CBN TEACHING SHEETS
Marriage: The Secrets of Loving for Life
What Obligations Do Marriage Partners Have to Each Other?
The apostle Paul, writing to the church at Ephesus, laid down some very good
guidelines for husbands and wives. To the men he said, "Husbands, love
your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her."
(Ephesians 5:25). To the women he said, "Wives, submit to your husbands
as to the Lord." (Ephesians 5:22) That kind of relationship brings about
a lack of tension in marriage.
The husband should be willing to sacrifice himself for the wife's good. If
he loves her enough that he is willing to give himself for her, even as Jesus
did for the church, then the wife will be willing to submit to his leadership.
She will know that he is always looking out for her good and always willing
to put her interests ahead of his.
By the same token, a wife has the ability to make her husband the head of
the household by urging him to take his proper role as priest in the home.
She should encourage him to seek God, to find out what God is telling the
family to do. She can build her husband up and, by being willing to submit,
give him a sense of responsibility so that he will assume his proper role.
The one who always insists on "rights" will destroy the marriage
relationship. If the husband says to the wife, "You much obey me because
the Bible says so," he is going to alienate her. At the same time, the
wife who refuses to submit to the husband and fights him all the time will
make him apprehensive about following the Lord. He will start thinking, "What
if I get a message from God? All I am going to get is opposition from my wife,
so I might as well just follow my own desires and let her follow hers."
Such attitudes will pull couples apart, whereas God's standards should draw
The husband who departs from God's laws, and insists that his wife do the
same thing, has lost his mandate of authority. God did not give the husband
a mandate to break His law, to abuse his wife, to become involved in bizarre
sex practices, or to lead his wife into stealing or lying or cheating or drunkenness.
But as long as the husband is following the mandate of the Lord, the wife
should submit to his leadership, even though she may disagree with it.
God's standard is true, yet in many marriages, the wife is more able than
her husband. Regretfully, a woman with great abilities sometimes marries a
man who does not have much ability. This wife must resist the temptation to
dominate her husband. Her husband will sometimes make decisions that the wife
feels are wrong. She must either gently persuade her husband that he is wrong,
or else pray that God will change her husband's mind. A woman has voluntarily
surrendered a portion of her autonomy to her husband when she marries. She
must trust God that His way will work out. However, a husband who wants his
wife to deny God, to engage in group sex, or to commit an act that is obviously
against God's law has lost his authority. The wife's first allegiance is to
Jesus Christ and she must follow Him. She cannot submit to what is unlawful
It is important to remember that husbands and wives are partners. Someone
has rightly pointed out that woman was taken from the side of man, not from
his head or foot. She is not to dominate her husband, nor is she to be supine
and let him walk over her as if she were a doormat. A husband and wife are
to be partners in life and are to share a living relationship that acknowledges
that the man is the head of the family as long as he is submitted to Christ.
Excerpts taken from Answers
to 200 of Life's Most Probing Questions, by Pat Robertson.
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Read other CBN Teaching Sheets
Scripture references are taken form the New
American Standard translation of the Bible.
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