Tuesday, July 26, 2005

What else does the Bible say about marriage?

Not only is marriage called for directly from God in the earliest recordings of the world, but we see the same call from the New Testament as well. Paul says that in 1 Corinthians, "It is good for a man to marry. But since there is so much immorality each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband." (1 Cor 7:1-2)

In the Bible we have a very clear description of the way that husbands and wives are supposed to love one another.

"Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for here," (Eph 5:25)

A marriage is supposed to reflect the exact relationship that our Jesus had with the church. This means that there will be struggles in the relationship but that the final goal will be used as a way to glorify God.

The themes of submission that are found throughout the Bible dealing with marriage are a way that God shows us an earthly example of how we should live our lives towards him. We can not depend on ourselves for our strength but must look to God. In this same way one partner in the marriage can not sustain it but it is an effort on both parts. Ok so maybe its not the same cause we really don't put any effort into the strength that we get from God. I'm not exactly sure what I am trying to say here. All I know is that a solid marriage is a way to strengthen faith and glorify the original plan that God had for man.

If anyone might be able to figure out what I was saying or wants to offer some more insight to these thoughts please feel free to offer them up.


Caspar said...

"For this word which God speaks, 'Be fruitful and multiply,' is not a command. It is more than a command, namely, a divine ordinance which it is not our prerogative to hinder or ignore. Rather, it is just as necessary as the fact that I am a man, and more necessary than sleeping and waking, eating and drinking, and emptying the bowels and bladder. It is a nature and disposition just as innate as the organs involved in it. Therefore, just as God does not command anyone to be a man or a woman but created them the way they have to be, so he does not command them to multiply but creates them so that they have to multiply. And wherever men try to resist this, it remains irresistible nonetheless and goes its way through fornication, adultery, and secret sins, for this is a matter of nature and not of choice.

In the third place, from this ordinance of creation God has himself exempted three categories of men, saying in Matthew 19:12, 'There are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.' Apart from these three groups, let no man presume to be without a spouse. And whoever does not fall within one of these three categories should not consider anything except the estate of marriage. Otherwise it simply impossible for you to remain righteous. For the Word of God which created you and said, 'Be fruitful and multiply,' abides and rules within you; you can by no means ignore it, or you will be bound to commit heinous sins without end."

Martin Luther [LW 45, p. 18] emphasis mine


Joe Fremer said...

Coupla things about "submit." People think it means unquestioning obedience, like the woman is not supposed to take any part in any decisions. "Oh, I don't know, honey, whatever you decide." Nope.

To submit means to place yourself under someone in a chain of command, regarding his rank, not his ability (or spiritual maturity). I submit to the government because God tells me to. If the government tells me to do something that contradicts God--e.g., testify what was discussed when a parishioner came for spiritual counsel--I would have to disobey, but I would still be in submission to the authorities because they would subpoena me, find me in contempt of court, fine me, maybe jail me. Because I submit to their authority, I allow them to do all those things to me.

Ephesians 5 lists a method of mutual submission ("submit to one another out of reverence for Christ"). The wife grants her husband the right to cast the tie-breaking vote. The husband's submission is in "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church..." where the word agape is used, not eros. So when I have to use my tie-breaking right, I have to choose on the basis of what is the right thing to love my wife sacrificially, not just getting my own way.

It's sort of a system of checks and balances--and it forces a Christian couple to cry out to God for guidance and discernment.

Andrew said...

Thanks for the input guys. I really apppreciate it and it gives me some more things to look into.