Sunday, September 29, 2019
When God created Adam and Eve, He created an order for the family—not for lording and bondage—but for freedom and liberty. Listen as Pastor Joe Mead paints the picture of marriage and gives practical tips to walk in a manner of love.
It’s the most important agreement on earth, because it displays God’ image:
“And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him…’
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. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made
into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 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.’ Therefore a man shall leave
his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both
naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” – Genesis 2:18-25
Man was made in God’s image, and woman was taken “out of man.” God’s image would be the harmony of the two as one. Matrimony is God’s design to display and express the fullness of who He is.
The two become one:
“Jesus said, ‘But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.’” – Mark 10:6-9
Let “no man separate.” Jesus made the exception in the case of adultery (see Matthew 5:32). Paul wrote (from his view) that if a non-believing spouse will not remain with a believing spouse, and they choose to depart, then let them depart (see 1 Corinthians 7). In these cases, you are not under bondage.
The communal nature of the marriage covenant:
- Lifelong agreement that reflects family
- Unbreakable bond or agreement to forsake all in order to come together and reflect the image of God, who is Three in One (see 1 John 5).
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.’” – Genesis 1:26
God is a Trinity of Agreement inside Himself, and so is your marriage!
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. ‘These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.’” – John 15:9-10
“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” – 1 John 4:8
Love is higher than feelings. Love is higher than emotions. Love is higher than lust. Love is higher than painful circumstances. Love is sacrifice.
When things are difficult, could it be that we need to adjust our behavior in order to experience a better result in our marriage?
If the engineers build a car that, when tested, broke down consistently after five years of use, they would logicially research where their design was faulty and change it. So it can be with relationships…
Our call to identity is found in Christ (not in someone else or something else).
Did you know that the Father loved the Son for the first of His 30 years too? We have three years of recorded history of Jesus and the things He did, but God still loved Him when He was a humble carpenter. You don’t have to perform for God’s love, He freely gives it. (What if we did marriage like that?)
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” – Romans 8:28-30
If we don’t know who we are, we will struggle with our roles in marriage.
“Submit” and “die” are frightening terms until you know who you are in Christ.
Submit to Liberty. Die to Live.
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife,
as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as
the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might
present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own
wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall
leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself,
and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” – Ephesians 5:22-33
You can’t love her properly, until you learn to love you the way God loves you.
Control “love” and Performance “love” are not the Kingdom!
Look at Jesus and how He leads the church in order to understand how to lead a marriage.
Role: Die to Live
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot
Die to self in order to gain a love so powerful it overcomes jealousy, envy, hate, abuse, betrayal, abandonment, etc.
It is always worth abandoning sin and selfishness in order to learn and gain love.
In God’s Kingdom, “You will never have authority over what you don’t love.” – Shawn Bolz
In other words, if you want to follow God and “rule” in your home, then you are to be the greatest example of a servant in the house.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
“It is only in the soil of sacrifice that true love can take root.” – Kris Vallotton
Wife/Bride of Christ
Look to how the Bride is called by Christ to receive and respond to His love. Who is the greatest in the Kingdom? Your invitation to submit and respect is your opportunity to become the greatest!
Love him as “unto the Lord” knowing that your reward and source ultimately isn’t him, it is God.
Reciprocity isn’t the goal, love is.
Role: Submit to Liberty
Submit to a man who is devoted to a sacrificial love that sets a person free to become all God desires for them to be and inherit.
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ
have put on Christ. 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. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed,
and heirs according to the promise.” –Galatians 3:26-29
“Husbands and wives are ‘equal in value, different in position.’” – Josh Goodman
It is Jesus plus nothing. When you chose to follow Jesus, you agreed to be a disciple. As a disciple, you are declaring Jesus your Master. As your Master or Lord, you are in a covenant to do relationships the way He says.
“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me,
I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love,
just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” –John 15:8-10
Verses to Build Your Marriage
- Philippians 2:3-5
- 1 Corinthians 13
- 1 Corinthians 7
- Malachi 2:10-17
- Ephesians 4:2-3 & 4:25-32
- Ecclesiastes 4:9
- Mark 11:25-26
Ten Practical Ways to Love
- Listen without interrupting (Proverbs 18)
- Speak without accusing (James 1:19)
- Give without sparing (Proverbs 21:26)
- Pray without ceasing (Colossians 1:9)