The marriage principles found in the Bible have a purpose-they are designed for our benefit. Through the prophet Malachi, Jehovah God said to ancient Israel: "I hate divorce" (2:16, NASB). The Lord hates divorce because He loves people and divorce is devastating to humankind. Man did not live one day upon this earth apart from the environment of a home. In fact, the very foundation of society is the home. Marriage is that divine union between a man and a woman who love one another, and who have welded their lives together "so long as they both shall live." It is the cement that holds society together.
Moreover, it is this very societal cohesiveness that facilitates the spread of the redemptive gospel of Jesus Christ. When the family structure disintegrates, a significant factor in the growth of Christian faith is missing, and the gospel of God is hindered. Those who encourage capricious, unauthorized divorce undermine the cause for which the Savior died.
Divorce, generally speaking, is a tremendous evil. In fact, it is so bad that Jesus Christ allows it (together with a subsequent remarriage) on one basis only-that of fornication (Matthew 5:32; 19:9). Subsequent unions following divorce-for all parties other than the innocent victim of a marriage breached by fornication-constitute adulterous relationships.
The divorce problem has reached alarming proportions. In 1970 there were 4.3 million divorced people in America. By 1994 that number had more than quadrupled to a staggering 17.4 million. According to the Journal of Marriage and the Family, the fairly recent phenomenon of "no-fault" divorce has significantly accelerated the plague of American divorce. The United States now leads the world in marriage break-up.
In a recently published book Why Marriage Matters: Reasons to Believe in Marriage in Post-Modern Society (Pinion Press, 1997), author Glenn T. Stanton has compiled a massive amount of evidence which reveals the shocking effect that divorce is having in this country. This book is a survey of the most authoritative social science research published over the course of the last century. It demonstrates how first-time, life-long, monogamous marriage significantly improves the lives of adults, their children and the nation at large.
Consider some of the following factors:
The evidence is all too clear. The Creator knew what He was doing when He gave strict regulations for the preservation of the original family. In view of this, Christian parents will make every effort possible to keep their marriages intact. Moreover, they will instruct their children in the concept of the permanency of marriage as designed by God.
by Jason Jackson
excludes no one (Note: Sadly, many do not respond to the goodness of
When Paul wrote about the Christian home, he said "This mystery is great: but I speak in regard of Christ and of the church" (Eph. ). God designed husbands and wives to be one (Eph. ). What a beautiful revelation. The more we appreciate "Christ and the church," the more we will understand how we ought to behave as Christian spouses. B.F. Westcott wrote the following about Ephesians 5:32:
of the unity of man and woman in one complex is of great moment.
It opens before us a vision of a higher form of existence, and enables us to
feel how parts which at present are widely separated may be combined into some
nobler whole without ceasing to be what they are. But I speak looking to
Christ and the church. In this final union we can see that humanity reaches
its consummation" (St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians.
Paul instructs husbands to consider Christ, the perfect model for agape. Using agape as an acrostic, let us study five truths that help us understand the husband's obligation.
A is for attitudes and actions. It does not stand for avoidance. It is not a strategic apology to prevent a conflict. Attitudes and actions mean that the husband must think and act like Christ; he ought to be a "Christian husband."
Agape is not sentimentality. It is defined as the husband's love for his wife's soul. Like Christ who loved, and therefore gave, a Christian husband should be selfless in his attitudes and actions (see 1 Cor. 13:1-8).
G stands for goal driven. There is a reason, an eternal reason, for a Christian husband's attitudes and actions. It is the reason for which Jesus "endured the cross" (Heb. 12:2).
Consider the results that Christ sought for the church. He loved the church, so he gave himself for it, "that he might" (1) sanctify it; (2) present it; (3) "that it should be holy and without blemish" (Eph. -27).
Husbands should have the same kinds of goals for their spouses. Husbands should facilitate their wives' spiritual growth. Corresponding to Christ's example, they should contribute to their wives: (1) being set apart and serving others in the Lord (i.e., sanctified); (2) being faithful in all things so that their wives will be "presented" as a part of the church; (3) being vigilant to be "holy and without blemish." The Christian wife ought to be growing with her husband's help - not in spite of his hindrances. The Christian husband must make his home into a spiritual harbor wherein heaven is the goal.
A is for always.
By its nature, agape does not wax and wain.
"Love never fails" (1 Cor. 13:8). In other
words, love is not going to be superseded by something better. It must remain
as a permanent commitment to the one loved (cf.
P stands for principled conduct. This point also makes agape distinctive and divine. It means that the husband is called to love because God commands it. (Note: Paul uses the imperative mood to command the husband to agape according to Christ's example in Eph. 5:25.)
This love can be learned, and couples can conform to God's will and Christ's pattern. A husband can agape his wife even when he is not loved in return. It is not a proper consideration to ask, "Does she really deserve it?" We did not earn Christ's love. He loved us first (1 Jn. ). The Christian husband will initiate a concern for his wife's spirituality out of principle - as Christ also loved the church.
E is for elevating benefits. Agape enhances the self-image of the one loved.
God, agape is the best medicine for mental health" (Ed Wheat. Love Life for Every Married Couple.
Principled, goal-driven love, can help a spouse through times of significant anxiety. Agape can provide stability and emotional security. Divine love makes every day better, braking down walls of defensiveness and quarreling.
A husband, living like God wants him to live, will love his wife like Christ loved the church, giving himself selflessly for her spiritual needs. That is agape - a Christian husband's eternally rewarding obligation.
”... the glory of children is their father” (Prov 17:6).
Fathers who are faithful to their duties are worthy of respect, admiration and honor. They bring dignity and honor to their family, the church and the community. Therefore it if fitting that, as a nation, we honor worthy fathers.
tragedy that is sweeping
a few years ago, the fictional character on one of
fathers are to nurture a family by accepting responsibility for directing the
home. The wise father will lead his family in righteous, godly living. Joshua set a high standard as he challenged
The Lord places the responsibility for rearing godly children squarely upon the shoulders of the father: “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). Fathers are to be firm but gentle with their children. Strength does not produce cruelty. The apostle Paul demonstrated the kind of tender-hearted compassion a father should have when he said “as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children” (1 Thess. 2:11).
Fathers have a responsibility to discipline their children. The Wise Man said, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Prov ). The purpose of discipline is to remove “foolishness” from the child. “Foolishness” refers to behavior that is rude, disrespectful, and irreverent. Such behavior must be corrected early in life. Discipline is necessary in order to ultimately save the soul of the child. “Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell” (Prov ).
pray that the men of