How do you know? Part IV
How do you know what marriage is and is not?
Synopsis of Bible Study 2/23/11
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
Many people who want to get married. You discover early on that there are many marriages that are unsuccessful. One reason is because many people go in to marriage for all the wrong reasons. When we think of marriage, we have this idea of a happy family, it is important to know what marriage is, some of the myths surrounding marriage, and how to strengthen it.
I. Biblical perspective of marriage
1. In the beginning, God made man male and female Genesis 1:27 says 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. – When God made man, he spoke to both of Adam and Eve alike. He spoke word to them together.
2. God has to prepare you. Genesis 2:18 says 18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.- Why is this important? God has to make you or prepare you for the vessel you will be with (your mate). God is working on both of you (your prepared vessel) at the same time, until you are ready for each other, then he will create a situation to bring you together. Ex-Some women have been known to say, “He is a good guy; He needs a chance.” This idea makes you become practice material. You must realize that you can’t be practice material.
3. They become one family. Genesis 2:24 says 24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. -You see God’s intent is when these prepared two come together, they are not influenced by other family members. They become one family (separate from the family they came from).
4. God’s intent was never for a woman to advertise herself. Proverbs 31:10-31 says 10Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 11The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. 13She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. 14She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 15She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 17She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. 18She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. 19She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. 20She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 21She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. 23Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.25Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 29Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. 31Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
5. It was never God’s intent for the woman to advertise. She was supposed to be a hidden treasure that is found, much like a diamond found in the dirt of the earth. If you too easy to get, you will never be appreciated or valued. Note: When you get a chance read Songs of Solomon.
6. Marriage is a covenant. Malachi 2:14 says 14Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. –A covenant, if you will remember, is an agreement. When marriage comes together, man must see his wife as a covenant. In other words, we ride or die!
7. God hates divorce. Malachi 2:16 says 16For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. Matthew 19:6 says 6Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
8. God instructs husbands to love their wives as God loves the church.- Ephesians 5:25 says 25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; – Husbands ought to love their wives in the same manner as Christ loved the church. By this we mean he (the husband) ought to have so much love for his wife that he is willing to sacrifice for her just as Christ sacrificed for the church.
II. The Foundation of marriage
1. God created mankind (male and female), and later divided humanity into two sexes, male and female. Individually you have to see how that impacts the relationship.
2. Somebody has to be called to be with us. When we think about how we can be, we have to realize that there is a special anointing on the life of the individual that God chooses to be with us.
3. It is important to understand that the woman was meant to be a compliment to the man. Genesis 2:18 says 18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.- God wanted Adam to have a compliment. Eve became Adam’s compliment. In other words, when God made Eve for Adam, it was a perfect match.
4. Marriage is a relational union of one male and one female joined as husband and wife. – No matter what local laws say, according to God’s law, marriage is the union of two persons (male and female) in a unit of one marriage.
5. We come into a relationship sometimes with different ideas of what marriage is. You might be with somebody that comes from a different upbringing and culture. Ex- Bishop Walker explains that he is from Louisiana for example. At the zoo there, they talk about how different animals can be prepared as a meal. Here in Tennessee, we look an animals in a zoo and wonder what the animals habitat is. In the south everything is about food. Ex2- If a person comes from the North, they may not be in a habit of speaking to everyone that they pass. Down here in the South, everyone speaks when they pass each other. If you don’t know God’s idea of marriage, you will impose the expectations that you have about marriage, into your marriage. You have to decide what your marriage will be like.
6. Marriage is a covenant-ally agreed arrangement of functional oneness. Everything we do, we see ourselves as one unit. No longer do we see ourselves as individuals. Malachi 2:14 says 14Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
7. Marriage is a symbiotic relationship. This means it is a mutually beneficial relationship of life and not just a relationship of authoritarian position. Marriage ought to be a mutually beneficial unit. It is not about authority and position. I get something out of it and my mate gets something out of it. Know that you have a right to expect what you are willing to give.
8. The way God sees us in Christ is that the male and female are equal before him. Galatians 3:28 says 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. – God made both male and female alike in the beginning.
9. Each gender has distinct differences. How many of you have discovered that there are many differences between male and female? Men don’t communicate well for example. We are wired to be visual. A woman, however, needs to talk. Intimacy is an all day thing for a woman. A man’s idea of intimacy is right now! Man has one goal in mind when it comes to intimacy. When he leaves Egypt, he is trying to get to the Promised Land. The woman on the other hand can stay in the wilderness forever.
10. Women are emotional. Men want to know why women are so emotional. This is just how women are wired.
11. Learn to accept the mutual differences. We can’t compete with other in a marriage. This causes unhealthy marriage. We come in as to complete people that will not compete with each other for completion.
III. Different ways marriage is viewed
1. What we call religious legalism-Legalism is people that follow the course of law to the letter. They follow the rules of role of responsibility and hope that things will work out right. There is no room for swaying from this train of thought.
2. Self-effort- performance “. Just do it! – The husband is ahead of the wife, but there has been over emphasized. The husband still values the opinion of his wife. Also, if a woman is working 60hrs a week and he is not, there might be an adjustment in roles in the house.
3. Culture views cause you to develop your inherent personhood- The belief that you just be who you are and everything will work out. Ex- Bishop explains that he was watching the reality show, “Atlanta Housewives” and he saw where a woman says she was going to get married and just see how it works out. This is crazy! Culture has tried to teach us to go by what we feel.
4. Culture over emphasizes equality. Galatians 3:28 says 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.- Between man and female, God sees us as one in a marriage. The biggest challenge for a powerful woman is allowing a godly man to lead them. When you have been in control, and accomplished what you have on your job, it is difficult to put that in a spiritual context and allow a man to lead you. When you operate in that authority and power, it can mess you up.
5. What is the functional role of the husband? Jesus has the model for the husband. Ephesians 5:23 says 23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Ephesians 5:25 says 25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;- A husband must love his wife in such a way, his life is lived to seek her highest good. We will not suppress her vision or oppress her dreams. We will not speak negative of what God speaks into her life. It is self denial or the giving up of something. Colossians 3:19 says 19Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.- Everything that God is going to do in the life of a man, can only happen if he brings the woman with him. Ex – Abraham took his wife with him to the place that God
6. When you love God, you provide for your wife. 1 John 4:8 says 8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. – Because God is love, God’s love is giving. He gave us his son for us. It should be instinctive for a godly man to be a provider. Any man that wants a woman to take care of him, has something spiritual wrong with him.
7. The husband provides directions and purpose for the relationship. He allows the woman to feel special, praises her, and feels here with joy. Proverbs 31:28 says 28Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. – Any man who God gives a wife too, ought to praise her daily. He should sense when her esteem is low. You got to keep affirming this to her. Verbal abuse is just as bad as physical abuse.
8. Wives- Your response should be one modeled after Christ. Your response to your husband should be biblical. You can have all that you want to have and still submit to your husband. You have to support and encourage your husband. Men have big egos. It is nothing better than telling your man that you appreciate him holding it down. There are men that are attending a bible study every week, but they get lumped into the category of “Men don’t go to church” along with other men.
9. Learn adaptability- One of the things wives need to learn is desirability. You have to learn what you husband desires and get a Masters Degree in it.
Dysfunctions of marriage:
How many of know marriages do you know that are dysfunctional? This leads to divorce which comes from the Latin word Divodium which means devert oro Here are some dysfunctions:
1. Role regulations- They don’t function in their roles properly.
2. Cultural differences – We have different believes as a result of our upbringing.
3. Gender differences – We have allowed our gender views to affect our relationship.
4. Vet-This means to integrate rigorously. You got to be sure of a person before conviction. You can’t move to that next level purely on emotion. There has to be a reason tied to your emotions. How many of you been in love more than once? You thought that was it. It is important to vet people. Look at every aspect of a person’s life.
5. Selfishness-People come into relationship thinking about themselves. You got to come to a place of oneness. If God is in you and your spouse, then the character of God ought to come out. His word ought to be your primary reference, it ultimately leads to divorce.
6. Divorce comes from the Latin word which means divert or go to the opposite direction. Malachi 2:16 says 16For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. – God hates divorce. You ought to go into marriage so confident that you will divorce proof this marriage. In your marriage, you should have the same faith you would have fighting for your life.
7. Marriage can only function through the grace of God. God’s grace is what makes people stay married for 50 and 60 yrs. God’s grace is received by faith.
8. Our spouses ought to look like Christ. Remember God created man in his own image. If God made man and woman in his image, then what was the image we had in mind when we thought about marrying this person?
9. Those who are married, what does that image look like now. If it doesn’t look like what you imagined, then you are a victim of expectations not met, and then Satan keeps providing images behind the curtain for you. If we clearly understand that we are created after the image of God, we know that when God blew into us, we became living. God is in all of us through his Holy Spirit. God was above us in Old Testament, and then he was with us, now he is in us.
IV. 7 things that determine if you are ready to be married:
1. Are you a selfish individual? Is all about you?
2. Are you ready for lifetime a commitment? Think about it, “Till death do you part”. When you feel prepared of God, you can get married. Just remember though, the younger you are, the longer forever is. How many of you can testify that you are different now (your goals, your outlook, and your interests) than they were 10 yrs ago?
3. Are family and friends more important than your spouse? Ex- “I know it’s your birthday honey, but it is mom’s birthday too.”
4. Are you and your future spouse on the same page (Spiritually, Financially, and etc…)? Are you reading the same book?
5. What are your real motives for wanting to get married? Is it because you think your time clock ticking? Are you tired of being bride’s maid? Is it social pressure? Most guys grew up playing with GI Joe. Women grew up playing with Barbie and playing house. The made most women grow up with the idea of marriage and homemaking in mind. Most men were still immature in this area. Got to ask yourself what is your real motivation?
6. If you are not viewing marriage as a fantasy, then you are ready. Some people will spending $20,000 to get married and won’t spend $2.00 for a book about how to stay married.
7. Are you whole? Are you a whole person? You have to understand that God has great plans in store for your life. God brought together one man and one woman in garden. We saw how Satan comes in to disrupt it (in the garden). Through Jesus who came to redeem us back to God, it is about being Christ centered. In your relationship, dating doesn’t have a destination. Courting has a destination. When you are serious about somebody, you have the right to ask the serious questions trying to end up with the marriage that God desires for us.