Hi, this is Pastor Ken thanks for joining me once again for the Monday Marriage Message where we search God’s instructions to experience a highly successful marriage.
In the last series we discovered 7 Biblical Principles for a Highly Successful Marriage. If you have not listened to that series of the Monday Marriage Message I invite you to do that. There you will see how God intends to use Compatibility, Understanding, Holiness, Selfless Service, Faithfulness, Forgiveness, and Love to bless your marriage, and make it Highly Successful, wonderfully fulfilling its intended purpose of reflecting Him.
The essence of every successfully married couple is an understanding that their marriage is not really about them, but rather about how together they reflect their God and the author of their union. We have explored that truth originally stated in Genesis 1:26-27 in several past episodes, and it is essentially the basis for each of the editions of the Monday Marriage Message I have offered for your consideration over the past two years.
In this episode I am hoping to introduce how this all-important truth is key to the Structure of Marriage. Everything successful is based upon structure and order. This is true of nature, science, mathematics, music, business and relationships. It is also true of our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. In all of these examples as well as others, structure and order are paramount to success. There are laws and rules that govern necessary structure and order if we are to trust mathematical equations, enjoy melodic performances, follow true science, or run a successful business venture. Most of the ills experienced in our world are the result of disorder or chaotic activity. Even physically, emotionally, or mentally speaking, when things are out of order, illness is the result. In relationships when intended or expressed order is not respected, dysfunction is the outcome. Even so in nature, when the balance of order is shifted the slightest bit, there are often dramatic consequences.
Relationships are not immune from the importance of structure and order. As of late there has been a renewed surge in the societal effort to ignore this truth, but make no mistake, the results will soon prove this latest attempt to be no more successful than any other in human history. Consequences of even greater familial and societal decay along with the well-documented and long-understood accompanying dysfunction will undoubtedly be the result…only this time in even greater numbers and more vastly affecting the human condition.
Marriage is not simply one of many equivalent relationships as so many would have us believe. If the marital relationship had been developed by mere man, that might be true. However, as the one-flesh relationship originated by God to recreate the original experienced by Adam and Eve, marriage is unique and vastly different than any other. (Genesis 2:23-24) It is the first human-to-human relationship identified in the bible. Because Adam and Eve were created married, (Eve was created from the very flesh of Adam) there was no relationship between two human beings pre-dating the one-flesh bond of Adam and Eve. As the first inter-human relational experience it is understood to be the primary one, therefore none is of higher importance. Only two forms of relationship supersede it, that enjoyed amongst the three Persons of the Triune Godhead, and the one between Creator God and His creation, neither of which is a purely inter-human relationship.
As I stated earlier and as many times in past episodes, marriage is primarily intended to reflect the character and nature of God. As a result, the structure and order of marriage is uniquely taken directly from the structure and order of the Godhead. Scripturally we recognize this truth in 1 Corinthians 11:3 where we read, But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. In a rudimentary way this passage lays the foundation for the order of marriage basing it directly on the structure of the Godhead. The order of the marriage is clearly laid out, the Wife is under the authority and protection of her Husband just as Christ is under the authority and protection of God the Father. It is truly unfortunate that this marital structure provided for in God’s word seems to cause so many couples difficulty and dissention, when it is intended to bring nothing but unity and blessing. Since the introduction of sin into the world, this structure; designed to build up and strengthen, has often been the source of contention and division. God made it known to Adam and Eve that this would be the case when He removed them from the Garden of Eden and paradise was postponed. In Genesis 3:16 God said to Eve, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and He shall rule over you”. The implications here are many and we will look at them closely and in greater detail in a future edition of this series. For the purpose of this discussion however, it is important to note that the order of marriage was not changing as Adam and Eve’s sin necessitated their ejection from Eden, but the willing acceptance of that order inevitably became difficult with the knowledge of both good and evil.
Lest anyone conclude that I am saying that women should know their place, and that men are somehow superior to them, let me emphatically state that nothing could be further from the truth. Scripture clearly states that the woman was created completely and totally equivalent in value to the man. The prescribed order is not based on value in any way, rather the structure of marriage is simply reflective of the structure of God who created it. Sin (a spiritual dis-order) is what caused our difficulty, not the God-given structure. Men ought not assume any undue pride in the stated order. In fact, Adam’s sin did bring an inequity into the order and structure of marriage…but it is slanted against the man’s favor not in it. Allow me to explain. In the passage from 1 Corinthians 11 that we looked at earlier, the stated order of authority is as follows; The head of every woman (the wife) is man (her husband). The head of every man (the Husband) is Christ, and the head of Christ is God the Father. In this order wives (imperfect beings) come under the authority of their husbands (also imperfect beings). Christ (the perfect Son of God) comes under the authority of God the Father (the perfect God). Men or husbands (imperfect sinful beings) are under the authority of Christ (the perfect, sinless Son of God). As men (or husbands) we are the only ones in this framework that are responsible to an authority morally superior to us. Men…we are not in a greater position in the structure of marriage than our wives are, we actually drew the short end of that particular stick. We are responsible for one who is like us, but to one infinitely greater than we are.
As the primary inter-human relationship marriage is indeed different than any other human connection. There is none other like it. Of all bonds human beings enter into, it is the one that matters most to God because it is the one He desperately hopes to look into and see His reflection displayed most completely. In the coming weeks as we delve into this series exploring the structure and order of marriage it is my hope that we will not only discover what the Word of God identifies as the order but that we will also come away with a much greater understanding of what that order signifies and why it is so important to a successful marriage. Please join me each Monday as we take the necessary time to discover how God’s prescribed order and structure for marriage is intended to aid us in realizing all of the benefits and blessings as we allow Him to develop of us A God-shaped Marriage.
So now, understanding that everything God purposes is for our good, accept the order and structure of your marriage as ordained by God Himself to be a total blessing in your life…and Go be Awesome!