Because of this a man shall leave his father and mother to be united with his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. (Ephesians5:31)
We have heard it a million times, how the divorce rate in America is approximately 50%. However, according to www.DivorceRate.org, that figure is not completely accurate. Nonetheless, any percentage over 0% is too high in my book. And that is coming from someone who is a statistic himself in this area! Unfortunately, I have been divorced twice. But that was before I knew the truth!
So needless to say, I have done everything in my power to learn God’s principles for a successful marriage, as not to make the same mistakes again! Because the guilt and shame associated with divorce, especially when children are involved, are something I wish no one has to experience and bear! I deal with it daily.
But fortunately, God has laid out a map for men to be good husbands and fathers, women to be good wives and mothers and children to be good children. Yes, God has a planned organizational structure for the family. As in other organizations, like the military, government, associations and business, there is an organizational structure so that every party understands their defined role and responsibilities, thereby reducing misunderstandings. The family is no different! 1 Corinthians 11:3 tells us, “But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.”
“The man who finds a wife finds a treasure,
and he receives favor from the LORD.” (Proverbs 18:22)
Men, we have the hardest job and greatest responsibility. The Bible tells us, we are the head of the family. We are responsible to God for what He has given us. In other words, we are financially, emotionally, and spiritually responsible for our wife and family. So it is our job to make sure that our family is financially provided for, loved, and raised on faith with continued spiritual development. Therefore, we must stay vigilant in God’s word reading, studying, pursuing wisdom, and in thoughtful prayer to obtain guidance from God on what is best for our family. This is a HUGE responsibility and should not be taken lightly!
Now the scripture in 1 Corinthians 11:3 that says the husband is the “head of the wife”, does not mean the “master”, “ruler” or imply male dominance. It means that the husband is the leader. And good leaders listen to the feedback of their team and exhibit certain characteristics, like wisdom, problem-solving, protection, compassion and authority. Therefore, when things go well, the team looks good. But when things go bad, the leader is held accountable for the errors! In this case, the husband is held accountable to God, the Father! Besides, the Bible tells us that we are all God’s children; equal in value and worth to Him. “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”, says Galatians 3:28.
Ever hear the saying, “A happy wife is a happy life”? Oh how true! And the only way to make a woman truly happy is not a gift from your wallet, but from your heart. Open your heart to her with your love and affection, and she WILL be happy! Ephesians 5:25 teaches us that “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church.” And Ephesians 5:28 continues on by saying, “In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.”
In addition, 1 Peter 3:7 says, “In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” And in this scripture, the term “weaker” pertains to a physical strength, rather than mental or other abilities.
Similarly, the Bible tells us, “Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.” in Colossians 3:19. Believe me, I know better than anyone that the ones closest to you, hurt you the most! Your loved ones, specifically your spouse, know you very well and know how to get under your skin. And they typically hit below the belt! However, you must learn to temper your treatment and response to your wife. If you are a Christian man, the Holy Spirit dwells within you, which means you possess the characteristics of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”, states Galatians 5:22-23.
Remember, your wife is your “treasure” from God!
A good Christian wife is defined as being obedient and submissive to her husband. Because Ephesians 5:22-24 tells us, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. “
I know this is hard to swallow for many independent-minded woman of today’s society. However, if you have submitted your life to Jesus and call Him Lord, then you will listen and obey God’s word. God would not give us these commands if He did not have a plan for peace and happiness! Besides, everyone in a chain of command must submit to a higher authority. Your husband must submit to God and uphold his responsibilities to the family.
This concept is so important that it is reiterated later in the New Testament in 1 Peter, although, the scripture also provides additional wise counsel pertaining to wives with husbands who are not saved. It is written:
In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives.
(1 Peter 3:1-2)
Furthermore, the wife’s primary role in the family is to manage the house. 1 Timothy 5:14 teaches us that “So I advise these younger [women] to marry, have children, and take care of their own homes. Then the enemy will not be able to say anything against them. For I am afraid that some of them have already gone astray and now follow Satan.” In other words, a woman caring for the home and being “a joyful mother of children” is God’s primary calling for her.
Now I realize that in today’s high standard of living, especially in the northeast corner of the US, it seems impossible to survive on one income. This is a topic you must pray about to determine God’s will for your life and your family. My wife and I struggle with this topic ourselves! Currently, we share a lot of the responsibilities pertaining to caring for the house. With my wife going back to school to be a Registered Nurse, me working 2 jobs and us trying to raise our 2-year old daughter, there isn’t much time left over. Sometimes my wife carries more of the burden and sometimes I carry more of the burden. But somehow through God’s mercy, we get it done!
Marriage Advice From the Bible
– No one is always right and has all the answers. Listen to each other and counsel each other. “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.” (Proverbs 19:20)
– No matter how difficult times get in your marriage, God will never give you more than you can bear. We grow through trials. It builds character and fruit of the spirit. Besides, long suffering is a characteristic of a mature Christian. So expect difficulties, then you won’t get so frustrated when things don’t go your way! “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
– Build up one another. Don’t tear each other down. Encourage. “Let us encourage one another —and all the more as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
– Think before you speak. “A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.” (Proverbs 29:11) and “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18)
– Control your temper. “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19) (See my other blog entry “Anger: Why Do I Get So Angry And What Does God Think?” to learn more)
– Forgive each other when feelings are hurt. “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32) And “Then Peter came to Him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No!” Jesus replied, “seventy times seven!” (Matthew 18:21-22) (See my other blog entry “Forgiveness: Loving The Unlovely” to learn more)
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12)
Children have only one role in the family. And that is to obey the first of the Ten Commandments, which is to “honor your father and mother”. In other words, “Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord”, states Colossians 3:20. And it is the parents’ job to instill that behavior in them. “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”, says Proverbs 22:6. Therefore, be sure to teach your children about God, His Son, His grace, His word and all of its wisdom and power!
Parents- do not be afraid to discipline your children! This goes doubly so for fathers, because your sons want to be you and your daughters look to you for approval and stability. Proverbs 22:15 teaches us, “A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness, but physical discipline will drive it far away.” Do not think that discipline will come from someone else, like a teacher, pastor, coach, family member, etc. It is your job to discipline your child and teach them the right way to behave. And don’t say, “I love my child too much to discipline him/her!” Because the Bible says in Proverbs 13:24, “Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.” And what if you don’t discipline your child? What is the alternative? Proverbs 29:15 is quite clear. It says, “To discipline a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.”
But I truly believe that the decay of today’s society starts with the collapse of the family structure. I see the trends as a Christian man, father, husband and medical professional. When moral standards collapse in the family, of course, that will transcend into the church and into society. We must get back to the original Christian principles that this great nation was built! Get back to moral values that made this country prosper! I have seen it hundreds of times in business, when a prosperous company deviates away from what made it successful. It ends up taking on losses, losing its identity, and scrambling to figure out what went wrong. Our family is way too precious of a gift to let stray from God’s word and His plan for our lives! I urge you to get right with God! Find a good bible-based church, a wise pastor, a warm and loving church and submit your life to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! (See my other blog entry “What Is The Path To God?”) It is the only way! For Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” in John 14:6.
May God bless you and your family!
In His Light,