“A godly marriage”
By Pastor Donald Parker
When people decide to get married, they make a covenant before God and one another to stay together all the days of their life. Unfortunately, many marriages end in divorce. Why is it, that marriages struggle to stay together? The answer is simple; unless married couples put God at the center, the very core of the marriage relationship and follow His instructions found in His Word, their marriage will not be all they had hoped for, nor will it be all that God intended it to be.
Marriage was God’s idea. He designed marriage to be between one man and one woman. Because marriage was designed by God, he knows best how a marriage will work and be all you want it to be, and be all he intended it to be.
In the Book of Ephesians, Paul talks about marriages, and in chapter five, Paul gives us God’s instructions for a godly marriage. Paul writes beginning in verse 21, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (22) Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. (23) For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.
Verse 22, has often been misunderstood, and misinterpreted by both men and women. You need to first understand that to “submit” does not mean for a wife to become a “doormat” for the husband to walk all over. In fact, if you look at 21 again, both the husband and the wife are to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Paul in no way is suggesting that women are inferior to men; nor is he suggestion that women submit to all men. In the family element of marriage, which God has ordained; wives are to submit to their own husbands.
Paul says in verse 23, “The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.” According to God’s design for marriage and according to His Word, the man is the spiritual head of the family, and his wife should acknowledge his leadership role. God has designed the husband to be the leader in the home, and his wife is to support her husband.
A Christ-honoring husband will not take advantage of his leadership role, and a Christ-honoring wife will not try to undermine her husband’s leadership. When either role is violated, it causes disunity and friction in the marriage. For the wife; submission means willingly following her husband’s leadership. For the husband; submission means putting aside his own interests in order to care for his wife.
When the two submit to one another, submission is rarely a problem in a home where both the husband and the wife have a strong relationship with Christ, and care about the needs and interest of their spouse over themselves.
Then we see where Paul addresses the husbands with their instructions and says this in verse 25, Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” A husband is to make whatever sacrifice needed for his wife to protect and provide for her well-being.
As husbands, we are called to demonstrate an unconditional, self-sacrificial, kind of love, and Paul points to Jesus Christ as our perfect example of the kind of love expected from godly husbands. In addition, a godly husband’s goal in marriage should be to help his wife grow in godliness and become all that God intended her to be.
Here’s the deal husbands, if your love for your wife isn’t sacrificial, if you are selfish in your relationship, if you are unwilling to give up whatever is necessary for her; your wife knows it and it will have a negative impact on your marriage that will soon send your marriage in a downward spiral. The solution? Love your wife as Christ loved the church.
Paul continues with his instruction for husbands and says this in verse 28, “Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.” The way a man treats his wife reflects a lot about his own character, his integrity and his self-respect. A godly husband should love his wife tenderly and passionately. He wraps his arms of protection around his wife when she is fearful, and extends his hands of provision when she is in need.
In short, nothing a godly husband does should ever reflect in any way, a greater love for himself, than the love he has for his wife. When a husband demonstrates his unconditional, self-sacrificial kind of love toward his wife, his wife will have no trouble submitting to him.
To learn more about how much God loves you and cares about every detail of your life, join us Sunday mornings at 11am at First Baptist Church of Van Horn, “A Place to Belong.”