Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Marriage Basics Series – Roles Rules Rights and Responsibilities


2 Corinthians 2:11  Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

The word Greek translated “devices” in this scripture means “purposes; intents; goals; or schemes”. If we do not understand the purposes and goals of satan, he will have a greater advantage over us in his attempts to deceive and control us.

The primary goal of satan is to disrupt and ultimately destroy the work of God. We know that the greatest work of God in the earth is accomplished through relationships and the mother of all relationships is marriage. If therefore we do not understand that satan wants to disrupt and destroy marriages we might not recognize that it is the devil who is trying to change the rules, roles, rights and responsibilities of this God ordained, God structured, God designed covenant relationship.

Marriage is the first God-ordained and God-established relationship in the Bible. Outside of an individual’s relationship with God, marriage is the next highest demand God places on individuals to join with another person in a God sanctioned adventure. God ordained and designed marriage and the family before He ordained the Church, saved Noah, spoke to Abraham, called Moses, gave the Ten Commandments or sent Jesus.

If the devil can disrupt marriages and destroy the family model established by God then there will be no godly example of this heavenly pattern on the earth. The Church and the nation are only as strong and secure as the family … and a family is only as strong and secure as is the covenant of marriage. Family is and will continue to be the heavenly pattern of life on earth. God never intended the earth to exist without family.

Without bible based marriages and scripturally guided families there will be no heavenly model to lead mankind into and through the most powerful and important relationships God ordains. Relationships have a God designed eternal purpose and when a relationship is in Biblical order, it works! As well, when satan can deceive and lead individuals, families or society as a whole to discount God’s design, trouble and failure are on their way.

One of the greatest deceptions perpetrated by the devil against God’s design for marriage is the subtle recasting of the gender based roles of marriage. In fact, the devil has been working overtime attempting to erase the value and virtue of gender in every area of society. Nowhere is this demonic led onslaught against God’s Word and Will more prevalent than in the God ordained roles, rules, rights and responsibilities of marriage.

Many times people refer to the “Traditional” family or the “Traditional” roles of marriage. During this study of the basics of marriage we will not be discussing the “traditional roles” of marriage and family but rather we will solely focused on the “Biblical Roles” of marriage - God’s Word cannot be limited to or judged by the traditions of man.

If we are going to live a God ordered life built on the Rock and lived in accordance with God’s Word and Will, it is imperative that we first buy into the value and virtue of the God ordained gender based roles, rules, rights and responsibilities of life.

God revealed Himself to us as a man, not as a woman. Jesus came to earth as a man. God instructs us to see both the Nation of Israel and the New Testament Church as a woman. God created Adam as a man and then He created Eve to be a woman. God created mankind, male and female, as well as creating the animal kingdom after the same rudimentary fashion. To deny this patternistic rule in favor of singular exceptions would be to deny God His intent. God designed gender with purpose and intent.

God endowed each gender with specific qualities fit to the roles and responsibilities to which they were born. God did not make women stupid but rather instructed them to submit to their husbands. God did not make men weak but rather He told them to not be brutish or overbearing with their wives and children. God did not create all parents smarter than their children but He did command the children to obey their parents. God did not limit intelligence, strength, or passion to one gender above another but rather He gave instructions to each in order to follow His design for relationships and build the family God’s way.

Everyone has a part to play and a place to fit in. Although not everyone appreciates the part or sees the value and virtue of their part, nonetheless God does. If a person sees no value in or has no desire to perform the requirements of a God ordered marriage then it would be my suggestion, supported by scriptures, to not get married. This is a Bible option.

There is a whole lot more to marriage than we have discussed thus far and I don’t want anything we say to be the final word until we have surveyed the whole counsel of God’s Word concerning the subject and covenant of marriage. So without digging any holes or running out trails tonight, let’s get right to the basics of marriage by talking about the roles, rules, rights and responsibilities of marriage based on the Bible’s model for marriage.

To begin our discussions tonight allow me to share an unpopular truth:
        Men and Women are Different!

Each one designed by God and endowed with certain abilities and most often gifted with certain perspectives and strengths generally found within that gender. Variations do not disprove but rather stand as markers to validate a norm. Allowing a deviation to establish a new norm is to imagine no standards or rules of life and law does or should exist. Add to any subject the fact that God has spoken so directly to the matter and we recognize truth which will stand regardless as to whether individuals or society agrees or not. Such is the truth that defines the differing roles of a man and a woman in the covenant of marriage.

God is the one who designed marriage and offers His blessings on this covenant. God had defined marriage and its:
·        Roles
·        Rules
·        Rights
·        Responsibilities

Marriage Roles
        (Information from Marriage Basics guide)

The Bible guide to marriage is simple and unchanging.
·        If you are born a man you have the opportunity if you so desire to marry a woman and perform the role of a husband, and father, providing there are children in the marriage.
o   You are the primary provider, protector, defender and voice to and for the family.
o   You are the head of the household and spiritual leader of the family.
o   You are the covering for the family and the mediator.
·        If you are born a woman and marry, you are tasked by God to be a wife, to submit to the leadership of your husband, to bear children if the Lord so allows and to nurture them as they grow.
o   You have a primary responsibility to be the homemaker and care giver.
o   You are the heart of the family and as such are afforded a special bond which should be counted on to draw and keep the family together.
o   You are designed by God to receive life from your husband and to pass that life on to your children.
·        A man and woman joined together in the covenant of marriage  have become one in the eyes of God and will receive the blessings of God together.
o   Each person in the relationship has a primary God-given role to play.
o   God has given us to understand the differing needs of each person and role:
§  Husband’s needs
§  Wife’s needs

Ephesians 5
25  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
26  that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
27  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.
28  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.
30  For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
31  "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."
32  This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33  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.

More than mere roles to play, marriage is a covenant relationship. God expects us to adhere to our God given roles and also to Rules, Rights and Responsibilities which come along with this covenant.

Here are some key elements of marriage and family
·        respect
·        love
·        care
·        nourishment
·        protection
·        provision
·        security
·        future
·        reproduction

Genesis 2
21 ¶  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.
22  Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
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."
24  Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

25  And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.