We can expect life-changing growth and development when we submit ourselves to Jesus. He leads us directly to the righteousness of God which is something we could never figure out on our own. The reason being is that we often choose to rebel in disobedience, working outside of God’s will and bringing destruction upon ourselves. Generally speaking, we don’t seek ruin on purpose but it happens more often than not. This persistent conflict is a by-product of our sinful nature which battles between the flesh and spirit.
Romans 8:6-8. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
This is the fragile human condition and the further we depart from God, the more troubles abound. We tend to overlook the needs of the spirit which explains why the flesh gets the upper hand. We have a simpler time relating to the physical as opposed to the spiritual because we are visual creatures. In order to successfully counter what is seen, we must strengthen our spirit with the power and wisdom of what is unseen. It means turning away from what is familiar and trusting the things of God.
2 Corinthians 5:17. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
The Lord has managed to greatly influence and further my understanding of marriage. I wasn’t against marriage but strongly convinced that it simply wasn’t for me. My parents ended up in divorce so they were not a shining example of a blessed union. Even throughout my life, I didn’t encounter any marriages that made me want to get hitched. In fact, it appeared to be more of a hindrance than a help so I decided to completely write it off. Over time, my collective experiences had formed a hardened heart which ended up creating a divide between myself and God.
My primary mistake is that I was depending on the world for the definition of Holy Matrimony. I also had a major problem with submission because it felt like a weakness of character. It was only through an intimate relationship with Jesus that I could appreciate the beauty of obedience and reverence.
Unbeknownst to me, the more I got into the Word of God, the greater the natural desire to please Him. A few months into reading the Bible, a friend told me that I might change my mind about marriage and I remember sarcastically thinking, right. Within a year and by the glory of God, I began to sense a shift and my convictions started to change. I was acquiring a new level of clarity about His plans, promises and purposes for my life. I wholeheartedly believe in Jesus because of the love, peace, wisdom and comfort which He has bestowed upon me through all the storms. No matter what happens I can trust the path ahead with Him by my side.
In the Old and New Testament, there is much valuable guidance and insight on the topic of marriage. While reading and meditating on God’s word, I allow Him to rehabilitate my distorted view of marriage and anything else that requires correction. The Lord is so good and if we give Him unlimited reign in our lives then expect that He will do more than we could ever imagine.
Below are several verses of Scripture which provide sound instruction from God regarding marital relationships. These passages can be dissected and interpreted in a variety of ways but they are all underpinned by common themes. They include but are not limited to equality, purity, virtue, holiness, love, forgiveness, selflessness, honour and purpose.
Genesis 2:18, 21-24. The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man. ”That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Proverbs 12:4. A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
Ephesians 4:32. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 5:22-27. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Hebrews 13:4. Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
Matthew 19:4-6. “Haven’t you read,” Jesus replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”