“A woman of virtue is a crown to her husband; but she whose behaviour is a cause of shame is like a wasting disease in his bones.” (Pro 12:4)
aymon de albatrus
Today we are celebrating a good institution given by God – Marriage.
I am not sure if you noticed some symbolisms in the Christian marriage:
The bride is to be married in white; this to signify that she was virgin and had not fooled around. God ordained that the penalty for this sin of sexual intercourse before marriage is death by stoning in front of her father's house (Deu 22:13-21). The "token of her virginity" is the wedding sheet bloodied by the breaking of the hymen during the nuptial night, as proof of her virginity. A man's daughter must be entitled to marry in white, that is she should be virgin, as the Lord commands. Those brides that are not virgins (the vast majority these evil days) and marry in white are hypocrites and declaring a lie. Interesting to note that the bond of marriage is sealed in blood by the breaking of the hymen, the purpose for which it was created. The word "Hymen" comes from the pagan Greek mythology as the name of the god of marriage and weddings, Hymen (Hymenaeus).
The father of the bride (exemplifying God) brings the woman to the bridegroom thus passing his headship over his daughter, to her husband as his wife. The father’s authority over his daughter can be easily proved by: "36 ¶ If, however, a father thinks he is acting unbecomingly towards his still unmarried daughter if she be past the bloom of her youth, and so the matter is urgent, let him do what she desires; he commits no sin; she and her suitor should be allowed to marry. 37 But if a father stands firm in his resolve, being free from all external constraint and having a legal right to act as he pleases, and in his own mind has come to the decision to keep his daughter unmarried, he will do well." (1Co 7:36-37). This is also in perfect harmony with the Biblical hierarchical order of 1Co 11:3: “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” (1Co 11:3)
When a woman marries she takes the name of her husband. Why is it so? Again it is a Biblical principle: "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." (Gen 2:23) "And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living." (Gen 3:20) Eve was extracted from Adam (woman = from man) and he named her Eve and God called then both by the surname of Adam i.e. Adam: "He created them male and female, and blessed them, and called their name Adam in the day when they were created." (Gen 5:2) To note that the name Adam was specifically attributed to the man, but it was also given to the woman when Adam married her. The further implication of this is that every member of the same family MUST have the same surname. If the woman does not take the surname of her husband she is not part of his family.
Marriage is decreed by God and it is the most blessed union between human beings. But it can also be sheer hell on earth if the communion between the two goes badly. Yes! Sadly we must speak of Divorce for it is endemic these evil democratic days with figures of up to 50% on new marriages, and older one following suit, even in the church. Divorce is an absolute NO-NO between Christian couples, even the thought of it must never be entertained for God says He Hates Divorce in Malachi 2:16. Indeed our good loving God can hate, and He does hate divorces.
Indeed parents that divorce having children are definitely Delinquent parents for no one knows the huge damage done to the children as the result thereof.
Marriage is not just a piece of paper but an everlasting Covenant till death part, as God decreed. The only ground for divorce, and only one by permission, is adultery. Adultery breaks the Marriage contract, as Jesus stated: “But I tell you that every man who puts away his wife except on the ground of unfaithfulness causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries her when so divorced commits adultery.” (Mat 5:32)
Indeed the Law prescribes death for the offending partner and thus the marriage is terminated, but if the magistrates foolishly spare the life of the offender, then the Church must not be negligent in their office and has to consider the guilty party as if it were dead and the innocent one free to remarry, in the Lord.
These things you will never hear preached for modern Christianity has aligned itself with the world and its democracy. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1Jo 2:15)
It is interesting to note that we educate our children in all sort of secular subjects, but not in the most important one, Marriage. But the Word of God has a lot to say on this very important topic.
Let us briefly look at were the human drama started from:
God has created all things; there is nothing that God did not create. God created the man Adam out of the ground dust breathing His spirit into him making the man a living being. After that God created every animal to which Adam gave their name, next God said, "it is no good for man to be alone" so He took a rib from Adam and made (cloned) Eve as a suitable helper for the man, a helpmeet. The general rabbinic teaching here is that God took out of Adam more that flesh and bone, but actually the feminine part of Adam and that this occurred 500 years later after the creation of Adam. A factor of important significance, is that Eve was extracted from Adam for the need of the man and not the other way around, as clearly stated in Scripture:
“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”” (Gen 2:18)
“8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” (1Co 11:8-9)
And there is a difference: “For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.” (1Co 11:7)
Furthermore God gave a test to Adam, not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil but Eve fell into transgression and she did eat, enticing also her husband to eat also, thus she committed the first sin ever and was the catalyst to bring the whole human race into this valley of tears. Adam was in the garden long before Eve and in this time he did not fall but then for the love he had for his wife he did take the forbidden fruit to share her fate. He was the federal head of the human race and thus the whole human race fell with him. When God sought after him, he was told: “And to Adam he said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it: cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life;” (Gen 3:17)
The net result of these events is that God has set man as the head of woman for 3 reasons:
man was created first,
woman was extracted from the man and made specifically for him
the woman fell into transgression. 1Ti 2:13-14
The relation in a good marriage is shown in Eph 5:22-33 and summarised thus:
The man has to love his wife as himself to the point of giving his life for her, in extreme cases.
The woman is to be subject to him, in obedience as unto the Lord. Her submission is firstly to the Lord who commands her to be subject to her husband, so when the woman submits to the man, she is in fact submitting to the Lord.
In a marriage there are no more two but one with one head, and God has established that that head is the man's for the reasons given. NO organization can survive with two heads. Imagine a bus with two driving wheels, where do you think that bus will go, off the road, of course. This does not mean that the man is a tyrant, he has limits and responsibilities, and a wise husband will consult with his wife in all decisions, but in the end he makes the decisions and he is the one at the driving wheel and responsible of the outcome.
The key point in these passage is LOVE, especially applicable to the man's responsibility towards his wife. But the word Love is grossly misunderstood in our society. For example one can love his wife, love a pizza, love go fishing with the mates, or make love. The word is always "love" but meaning different things.
But in the Greek language, the language of the NT LOVE has at least 5 words:
This is the Love of intelligence, of reason and comprehension coupled with the corresponding purpose. Its concept is vastly superior to any other form of Love, In essence "Agape" is a permanent benevolent attitude toward God and human beings, without any condition, that freely springs out of the Agape God has place in the heart of His own. It is disinterested love that does not need anything in return. We can only Agape others only if God has firstly filled us up with His Agape. All the other form of love need a reaction, a return to maintain themselves, whilst Agape comes from God and the beneficiaries that are full of it do not need a confirmation from others, being fully satisfied in the Agape of the Lord. Agape lasts for ever.
Expresses Love of personal affection, or of pleasure, including even the relevant passions when required. It does not involve intelligence or high purposes. This concept places Phileo at a level inferior to that of Agape. It is a feeling that finds attraction in another person and it expects a return, otherwise it dies.
Is the desire to do something, to be occupied, to be in prominence.
Is sensual and sexual desire, attraction to copulate. It is physical attraction often confused with Agape and Phileo. For example, the majority of people marry for Eros, and sometime for Phileo, but rarely for Agape.
Is affection between brethren, soldiers in trenches, team-mates playing together.
Of these 5 Greek words only the first 3 appear in the NT, Eros and Storge are not there.
The word "Love" and its conjugates appear 290 times in the NT, grouped as follows:
Agape 258 times (90%)
Phileo 31 times (10%)
Thelo 1 time (Mar 12:38) scribes that love to go about in long robes and be respected in the market places.
All references of Love to/from God are "Agape", as all those that God or Jesus refer to love between men.
Now when God commands the man to LOVE his wife the word is AGAPE, the highest form of love. Interesting to note that in Titus God requires the woman to only Phileo her husband and to obey him. All the references to the man loving his wife are "Agape", whilst to the woman is requested to "Phileo" her husband and her children in:“4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love (phileo) their husbands, to love (phileo) their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” (Tit 2:4-5)
Statistics show that marriages based on Eros do last only a few months, those based on Phileo a year or two, but those based on Agape last forever.
We are so troubled by divorce in this evil generation which is solely due to the fact that the hierarchical order that God has established between man and wife is not respected and lived at all. If this order were obeyed there will never be conflicts and thus reasons for divorce would never occur. But the Bible is even more clear on this point for Ephesians 5:33 actually says: "Men AGAPE you wife as yourself, and see that the wife PHOBEO her husband". What Phobeo means in the Greek? The same word is also repeated in 1 Peter 3:1-2 in the same context. It is the source of the English word "phobia." The word means FEAR and you will not find it translated like that but "reverence" or "respect". Yet, the ASV 1901 and the Darby versions are true to the Biblical text and translate it "fear". Can we see how far we have gone with our democracy, from the Word of God?
Surely nowadays we are in deep decadence, methinks.
The only hope for a lasting marriage is to base it firmly on the Word of God, in Christ Jesus, the Lord
Do well and have children. Amen