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Godly Marriage

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How would one describe a godly marriage? What are the roles within a godly marriage?

The principal question is, "What does God say about marriage and the roles of the husband and wife?"

Before we proceed, please note that we have divided our narrative into three parts. It begins with the martial couple, continues with the husband's role, and ends with the wife's role within the marriage. The foundation of our walk is the truth established by the Creator as documented in the Holy Bible.

The Marital Couple 

When a man and woman marry, they are no longer independent souls but become one. This means that the wife becomes answerable to her husband and the husband to his wife. They become interdependent on each other. Decisions that both make impact the other - therefore, in a godly marriage God requires each to view the other as an integral part of their partnership - one that is indivisible.

Through His Word, God let us know that marriage does not comprise of two independent beings but it's a relationship of interdependence - where the husband and wife are so intrinsically tied together, that each works for the success of the union and each other. Neither the husband nor the wife has the right to unilaterally or independently decide for the other. Even the most intimate act that connects both - sexual intimacy - should not be denied unilaterally, as it is written in 1 Corinthians 7: 3-6

"The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control."

The Husband 

The husband's role in a godly marriage is of significant importance in that it is inherent and reflective of the creative process of the human race. As discussed in the Marriage Debate section, God created Eve from Adam and took her to  him. Upon seeing Eve, Adam knew that Eve came from him and said, “This one, at last, is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called woman, for she was taken from man.” 

The husband is therefore the head of the wife because she was taken from him. This is God's divine order, as it is written in 1 Titus 2: 12-14:

"I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner."

We are aware that we are living in the 21st century and that women, especially women in the western hemisphere, have enjoyed social freedoms and strive for equality that enable them to live more independent lives. Feminists have battled for equality in pay and social and professional freedoms that they believe women should have. Many would see the biblical division of marital roles as a step backwards for women. However, the man's position as head of the wife is divinely delegated and one based on respect and not dominance.

AGS stands on the Word of God and we need to emphasize that the leadership role of the husband that God designed is not a tyrannical role - it is not one of dictatorship but one of love - where the husband cares for his wife and would even die for her as Jesus Christ died for the Church, as it is written in Ephesians 5: 25-31; 33

"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. 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 his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church--for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."

God never intended the husband's leadership role to be of one of cruel or abusive dominance over his wife, in fact, God has so designed this role that the husband has to be in submission to Jesus Christ, just as his wife is in submission to him, as it is written in 1 Corinthians 11:3,

"Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God."

We must be aware of this fact - God Almighty is a just, holy and merciful God. He is love and His principles and laws reflect who He is. Therefore, the way a husband treats his wife is of significant importance to God and Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Holy Bible admonishes husbands who profess to be believers and followers of Jesus Christ to treat their wives well if they want God to listen to their prayers, as it is written in 1 Peter 3:7,

"Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers."

The Wife

The wife's role in a godly marriage is of significant importance and it is a role that is divinely assigned by the Creator, God Almighty. The wife is required to live in  submission to the authority of her husband, as is written in Ephesians 5:22-24,33

"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. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."

Women, especially those who live in the western hemisphere, may recoil at this principle of submission. However, if we are believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we must all ask ourselves this one crucial question - Do I live my life my way or God's way?  Each of us has to make that decision as to whether to live in obedience to God's principles and laws or disobedience. The basis of a wife's submission to her husband is respect for his divine position of authority in the home. In addition, submission to the divinely assigned  authority vested in the husband is not determined by whether the husband is a believer or not, as it is written in 1 Peter 3: 1-6,

" Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear."

 

   

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