being the head. The head guides the rest of the body, doesn’t
it? Your head tells, “Pick up your foot and walk. Move your hand. Oh, look at that.” You know, you reach over and pick it up. And so the head is in charge but it does what
is good for the body. How many men lead their families, teach their
families today in a loving way and in a godly way like Jesus Christ does the Church? See, there’s the perfect example. Now, submission never implies inferiority. A woman is not inferior to the man. The woman is not a second class citizen. We need to understand this concept I think
completely. Although, there is spiritual equality. Every one of us sitting here whether you’re
a man or woman, you have just as much a chance to be in God’s Kingdom and have a position
of rulership and that depends on what you do, how much you overcome, how much you grow. It doesn’t depend upon your gender. It depends upon your spiritual growth and
development and in your character development. So even though there’s a spiritual equality
between men and women, there remains a physical, positional, and functional difference. There is a physical, positional, and functional
difference. Physically, we’re different. You can have babies, we can’t. You know, physically, we’re designed different. There are designated functions for a husband
and a wife, which a man cannot change because God ordained them. He’s the one who ordained those principles
and any endeavor to change will bring frustration, vanity and emptiness into a person’s life. And why do we find so many unhappy marriages,
miserable marriages, upset marriages is because somewhere somebody is violating some of the
fundamental principles and laws that govern that relationship. Let’s notice in 1 Corinthians 11:3. 1 Corinthians 11:3. Notice it says, “I want you to know that the
head of every man is Christ.” So the man’s under authority too. The head is Christ. And you know, I’ve had women say, “Well, you
know, that’s good, they’re under Christ, but He’s not down here telling them what to do
all the time.” Well, He is actually, but you know, they mean
in the sense that a husband and a wife. And then it says here, “The head of a woman
is a man, and the head of Christ is God.” Do you realize that Jesus Christ is under
authority? Jesus Christ is submissive to God the Father,
but He is not an inferior being. He is a part of the God family, on the level
of God, both are on the God level, but the Father is in charge. Period. The Father is in charge. Jesus Christ willingly submits Himself to
His Father. And you can say, “Well, you know, He’s got
the same type of power, and all of this. Why doesn’t He just go out and do His own
thing? Take His angels.” Well, no. He willingly submits to the Father and He’s
willing to do that. All you have to do is go back and read the
Book of John. In the Book of John, you’ll find over and
over Christ said, “My Father is greater than I am. What my Father told me to say that’s what
I say.” And He always gave the glory to God. In 1 Corinthians 15, move forward here a few
chapters, and verse 20, let’s notice this, 1 Corinthians 15:20, “Now Christ is risen
from the dead and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by man also came
the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall
all be made alive.” So God will resurrect every human being, but
each one in his own order. Verse 23, says, “But each one in his own order:
Christ the firstfruits, after those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He will deliver the
Kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all the rule, all authority, all power,
and He must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet.” “The last enemy that will be destroyed is
death. For ‘He has put all things under His feet.’ But when He says, ‘all things are put under
Him,’ it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.” That’s the Father. “Now when all things have been made subject
to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him.” So brethren, for all eternity, the Word, Jesus
Christ our Savior, will be subject to the Father. The Father will be in charge. And we will all be under both of them. As it says here, “That God may be all in all.” And why is this set up that way? So that God can be in all of us. And that His character, His nature, His outlook,
His attitude, His approach is in us and will be there for eternity. Now, the woman is not inferior to the man. In many ways, she is superior. She may be in devotedness, in sympathy, in
diligence, in endurance. She may have skills, abilities, talents that
her husband does not have. My wife in the past has been a very accomplished
musician. I’ve never played anything, but you know,
she has and you know, she’s gotten all kinds of honors. But I’ve never had that. We all have different talents, don’t we? We have different gifts that God gives to
us. However, a woman should try to marry someone
that she can truly relate to and respect. If a woman is so far superior to her husband
that, you know, she loses respect for him… Now, you want to marry someone that you can
respect and that you’re compatible in many different ways. Wives are commanded to submit to their own
husbands as to the Lord. So we submit to Christ, and you know what? Jesus Christ serves us. He gives to us, He’s our helper. The Holy Spirit is given to us to help us
to achieve salvation. So the same thing is true in a marriage, the
same principle in a marriage. The husband submits to his wife in many different
ways by exercising servant leadership as the head of that relationship, by serving the
needs of his wife. The wife submits by honoring her husband as
the head, by following his leadership and his guidance. John Piper gives a definition of wifely submission. “Submission is a divine calling of a wife
to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership, and help carry it through according to her
gifts, according to the abilities that God has given to her.” Let’s notice over here in Colossians 3:18. Colossians 3:18, “Wives, submit to your husbands”
to your “own husbands” and I want you to notice, it doesn’t say a wife has to submit
to every man. I’ve known men in the church who thought any
woman walking around had to submit to what he wanted. It doesn’t say that, “to her own husband,
as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter
toward them.” So He wouldn’t have mentioned that unless
it is something that it might be easier for a man to do, to become bitter toward his wife. So a man is to be the head, he is the lead,
he’s to serve his wife, but he is not to domineer her. And there’s a difference. Domineering means “to be overbearing, to
be a tyrant, to be arbitrary in authority.” “You do it because I said so. That’s the only reason you need.” You know, that’s not good enough. Other words that describe domineering are
“oppressive, dictate, bully, intimidate, browbeat, persecute.” Well, that’s not the way a man is to treat
his wife. And a wife will not respond to that, I’ll
guarantee you. She will respond to love and to kindness and
if her husband is there to serve her and help her with her needs. A man does not have the right to abuse or
misuse his wife. A woman does not have to put up with that. Submitting doesn’t mean the woman is inferior,
or a second rate citizen, it’s simply a matter of learning to be under authority. Learning to do that women are not meant to
be second class citizens or to be subservient. To be subservient means “to be in an inferior
capacity, slavish, showing extreme compliance.” You’re just sort of walking along, groveling
10 feet behind you, eyes down, never looking up. You know, that’s not the way God intended. There are some men who won’t even allow their
wives to go shopping. It’s not wrong for a man to go shopping. I’m just glad I don’t have to do that all
the time. Now, there are times that I do. My wife is doing something, “Can you go get
this or that?” A man could say, “No. That’s your job.” But that’s, you know, that’s not the way a
marriage is supposed to function. I want you to notice, and I think this is
a quote here from the “Complete Word Dictionary of the Bible” that “God has made one woman
to become a wife to one man and she is so constituted by God Himself. But this is not due to her being inferior
to her husband, for they are both the equal before God. It is a willing personal subjection demonstrated
in Ephesians 5:21 of submitting yourself, one to another, in the fear of God.” The word translated into “one another” is
indicative of equality of concern. “In society all human, men and women in
various positions of leadership are following and dependency are equal.” I don’t know if I would agree with that precisely,
but we may be equal in the sight of God, yet their functions vary and their responsibilities
are diverse. Guess what? If you go to work someplace, unless you’re
the owner of the company, you’re under somebody. You have a boss. And when the boss says, “Well, I want this
report, or I want that done.” Guess what? You do the report, you get things done. You’re there to help him. You’re there to carry out what he wants. So we all have varying functions and responsibilities. I have a boss. I’ve got several bosses. And I’m under authority when it comes to work. I can’t just run off and do what I want to
do. A church pastor, even though he’s out here
on his own, he has directives, policies, things that he has to do, that he has to follow their
procedures that he has to follow. We’re equal before God, and yet we have various
functions and responsibilities. So God created men and women to have various
functions, various responsibilities, various duties. We don’t necessarily all do exactly the same
thing. It says, “If we accept certain functions under
a fellow human being, we must subject ourselves to that individual to accomplish a common
goal, maybe what the company’s trying to do. So everybody in the company isn’t a secretary,
everybody in the company isn’t vice president. Everybody doesn’t keep the books. Somebody has got to get out on the floor and
make the widgets. Somebody’s got to do the selling. You know, and everybody has his function that
he carries out. But if everybody works together guess what? You make the widget, somebody sells them. You’re able to make a profit, everybody gets
paid, everybody works together, but everybody carries out his own function and duty. It goes on to say, “Only a wife can bear children. And to do this she must subject herself to
her husband. The functions are equally important though
different. And they are different and not because we
want them to be because God made this that way.” God has created us that way. Remember the great laws that I mentioned,
you know, God has made us, and He’s put those laws into principle. Notice that the same principle applies to
the Church. One function of marriage is to help us to
understand the relationship with the Church to Christ, and vice versa. Relationship of the Church to Christ help
us understand the relationship in marriage. And our relationship in marriage helps us
understand our relation to Christ. So as we’re going through marriage, it helps
us understand what we should be doing as far as the Church. And we read about the Church. What we should be doing as far as our marriage. Let’s notice in 1 Corinthians 12, this principle
is outlined clearly for the Church, and it applies in marriage likewise. 1 Corinthians 12:4. We read there are “Diversities of gifts,
but same spirit.” Among human beings, we all have different
gifts, different talents, different abilities, skills. Verse 5, “There are differences of ministry”
or service, “but it’s the same Lord. There are diversities” or differences “of
activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.” So we all don’t do the same activity within
the Church. We all have different functions, different
responsibilities. But the manifestation of the Spirit has come
to each one to profit for the profit of all. And so what we do is to profit everyone. Now, verse 18, “Now, God has set the members
each one of them in the body just as He pleases.” So you have been placed in the Body as God
pleases. It might not be what we want, but it’s what
God wants. He’s put us all here for that reason. And we are you know, the Church, His Bride,
and He also places us in various functions. Now, we all have various functions within
marriage as He pleases, or as He has ordained. It might not be what we ordained, but it’s
what He has ordained. That the man would have the headship, the
wife would be submissive, together they would form a unit, they would become a separate
unit, separate body each one performing their function within the marriage, working together,
and if they do you know, apply the laws of God then that marriage will work and they
will be blessed. Would it not be easy for a woman to submit
to Jesus Christ? Have you ever stopped to ask yourself that? If Jesus Christ were your head, would it not
be easy to submit to Him? You say, “Well, He’s perfect. Part of the answer to that would depend on
if you knew that your husband were Jesus Christ. What if he didn’t tell you he was Jesus Christ
and you know, you are under His authority. You know, God did marry once in the Old Testament
to a woman who was unconverted in Ancient Israel. And she was constantly rebelling against a
perfect husband. God gave her His perfect law. He gave you know, Ancient Israel His way of
life. What was the problem? Well, the problem was they were without the
Spirit of God. Without the Spirit of God, a woman will not
submit from the heart or with her whole being. And without the Spirit of God, it’s difficult
for any human being to submit to authority. Let’s notice in Hebrews 8:7-8. Hebrews 8:7. What God is doing today under the New Covenant,
the new marital relationship is He’s correcting the problem with the Old. Notice verse 7, “If in the first covenant
had been faultless, no place would have been sought for the second. Because finding fault with them, He said,
‘Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house
of Israel and the house of Judah—not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers
in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because
they did not continue in My covenant.’” See, the problem was they broke the covenant. They disobeyed. They were not obedient. The fault in the marriage was not the husband. It was in this case with the wife. You might remember Deuteronomy 5:29. Even when God entered into the relationship
with Israel, this is what he said, “Oh, that they had such a heart…that they would
fear Me always and keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their
children forever.” They did not have the heart to obey. And so what God is doing here as Hebrews 8:10
says, that He’s putting His law in our minds, He’s writing them in our hearts, “and I
will be their God, and they shall be My people.” So God is writing His law into our hearts
and our minds. So it takes the Spirit of God to obey from
the heart, and to submit willingly. Relationships between humans are guided by
spiritual principles. Submission is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. A fruit of humility. Submission is not an automatic fruit of human
nature. That’s not the way human nature reacts. How do I know? Let’s go back to Romans 8. I remember Romans 8:7. “The carnal mind is enmity against God.” It’s hostile against God. “It is not subject to the law of God, nor
indeed can it be.” It can’t be a subject, it’s hostile against
God’s law. So you know, it can’t be the law of God is
spiritual, and since man is merely flesh, he cannot submit himself to it. The implication is that man needs something
else in order to submit himself to God. And what is that? Well, you can back up through this whole chapter,
and you’ll find Verse 6, “To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is
life and peace.” And so Verse 10, “If Christ is in you, the
body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” And then you know, it goes on. You can read this whole chapter. It talks about the attitude. The implication is you have to have the Spirit
of God to be able to submit to God. Same attitude holds for a wife. She recognizes the godly bond of marriage,
the Spirit helps her to submit to her husband. I’m not saying there aren’t women in the world
who don’t try to submit to their husband. But to submit the way God wants us to is something
that comes from God. And submission is a response normally to a
husband’s love, and understanding of the bond of marriage. Think of it this way. How does conversion affect a marriage? Ever stop to think about it? How does your being converted, how does that
affect your marriage? Well, let’s just look at one aspect. What about selfishness? All human beings are selfish. If you could really begin to operate on a
different level of concern for people, not out of selfishness, but out of love and concern
for them. And not be selfish, what does that do for
your marriage? You know that there are certain things that
if you change in your life, selfishness is one of them, vanity could be another, arrogance
could be something. You just stop and think about being self-centered. You know, how people are self-centered. If you can change that one thing, how much
of your life will be affected because you’ve changed that one thing in your life, where
everything you do will be affected. What if instead of you just selfishly thinking
about yourself all the time, “She mistreats me. She doesn’t do this for me. She’s always doing that.” Instead you’re thinking, “How can I please
my wife? How can I help her? How can I serve her? How can I make her day go better?” If she had a rough day with the kids “what
can I do to you know, help her?” So you know, this is the way your mind is
going. You think more about serving and giving. Now this one, it implies an attitude of love
or outgoing concern doesn’t it? Isn’t that what the Spirit of God is supposed
to do for us? What about instead of being vain, you develop
humility. What will humility do for a marriage? What will humility do for any relationship
between two people? How much does selfishness influence so much
of what we do? Our approach to others, our spending, our
needs, and change in this one area can have a tremendous impact. What if a husband only thinks about what he
can purchase? Then have enough money for his wife, a new
dress or buy something she might want? But if he needs a tool, he always buys a tool. If he needs a gun, he’ll buy a new gun. If he needs a fishing equipment, he’ll go
out and buy the fishing equipment. Is he thinking of his wife? Well you see, these are principles that all
of us need to think about. So actually, I’ve only scratched the surface
here in this sermon. I didn’t turn this thing on, but I know I’m
getting close to the time. Let’s finish today by going over here to Proverbs
15:3. Proverbs 15:3, an interesting scripture, “The
eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” So God watches you. He watches me. He watches all of us. He’s watching our marriages. What kind of marriages do we have? God inspects and watches what occurs in our
marriage. Are we learning lessons? Are we growing? None of us are perfect in our marriages. I certainly am not. We all have room for growth, for development. But it takes the Spirit of God to elevate
a marriage to the plane that it should be which is a spiritual plane. The basis of rule, the basis of submission,
both flow from the same thing. That’s love, godly love. We must all learn to submit. We must all learn to have love. And the family of God will operate on these
principles forever. So what we’re doing now, on the physical level
is helping to teach us about our job for all eternity.

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