jump to navigation

The healthy, happy marriage… November 18, 2009

Posted by JP in Discussion, Uncategorized.
Tags: ,


Conventional wisdom is that compromise is the key to a good marriage – each spouse should work to strike a balance in fulfilling the needs of their spouse and having their needs fulfilled as well. The two, working together, to build a strong joint effort, which addresses the needs and desires of both parties.

I am telling you that this is not the key to a healthy, happy marriage.  This is the key to self-interest, resentment, and dissatisfaction.

As it is with most things in this life, scripture has given us the answer to the question:  How do I have, and maintain, a healthy, happy, marriage?

Eph 5:25-33 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, (26) So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, (27) That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless].  (28)  Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.  (29)  For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, (30) because we are members (parts) of His body.  (31)  For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. (32)  This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church.  (33)  However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her…”

Think about this admonition for just a moment. When we look at the underlying example given here, we see something that worldly wisdom does not give us. We see the example of Christ’s love and sacrifice and this absolutely is the key element of a healthy, happy marriage – complete and total sacrifice.

How exactly does Christ love the church?  He gave His life for her.

Rom 5:8  But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.

Consider for a moment the message of the Gospel – Jesus’ love is such that He gave His life for the church; not based on reciprocation, not based on condition, not dependent upon anything from us, nor requirement of us, just complete and total sacrifice born of love.

Christ Jesus divested Himself of His power, His glory, and His very life, for the sanctification of the world.  He did not say to the world, ‘If you do this for Me, I will do this for you’.  He did not say to His Father in Heaven, ‘If they believe in Me, choose Me, obey Me, follow Me, love Me, then I will sacrifice Myself for them’.

Indeed, Christ’s love for us was much different, it was a love that transcended His own needs, desire for recognition, satisfaction, affection, devotion, or anything else. It was a love that became the impetus for Him to say the world:  “I will die for you because I love you. I am giving my life for you as a gift born of my undying and everlasting love for you. You have to do nothing to deserve it, you have to do nothing to earn it; I’m giving it to you freely and willingly because I love you.”

Not only did He give His life and His love to us unconditionally, He also promises and is faithful to keep His promises (Heb 10:23, 1 Ki 8:56, Rom 15:8) to be faithful to fulfill our needs:

He stays with us, supports us and protects us through hard times:

Isa 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you.

He faithfully forgives us, and forgets what we do wrong:

Heb 8:12 For I will be merciful and gracious toward their sins and I will remember their deeds of unrighteousness no more. [Jer. 31:31-34.]

He loves us and supports us when the others turn away:

Psa 27:10 When my father and my mother are turned away from me, then the Lord will be my support.

He takes care of our physical needs and relieves us of the worry of day-to-day things:

Mat 6:25-34 Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?  (26)  Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?  (27)  And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life? [Ps. 39:5-7.]  (28)  And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.  (29)  Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these. [I Kings 10:4-7.]  (30)  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?  (31)  Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear?  (32)  For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.  (33)  But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.  (34)  So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.

This love and sacrifice that Christ has for His church is the love and sacrifice a man should have for his wife.

What of the wife, what is her role in this relationship?

Eph 5:33 tells us:  “…and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]. “

The wife’s role is one of faithfulness, trust, and abiding love.  John 3:16 tells us:

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

God’s love came first, our trust and reliance on Him comes next, just as a husband’s love and sacrifice comes first and is then reciprocated by the bride’s trust and reliance on him – she abides in his love.

These passages discuss the role of the wife:

1Co 11:3-12 But I want you to know and realize that Christ is the Head of every man, the head of a woman is her husband, and the Head of Christ is God.  (4)  Any man who prays or prophesies (teaches, refutes, reproves, admonishes, and comforts) with his head covered dishonors his Head (Christ).  (5)  And any woman who [publicly] prays or prophesies (teaches, refutes, reproves, admonishes, or comforts) when she is bareheaded dishonors her head (her husband); it is the same as [if her head were] shaved.  (6)  For if a woman will not wear [a head] covering, then she should cut off her hair too; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her head shorn or shaven, let her cover [her head].  (7)  For a man ought not to wear anything on his head [in church], for he is the image and [reflected] glory of God [his function of government reflects the majesty of the divine Rule]; but woman is [the expression of] man’s glory (majesty, preeminence). [Gen. 1:26.]  (8)  For man was not [created] from woman, but woman from man; (9)  Neither was man created on account of or for the benefit of woman, but woman on account of and for the benefit of man. [Gen. 2:18.]  (10)  Therefore she should [be subject to his authority and should] have a covering on her head [as a token, a symbol, of her submission to authority, that she may show reverence as do] the angels [and not displease them].  (11)  Nevertheless, in [the plan of] the Lord and from His point of view woman is not apart from and independent of man, nor is man aloof from and independent of woman; (12) For as woman was made from man, even so man is also born of woman; and all [whether male or female go forth] from God [as their Author].

Col 3:18 Wives, be subject to your husbands [subordinate and adapt yourselves to them], as is right and fitting and your proper duty in the Lord.

Eph 5:22-24 Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord.  (23)  For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body.  (24)  As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.

This wifely role has been the source of much consternation for many people.  In the ‘wisdom’ of the world it is a denial of one’s ‘personal power’, it is considered demeaning and perhaps unfair. However, the wisdom of the world is not wisdom, but selfishness and sin.

We see that in this design of God there is a purpose-serving succession/organization:

1Co 11:3 But I want you to know and realize that Christ is the Head of every man, the head of a woman is her husband, and the Head of Christ is God.

Take a closer look at this organization: 

God – Christ – husband – wife

Just as there is organization in leadership and/or subjugation, there is a corresponding succession in love, sacrifice, and response.

Love – sacrifice – devotion – trust – obedience

God loves His Son more than anything, yet He gave Him to be sacrificed on our behalf because He also loves us. Christ accepted that role and sacrificed Himself for us because He shares the love of His Father. We respond to the love of God by abiding Him, trusting and clinging to Him, and obeying Him.

Husbands reflect the role of Christ by loving and sacrificing for their wives first and the wives receive that love/sacrifice and respond by abiding in their husbands, trusting and clinging to them and obeying them.

It must be considered carefully that to have a healthy and happy marriage the relationship between and husband and a wife has to be a reflection of the relationship between Christ and His church; The love is there, the love is demonstrated through great sacrifice and faithfulness to protect, serve, and support; and the response to that love is trust, reliance, obedience.

As God’s love for us is not dependent upon our faith, devotion or obedience but is actually the impetus for our faith, devotion and obedience, so it is in our marriages.  A husband’s love for his wife is not dependent upon her faith, devotion or obedience but is actually the impetus for it.



1. June Jensen - December 4, 2009

This is excellent! You have put alot of thoutht and reserch into this article.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: