From the Pastor’s Desk
Marriage Session 5
Genesis 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined (cleave) to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. The word for “cleave” to his wife is a very strong word in the original Hebrew, as we have seen. It means to adhere to or grow into; To become a part of; To be inseparable. Men, as the husband, you are to become a part of, grow into your wife’s life and become inseparable with her. The clef of the tree is our example of this union. When that branch first started from the trunk of the tree it is easily broken, but given time, that branch cleaves to the trunk. The bond become stronger and stronger until it can stand even the strongest winds -- unless it is tampered with by man, bugs or disease.
We have seen that the responsibility for this “cleaving” together in the marriage is the responsibility of the husband, and if the marriage is coming unglued, God holds the husband responsible. Remember, responsibility does not mean that the husband has to “DO IT ALL”. It does mean that he is to see that it is done. At this point in our study, I often hear from husbands that want to abrogate their responsibility in this matter to society, the church, his wife, or just about anyone, and they say “She is at least half of the problem!! Why are you picking on me?” If the husband does not accept the responsibility for the “cleaving”, then he can feel better about BLAMING someone or something else for the problems or the lack of cleaving. He can point his finger anyway he chooses, if he is not responsible. He can do even as Adam and blame God, BUT the fact still remains that GOD gave that responsibility to man. It is interesting how many want this position as the “head of the wife” (even though most do not have the slightest idea what it means).., BUT most do not want the responsibility of being the head. This will be brought out clearly in Ehp. My friend you can’t have part of the package and reject the rest.
There are three major factors that team up to produce a good share of the problems in marriage:
(1) Lack of responsibility & commitment (2) Expectations unfulfilled (3) The Guilt, Blame, Bitterness syndrome (4) There are others, but these are the main culprits. Since the Garden of Eden, there has been an attitude floating around that, as a wife, you are independent, you will be your own woman, you will not become dependent on your husband, etc. Most women spend their time and effort BEFORE marriage trying to dress, act, look and be like they think their boy friends want. HOWEVER, often just as soon as the “I dos” are over, the wife set out to impress everyone except her own husband. The wife seems to feel that it is her God given task to remake that lousy man, she just married, into something that would be worthy of herself. Now, ladies, just as soon as this process is started.., you destroy any spark of manliness that was hidden down inside that self-conscious, frightened little boy you just married, and you immediately destroy the most precious thing in his life -- HIS GLORY. That glory, ladies, is or should be you! God intended it that way, and as you increasingly become more and more the glory of your husband, you will find his favor, his adoration, his love, his protection and his care for you increasing. Of course the opposite can also be true.
I Corinthians 11:1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. 2 Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions as I delivered them to you. 3 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..... 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. 10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord.
As we start this portion of our study that involves the different responsibilities, roles and submissions of both husband and wife, it is needful to establish some other facts first. The world and the church have projected attitudes concerning this aspect of Biblical marriage that are just about as far from the Biblical position as a person can get. Instead of taking the time to find out what the Bible REALLY says on these subjects, people have superimposed how they would look at it if they were God. AND I’m certainly glad that none of them are God or even would be gods. Many fundamentalists have misused the Biblical teaching of submission, the different roles and responsibility/authority structure to bring about a cast system within the Body of Christ. By so doing they have made themselves, the male preachers, king of the mountain and women second class citizens. NEVER once does the Bible even suggest that one person is of more value than another, or that men are better than women. As a matter of fact, the Bible says just the opposite of that!!
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. The basis of my value is not what I am or who I am in the natural realm, BUT what and who I am IN CHRIST. In and of myself I am worthless. Isaiah 64:6 But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. Romans 3:9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. 10 As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all gone out of the way; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one." Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it? If you are trying to claim status, whether marital or otherwise, you don’t have much to claim as evidenced from your own merit. Outside of Christ, you don’t have anything to brag about. Outside of Christ we are all equally low in sin. Romans 3:9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. If you are in Christ, you are somebody, and you are equal with everyone in Christ. Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. We are all one and of equal value in Christ. We each have different gifts which makes each one of us unique. With those different gifts comes a different measure of grace so we can use the gifts. By using those gifts, we each have a different responsibility within the Body of Christ. That is true whether you be male or female. We are all equal in value in Christ.., BUT we are each different in responsibility and service. We are all different as to the measure of grace given to us. Some have a problem with this area. Stupidly some want to have the same measure of grace as the other person. God gives a special measure of grace to enable the use of the special gifts. I don’t think many people really want: (1) Martyr’s Grace (2) Dying Grace (3) Grace for being Stoned (4) Shipwreck Grace (5) Etc. God only gives us as much grace as we need for the task or the trial. We are of equal value in Christ, BUT we are not all the same in Christ.
I Corinthians 12:8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. 12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free-- and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. One of the key factors of the Body of Christ is unity in and through diversity. My importance, my uniqueness or my value is not based on myself or my sexuality.., BUT is based on being in Christ. Once we take ourselves out from the unity in Christ, we immediately sink to the depths of sinful mankind. The choice is yours, but it is a choice of one or the other.
Ephesians 2:5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
In Christ, I’m SOMEBODY!!! I get to sit with Christ in the Heavenly Places. I dare you to try to find that kind of status in the world.
Colossians 3:9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
When we strive to be equal with someone, it shows that
we are inferior to them.
No one can make you feel less than you are,
you believe them.
When you try to make yourself equal
with someone else (even your spouse), you must
yourself from the position given you by the God of all gods.
I Corinthians 11:1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. 2 Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions as I delivered them to you. 3 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..... 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. 10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. We must understand this portion of Scripture to understand the relationship of husband and wife. We’ll just get started tonight. Part of the problem in understanding this portion and this principle is: (1) Some women are mad because they think God made them less than men. So they say it is societal and is no longer valid for today’s society. (2) Some men take this portion as their “marching orders” for domination. Neither is true. In the understanding of this passage, we will see the responsibility of the wife. In stating that Christ is the head of the man and man is the head of the woman does not mean that Christ should be less than supreme in the woman’s life. Nor is it teaching that the man has a closer relationship with God than the woman. These facts, of equal access and value are also clearly presented elsewhere in the Bible, but we will not take the time to follow that through at this point.
Paul is showing, through the order that is presented here, not so much the fellowship, or even the relationship of each to the other.., BUT instead is showing the order of responsibility and accountability. Let’s start at the last of this chain as mentioned in verse 3. The last mentioned is actually the first in order of this chain of responsibility. God is the head of Christ. We know that God the Father was not the head of Christ because He was better or more powerful or more important than Christ. God the Father and Christ are equal. This has to do with responsibility in this phase of His earthly ministry of redemption. Christ was under the authority of God the Father who was responsible to see that the plan was carried out. The chain of responsibility and authority has to do with the accomplishment of a purpose or a task, NOT supremacy.
John 8:29 "And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him." You need to look alive and follow this, if you are to ever understand Biblical marriage. Remember what the Holy Spirit through Paul said in... Ephesians 5:31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Christ was accountable to the Father. Through His accountability and responsibility, He was the “glory of God the Father”. Philippians 2:9 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. Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. These and other verses indicate that Christ was the Glory of the Father. This was His responsibility and when He fulfilled that responsibility, He was the glory of His head, God the Father. This was a reflective and transmitted glory. Christ also had His own glory, but this was laid aside in favor of being the glory of the Father.
John 17:5 "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
In similar fashion the man is to be the glory of the Christ. That glory of Christ will be seen in man when, in like manner as Christ Who always did those things that pleased the Father, man is doing all things to please Christ, because man is under the authority of Christ. Man is under the authority of Christ, not the domination of Christ. Acts 17:28 "for in Him (Christ) we live and move and have our being. Please remember, authority is only conferred from one who has that authority to another. Authority is not gained. It is not earned. It is conferred. With authority comes BOTH the responsibility to use that authority, and to use it properly.
This chain of authority, responsibility and glory continues. The head of the woman is the man. Not that the man is more important than the woman, any more than Christ is more or less important than God. BUT as far as accountability, responsibility and glory the man is the head of the woman. We must remember that this is a chain. God the Father is the head of Christ, and Christ is the Glory of the Father. Then Christ is the head of the man, and man is the glory of Christ who was the glory of the Father. The man is the head of the woman, who is the glory of man, who is the glory of Christ, who is the glory of God. There is a special manner in which a married couple can demonstrate the glory of God in a way a single person cannot. As Paul said, the single person can give themselves to the service of God in a way that a married person cannot. One is not better than the other. However, each is different in relationship, demonstration and service.
The woman, when she is the proper reflection of her husband, is able to reflect and be the greatest of all glory. Ladies, through this subjection, you have the greatest opportunity for real glory. Of course, this is also the general teaching of Scripture, isn’t it?? God’s way to glory is serventhood. God’s way “up” is “down”. Mark 9:35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all." Matthew 16:25 "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
If you want a Biblical marriage with the spiritual blessing that comes with it, you must be willing to follow the Biblical instructions, which are usually very different from human instructions. If you are looking for a Biblical relationship in your marriage, it takes two plus Christ to make it work.... AND it must be operated on Biblical principles. A Biblical marriage cannot operate on physiological jargon that has been re-worked and warmed over to sound somewhat religious. To reap the benefits of the Biblical chain of responsibility, we must make sure that each link is in place and intact. We are certain of the first two links. God the Father and God the Son will take care of their responsibility through reflective & transmitted glory. So, we must make sure of the last two links. You and your spouse. The wife CANNOT reflect the glory of the husband, unless the husband is properly reflecting the Glory of Christ and transmitting that glory through his life to his wife. The wife’s responsibility is to reflect the glory of her husband.
When a wife turns from serving her husband in every way she can and the best she can, she destroys her husband’s glory -- HIS WIFE -- and she becomes less and less his glory as she becomes her OWN woman. As the wife becomes less and less the glory of the husband, he will have less and less attraction for her. As his attraction fades, because his glory is fading, the wife often reaches out in a desperate effort to hang on to just a little bit of what should have been hers. In this desperate “hanging on” a wife will do strange things. She will threaten -- by words, actions and attitudes. She will bully and intimidate in an attempt to control, and not lose what is hers. She will try to hang on by being sullen, by putting down her husband, by being pitiful, etc. Often she will even turn to others who show her some respect and praise, which she is not receiving from her husband because his glory is being destroyed.
Each one of these actions simply drives another nail in the coffin of that relationship. Each one of these actions has the effect of attempting to put the wife in control. Actions of this nature, makes her responsible for the cleaving together, and in effect makes the husband the glory of the wife. Just the opposite of what God intended. Thereby diminishing, step by step, the glory of her husband.., which should have been reflected in and through his wife. If you want to be one body with your husband, wives, you MUST NOT destroy his glory -- which should be you.
If that glory is fading, he will probably find a substitute -- work, sports, hobbies, another woman etc. He is without excuse if he acts in this manner, but it is the natural course of things, and probably will happen. You should at all times be giving yourself, first to God and second to your husband to become more and more glorious to YOUR HUSBAND not someone else. Not to Sears, or Penny’s, or to other women, not even to yourself - BUT to your husband and your husband alone.
© Clyde White
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