What is God’s perspective on marriage? Does the Bible give us some answers about this? As a matter of fact, the Bible makes it clear that marriage is actually God’s idea – His plan. In the opening chapter of Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament and in Ephesians in the New Testament, we find these words spoken by God: “…a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife…” What a beautiful plan of God to help us to experience love in our lives! Our understanding of marriage is greatly enriched when we see that relationship as begun by God – it is not the product of a particular culture; it is not a societal agreement for purposes of gaining deductions from income tax. This beautiful relationship is one of God’s wonderful gifts to us and that relationship is intended to bring us great joy and it is intended to bring God great glory.
HUSBANDS AND WIVES ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE
Does the Bible give us any understanding about being a Godly husband? Yes! Marriage is God’s idea and He has given us wonderful teachings that help married men. The Bible tells us that a husband should love his wife in a similar way as Jesus loves His Church. Jesus laid down His life for us. There is a sense in which a husband is to treasure his wife, sacrificing for her and loving her. Your wife is God’s gift to you. If we treat our wives as gifts from God, our relationship in marriage will be healthier and more enriching. It is an awesome thing to think how God chose to help us to understand marriage by comparing it to Jesus’ love for His church. Of all the pictures God could give us – He chose that most sacrificial and loving picture to help us to be Godly husbands.
Men, if you are a father, what kind of father are you? Are you a distant provider? Are you an absentee father? Are you involved in your child’s life? Would you like to do better? God builds men from the inside out. He changes our hearts and then He helps us to understand how His work on the inside will affect the way we think, act, speak and treat others including our wives and children. The transforming work of Jesus Christ will make us better men. Better men make better husbands and fathers. So, Men – if you want to do better in all of your roles – including your role as a father – open your heart to God and ask Him to begin to change you from the inside – from your heart. Everyone around you will notice and be glad!
Does the Bible address the role of women as wives? There is a great deal of teaching in the Bible to help wives. One of the key teachings in the New Testament revolves around respect. It is really difficult to love someone we do not respect. Wives who grow to respect their husbands will also grow in their love for their husbands. Of course, it is far easier to respect a man who acts respectability. It is also often true that when respect is demonstrated, men will often respond by becoming more respectable. Marriage is complex – but it is a gift from God to us. When husband and wife together follow God’s teaching – the marriage is blessed. Here is a summary of that God-revealed teaching: Husbands love your wives sacrificially, like Jesus loves His Church. Wives, respect your husbands in a similar way as the Church respects Jesus.
THE MARRIAGE TREASURE TROVE
Gifts are enjoyable for us on so many occasions: Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, wedding gifts; special events are often commemorated by the giving of gifts. Have you ever thought of people as being gifts to you? What about in marriage? I wonder if our marriages would be healthier if we began to think like this: “my wife is God’s gift to me.” Or a wife would think, “my husband is God’s gift to me.” Jesus said, “…where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” He was referring to treasuring the things of God more than we treasure temporary things. But – this principle is true of us on so many levels – what we value most, we put our whole heart into. To treasure our spouses would make our marriages so valuable that we would put our hearts into that relationship. Let’s make today the day that we begin a fresh, biblical look at our marriages.
Bob serves as the lead pastor on Lifegate’s pastoral team and is the primary preaching pastor. He received his BA from Asbury College and MDiv from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.