In Destructive Arguing in Marriage: Using the Enemy’s Voice, we saw that Satan refused to accept God’s purpose for his life. He wanted to be “top dog” in heaven but God had reserved that role for man.
In this article I will discuss why we reject God’s purpose for our lives if we don't follow particular roles He designed for us in marriage.
What is the purpose of marriage and what is our role in fulfilling it?
Ultimately the purpose of marriage is to advance God’s internal purpose in man which is to TRUST Him. Marriage is supposed to build trust in God. That’s because trust is THE component God needs in man in order to advance His Kingdom on earth. God CHOOSES to work through man. If man can’t trust Him, God won’t move.
It has been said that without God— man can’t. But without man— God won’t. So creating trust is paramount to God. So much so that He devised the institution of marriage to develop it!
How does the institution of marriage create trust?
Marriage is a Covenant Not a Contract
It begins by understanding that marriage is a covenant, not a contract.
A contact is between 2 people. Each expecting the other to meet certain terms of an agreement. If one person fails to meet the terms, the contract can be broken.
A marriage covenant is between 3 people. A man, a woman, with God at the center. In a covenant marriage each spouse agrees to trust GOD for the success of the marriage rather than the other person. They also agree to follow the roles of marriage outlined in the Bible.
The marriage covenant creates trust in God because it refuses to give up even when the other person does not follow their covenant promise.
It believes that all things work to the good of those called according to God’s purpose.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
But what are the roles of marriage and how do they work to fulfill God’s purpose?
Note: What happens when people break their covenant relationships? For a discussion on divorce and remarriage read my article, The Compassionate Side of Divorce and Remarriage.
The Roles of Marriage
God asks man to be the LEADER of the home. He asks man to make vital decisions in defense of the home. He is to keep evil away from his family guarding it diligently. He is to SERVE his wife. He is to be sensitive to her needs as he is his own. He is to step up and take pressure off of her as it seems fit. He is to make his wife feel safe. He is to work so there is income to meet the needs of the family.
The following scriptures help us to understand his role:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
1 Peter 3:7
Two key words for a man’s role in marriage— he is to LEAD and SERVE.
God asks a woman to DEFER to the man’s leadership in the home. Her role is to HELP and encourage her husband. She is to make a house a home seeking ways to make it comfortable for everyone to live there. She is to be a fortress for her husband, allowing him to be vulnerable without fear of rejection. Her beauty should come from inner strength of character. She should be such that her husband can come to her for advise without fearing domination. She should be his most adamant supporter always helping, hoping and believing in him even when things look down.
The following scriptures help us to understand her role:
Wives, submit (DEFER) to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a HELPER suitable for him.”
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
1 Peter 3:3-4
Two key words for a woman’s role in marriage— she should DEFER and HELP.
How The Marriage Roles Work To Fulfill God’s Purpose
Not only do the marriage roles work to create trust in fulfilling God’s purpose, they also work to create AGREEMENT.
Powerful things happen when two people agree and pull in the same direction.
While some things can be accomplished by one, other things can only be accomplished by two as evidenced by the following scripture. There is POWER in the “Law of Two”.
Again, I tell you that if TWO of you on earth AGREE about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?
Ultimately the purpose in marriage is to FIND AGREEMENT THROUGH TRUST and move God’s Kingdom forward.
When people do not follow God’s purpose for their marriage, DISSENSION occurs. This is what happened in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve did not follow God’s marriage roles and they were cursed by God. This curse follows all generations, however it can be overcome if Christ is made center of the home and God’s marriage laws are followed.
The Two Curses
Adam and Eve were cursed because they REVERSED the marriage roles.
Eve took the LEAD while Adam deferred to her. As a result man’s curse is that women will henceforth want to CONTROL them. Women will want to lead in the home.
Because men have a propensity to defer leadership due to the curse, the women’s curse is that men will want women to SERVE them..... get me my slippers, have my meal ready etc..
Because of Adam and Eve’s curse, all men and women are born with the propensity for reversing the intended roles of marriage relationship.
Women want to lead. Men want to be served.
As a result, nothing works. The enemy’s voice ensues in marriage (see Destructive Arguing in Marriage: Using the Enemy’s Voice). Accusation rules. That's because accusation keeps your eyes on the RESPONSE of your spouse rather than on God’s promise of working all things to your good through your covenant relationship.
Marriage is a TRUST relationship not a FAITH relationship. Faith has eyes. God gives us faith to SEE things in our lives that haven’t happened yet. Through faith, we walk towards that event.
However TRUST does not have eyes. Trust relies on the unfailing love of God without the ability to SEE.
His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his UNFAILING LOVE.
This is the way God intends marriage to be. The purpose of marriage is to build trust in Him.
If your marriage is not working the way you had hoped it would, TRUST GOD. Follow the roles of marriage even when your spouse will not. Keep your eyes on God and see what He can do.