I have not talked much about marriage since 2003, the year I got married. Until now, I could not appreciate the immense benefit my testimony could have on anyone seeing how I had been married such a short time. Today I gladly admit I was wrong.
I was wrong to avoid talking about marriage which I have always regarded as a sacred institution, as a covenant beyond any other among two people who love each other and more importantly, who love and believe in God.
First and foremost, let me be clear as to the fact my first year of marriage to Elizabeth was quite challenging. Both of strong mind, my wife and I battled recklessly as we established a pecking order based on income, status and gender. Aiming for destruction Elizabeth was the first one to give in as she allowed the word of God to enlighten our relationship.
Accepting her role as per scripture found throughout the bible, my wife humbled herself beyond her own understanding. As she became more and more Christ like, her submission to God’s will became an unending source of inspiration for me. After witnessing such a transformation caused by faith driven devotion to God, I too embraced the marital role bestowed upon me by the Lord. Before you know it, Elizabeth and I were in love, in God and in a successful marriage that continues today.
Notice I wrote successful, not perfect? No marriage is perfect, this is the bottom line in each marriage. Based on two imperfect people, no marriage can be without flaws, broken promises, let downs or even serious issues. What separates successful marriages from broken ones can be defined in one word: Submission.
Submission to what? To who? And why submit? For answers to these questions let’s examine the word of God.
“15 Be very careful, then, how you liveâ€”not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:15-21)
The last verse is key to successful relationships in Christ as we are called to submit to one another rather then submit to addiction, power, money or lust. We are commanded by the word of God to submit to Holy Spirit and, each other. By submitting to one another we achieve a level of obedience pleasing to God, through our actions and our devoted love for Christ. Do this and your relationships will be blessed.
Marriage is a Holy institution that should be honored by all those who engage in it. The bible tells us marriages are to be symbolic of the gospel affirming the equality of men and women in Christ Jesus.
There are many rules involved in marriage. Both husbands and wives are called to play their role assigned by God as each spouse fulfills the duties they are commanded to perform. Biblically, husbands are called to love their wives as Jesus loved His church while wives are called to submit to their husbands as they do to God.
“22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 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. 24< Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the churchâ€” 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mysteryâ€”but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:22-33)
By “submit” and “respect” the word of God actually involves joyful obedience to the commands of the Lord. Christian wives are to submit to their husbands out of love for God. Though husbands are not the Lord of any wife, they are the head of the house and to be honored and respected accordingly. The submission of Christian wives excludes abuse, adultery, sexual immorality or any other disrespectful behavior that would indicate a husband not loving his wife as Christ loves His church.
It is important to note the prayers of any husband who does not treat his wife as he should, will not be answered by the Lord. Husbands are called to lead, though not perfectly, with headship based on faith or word driven purpose.
Husbands are to be patient, kind, caring and loyal to their wives. They are to defend them and be faithful to them. As Christian husbands love their wives they allow them, as the years go by to grow in love just as the church has according to the love shown by Jesus.
One question spouses can ask themselves to find out if the status of their marriage is “is my wife (husband) more Christ like because of me or in spite of me?” Any indecision with the answer is sign of a troublesome marriage.
Husbands and wives came together as one upon consuming their marriage, because of this husbands are called to treat their wives as they do themselves demonstrating Christ like love toward them.
As you can see, the secret to a successful marriage is submission. As Christian wives submit to their husbands as they do God, husbands are to love their wives like Christ loves His church, which He died for on the cross.
As you ponder the biblical truth featured within this message, I invite you to call on this ministry for answers to marital issues you may be experiencing. Remembering that there are no perfect marriages, trust that every marriage has the potential to be successful if based on submission, on love for the Lord and on the word of God. Let’s pray.
We thank you for all your blessings, for your love.
We pray for your guidance and your strength
And praise you Lord for allowing us to worship you.
We pray you will continue to shine your light bright upon us
Those around us and those who seek you,
That you will help us honor our promises made before you
And that you will bless our relationships, our marriages.
God, we thank you for your forgiveness in our sins
And pray you’ll lead us to walk in your footsteps,
To follow guidelines written in your word
Which teaches us the great value of submission
Through Christ like love we share in holy matrimony.
Father bless us with your love and your magnificence
That we may enjoy your creations all around us
And inspire others to do the same each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre