Hi, this is Pastor Ken, thanks for joining me once again for the Monday Marriage Message where together we search God’s instructions to experience highly successful marriages. Today we will continue with our look at the Order and Structure of a God Shaped Marriage. This will be our eighth and final installment in this series looking at the differing roles of the Husband and the wife in the greatest of all human relationships.

Each of the episodes in this series have been based on 1 Corinthians 11:3. There the Apostle Paul wrote the following. But I want you to know and realize that Christ is the head of every man, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. I used the first few editions in the series to consider the role of a husband, and the fact that according to our focal scripture he is directly responsible to Christ for his interactions with his wife. In the last few episodes we began focusing specifically on the important position of the wife within the marriage. In those we delved into topic of submission and what it really means for a wife to submit to her husband while understanding her value is equal to his in every way. Today we are going to look at the final phrase of this scripture verse and what it has to say about the Order and structure of a God Shaped Marriage.

As I mentioned in past editions of this series, we have been working our way through 1 Corinthians 11:3 phrase-by-phrase keeping with the very structure and order with which it was written. I have also made the point that this verse not only sets the God given structure of authority in the marriage of a husband and wife, but also the Godhead that marriage is intended to reflect. This is valuable on many levels but the one I want to concentrate on today is that the marriage of Adam & Eve, and every marriage since has been only a reflection of the greater Godhead that created all of them. In light of that, Paul writes that there is a common thread to the order of authority that runs all the way through the hierarchy. According to this scripture, this God ordained order for our marriages is actually part of the reflection. Allow me to read our focal passage once more, But I want you to know and realize that Christ is the head of every man, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.

Let’s take a few minutes to look closely at this final phrase so that we can highlight what our marriages are supposed to be reflecting. “…The head of Christ is God.” According to this passage, within the Godhead there is also an order of authority. God the Father is in authority, and Jesus Christ the Son, who is the Father’s equal, willingly submits to the Father. The bible tells us that Jesus is God. The Apostle John began his gospel with that very truth. In John 1:1-4 John wrote of Jesus, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The bible also points to the fact that Jesus is equal to the God the Father. Philippians 2:5-6 says Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God. This means that Jesus is God and that He understands that he has the exact same value as the Father. God the Father is not superior to the Son and the Son is not inferior to the Father. They are both perfectly holy and are therefore equal in their superiority over all things.

Our focal scripture from 1 Corinthians 11:3 tells us that the head of Christ is God, or in other words, God the Father is in authority over Jesus the Son. We can see that further explained if we continue to read on in the passage from Philippians we were just looking at. Beginning again in Philippians 2:5 and this time continuing on to verse 8 we read, Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,…but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Verse 7 tells us that Jesus who is completely and totally equal to the Father chose to give up his standing of equality with the Father. It is highly important that we understand this did not make him unequal to the Father. The Son is still equal in value with the Father, He does however, voluntarily submit to the Father and recognize the Father as being in authority over Him. This verse goes on to indicate that Jesus was even taking on a servant role. This means that Jesus, The Fathers equal was choosing to interact with the Father in a servant / master type relationship. Verse 8 goes on to illustrate just how far Jesus was willing to submit to the Father in that relationship. It tells us that Jesus humbled Himself and was obedient (to the Father) all the way to being willing to die. Jesus knew this was not going to be a quick or painless death. It was death on a cross, which just for clarification was not only slow and painful but also considered by all a degrading way to die. The Romans used the public shame of crucifixion as an extreme deterrent keeping their subjects from revolting. Jewish people felt it was so degrading that it was not fitting that a dog should die in this manner. Yet Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, equal to God the Father in every way, submitted to the will of the Father…even to the extent of being willing to die…on a cross.

In Matthew 26:39-42 (NLT) we can read of the difficult time of prayer Jesus had the night before his crucifixion. There it says, 39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” 40 Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” 42 Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” This passage illustrates the level of commitment Jesus had for remaining in submission to the Father. I appreciate that it exists. By allowing us to see into this very private time of prayer between Jesus and His Father we get to see that although perfect in every way, even in His submission to the authority structure of the Godhead, Jesus was not without the emotional struggle we also sometimes experience when submitting to authority. Though we can see that the struggle was very real for Jesus, as it often can be for us, we also see His resolve to submit, that the plans of the Godhead might succeed, and He did not falter, and He is our example.

Let’s continue now reading in Philippians and see what the result of Christ’s submission to the Father was. Philippians 2:9-11 say Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. So, in the Godhead (which our marriages are to reflect), the response to the willing submission of an equal is that the One in authority exalts the One in submission. In response to the willing submission of the Son, God the Father has highly exalted Jesus and given Him the Name that is above all other names. In other words, God the Father has responded to God the Son’s submission by speaking about the Son in ways that He speaks of no one else. God holds the Son in highest esteem and regard because the Son was willing to submit. Therefore, husbands understand this, your wife’s submission to you is deserving of your highest regard. She should have a name on your lips that is higher than any other name. There should be no one that you speak of with a level of regard anywhere close to the esteem you hold her in.

Our focal scripture for this series tells us about the marital mirror that God looks into desiring to see Himself. It tells us that when He looks at our marriages He sees a man and a woman both equal in value and joined as one by Himself. It suggests that marital mirror will consist of a husband who operates in loving authority as God the Father does. It also expects it will include an equally valuable wife who willingly submits to the husband’s authority in much the same way as Jesus, submits to the authority of the Father.

By concluding our focal verse, the way that he did, the Apostle Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit did a marvelous thing. If He would have spoken only of the order and structure of authority within the marriage, husbands alone would have been able to look to Jesus as their example because the head of every man (or husband) is Christ. However, by including Christ’s position within the order and structure of authority within the Godhead, the wife also has the opportunity to look to Jesus for her example. The husband can look to Jesus as his example of how to be one in authority because Christ is in authority over every husband. The wife can look to Jesus to see how to be in submission because Christ places Himself in submission to the Father. Because Paul included not only the order and structure of a marriage but also the framework of the Godhead, Jesus becomes available to both a husband and a wife as an example how each should fulfill their roles within the marriage. Paul shows us by the incredible work of the Holy Spirit just how to have a God Shaped Marriage.

As I said earlier, this episode will conclude our look at The Order and Structure of a God Shaped Marriage. In the weeks ahead I hope to expound on scriptural prescriptions for a God-Shaped husband and a God-Shaped wife.

So now, purposefully and willingly stepping into your specific; God-ordained, Christ-exemplified, and Spirit-empowered role in your God shaped marriage…Go Be Awesome!