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 IV

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!!!

Beginning with this lesson we want to present some specific responsibilities of the husband and wife. These will be brief because of the format we are working with, but will serve as a starting point for your study.

With each relationship there are corresponding responsibilities established by God. Successful marriages do not just happen! They are the result of a realization of responsibility and a working towards fulfilling these specific commissions. Marriages have troubles, and many break up, because of the failure to realize and fulfill responsibility on the part of either or both the husband and wife. Let’s note some basic necessary responsibilities of marriage. We will begin with the Husband first.

Headship –

God has used three terms in His instruction to husbands that teach the man’s responsibility of headship.

Initially, God had determined that man needs a helper, someone to assist him in fulfilling his God given mandates! 

Genesis 2:18And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.””

The woman was made for man, to be a help suitable for him. The very fact that God made her from man and for man certainly points to the fact that he was to be over her.

NOTE: I am at this point going to speak to the modern day issues of equality. There is a naive and uneducated presumption by many that women are to be enslaved due to this mandate of God!

This is simply and wholly untrue! The establishment of headship by God is for the single purpose of order and attachment of responsibility!

As God determined to make man a helper comparable to him; God ordered Adam to name the animals, as God brought them to him as an exercise of understanding, note:

Genesis 2:19-20Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.”

In this exercise, Adam came to the conclusion that his equal did not exist as yet. After God formed Eve, note the conclusion of Adam:

Genesis 2:23And 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.””

As we can clearly see, the creation of woman was in fact an issue of equality, and worthiness. The purpose of headship does not diminish this, but in fact supports it in a God created order. As we will clearly see; that when the man fulfills his God given role as head of the home, the woman is in fact empowered to accomplish her responsibilities, not enslaved.

It is a modern day humanistic view that diminishes woman by the mandate of God; not God or His order! This lesson will establish this in fact!

Now let’s look at the first of three words we want to emphasize concerning the headship of man:

Genesis 3:16To 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.””

As God rebuked the man, the woman, and the serpent for their role in the introduction of sin; God clearly defined the responsibility of the woman in subjection to her husband and the husband as the head. The word “Rule” is the same in definition as headship, and informs the wife that she is to be subject to her husband; thus he is to be her head.

The second word is found in the New Testament, note:

1 Timothy 5:8But 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.” 

This word “Provide” and the responsibility it indicates, certainly demands that the man provide for his wife. The responsibility of providing makes one over those whom the provision is made.  

This; however, is not the most important of these words for the purpose of understanding “headship”. Note:

1 Corinthians 11:3But 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.”

Ephesians 5:23For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.”

In these passages our attention is called to the fact that God made man to be the head of woman and specifically, “The husband is head of the wife”. Both illustrations include God’s order, and the passage in Ephesians includes an illustration of the order of authority of Christ as Head of the church; which no one as a true servant of God would question; so why do we question the other?

The sad fact is that too many husbands do not understand what it means to be head of his wife or to rule over her or provide her with headship (the godly order of the home to accomplish all that God has charged to be accomplished by the family nucleus – the man’s responsibility); consequently their marriage is far from pleasant or orderly! God does not teach nor does He want the husband to be some kind of dictator over his wife – Ephesians 5:28-29.

Let’s point out at this junction that this headship is demonstrated and defined for us and what the husband must do is follow the demonstration which will guarantee happy wives and a harmonious marriage. Look again at 1 Corinthians 11:3. Now, how did God exercise His headship over Christ?  Was not Christ Jesus headship the same over man? These are man’s example as to how he must exercise his headship over the woman (to act in their best interest – Godly goals, earnest effort to provide, nurture, and love).

To make specific application to the husband and wife, take another look at Ephesians 5:23. How does Christ exercise His headship over the church?

He is firm in doctrine and faithful expectation; yet, loving in provision, understanding, a compassionate Guide, a Leader, an Example (hear that one guys), a Teacher, and a Shepherd.

Husbands, this is our guide and example of the headship we are to demonstrate; this is how we are to treat our wives! How can a wife reverence or respect a man that treats her as an animal, a possession, or unequal?

Love –

Ephesians 5:25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her”

Yes, love is a responsibility in marriage. We should often wonder if many or any husbands know what love is. Many men, and even woman, enter marriage thinking that love and sex is one and the same thing.

The word “Love”, as it is used in scriptural context, has nothing to do with sex. This word “Love” is from the Greek word which means devotion; which is demonstrated but expects nothing in return.

There is another Greek word, which is also translated as “Love” that is a necessary part to any happy marriage, and that is affection.

Affection must also be demonstrated but unlike devotion, it has a right to expect affection in return.

Sex can be involved in affection and affection must be involved in sex. Keep this in mind when studying 1 Corinthians 7:1-5. Also understand that sex is not the only expression of affection, and definitely should never be.

Husbands, when was the last time you told your wives that you loved her, or opened the door for her, or held her hand? This is not being a softy or a sissy (as societies may often dictate), it takes a man to be a husband, but anybody can be foolish!

We are not done yet! We will speak more to responsibilities in the next several lessons! The next lesson will continue to look at the husbands responsibilities, before we move on to the wives.

Next: “The Responsibility of Nourishing and Cherishing!”