By C. Marie, author of The Holy Spirit and Christian Testimonies, www.theholyspiritacts.com
Genesis 24:3, “I want you to swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the
Canaanites, among whom I am living,”
Deuteronomy 22:10, “Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.”
Ezra 9:2, “They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.”
1 Corinthians 7:39, “The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
However, we find that many self-proclaiming Christian spouses have “lukewarm,” “unsaved,” and “unbelieving” mindsets and lifestyles too, where it appears that their marriages are “unequally yoked.”
The Gallup poll in 1948 revealed how 91% of Americans identified themselves as being Christians, compared to the same study in 2009 where 78% of Americans are of the Christian faith.
Based upon The U.S. 2009 Census Bureau, which compares that year to 2006, one is able to easily recognize that the unity of American households have slightly declined overall within a 3-year period. There are less married couples, less men sharing the same homes with their own biological children, less marriage ceremonies, increase in cohabitation, and more babies born outside of wedlock.
Clearly as time went by, a fraction of people ultimately lost trust and faith in God, a population lost hope in their marriages, and many chosen to live their lives without the permanent attachments of having significant others.
Despite the loss of interest in the Christian faith for some people over the past decades, we are still predominantly a Christian nation, where it is acknowledged that God witnesses the exchange of marital vows and hold us accountable for those promises.
In general, there are some moments in marriages where spouses can’t see life without their partners. On the opposite end, some days are filled with enough grief to the point where frustrations lead to desires of separation, as thoughts to at least sleep in different bedrooms and live as roommates until whenever. But most days in typical marriages are somewhere in-between.
Genesis 2:22-24, “And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
Throughout God-fearing marriages, unions are not meant for self-centered reasons, but a partnership rather. A spouse is not supposed to give, give, and feel used, while the significant other take, take, and continue to expect more to take without appreciating nor regarding the giver. According to The Word of God, we know that marriage serves a purpose to bless us, not create misery, assuming that the partners are both living faithfully in the Lord without being “unequally yoked” together.
Proverbs 5:18, “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.”
Ecclesiastes 9:9, “Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.”
We know from Hebrews 13:4 that “Marriage is honorable in all …” There can not be any self-centeredness or ill treatments where a spouse feels a need to constantly pray to God because of disrespect done by the words and actions of the other. This happens too often at times in who knows how many marriages, where a man is constantly belittled, gossiped about, and ridiculed by his wife. And a woman who walks around suspicious and insecure because of her husband’s questionable behaviors.
Colossians 3:17-19, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”
It is females who carry lives and give birth to males. But from the beginning, it is from a male where the female gender was formed from, after the male was created by God. We are to love our significant others as we love ourselves. An imbalance causes a dysfunction where marriage would seem as a painful and miserable institution for some if they feel that their spouses constantly challenge them, both offensively and unremorsefully.
Although husbands and wives are naturally compatible in certain ways, we have different functions. We express our love and devotions, as well as look out for one another differently.
As we desire for God to be the head of our own Christian households, to watch, look after, and protect those in our families, the husbands serve such same functions too.
Ephesians 5:23, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church:…”
In God-fearing marriages, the purposes of husbands are to serve as
their families’ providers, protectors, and defenders. Those in their homes are supposed to feel safe and secured with their presence. The marriages should be such where God views our individual unions as being ones that are praiseworthy.
Ephesians 5:25-27, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
It is not for husbands to be neglectful, abusive, filled with mind-altering substances, dismissive, nor bad-tempered to those in their homes.
Ephesians 5:28-29 and 33, “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself;…”
God-fearing husbands are supposed to be loving, sober-minded leaders, who serve as blessings for their families, not ones who everybody in their households live under fears, tears, and distresses because of them. God will close His ears to our prayers if we are responding to our wives in ways that are outside of His Word.
1 Peter 3:7, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”
On the other hand, God-fearing wives are not to place themselves any where different than what Scripture instructs for how they are to present themselves to their own husbands.
Ephesians 5:24, “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”
Since married, wives are supposed to humbly surrender themselves to their God-given husbands, and take The Word of God seriously, as the Christian church and Jesus is compared to wives and husbands.
1 Peter 3:1, 4-6, “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to you own husbands; …of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. …holy women …, who trusted in God, …, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”
It is for wives are to be characteristically mild, humble, and kind to their husbands, while trusting God with how they present themselves in their marriages meantime. In these God-fearing Christian marriages, while He looks after, protects, and provides for wives, He does judge what goes on inside of households meantime.
1 Peter 3:12, “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: …”
Married women are supposed to be loving, nurturing, pampering, and emotional support systems for their husbands. They are also to give their men honor, respect, and positive encouragements when necessary.
Proverbs 11:16, “A virtuous women is a crown to her husband.”
Proverbs 31: 10-11, “A virtuous women… The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, …”
Husbands should feel unquestionably important and irreplaceable inside of their own homes.
Ephesians 5:22-23, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord… and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
Too many husbands and wives focus on their children only, while noticeably placing lower values on their own spouses, as if one another is replaceable.
St. Matthew 21:22, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
In our marriages, it is for us to always place immeasurable amounts of prayers on it. There will be days when only faith in God and hope in the things that we do not see will allow us to get by.
2 Corinthians 5:7, “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”
During stressful moments, we are to have the Holy Spirit manifest Himself in ways for us to see positive results from what we individually pray about, as well as allowing God, from our faith, to do the things that we can not achieve on our own. It is for us to trust God with whatever goes on in our marriages, by allowing faith to have our issues placed in His hands for Him to deal with for us.
St. Luke 17:5, “… And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.”