With having established what a marriage is and what it is not, I will begin to look at the people in the marriage. The first will be the husband. I have chosen to look at the role of the husband first because it is he that the bible begins talking about first in Genesis.
After making Adam, God knew that he needed a helpmate–a wife–to help him out. God then created Eve. Immediately after giving Adam Eve God said: “For this reason a man will his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh”. (Genesis 2:24). Jesus repeats these same words thousands of years later when talking to some Pharisees about marriage and divorce (Matthew 19:5). Paul later also repeats these words in Ephesians 5:31. Being repeated several times shows that these words are important and must be heeded.
Notice in this verse that the man and woman will become ‘one flesh‘. This shows that in a marriage there is no longer ‘me’ and ‘you’ or ‘him’ and ‘her’. The two are together. It is not all about him, nor is it all about her. There is no selfishness allowed in a marriage.
Often men feel as that because they are to be the head of the household, they are the boss and it is all about them and their desires. They rule the wife and the household like a dictator demanding everything their way. This cannot be further from the truth of what marriage is supposed to be like.
Although God is in absolute control, He is not a God who is an extreme dictator, ruling with an iron fist. He is a God who is loving and compassionate, looking out for the best for each one He is over. Marriage is working together as one, helping each other out.
Now I shall look at just how a husband is to love his wife and treat her.
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. Ephesians 5:25-27
Paul tells the husbands to love their wives. He pushes that issue strongly and gives an example of how they are supposed to love their wives–just as Jesus loved the church.
So, how did Jesus love the church? With a perfect, self-sacrificing, undying love. Think about this for a moment. How much did Jesus love the church or people? It was while people hated Him, while they did not want anything to do with Him, while they were beating Him and pounding nails into His hands and feet that He loved them. Jesus gave Himself up for the church. He did not have to do this, but chose to do it because of His great love for the church.
There is absolutely nothing that you have done that should make God love you at all. In fact, with everything you have done, you deserve God’s most extreme wrath of punishment. Yet, God loved you, Jesus loved you enough to pay the price for your sins and set you free from condemnation and judgement. This is extreme love.
Husbands you are to love your wives in this very same way.
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 their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church. Ephesians 5:28-29
What does it mean then to love the wife? It is to feed and care for her. This is doing the same that every man does for himself, he feeds and takes care of himself. It is to work at meeting her needs, no matter what those needs are.
God feeds and cares for you. He provides physical food for you to eat to nourish your physical body. He also provides spiritual food to provide for your spirit and make it alive.
In the beginning God created the earth and all that is in it to provide for the physical needs of mankind. Later, Jesus died upon the cross to provide for the spiritual needs of man. God went all the way to help mankind out in every way needed and possible. There was no limit to His provision or love, both are endless, eternal.
Men, instead of putting yourself and selfish desires first, put your wife first. The only one that should be before your wife in your life is God. God first, then your wife. When you put God first, putting your wife next will be easy. When you take your eyes off of God, you become selfish and putting your wife next will be nearly impossible and you will fail.
Every day you must ask yourself how you can help your wife be the best that she can be for God and others in this world. Ask yourself how you can meet her needs first, before working to meet your own needs.
The best way to do this is to seek God’s direction. God will show you how to help your wife. Then trust God to meet your needs as you trust Him to help you meet her needs. This is real love. Remember that God is all about love. God is love (1 John 4:8) It is because of love that God created this world. It is because of love that Jesus died upon the cross. It is because of love that Jesus forgives us of our sins.
Your marriage must be about love, not just sexual love, but true love. Love that puts the other person first. Love that is self-sacrificing. Love that is forgiving. Love that is patient. Love that is not easily angered. Love that does not remember wrongs done. Love that does not dishonor. Love that is not proud or boasting. Love that is not easily angered. Love that always protects. Love that always trusts. Love that always hopes. Love that always perseveres. Love that never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
This type of love is not easy, but it is what is best. There will be tough times. Your wife will hurt you at times. There will be challenges and disagreements. Jesus loves you even though you hurt Him at times. Every time you sin, you hurt Jesus, yet, He still loves you.
Yet, love will persevere and strive to keep going. Love will triumph in the end.
Men, love your wife. Love her as Christ loves you. As you love her and put her above yourself, you will have a much better marriage. You will also have a marriage that God wanted you to have.
Thank you for staying with me as I continue to look at marriage. Next week I will look at the wife’s role in a marriage.
Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel. Psalm 78:42
Those who are in authority often have the power to get things done that others do not have the ability to do. Having the ability to provide finances or other needed resources, they can accomplish larger things than what is normal for others.
The workers at the bottom have very little authority and cannot see how something can be accomplished. All they can see is a large mountain of a problem in front of them and no way around or over it. They begin to fear the challenge in front of them, rather than trusting those in authority.
Asaph looks back at when the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness. The people would constantly complain to God and not trust Him. They had forgotten the power that He had displayed with bringing them out of Egypt.
Every believer has to believe God has some authority just to become a believer. He has to believe that God has the power and ability to remove all sin and to save the person, or else he will not follow Jesus or trust Him.
God works in a person’s life doing great things, removing sin and providing what is needed. Yet, many believers quickly forget what God has already done in their lives or in the lives of others and begin to complain to God about some challenge in their life.
The believer has been redeemed from a life of sin and death. He has been released from the bondages of sin and given a new life. Yet, often one goes back to those chains and puts them back on. He doesn’t trust God to provide for him in every area needed.
If God has the power to remove sin, He also has the power to take care of every need a believer has. This has to be remembered.
Think about the things God has already done in your life. Why did you choose to follow Jesus? What made you believe and trust Him?
Now remember those things and trust that God can meet your current needs that are looming in front of you.
Don’t put God to the test by complaining and fearing what is in front of you. God is greater than anything you may face. Remember what He has done in lives of others already and in your past. Then trust Him.
I pray today that you will see what God has done for you; that you will know you can trust God’s power and abilities; that God will help you remove all fear of situations in your life; and that you seek God for all of your needs.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted. Psalm 77:2
When a person wants something badly enough, he will go to extreme lengths to get it. It is common to see people working eighty to ninety hour work weeks striving to get a large income, in order to have a large house, fancy car, large retirement, or some other thing. They will punish themselves with grueling hours to get what they want.
There are many other things that people work hard to get. They will not sleep at night trying to get what they want as soon as possible. Nothing can discourage them from going after their goals or desires.
Asaph talks about a time when he was under a lot of stress. He began to cry out to God for help throughout the night. He did not get tired and quit, but kept at it, until he would hear from God and receive the desired help.
Every believer has times in his life in which it is very stressful and difficult. It is during those times that he must cry out to God for help.
While many will cry out to God for help, for most they will not continue to cry out. They will seek God for a moment for some help, but when He does not immediately answer, they look to someone or something else for help. They give up on hearing God, thinking that He did not hear or does not care about them. Both thoughts are wrong.
Seeking God should be a believer’s highest priority in this life. Whether it is in a struggle or for direction, seeking God is needed. One should not get tired of seeking God, but keep going no matter what it takes or how long it takes.
In your life, there will be times where you have some great struggles and need God’s help. Take time to seek Him for answers. Don’t make that time of seeking Him just a few minutes, but dig down deep and seek Him with everything that is within you.
Be willing to put everything temporary in this life aside until you hear from God. However, be willing to listen and accept His answer to you when He speaks.
God is waiting for you to call on Him. He is also waiting to comfort you in your time of trouble. Seek Him today and don’t give up..
I pray today that you will have a heart to seek God; that you will give all you have to hear from God; that you will put aside this world to hear from God; and that you will hear what God has to say.
Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfill them; let all the neighboring lands bring gifts to the One to be feared. Psalm 76:11
Making a promise is something easy to do. Promises are made all the time by people of all ages and all nations. Keeping the promise is something different.
Promises are broken every day by people all over the world of all ages. People feel that it is acceptable to break a vow because of some unexpected circumstance in their life.
Since people are so quick to break a promise, contracts have to be drawn up with extreme details to cover every possible situation if the promise is broken. When someone breaks the contract, there is a negative consequence.
Asaph tells the people to make vows to God, but not only make the vows, but to keep those vows also. The other nations are watching and will bring gifts to God because of the vows being kept by His people.
Just becoming a believer begins with a vow. It is a vow to believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus and to follow Him for the rest of the days of one’s life.
However, there are also many other vows a person can make before God. Vows to turn from sin. Vows to do some work that He has called one to do. Promises to spend more time with God and in His word.
People are quick to make vows to God when in a difficult situation. They promise that they will do something, if God gets them out of the bad situation. Whether these are good or bad promises, God expects one to fulfill those promises. Every idle word is taken into account.
As believers keep their promises, the world will see and be amazed. They will give God honor for what they see.
Be careful in making a vow or promise to God or to anyone else. If you make a vow, be sure to keep that vow. Trust that God will give you the strength to fulfill it.
God has made many promises to you and He will fulfill every one of them faithfully. You are to be just like Jesus and the Father, faithful to your word.
Do not allow circumstances or struggles to cause you to break a promise. God does not allow anything to change His promise.
The world is watching to see how you keep your vows. Are you representing God?
I pray today that you will know the promises God has given you; that God will help you keep your vows; that you will trust God to help you in keeping your promises; and that you will a witness of God’s promises being fulfilled.