CBN TEACHING SHEETS
Marriage: The Secrets of Loving for Life
What Obligations Do Marriage Partners Have to Each
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 them together.
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
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
Excerpts taken from Answers
to 200 of Life's Most Probing Questions, by Pat Robertson.
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Scripture references are taken form the New American Standard
translation of the Bible.
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