Marriage between one man and one woman is God’s PERFECT PLAN for us, one of the first, most basic and essential things we learn about in the very first chapter of the Bible. In Genesis 1 we read, “God created man in His own image. In the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them and God said unto them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply.’” There we have it: God’s DESIGN for marriage and family. And God’s DESIGNS are ALWAYS perfect! One man united with one woman in Holy Matrimony, for LIFE. Couldn’t be simpler. Yet we think we know better.
By the way, the word “Matrimony” literally means “Motherhood.” Not so long ago, people understood this. It’s God’s PERFECT design that only in the bonds of Holy Matrimony should a woman become a mother. You see, ANY male and female couple can fornicate, and sadly, in today’s permissive, Godless culture, more often than not, precious innocent children are viewed as “accidents,” “inconveniences,” born as the result of unbridled sexual lust -- with NO sacred bond -- between two unmarried, uncommitted people...or worse yet, murdered in the womb.
Now compare that to the security of an intact, Godly home with a devoted Mother and Father, who have given themselves, one to another and entered into the SACRED BONDS of Holy Matrimony, where the “D” word is not even in their vocabulary; where they build their lives together and their homes, and their families on the Word of God. A home where Jesus is not only welcome, but earnestly sought after! We have more dysfunctional families today than ever before because we have CHOSEN to turn from God and ignore all the precious wisdom He has imparted to us in His Holy Word, the Bible.
Today, I’m speaking from the point of view of a husband, father and grandfather, from a MAN’s point of view. In the past when I have encouraged men to be Godly husbands and fathers, leaders and ministers in their homes, and shared with them the importance of honoring, adoring and serving their precious wives, I have frequently received calls from angry, bitter men who are currently living in relationships that are fractured, broken and dysfunctional. These men are bitter toward their wives (or the women they are living with) and want me to preach about the responsibilities and shortcomings of the women -- actually they want me to CONDEMN the women, and say it’s all their fault.
But I’m not going to do that. I speak here, specifically to the men, because that’s who I am, that’s what I have personal experience with and knowledge about. And God’s Word instructs us that the MEN are the ones who are to be the leaders in their homes, to LOVE, HONOR AND SERVE their wives. If only the men of this world would ACT like men and uphold Christ’s commands, there would not be so many women who are so lost, so confused, so empty inside and so very disillusioned.
You see, men are called to be MINISTERS to their wives and families. That doesn’t mean your wife becomes your slave as we see in the Islamic culture. Actually, in a Christian home it’s the exact opposite: the very definition of “Minister” is servant. Pay attention, now, guys: Jesus said, we are to be the “servants of all.” In our homes, and in every area of our lives, our JOB is to SERVE. We are not here to be waited on hand and foot and served by others. WE are to be the servants. THAT is the example Jesus gave us to follow.
It would be easy to make a comparison between the dysfunctional family and the dysfunctional church, where so many professing “Christians” are confused, lost, and laden down with sin burdens. And WHY IS THAT? Because they have not been LEAD by those charged with shepherding and discipling them in the whole counsel of God. Instead, they have been MIS-LEAD by those who preach a phony, false “feel good,” “love gospel,” where Jesus never judges anyone, where there is no need to follow God’s Word or the commands of Christ, and certainly no need of repentance.
“Come as you are,” is the call of the apostate preacher looking to pack the auditorium and fill the collection plates.... and “stay as you are, all are welcome... Jesus loves you unconditionally!” How many of us have heard these lies preached from the pulpits? And so these baby believers start off in a “honeymoon state” with stars in their eyes. They begin with unrealistic expectations of what God can DO FOR THEM, how God can WORK for THEM, providing health, wealth, easy living and eternal trouble-free lives. This fictional god becomes OUR servant. How goofy is THAT?! The Creator of the universe created us so He could become OUR servant? But ultimately, they WILL discover the truth and when that disillusionment hits, they divorce themselves from the church entirely -- some never to return again.
They were promised wonderful, happy, trouble-free lives but what they found was that the GENUINE Christian life -- like Godly marriage -- is HARD. It is NOT for the weak or faint of heart. They discovered what the preacher would never reveal: God doesn’t work for US; instead, WE are here to SERVE HIM! And so the “honeymoon” abruptly comes to an end. So it is with marriage today.
Proverbs 18:22 tells us, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.” If you are a young man, engaged to be married to a young woman, praise the Lord -- you have found a wife! And if you have been married for 70 years, praise the Lord, because you have been GREATLY BLESSED by God to have a life-mate, a “help-meet,” and an intimate partner in your lifelong journey, ...and whether you realize it, or acknowledge it or not, she is the greatest blessing God has ever given you. Be thankful, for you are greatly blessed by the Lord!
It’s very sad that so many men just don’t understand that. They are all excited and infatuated with their brides-to-be ... at first. But the honeymoon is often short lived... And I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here, to say that every time a marriage and home becomes dysfunctional, the root of the problem is that God has not been welcome or active in the home -- or in the lives -- of the couple. But when God dwells there, in the homes and hearts WITH them -- and the MAN understands the great blessing he has received from the Lord by giving him a wife, he naturally appreciates so great a blessing and easily learns to honor, adore, protect, provide for and SERVE his wife, because he understands, as Solomon wrote in Proverbs 31, “...She is far more precious than jewels.”
Do you understand that guys? SHE IS YOUR WIFE! Your greatest blessing in this life! A Godly man of integrity will honor her, treat her with respect and seek to win her heart each and every day, just as he did at first. How did he win her heart? He SERVED her, he sought to PLEASE her. His greatest goal in life was to be found acceptable in her sight, and he would do everything in his power to win her dear heart. The “honeymoon” does not have to EVER end, if you are a man who understands these concepts and embraces them.
Speaking as one who has been married for nearly 27 years now to the greatest blessing the Lord has ever given ME, I can tell you, I am more in love with my wife, Lisa, today than I have ever been, and our love for one another, and our spiritual bond just grows more solid and more close and more beautiful with each passing day. Because I am her SERVANT; I minister to her. I do my utmost to make her life easier, to protect, provide, care for and LOVE her. That is my job as her husband. As Christians, we must do no less for our Lord. He is not our errand boy to satisfy our wandering desires. We are His ministers, His servants, His hands and feet in this world, and we must understand that -- and we must make it a priority that all we do is designed to please Him and be found faithful, acceptable and righteous in His sight.
The institution of Marriage is a serious matter... and as couples SHOULD be admonished during the wedding ceremony, something “not to be entered into lightly.” Indeed, when two people are united in the bonds of Holy Matrimony, the two become one flesh. It’s all wonderful at first, as you start out. But then LIFE happens.... the cares of this world come upon us. Don’t think it’s all going to be easy, nor will it always be “fun.” Giving one’s life to their beloved COSTS something; we must learn to give up OUR selfish desires and learn to minister (serve) and seek to please our wives. That is our job. It’s also what Christ requires of those who would follow Him and be called by His name. He doesn’t call us to a life of luxury and ease. No. He calls us to “take up our cross DAILY and follow Him.” Godly marriage, like Christianity, is a life of selfless devotion to the one we love, the one we have pledged our lives to. It is NOT for the faint of heart, the cowardly or the weak.
That’s how things SHOULD BE. But we are now two, if not three generations past the time when God was revered in America and when divorce was a shameful thing and very rare. It seems lifetime commitments are a thing of the past for most. All because of selfishness, an unwillingness to submit and serve, and a total disregard for God’s Word and Christ’s commands. So now, we’re reaping the consequences of everyone doing what they feel is “right” in their own eyes, completely APART from God. How’s that working for us?
Sadly, MANY today even go IN to what is SUPPOSED to be the sacred marriage covenant with very low expectations. I once attended a marriage ceremony of two people who did not believe in God at all, gave Him no acknowledgement whatsoever, but they still wanted a “church” wedding, for the “atmosphere” and “tradition.” Atmosphere and tradition; that is what we have reduced God’s Word to in our modern world today. Indeed, that is what “religion” is now, to most. The ceremony was held in a FORMER church which has been turned into a Community Music and Arts Center. This building still has the original stained glass windows and the church pews, and it LOOKS like a “church.” But this is no church. And the official who performed the ceremony was no righteous man of God either.... he was strictly in it for the fee he received for his services.
This particular couple also wrote their own meaningless “vows.” When they got to the part that USUALLY says, “as long as we both shall live,” they CHANGED the words to say: “as long as we both shall LOVE.” In other words, as long as they FELT like being together, they would stay together. How’s that for a commitment? Whatever happened to: “til death do we part?” No sacred bond, no “two becoming one flesh.” Just selfish, self-centered, “whatever feels good, and only for as long as it feels good” so-called “marriage.”
People today are so narcissistic. It’s all about THEM. Is it any wonder, then, that our divorce rates are what they are? Is it any wonder that sexual perversion and depravity is running rampant and being celebrated with wild abandon? Is it any wonder that even HALF of professing “Christians” today believe it is perfectly normal for men to “marry” other MEN?! And the other half, the half that still believes it’s wrong, are so cowardly and so fearful of speaking the truth, they simply say “who am I to judge?” And “to each his own.” This is the result of a culture that has completely abandoned God, choosing instead to believe the LIES the “snake” whispers in our clueless ears.
“To each his own.” And therein lies the problem. Forgetting the commands of God Almighty, and each doing what he feels is right in his own eyes. Even professing “Christians.” Shame. And no one wants to serve or minister to anyone anymore. Friends, without Jesus as Lord of our lives, without the Holy Spirit to guide us and teach us, without following the perfect plan of God for our lives, marriages, homes and families, we are a lost people, doomed to destruction. So MEN, it is time for you to “Man-up!” It’s time for you to LEAD, and by “lead,” I mean “Minister.” And by “Minister,” I mean SERVE. It’s time you learn to serve God, your wife, your children and God’s people.
We’ll continue this discussion next time, as we address specific problems -- and reveal practical, biblical solutions for men who truly want to live and SERVE as Christ commanded us, creating lifelong, covenant marriages, Godly homes and families, and truly living up to the commands of Jesus, with the wisdom of Scripture and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Audio CDs and transcripts of this message are available when you call me at Wisconsin Christian News, (715) 486-8066. Or email Rob@WisconsinChristianNews.com and ask for message number 193.
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