Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

Will You Marry Me?”

Part III

How much do you know about marriage?

In observance of humanity, I am persuaded to believe that too many know too little about this subject. I invite you to study this very important theme as God has instructed and instituted this union.

The need is obvious. It is obvious by the fact that two out of three marriages end in divorce today (a stat that has even found its way into the “Body of Christ”). It is obvious by the advice given by marriage counselors, preachers, in-laws, lawyers, advice columnists, and by this entire like. It is obvious by the attitude of many of our civil authorities, Senators, representatives, and so on. It is obvious by the teaching that our children are exposed to in our public schools.

It is interesting to note that none of the above, including most preachers, refer to God’s word in dealing with marital problems, or even teaching in advance the understanding of marriage as God has revealed it. God’s word affirms that there is not a problem that a husband or wife may have that God doesn’t answer.

The key is: APPLICATION!!!

In lesson two it was pointed out that marriage was instituted by God, but divorce is of man. We also noted from the teaching of our Lord that fornication (adultery) is the only reason or cause for divorce.

Before “incompatibility” became the general accepted reason for divorce (by men), there were three general causes for divorce (by men). A good understanding of God’s instructions for marriage will eliminate these, and all other causes. Let’s take a look at them!

Finances –

God’s plan for the man is that he should be a provider –

Genesis 3:16-19 “To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”
17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “ Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.

18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.””

This original intent and purpose is further made manifest by the Apostles of the Lord, note:

1 Timothy 5:8 “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

From a careful look at the intent of God, the man was not only to be a provider, but he was to oversee the home. Note the words of Adam as Eve was presented to him:

Genesis 2:23 “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.””

We clearly see that Adam recognized the Eve was in fact flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone. This establishes that the rule of man over the women is not an issue of superiority verses equality but of order! This is the same understanding that the Apostle Paul would render in instruction to Christians, note:

Ephesians 5:28-29 “So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.”

We will look at more detail concerning the headship of the home in lesson four; however, suffice it to know the intent of God is for the man to ultimately be responsible for the finances.

Universally, the truth of the problem of finances is not as much over the providing, but over the use of that which is provided. Until the husband renders the universal mandate that contentment with that which is provided is maintained, peace between himself as head and his own flesh (his wife) will not be possible; and blame begins. 

When families become over extended and expenditures exceed income, this causes the need to accumulate more income (I always find it interesting that this is the course many choose, instead of reducing expenditures); which in turn causes the home to suffer.

Anyone desiring to marry should know before they engage in this solemn oath; learn to live with what you have! Plan together, save together, and live in peace together!!!

In-Laws –

Another cause for divorce has been ascribed to in-laws. Once again, God’s word must be respected.

Genesis 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Common sense dictates that the union of flesh cannot materialize if the woman likewise does not remove herself from her mother and father and be joined to her husband (it is not inserted here as this was written to the children of Israel after the fact, and they understood the leading role of the man).

In-laws will interfere in the marriage of their children only if they are asked or allowed! Husbands and wives must realize before they join, that they will no longer be of the house of their parents; rather, they have become a separate home. They have separated from all others and become one!

Young married couples should feel free to go to their parents together for advice, and most could use it. Parents must also realize that their responsibility stops with giving advice; the problems come from the fact that many do not!

Parents that persist in giving advice when it is not requested nor wanted, or just plain interject themselves in the lives of their married children are guilty of failing to respect God’s order for marriage (becoming meddlers).

Part of the man’s responsibility of providing for his family and his marriage is protection; in addition, when the wife reverences her husband, she will support him in a unified front and stop the intrusions!!!

Sex –

This topic is another cause of divorce! God also speaks sufficiently on this part of the marriage relationship. If God’s instructions are respected and obeyed concerning the marriage relationship and intimacy, there would never be a cause for adultery of men or women!

Sex is a blessing and privilege that God has reserved only for marriage!!!

We have already noticed that God has made woman for man (Genesis 2:18-23). Marriage is God’s provision whereby every man may have his own woman and every woman her own man. This is God’s wisdom and arrangement to avoid fornication (in all forms) and protect the nucleus of the family.

Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”

It is vital that parents set down and study with their children, the teaching of the Apostle Paul – 1 Corinthians 7:1-5; before marriage! Husbands and wives ought to understand the sexual needs of each other and not leave each other unfulfilled. A failure of this responsibility has driven many husbands and wives to seek fulfillment elsewhere. Both couples should also be taught before marriage, what are the only acceptable reasons to withhold these needs from their partners (times of spiritual dedication, sickness, injury, etc…). 

God authorizes sexual relations only in marriage, therefore to engage in sexual relations outside of marriage is to be guilty of the law of God and that is sin!

1 John 3:4 “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”

Summary –

Divorce is like many diseases; it can be prevented, but once it is contracted it is very difficult to cure and in many cases, impossible. Thus, we should be much more proactive in teaching the only proven cure! Many seem more concerned with trying to solve the problems created after a divorce and spend far less time in teaching before marriage concerning God’s prevention of this disease.

In our next lesson, we will study the husband and wife relationship and their respective responsibilities.

Next: “Marriage Responsibilities!”