LCG: Marriage Good for Husbands and Wives


In the latest Tomorrow’s World magazine by the Living Church of God is the following by Rod McNair:

Marriage: Good for Husbands and Wives

The Apostle Paul wrote some of the Bible’s most enlightening passages about marriage. Why did God institute marriage? Paul explained: “‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:31–32). Paul taught that the roles of men and women in marriage are to be a daily reminder—in a small, physical way—of the relationship Jesus Christ will have with His Church for eternity.

Why, then, do some see marriage as an instrument of repression? Practiced God’s way, it was never intended to be that. And modern researchers are discovering what many happily married couples have known intuitively for a long time: “The perceived ‘bondage’ of this historic and honorable institution is not as damaging to all involved as is the ‘freedom’ of our present ethos” (Stanton, p. 12). Research has consistently shown that marriage has a generally positive effect on a husband’s and wife’s well-being. “People who are married not only have higher incomes, and enjoy greater emotional support, they tend to be healthier. Married people live longer than unmarried ones, not only in the United States but abroad” (Wilson, p. 16).

But enjoying the benefits of a successful Christian marriage takes commitment and sacrifice. It requires that both husband and wife accept the responsibilities and fulfill the roles that God outlined for marital success. Paul very plainly commanded the husband’s duty in marriage: “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself” (Ephesians 5:33).

Husbands, what does “love your own wife” mean to you? Scripture tells a husband to cherish and nourish his wife—to protect, provide for and support her, not to tear her down or belittle her. Of course, this is easy to do when your wife is being kind, thoughtful and supportive, and she looks beautiful—right? But what about when she is having an especially bad day? Paul put no limitations on the command—his instruction is to love and cherish your wife in the bad moments as well as the good. Husbands must endeavor to love their wives, even when they are not easy to love. This is what it takes to achieve the harmony, unity and “oneness” God desires. Love her even when she is brusque with you; even when she is “out of sorts.” After all, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8), and husbands are to reflect the self-sacrificing nature of Jesus Christ in their own marriage.

Wives, what are your roles and responsibilities? Paul explains, “let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:33). This may sound old-fashioned and naïve, but Paul insists on it. What does “respect your husband” mean? It means to follow his godly lead. It means to show him honor not just when he is easy to respect and admire, but also when he may be irritable or angry, tired or selfish. It does not mean to be a “doormat” or to accept abuse. But it does mean learning to accept his decisions when they disagree with yours, and supporting rather than undermining him, ridiculing him or insulting him. Notice that, just as for husbands, Paul puts no caveats on his command to wives—the instruction is to respect her husband in his weaker moments as well as in his best. Yes, this is sometimes a challenge! But a wise and thoughtful wife will do everything she can to support her husband and build him up, not tear him down (Proverbs 14:1). She will make it a life goal to help him succeed, and will relate to him with kindness, compassion and mercy (Proverbs 31:26).

Wives, is your husband perfect? Of course not! However, by learning to submit to an imperfect husband now, you will help him learn to be the nurturing and supportive husband you want and need. And, very importantly, you will be showing your perfect Savior that you will also be willing to follow Jesus Christ’s lead, as the “bride, the Lamb’s wife” for all eternity (Revelation 21:9).

You can click the link for the full article, which is titled Solving the Mystery of Marriage.

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