Order and Structure of a God Shaped Marriage Vol. 5

Hi, this is Pastor Ken welcome back to another edition of the Monday Marriage Message where we search God’s instructions to experience a highly successful marriage. We will continue today with our look at the scripturally given order and structure of a God shaped marriage.

Since the beginning of this series, I have directed your attention to the God-given order and structure of a God Shaped Marriage found in 1 Corinthians 11:3. Once again, that passage in the Amplified Bible reads as follows: 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. As the focus of this series is order and structure, I felt it doubly important to follow the very order and structure of this focal scripture. Therefore, I dedicated the past several episodes to men as husbands, following the lead of Christ. We looked carefully at several different scriptures and noted just how husbands can interact with their wives, just as Christ our overseer, interacts with His bride the church.

We will now shift our focus to the second portion of this passage “The head of a woman is her husband”. Before we push further into the exposition of this verse allow me to clarify a point that I feel important to address. My concern is that there could be an unfortunate misunderstanding when considering this verse void of its context. One could take this verse to be indicating that a wife’s relationship with Christ must go through her husband. This is simply not true at all. Scripture is clear that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is possible for anyone who believes in Him (John 3:16).  Others speak directly to believing wives who have unbelieving husbands, which should negate any argument that a woman (wife) cannot have a direct relationship with Christ. (1 Corinthians 7:10-16). Furthermore, Paul wrote in Galatians 3:28 that in Christ there is actually no distinction between men and woman, meaning that both are capable of joining with Him. With that concern addressed let’s move forward.

Just as I did concerning husbands’ interactions with their wives, we will now look at what the bible has to say about how a wife should interact with her husband. A wife’s position in a God Shaped Marriage is one of incredible importance. Eve’s God given title was that of a helpmeet. This is not a word commonly used in contemporary vernacular but the meaning has not been in any way diminished with its use. The idea of a helpmeet comes from the original Hebrew words [ezer] pronounced [ay’-zer], and [Neged] pronounced [neh’-ghed]. As I explained in the first edition of this series, these words used together, according to Strong’s Exhaustive Bible Concordance, mean an absolute counterpart to a perfect set.  Eve was created the absolute counterpart to Adam. She was so in every way having been literally created from Adam’s own flesh. God then proclaimed His desire to recreate that same result in others going forward. He decided that a man would leave his father and mother, be joined to his wife, and the two of them would quite miraculously become “One flesh”. Marriage is God’s process of recreating the one flesh experience of Adam and Eve in every man and woman that enters into this sacred relationship. Ladies, if you believe that it is God who joins a man and a woman in marriage, then you must also accept that when you marry, you become your husband’s helpmeet, his absolute counterpart.

Scripture describes God’s hand in the marriage process. Proverbs 19:14 in the Amplified Version says; Houses and riches are the inheritance from fathers, but a wise, understanding, and prudent wife is from the Lord. Men, it is high time we begin to understand that though God may not have put each of us to sleep, removed a rib and created for us a wife of our own flesh, she has been given to, and joined with us, by Him. What is the greater miracle, to create a perfect counterpart from our own flesh, or make us one flesh with someone in marriage and in so doing offer to us our absolute counterpart?

In the New Living Translation Proverbs 31:10-12 say this… 10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. 11 Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. The idea of this passage isn’t that such a wife doesn’t exist or can’t be found, but rather that it would be beyond difficult for us to do so without God’s direction. There are two schools of thought concerning this. Some believe as I do that God loves us so much and cares so deeply for His institution of marriage that it matters to Him who we marry. Others believe that it is completely up to us who we marry and God restrains his work in our lives within the bounds of our absolute free will. Regardless of your belief about the level of involvement God exercises in who we marry, the following is still true. Jesus said that when a wedding takes place, God joins that man and woman and creates of them a “One flesh” condition identified as marriage. A man and a woman, as husband and wife, are the only ones who can experience that unique human relationship. God is integrally involved in every marriage, and so His Son Jesus concluded, “What God has joined let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6 & Mark 10:9)

So, how does a woman interact with her husband as his absolute counterpart in a God Shaped Marriage? Remembering that the point of a God Shaped Marriage is to reflect Creator God let us begin by revisiting our focal scripture. 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. (1 Corinthians 11:3) In this verse, when we look at the Godhead that marriage is supposed to reflect, we see that the Head of Christ is God the Father. Jesus is one of the three persons of the triune Godhead. The Trinity as we refer to it, is beyond our human ability to completely define but there are some truths we are able to extract from our limited understanding of it.

  • The Trinity consists of Father Son, and Holy Spirit
  • They each have differing functions but perfectly united purpose
  • God the Father is God, but is not and does not act as Jesus the Son or the Holy Spirit
  • Jesus the Son is God, but is not and does not act as the Father or the Holy Spirit
  • The Holy Spirit is God, but is not and does not act as the Father or Jesus the Son
  • Each One is completely God, and united, they are the one true God

Why is the notation of all of that important? Because ladies, if you are to correctly understand your equal value to your husband in the marriage and gladly adhere to the scripturally defined order and structure of your marriage, you will need to be able to see that just as Christ is your husbands example of how to love you, He is also your example of how to be a godly helpmeet. The Apostle Paul made the point in our focal scripture that the head of Christ is God the Father, but it is also important to look at what Jesus said Himself about that concept?

In John 10:30 it is recorded for us that Jesus said of His relationship with God the Father, “I and the Father are One. Here Jesus is making an incredible statement, He is self-identifying as being equivalent with God. This was so outrageous to those who heard it that they were ready to stone Him for blasphemy! In John 5:30 however, Jesus said “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me”. Are these statements contradictory? Not at all. In the one in John 10:30 Jesus is identifying that He and The Father are both equally valuable persons in the Trinity, just as a wife and husband are equally valuable persons in a God Shaped Marriage. In the second example from John 5:30, Jesus is illustrating that He and the Father work together toward their united purpose and the necessary structure and order to the Godhead that makes that work successful is identified by Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:3.

Jesus also made further statements that showed His voluntary submission to God the Father as a decisive act of cooperation bringing about the fruition of their united goals. In John 12:49 Jesus said, For I have never spoken on My own initiative or authority, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment regarding what to say and what to speak. (Amplified Bible) In John 14:31 Jesus told His disciples, “But so that the world may know [without any doubt] that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father has commanded Me [and act in full agreement with Him]” (Amplified Bible) In John 15:10-11 Jesus made this interesting statement. 10 “If you keep My commandments and obey My teaching, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. 11 I have told you these things so that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy may be made full and complete and overflowing”. This statement identified Jesus position as one in authority over us, as well as one submitting to the authority of the Father to serve our need. He said that His joy and ours is fullest when God ordained order and structure of relationship are followed. Ultimately, Christ’s submission to God the Father was summed up in His exclamation while under extreme duress in the garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion, “Father if there is any other way…but not my will, but your will be done”!

In the next installment, we will delve deeper into the much-misunderstood concept of submission. However, I felt it critical before we did so to take time to lay the groundwork for the following statements.

  • Submission does not equate to inferiority
  • Scripture illustrates for us that even in the structure and order of the Triune Godhead authority and submission to authority are necessary components for success.
  • Christ (God the Son) voluntarily offered His submission to the will of the Father so their united purpose could be accomplished.
  • Though Jesus’ submission to God the Father was voluntary it was not optional.
  • Jesus Submission to the order and structure of the Godhead was necessary to the completion of the united will of the Godhead.
  • If marriage is to reflect the framework of the Godhead as designed, the prescribed marital structure and order must also be adhered to.
  • A wife’s submission to her husband is voluntary…however; it is not optional to success of a God Shaped Marriage.

So now, with willing hearts as both husbands and wives to act in the ways that Jesus does to the betterment of your God Shaped Marriage…go be awesome!