Speaker: Rev. Shine Thomas
It is said that there are two types of silence in a marriage. The sweet silence is the silence of comfort, just enjoying being in one another’s company. Then there is the sour silence, silence born out of conflict in marriage. Even though the couple is staying in the same house, they are an ocean apart.
God’s will is for every marriage to be a happy paradise. Ecclesiastes 9:9 Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun. God intention for marriage is for us to enjoy and to be happy, but unfortunately the devil makes marriage a prison.
I am speaking on a series on building godly families. Last Sunday I spoke to you that a godly family is when every member of the family fulfils its God given roles.
Today we are going to study the role of man and woman in a marriage.
The institution of marriage was established by God. God created man out of the dust of the ground. When God found man to be lonely, He caused the man to fall into a deep sleep (anesthesia) to make the woman.
Genesis 2:22-24 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” 24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. 25Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
The family that God created was a perfect family. There was no sin, no conflict, no argument, but there was perfect peace between man, woman, and God. Man and woman were united.
When man sinned against God by eating the forbidden fruit in the garden, man lost the all the goodness and the perfection in which God created us. Sin messed up our life and brought a whole lot of separation that day. Sin first separated man from God. When man was separated from God, Satan took that opportunity to separate man from the woman.
Now, God is the only source by which we can get back this unity. So if you want your family to improve, improve your relationship with God. If you want to straighten your relationship with your spouse, first straighten up your relationship with God.
Once you deal with your relationship with God, then the Bible gives us instructions on how we can have a blessed family. Remember, we are living in a fallen world. It takes work by both the husband and the wife to live in biblical guidelines to bring love and harmony within the family. It does not happen automatically.
INSTRUCTIONS TO HUSBAND AND WIFE.
1. SUBMIT TO ONE ANOTHER.
Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Illustration: The captain of the ship looked into the dark night and saw faint lights in the distance. Immediately he told his signalman to send a message” “Alter your course 10 degrees south.” Promptly a return message was received: “Alter your course 10 degrees north.” The captain was angered; his command had been ignored. So he sent a second message: “Alter your course 10 degrees south – I am the captain!” Soon another message was received: “Alter your course 10 degrees north – I am seaman third class Jones.” Immediately the captain sent a third message, knowing the fear it would evoke: “Alter your course 10 degrees south – I am a battleship.” Then the reply came “Alter your course 10 degrees north – I am a lighthouse.” Submission is not easy, isn’t it?
Most people when they think about submission automatically think that it is the woman. The Bible says submit to one another. That means the man has to submit to his wife, and the wife has to submit to her husband. Some men dread the word submission in marriage as they think to submit is to be a slave. Submission is not slavery. Submission does not mean that the husband and wife must obey each other all the time.
The word submission has a prefix –sub. It is the same prefix of submarine. The meaning of sub is to get under. A submarine gets under the water. The meaning of submission is to get under the mission of.
Now, the husband and wife have different roles in marriage. Therefore, submission in marriage is to understand your partner’s God-given mission and allow that person to fulfill that role in the family. For example – Husbands love your wife. Wife, do not make it difficult for your husband to love you. That means I recognize Glory’s role and I submit myself to allow her to accomplish her role. Glory recognizes my role and submits herself to allow me to accomplish my role.
Some of you maybe thinking, it is so difficult for you to submit to your spouse. The key in marital submission is to submit yourself first to God. Only when you submit yourself to God can you submit to your spouse.
2. HUSBAND IS THE LEADER, FOLLOW HIM.
Ephesians 5:22-24 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do 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.
Joke: A man was talking to his friend and said, “In my house I am the boss, I decide when I have to wash the clothes, when the floor has to be cleaned, and what food has to be made.” One of the guys said, “How long have you been married?” The man said, “Oh I’m not married, I’m single!”
Joke: A little girl said: “Daddy, you’re the boss of the house, right?” “Yes, sweetheart,” he said, “I’m the boss of the house.” “And I know why you’re the boss of the house, Daddy.” “Why’s that?” The girl said, “Because Mummy put you in charge.”
God made man the leader. He is the leader of the house.
When we hear the term ‘head of the wife’ and ‘submit to your husband,’ what comes to our mind is that the husband is the general or the chief or a dictator. This term ‘head’ is used to talk about rank or position. God holds the man as the top man of the family. Yes the man is the boss, but then God holds the man responsible too. For everything that happens in the family Man is responsible, he is the leader. We husbands think that to lead is to rule, God says you are responsible for your family.
Now, Husbands would say why would God hold me responsible Lord for what she does? When God created man and put him in the Garden of Eden God gave all the instructions and responsibility to the man. Genesis 2:15-17 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” God spoke to the man, God gave him the responsibility.
Now, who sinned first? Who ate the forbidden fruit first? The woman ate first, then the man. Whom did God hold accountable? Genesis 3:8-11 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
God asked Adam first, not eve as to why they sinned. Being the head is not about you going ordering people around, but it is making sure that you are hooked up with God so that your leadership can be in the right direction. God holds the man responsible. The man is the leader of the house and a woman has to submit to his leadership
Listen, the woman by nature has more ability to lead, and man by nature has more ability to submit. In the garden also the Eve led, Adam submitted and followed.
How often does your wife remind you that the grocery is over, let’s go shopping, children need this and that, it is time for school, wake up we need to go to church and so on. God is telling, “I want the husbands to lead.” How much better would our families be if the husband took the leadership alongside the wife’s natural ability to lead?
Being the head is not dictatorship but a responsibility. When you take your wife’s hand from her father on marriage you are taking up a responsibility. Your wife is your responsibility, you cannot give her back, you cannot come out of this responsibility when the going gets tough. When kids by our responsibilities increase.
Now, men when God made you the head he did not give you responsibility and put you in the dark to lead your family. He gave you an example to look at so that you know how your leadership should be.
3. HUSBANDS FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF CHRIST.
Ephesians 5:25-28 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.
If you want to know how you can love your wife and be the head of your wife, see how Jesus the head of the church cared for the church.
Jesus cared for people as the head of the church. Jesus loved people, he taught them, he comforted, Jesus healed people, died for them, he got up from the grave for them, he gave salvation, Jesus fed them, he had compassion on them. Jesus did everything keeping the church in mind. All he did he did it for the church. If you are going to be a good husband, everything that you do you must do keeping your wife in mind. If you are the head you cannot have the ‘me man ‘or ‘selfish man’ in you. It is all selfless. Follow the example of Christ.
4. A WIFE IS THE HUSBAND’S HELPER.
Genesis 2: 18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
We husbands need some help, so is our woman. Do not think you can decide everything and accomplish everything alone. Every time you shut your wife down, you shut your help down. Your wife has to be given more preference when you decide things. Submit to the counsel of your wife. The most valuable asset that we have as the head of our house is our helper.
Wives must understand that you are not always right, so you cannot force your decision upon your husband. You have to listen to one another in wisdom and together take decisions. The man who does not consult his wife before making decisions is the greatest fool I would say.
5. CONTROL YOUR NEGATIVE EMOTIONS.
Joke Man1: When ever I feel stressed or tensed in office, I just look at my wife’s photo and all problems disappear.Man2: Wow! Man1: The thing is, I look at her photo and think “No other problem can be greater than this”.
For any marriage to succeed both the husband and the wife should control the negative emotions that rise against your spouse. When there is a conflict the devil will put negativity about your spouse in you, control those negative thoughts.
The fall was the result of devil controlling the woman’s emotions or the mind. Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?
The devil is trying to put a thought in the woman’s mind (in her soul) to draw her away from God. Our soul is our mind, our will, and our emotions. So when there is a husband-wife conflict, the devil targets our mind. He puts a negative thought in us to take us away from our spouse, to break us from the unity God has given us.
Genesis 3:2-3 ”2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
Eve answered almost correctly. She was right when she said “you must not eat from the tree” but wrong when she said “you must not touch it.” That is the opening Satan needed. Some of the Jewish writers say when Eve said you must not touch it, Satan pushed Eve against the fruit and said, “See you have touched the fruit and are still alive. So you may eat the fruit and will not die.”
Genesis 3:4-5 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Satan got hold of her emotions and got her thinking away from God. Eve would have Once Satan got hold of her mind, it was easy to make her eat the fruit and take her away from God.
Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. See the thought pattern here. She thought it was pleasing, desirable, wisdom, like God, knowing good and bad. A husband and wife should learn to control their emotions. As believers we cannot allow our emotions to rule our life, we need to submit our emotions to God.
Especially when you have been hurt in your married life you need to deal with your emotions, because your negative emotions will take you away from God’s will. Our thoughts can result in fight, doubt, divorce, and adultery.
Illustration: Suppose a Becky and her husband fought with each other. The problems have not been resolved over a week and both are bitter towards each other. Becky goes to work and her male colleague asks her, “Hey you look dull today, what’s up?” She says, “Just as usual, all’s well.” “No, something is bothering you, you are not your usual self.” Becky says, “My husband has been rude to me, we are having a rough time, he is not an understanding man.” “Oh! You seem to be a good person; I don’t know why your husband should behave like that, so sorry to hear that.”
Remember, Becky has not got love or comforting words from her husband for a week, all she gets is hatred and abusive words. Now, with this man at work she is giving her what she is not getting from her husband. Now there is an emotional connection here. She is staying with her husband but emotionally connected with another man because he seems to be offering what the husband cannot give.
The next morning as Becky walks in to work the colleague says, “You look gorgeous in this dress.” She is feeling, “Wow! My husband calls me a ‘big fat woman’ and has never complimented me.” She is already connected. What she lacks from her husband she is getting it elsewhere.
Now she has a feeling towards a person outside marriage. She is emotionally attracted and has committed emotional adultery. Emotional adultery if not controlled can lead to adultery and breakdown of marriage.
See what Jesus said In Matthew 7 when the Pharisees approached regarding divorce. Matthew 7:7-8 7“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. Your heart is your mind. Moses permitted divorce because their heart or minds were hardened against their spouse. The Israelites were closed emotionally to their wives because of the hardness of their mind/heart but found emotional outlets outside; hence divorced their wives.
We cannot be moved by how you feel. You feelings are unreliable. One day you may feel some way and the other day you may feel just the opposite way. Weigh your feelings and emotions with the word of God. The Word of God remains the same but your feelings may change.
Now, when you have been hurt in your married life you should be very careful to whom you share your emotional needs with. It definitively should not be to the opposite sex.
6. BE COMMITTED TO YOUR MARRIAGE.
Romans 7:2 By law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive.
Matthew 19:6 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
God hates divorce. Marriage is a commitment is until death. People are usually committed for the first couple of years of marriage. They are committed when everything is rosy, but how about when the going gets tough? How about when the honeymoon period is over?
Married wives you are not thinking about romance anymore you are thinking about picking up his dirty stinking socks, you are thinking about washing his smelly clothes. That takes commitment.
Men how about when you met her before marriage or the first couple of months after marriage she always looked perfect. She dressed beautifully, you never saw her without combing her hair and without a makeup. But now you wake up and ask yourself in the morning, “Who is that woman out there with her hair like a ghost?” Marriage is commitment not a feeling. Maybe you are going through tough times in your marriage, but you can still make your marriage a success provided you are committed to your spouse and committed to make your marriage a success.
Illustration: I heard the story of an old man, the president of an university whose wife developed Alzheimer’s disease. Several years down the road it got so bad that she could not even recognize her husband anymore. This man was well to do, gave her the best treatment, he had plenty of people taking care of her. But one day he went in an announced his resignation to the board because he could spend his fulltime taking care of his wife. The board could not understand it, they tried to talk him out of it, they told him how needed he was. One member spoke up and said why would you do this, you can hire people to take care of her. The other member said why would you do this, she does not even know who you are. He looked up and said, “Listen I made a commitment to this woman over 50 years ago. She may not know who I am but I know who she is.” That is the kind of commitment we need to have in our marriages.
Be committed to one another. When you are committed you will be able to enjoy your husband or enjoy your wife. They are God’s provisions for your joy.
1 Peter 3:2 When your husband observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence
[for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him—to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband
Proverbs 15:18 Let your fountain
[of human life
] be blessed [with the rewards of fidelity
], and rejoice in the wife of your youth.
Enjoy your spouse, celebrate your spouse. Do not compare your wife or husband with your friend’s husband or wife. What you are seeing of others is only their positive side and there are many negatives of that person which you are unaware of. Your husband, your wife is the best person for you in the world. Enjoy your spouse, be committed to your spouse, forgive one another, and live happily.
Joshua said: Joshua 24:14-15 14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua said to the Israelites fear the Lord, come of your foreign gods. Then Joshua took a firm stand and said, “If anyone does not fear God and serve God, I and my family will serve the Lord.” Fathers, mothers, children we need to take this stand today. No matter what happens I am going to make my family a godly family. Let’s commit our families into God’s hands. Let’s Pray.