A Christian marriage is not just a relationship it has a religious blessing. Moreover, there are elements of acquiring involved, too. These give rise to hope, faith and a ‘mystery’.
Concerning this mystery, Eph 5:30-, “For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.
“This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and to the church. Nevertheless you also individually, let each one love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respect her husband.”
Marriage is central to the gospel, the ‘Good News’. The ‘News’, Jesus did die but the ‘Good News’, Jesus was resurrected. The question is why did Jesus die? The answer is to free humans from their relationship with Death, with Satan. Jesus was our ‘ransom’, 1Ti 2:1-, “First of all, I encourage you to make petitions, prayers, intercessions, and prayers of thanks for all people, for rulers, and for everyone who has authority over us. Pray for these people so that we can have a quiet and peaceful life always lived in a godly and reverent way.This is good and pleases God our Saviour. He wants all people to be saved and to learn the truth. God is one. There is also one mediator between God and humans, a human, Christ Jesus. Who gave Himself a ransom for all people to free them from their sins. This message is valid for every era.”
Humankind, the offspring of Adam and Eve, has this relationship with Death because of Adam’s eating of the ‘forbidden fruit’. Adam’s eating did not ‘take God by surprise’. God had paranormal knowledge and made provision. Scripture says, 1Pet 1:16-, “Be holy, because I am holy. So if you call God your Father, live your time as temporary residents on earth in fear. He is the God who judges all people by what they have done, and he doesn’t play favourites. Realize that you weren’t set free from the worthless life handed down to you from your ancestors by a payment of silver or gold that can be destroyed.
“Rather, the payment that freed you was the precious blood of Christ, the lamb with no defects or imperfections. He is the lamb who was known long ago before the world existed, but for your good, He became publicly known in the last period of time. Through Him you believe in God who brought Christ back to life and gave Him glory. So your faith and confidence are in God.”
Concerning this matter Paul writes, 1Co 15:1-, “But let me recall to you, brethren, the Good News which I brought you, which you accepted, and on which you are standing, through which also you are obtaining salvation, if you bear in mind the words in which I proclaimed it–unless indeed your faith has been unreal from the very first. For I repeated to you the all-important fact which also I had been taught, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; that He was buried; that He rose to life again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.”
Paul, more than other, understood what Jesus told his disciples the evening Jesus ‘blew on his disciples’ with these words, “Receive a holy spirit.” From that moment, they were no longer ‘of the flesh’ but, ‘spiritual’. First, Jesus rebuked them for their unbelief, Mar 16:14-, “Later, Jesus appeared to the eleven followers while they were eating. He criticized them because they had so little faith. They were stubborn and refused to believe the people who said Jesus had risen from death. He said to them, “Go everywhere in the world. Tell the Good News to everyone. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. But those who do not believe will be judged guilty.”
These were Jesus’ words to Nicodemus, Joh 3:5-, “Jesus answered, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, ‘Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ Marvel not that I said unto thee, ‘Ye must be born again’.”
You may wonder what has rebirth to do with marriage. The answer is, Mat 19:3-, “And there came to him the Pharisees tempting him, saying, ‘Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?’ Who answering, said to them, ‘Have ye not read, that He who made man from the beginning, made them male and female? And he (Adam) said, “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be unto one flesh.” Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.’
“They say to Him, ‘Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and to put away?’ He saith to them, ‘Because Moses, by reason of the hardness of your heart, permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning, it was not so. And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away committeth adultery’.”
Paul explains, Rom 7:1-, “Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law) that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the law binds the woman who hath a husband, to her husband as long as he liveth, but if the husband is dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
“So then, if while her husband liveth, she is married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband is dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to this law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit to God.
“For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit to death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead by which we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”
In the previous chapters Paul explained, Rom 5:17-, “For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they who receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore, as by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men to justification of life.
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous. Moreover, the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. That as sin hath reigned to death, even so might grace reign through righteousness to eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Baptism, by immersion, symbolized that ‘death’, the putting an end to the union with Sin, Rom 6:1-, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? By no means; how shall we, that are dead to sin live any longer therein? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin may be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death?
“For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we are dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him. Knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died to sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth to God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Jesus’ baptism was a different baptism to that of John, Act 19:1-, “And it came to pass, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having passed through the upper districts, came to Ephesus, and finding certain disciples, he said to them, ‘Did ye receive the (a) Holy Spirit when ye had believed?’ And they said to him, ‘We did not even hear if the (a) Holy Spirit was come.’
“And he said, ‘To what then were ye baptised?’ And they said, ‘To the baptism of John. And Paul said, ‘John indeed baptised with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on him that was coming after him, that is, on Jesus.’ And when they heard that, they were baptised to the name of the Lord Jesus. And Paul having laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve.”
The Holy Spirit, Paul referred to, was that ‘breathing on’ of Jesus on his disciples that evening. The translators erroneously added the definite article. A believer receives ‘a breath of eternal life’ after coming-up out of the water of baptism, Joh 3:5, “Jesus answered, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except any one be born of water and of Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit’.”
Important, Joh 7:37-, “In the last, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried saying, ‘If any one thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He that believes on Me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of His belly shall flow rivers of living water.’ But this He said concerning the Spirit, which they that believed on Him were about to receive; for that Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.”
Jesus’ ‘glorification’ was between the time Jesus spoke to Mary Magdalene and his appearance to the men of Emmaus, Joh 20:17-, “Jesus says to her, ‘Touch Me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.’ Mary of Magdala comes bringing word to the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had said these things to her.”
John, whilst on the Isle of Patmos, witnessed a ‘playback’ of Jesus’ glorification, Rev 5:6-, “I saw a Lamb standing in the centre near the throne with the four living creatures and the leaders. The Lamb looked like He had been slaughtered. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent all over the world. He took the scroll from the right hand of the One who sits on the throne.
“When the Lamb had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the 24 leaders bowed in front of Him. Each held a harp and a gold bowl full of incense, the prayers of God’s holy people. Then they sang a new song, “You deserve to take the scroll and open the seals on it, because You were slaughtered. You bought people with your blood to be God’s own. They are from every tribe, language, people, and nation. You made them a kingdom and priests for our God. They will rule as kings on the earth.”
“Then I heard the voices of many angels, the four living creatures, and the leaders surrounding the throne. They numbered ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands times thousands. In a loud voice they were singing, “The Lamb who was slain deserves to receive power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honour, glory, and praise.”
Therefore, baptism is not only the ‘putting off’ of the ‘old man’ moreover, it is the fulfilment of, Joh 1:29-, “On the morrow he (John) seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world!’ This is He, of whom I said, ‘After me cometh a Man who is become before me: for He was before me. And I knew Him not; but that He should be made manifest to Israel, for this cause came I baptising in water.’
“And John bare witness, saying, ‘I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven; and it abode upon Him. And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptise in water, He said unto me, ‘Upon whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and abiding upon Him, the same is He that baptiseth in the (a) Holy Spirit. And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”
Concerning this ‘baptising in a Holy Spirit’ Paul explains, 1Co 12:12-, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.”
Born again people are the ‘body of Christ’; they share his righteousness and his holy spirit/breath. In the time of the Law, only certain people were allowed to partake in the temple activities. Not so now, Gal 3:25-, “Now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law to be our guardian. You were all baptized into Christ, and so you were all clothed with Christ. This shows that you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Now, in Christ, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or free, male or female. You are all one [an individual] in Christ Jesus.”
Jesus’ ‘body’ consists of many members forming one body, 1Co 12:13-, “For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, ‘Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body’. It is not therefore not of the body. And if the ear shall say, ‘Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body’. It is not therefore not of the body.
“If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearings? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members each one of them in the body, even as it pleased Him.”
When Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, he sinned against God and his sin was imputed to his descendants. We, so to speak, became bones of Sin’s bones and flesh of Sin’s flesh; doomed. God, however, introduced a sacrificial arrangement whereby the blood of the victim acted as a ransom until the promised ‘Seed’ would come, Gen 3:9-, “The LORD God called to the man and asked him, ‘Where are you?’
“He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden. I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’ God asked, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat fruit from the tree I commanded you not to eat from?’ …The LORD God made clothes from animal skins for the man and his wife and dressed them.” Later we read concerning Abel’s sacrifice that was accepted of which we read, Heb 11:4, “By faith Abel offered to God a sacrifice exceeding that of Cain, by which he obtained a testimony that he was just, God giving testimony to his gifts. And by it being dead yet speaketh.”
Moreover, Heb 12:22-, “But you are come to mount Sion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the company of many thousands of angels. And to the church of the firstborn who are written in the heavens, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the just made perfect. And to Jesus the mediator of the New Testament and to the sprinkling of blood which speaketh better than that of Abel’s sacrifice.”
Born again people are now ‘bones of Jesus’ bones and flesh of Jesus’ flesh’, children of God. Concerning this Paul writes, Eph 5:1-, “Imitate God, since you are the children He loves. Live in love, as Christ also loved us. He gave his life for us as an offering and sacrifice, a soothing aroma to God. Don’t let sexual sin, perversion of any kind, or greed even be mentioned among you. This is not appropriate behaviour for God’s holy people. It’s not right that dirty stories, foolish talk, or obscene jokes should be mentioned among you either. Instead, give thanks to God. You know very well that no person who is involved in sexual sin, perversion, or greed (which means worshiping wealth) can have any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
“Don’t let anyone deceive you with meaningless words. It is because of sins like these that God’s anger comes to those who refuse to obey Him. Don’t be partners with them. Once you lived in the dark, but now the Lord has filled you with light. Live as children who have light. Light produces everything that is good, that has God’s approval, and that is true. Determine which things please the Lord. Have nothing to do with the useless works that darkness produces. Instead, expose them for what they are. It is shameful to talk about what some people do in secret.
“Light exposes the true character of everything because light makes everything easy to see. That’s why it says: ‘Wake up, sleeper! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ So then, be very careful how you live. Don’t live like foolish people but like wise people. Make the most of your opportunities because these are evil days. So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord wants. Don’t get drunk on wine, which leads to wild living. Instead, be filled in Spirit by reciting psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs for your own good. Sing and make music to the Lord with your hearts. Always thank God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Place yourselves under each other’s authority out of respect for Christ.”
When in ‘the flesh’ one finds ‘happiness’ in much wine. Being ‘spiritual’ one finds happiness and joy by reciting psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs… One, so to speak, has left ‘father and mother’, one’s previous nature and now clings to Christ, of one flesh with Him. A born again person’s hope is, 1Jn 3:2, “Dear friends, now we are God’s children. What we will be isn’t completely clear yet. We do know that when Christ appears we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is.”
Furthermore, born again people are to be of one mind, 1Co 11:17-, “Your worship services do you more harm than good. I am certainly not going to praise you for this. I am told that you can’t get along with each other when you worship, and I am sure that some of what I have heard is true. You are bound to argue with each other, but it is easy to see which opinion has God’s approval. For this reason, one must be in subjection to the ‘approved opinion’, the truth, in the fear of Christ, out of respect for Christ.”
Paul continues, Eph 5:22-, “Wives, place yourselves under your husbands’ authority as you have placed yourselves under the Lord’s authority. The husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. It is his body, and he is its Saviour. As the church is under Christ’s authority, so wives are under their husbands’ authority in everything. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church. He gave his life for it that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it with the bathing of the water in the saying, ‘That He might present it to Himself the assembly in glory, not having spot or wrinkle, or any of such things, but that it may be holy and unblemished.’
“So husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself. No one ever hated his own body. Instead, he feeds and takes care of it, as Christ takes care of the church. We are parts of his body. That’s why a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will be for one flesh. This is a great mystery. (I’m talking about Christ’s relationship to the church.) But every husband must love his wife as he loves himself, and wives should respect their husbands.”
It is for this reason that a Christian marriage is central to the gospel. One cannot ‘fall in love’ with Jesus for whatever reason and become his ‘bride’ without being ‘born again’. Likewise, one may not fall in love with someone who is not born again, 2Co 6:11-, “We have been very open in speaking to you Corinthians. We have a place for you in our hearts. We haven’t cut you off. Your own emotions have cut you off from us.
“I’m talking to you as I would talk to children. Treat us the same way we’ve treated you. Make a place for us in your hearts too. Stop forming inappropriate relationships with unbelievers. Can right and wrong be partners? Can light have anything in common with darkness? Can Christ agree with the devil? Can a believer share life with an unbeliever? Can God’s temple contain false gods? Clearly, we are the temple of the living God. As God said, ‘I will live and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.’
“The Lord says, ‘Get away from unbelievers. Separate yourselves from them. Have nothing to do with anything unclean. Then I will welcome you.’ The Lord Almighty says, ‘I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters’.”
One may ask what happens if only one of the partners come to repentance. It is written, 1Co 7:10-, “I pass this command along (not really I, but the Lord). A wife shouldn’t leave her husband. If she does, she should stay single or make up with her husband. Likewise, a husband should not divorce his wife. I (not the Lord) say to the rest of you. If any Christian man is married to a woman who is an unbeliever, and she is willing to live with him, he should not divorce her.
“If any Christian woman is married to a man who is an unbeliever, and he is willing to live with her, she should not divorce her husband. Actually, the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and an unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise, their children would be unacceptable to God, but now they are acceptable to him. But if the unbelieving partners leave, let them go. Under these circumstances, a Christian man or Christian woman is not bound by a marriage vow. God has called you to live in peace. How do you as a wife know whether you will save your husband? How do you as a husband know whether you will save your wife?”
Now Paul likens marriage, the union between a man and his wife, to that of the relationship between the ‘church’ and Christ. The ‘church’ is the members of Christ’s body. Members of Christ’s body are those who have heard the ‘good news’ concerning Jesus’ resurrection, believed, then baptised and, by faith, received ‘Jesus’ breath/spirit of eternal life’, Rom -8:6-, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit (spiritual), if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
“For as many as are led by a ‘Divine Spirit’, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received a spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received a Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
One must distinguish between the Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit, that of Jesus, one’s own spirit and that of an unbeliever’s spirit. There are also evil spirits. A believer has, by baptism, put to death his/her ‘body of sin’ and, by faith, received a ‘holy spirit’. Now that ‘holy spirit’, the ‘breath of life’, the believer received from Jesus, bears witness with God’s Spirit, which raised Jesus from Death, that the believer, too, is a child of God. A born-again believer, having received a holy spirit and, as such, is a member of Jesus’ body, is led by a Godly spirit, a divine spirit. The Holy Spirit is the promised Comforter who, in turn, empowers believers.
A person is not body, soul and spirit, a trichotomy but, alike to a marriage, a dichotomy consisting of body and spirit. A marriage is the union of husband and his wife. Should one pass-away there is no longer, a marriage. A body becomes a living soul when it receives its ‘breath of life’. One must also distinguish between one’s breathing and one’s spirit. Fetuses live yet are not yet breathing they are supplied oxygen by the mothers. The fetus’ [life], however is from corruptible seed not like that of a born-again person, 1Pe 1:22-, “You have made yourselves pure by obeying the truth. Now you can have true love for your brothers and sisters. So love each other deeply–with all your heart.
“You have been born again. This new life did not come from something that dies. It came from something that cannot die. You were born again because of God’s life-giving message that lasts forever. The Scriptures say, ‘Our lives are like the grass of spring, and any glory we enjoy is like the beauty of a wildflower. The grass dries up and dies, and the flower falls to the ground. But the word of the Lord lasts forever.’ And that word is the Good News that was told to you.”
The reason for, Eph 5:22-, “Wives, place yourselves under your husbands’ authority as you have placed yourselves under the Lord’s authority. The husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. It is his body, and he is its Saviour. As the church is under Christ’s authority, so wives are under their husbands’ authority in everything. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church. He gave his life for it that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it with the bathing of the water in the saying, that he might present it to himself the assembly in glory, not having spot or wrinkle, or any of such things, but that it may be holy and unblemished,” is for no other reason than for her protection.
Never again, will any man blame a woman or, any husband his wife as did Adam, Gen 3:12, “The man answered, ‘That woman, the one you gave me, gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it’.” The woman blamed the snake.
Do take note of the outcome, “So the LORD God said to the snake, ‘Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all the wild or domestic animals. You will crawl on your belly. You will be the lowest of animals as long as you live. I will make you and the woman hostile toward each other. I will make your descendants and her descendant hostile toward each other. He will crush your head, and you will bruise his heel’.”
As long as the Snake and the woman are unreceptive, one to the other, Satan has no chance of again deceiving her. Even so, a woman’s father (Num 30:1- ), or, her husband are accountable for whatever she says. She has, however God’s sympathy, 1Ti 2:11-, “A woman should quietly learn from others with entire submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach, nor have authority over a man, but she must remain silent. For Adam was formed first, and then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but his wife was thoroughly deceived, and so became involved in transgression. Yet a woman will be brought safely through childbirth if she and her husband continue to live in faith and love and growing holiness, with habitual self-restraint.”
Furthermore, God said to the snake, Gen 3:15. “I will make you and the woman hostile toward each other. I will make your descendants and her descendant hostile toward each other. He will crush your head, and you will bruise his heel. Satan and his evil spirits did gang-up against her ‘Descendant’; did ‘bruise His heel’. It was by that wound that ‘we’ were healed. Unfortunately, most translators insist on using the plural, wounds/stripes, 1Pe 2:21-, “For you were called to this, for even Christ suffered on our behalf, leaving behind an example for us, that you should follow His steps; who did not sin, nor was guile found in His mouth. Isa. 53:9
“Who, having been reviled, did not revile in return; suffering, He did not threaten, but gave Himself up to Him who was judging righteously; who Himself carried up in His body our sins onto the tree; that dying to sins, we might live to righteousness, of whom by His wound you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray, but now you turned back to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” Isa. 53:4-6
What God pronounced over Adam too, to this day, is in force. Nobody has eaten of the fruit of The Garden of Eden to this day. We eat ‘of the plants of the field’, Gen 3:17-, “And He said to the man, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it,’ the ground shall be cursed because of you. You shall eat of it in sorrow all the days of your life.
“And it shall bring forth thorns and thistles for you and you shall eat the plant of the field. By the sweat of your face, you shall eat bread until your return to the ground. For you have been taken out of it; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return’.”
A Christian marriage therefore symbolises the union of the true church and Jesus ‘bones of His bones and flesh of His flesh’ so that it may bear fruit to God, Rom 7:-4-. It is the church, not Jesus that ‘bears fruit’, Mat 28:19-, “So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.”
The woman symbolises the church. She too, is the one who ‘gives birth’, the natural growth of the church. The husband, in turn, symbolises Jesus who is the head of the church. A hierarchy, within the church, exists, it is not a fairy tale, 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. …he, the man, is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. …But wearing long hair is a woman’s glory. Long hair is given to the woman to cover her head.”
A Christian marriage could be ‘heaven on earth’ were it not for the neglecting of…
“Husbands!” Eph 5:25- “love your own wives, as also the Christ did love the assembly. And He did give Himself for it, that He might sanctify it, having cleansed it with the bathing of the water in the saying, ‘That He might present it to Himself the assembly in glory, not having spot or wrinkle, or any of such things, but that it may be holy and unblemished.’ Even so ought the husbands to love their own wives as their own bodies: he who is loving his own wife–himself he doth love.
“For no one ever his own flesh did hate, but doth nourish and cherish it, as also the Lord–the assembly, because members we are of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones; `for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and they shall be–the two–for one flesh.’ This secret is great, and I speak concerning Christ and to the assembly. But ye also, every one in particular–let each his own wife so love as himself,”
Would you know, why I love my Partner so?
The above is the recipe for the perfect Christian marriage. The ‘missing ingredient’, however, is found elsewhere. Moreover, they are the most unlikely ones within ‘the hierarchy’ and it does not surprise me, Rom 11:33-, “O depth of riches, and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and untraceable His ways! For who did know the mind of the Lord? Or who did become His counsellor? Or who did first give to Him, and it shall be given back to Him again? Because of Him, and through Him, and to Him are the all things; to Him is the glory–to the ages. Amen.”
God chose the ‘grannies’, the ones to be responsible for ‘a perfect marriage’ but the church built old age homes. Instead of a granny at home, the parents employed a ‘nanny’, ‘and they lived haply ever after’ as in Romeo and Juliet.
Why would God choose grannies? It’s so obvious. Who else would know the ‘shortcomings’ of a husband? If only she could have waved ‘the magic wand’ over her own husband and made him the perfect man, ‘meet for her’. There is no ‘magic wand’, it’s hard work.The least grannies can do is to ensure that the next generation’s ‘brides’ will not only be perfect wives but, moreover, will have ‘perfect husbands’, Tit 2:1-, “But speak thou the things which befit the sound doctrine. That aged men be temperate, grave, sober minded, sound in faith, in love, in patience.
Think on the advantage that the newborn, to a God Fearing family, has. Recognize this value in the life of Timothy; 2Tim 1:1-, “From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will-a will that contains Christ Jesus’ promise of life. To Timothy, my dear child, good will, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord! I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day when I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience as my ancestors did. I remember your tears and want to see you so that I can be filled with happiness.
“I’m reminded of how sincere your faith is. That faith first lived in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice. I’m convinced that it also lives in you. You received a gift from God when I placed my hands on you to ordain you. Now I’m reminding you to fan that gift into flames.
“God didn’t give us a cowardly spirit but a spirit of power, love, and good judgment. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord or be ashamed of me, his prisoner. Instead, by God’s power, join me in suffering for the sake of the Good News. God saved us and called us to be holy, not because of what we had done, but because of his own plan and kindness. Before the world began, God planned that Christ Jesus would show us God’s kindness.
“Now with the coming of our Saviour Christ Jesus, He has revealed it. Christ has destroyed death, and through the Good News, He has brought eternal life into full view. Nevertheless, you know all about my teachings, my way of life, my purpose, my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance… However, continue in what you have learned and found to be true. You know who your teachers were.
“From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures. They have the power to give you wisdom so that you can be saved through faith in Christ Jesus. Every Scripture passage is inspired by God. All of them are useful for teaching, pointing out errors, correcting people, and training them for a life that has God’s approval.”
What a privilege it is to be a child ‘in a Christian home’. It sure is eighteen years of input, put in safekeeping, which money cannot buy. However, being the ‘Christian mother’ or the ‘qualified Christian granny’ is a life of love, dedication and enthusiasm. After all, one lives one’s life, on earth, only once; in preparation for an eternal life in the hereafter.
Concerning the hereafter Jesus said, Joh 14:1-, “Don’t be troubled. Believe in God, and believe in Me. My Father’s house has many rooms. If that were not true, would I have told you that I’m going to prepare an opportunity for you? If, I go, to prepare the opportunity for you, I will come again. Then I will bring you into my presence so that you will be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going (And unless you are willing to take up your cross and come with Me, you are not fit to be my disciples.
“Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you’re going. So how can we know the way?’ Jesus answered him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through Me… I can guarantee this truth: Those who believe in Me will do the things that I am doing. They will do even greater things because I am going to the Father’.”
Who is ‘this Jesus’ in the eyes of the growing child? Moreover, where does the child find ‘this Jesus’ to follow Him? Is it not the father? Is it the church? How sad it is that one should ask the question, “Which of the many churches”? ‘We’ know. It is the ‘home-church’, Eph 5:31-, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and they shall be—the two—for one flesh. This secret is great, and I speak in regard to Christ and to the assembly”
The family represents a relationship between Christ and the church. The husband represents Jesus, the mother the church and the children the ‘end result’, Eph 1:3-, “Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Through Christ, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing that heaven has to offer. Before the creation of the world, He chose us through Christ to be holy and perfect in his presence. Because of his love He had already decided to adopt us through Jesus Christ.”
Paraphrasing verses 23-, “A husband is head of the wife as also Christ is head of the church, he, the husband, responsible for her salvation. Therefore, as the church is to Christ, so also the wives to their husbands in everything. The husbands love your wives, as also Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.”
Surely Christian parents are the result of parentage input. They, in turn, are responsible for assuring that their children are fit for ‘heavens’ way of life, Heb 12:8, “God corrects all of his children, and if He doesn’t correct you, then you don’t really belong to Him.”
Therefore, if children are allowed to ‘get away’ with undesirable behaviour neither they nor, their parents will be judged fit for heavens’ way of life. Worst still, will the grandparents too, be guilty of neglect? In God’s economy children too, have a right, a right to be brought-up in the fear of God.
It is written, Tit 2:3-, “Old women are to be teachers of that which is good, training the younger women to have love for their husbands and children. To be wise in mind, clean in heart, kind; working in their houses, living under the authority of their husbands; so that no evil may be said of the word of God.”
If she loves her husband, she will support him concerning Godly discipline and, in the same time, schooling her children in preparation for parenthood learning from her and her husband’s mistakes. A sure sign of success is children dashing-out, ahead of the dog, as soon as they hear the father arriving from work. Behind every successful marriage, there stands a dedicated mother and granny.
Every picture tells a story. Made-up beds, a table telling of a had breakfast, a father, standing beside his family, praying a blessing before leaving for work knowing full well that the children are in the best care this world has to offer, in the hands of a dedicated mother.
After all is said and done, all that matters is expressed in the following:
When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more, and the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair. When the ‘families’ of earth shall gather over on the other shore, and the roll is called up yonder, we’ll be there!
Cho When the roll is called up yonder (4) we’ll be there!
Let us labour for the Master from the dawn to setting sun, let us tell of all His wondrous love and care.
Then, when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done, and the roll is called up yonder, we’ll be there!