Reimar A.C. Schultze
DO CHRISTIANS HAVE CHRISTIAN MARRIAGES?
Only the continual death to the Self-life will release the power of God for us to have a truly Christian marriage.
Considering the large number of divorces among Christian couples--looking at their quarrels, their fights, their arguments, and the turmoil of their lives--one does indeed wonder whether Gods plan for a Christian marriage has fallen out of favor with man.
It is entirely possible for a Christian man or woman to live in the same house without ever entering into a Christian marriage relationship. In fact, it seems that many Christian couples do not have Christian marriages. These couples just muddle along year after year doing the best they can to prevent major fires, but all along missing the blessings of a fully Christian marriage.
Today, let us consider that God has a marvelous design for Christian couples to live together happily and under the constant anointing and blessing of the Holy Spirit. To begin with, let us draw a lesson from:
Without plunging into the bottomless pit of Greek philosophy on the matter of universals, for all practical purposes, let me simply say this: a universal is a law, a precept, a principle or reality which is true, has always been true, will always be true and will work the same at any place and in any circumstance on this planet.
Take for example a plumb line, a string with a weight attached to its end. Whether you dangle a plumb line off your finger in the Arctic, at the Equator, in Africa or Europe or anywhere in Asia, in a submarine or off a tower, it will always point to the center of the earth. This is true where you stand now and also for someone standing on the opposite side of the earth. This is true in any kind of temperature or atmospheric conditions. Plumb lines have always been true and will always be true as long as the earth shall exist.
By this law, you know what is exactly straight up and down everywhere, and you can square to that vertical absolute everywhere, enabling one to put up perfectly vertical telephone poles, fences, towers, walls or level floors anywhere on the face of the earth.
A plumb line operates on the law of gravity; the law of gravity being the universal.
Isnt God good that he created universals so that our houses and towers can be straight all over the world? Isnt it good that God has not left to human opinion what is straight and what is crooked?
Another instrument that cashes in on the law of gravity is the level without which no carpenter ever wants to build a house.
Now, since God has had so much love and compassion to create a universal for the physical world so that our walls will be vertical, our towers will not fall over, and our floors will be level, HOW MUCH THE MORE does our God care for our marriages that the walls of our spiritual houses be perfectly squared to Gods good, perfect, and acceptable will? Hence, let us consider:
Two Universals for the Christian Marriage.
The first universal God gives for the marriage is for wives to submit themselves unto their own husbands in everything, as unto the Lord (Ep. 5:22,24).
The second universal of the Christian home is that husbands love their wives even as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it (v. 25).
If husbands and wives will square or level to these two universals, the Lord God Almighty will be their constant companion in the home.
As there are no ifs and buts about the universals as applicable to carpentry, so there are no ifs and buts about these marriage universals. They work everywhere: in sickness and in health, in poverty and in wealth, in storms and in the calm, in the valleys and on the mountains of life, in Africa, in the Americas, and in the islands of the seas. They work in any culture. They work regardless and independent of genetics, social backgrounds, and personal experiences.
Universals are Universals!
The principles concerning marriage that God gave us lock into universal principles, and nothing but the disregard of and detachment from these universals by man can stop their successful operation. Every squabble in marriage, every failure, and every excuse for divorce has at its roots in at least one of each married couple, a disregarded for the two divine universals of the Christian marriage--no exceptions!
The only reason why marriages grow cold, or old, or dry, or contentious, or fail, is because either both or one of the two marriage partners has stopped squaring up to Gods universals for their lives.
As the plumb line and a level will not fail in their purpose in any neighborhood anywhere in the world, so Gods divine laws will not fail to produce their proper effect if adhered to by man.
Now then, let us consider the underlying spirit that makes these laws function successfully without fail.
"Submitting yourselves one to another
in the fear of God" (v. 21).
Before Paul ventured into these two divine universals for Christians, he prefaced it by letting us know that without the spirit of submission, we cannot have healthy relationships. The law of submission is another universal of which no living being is exempt except God the Father. Hence, Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:3:
"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God."
No wife can complain at Gods door of justice that it is not fair that only females must submit. Women must submit to men, men to Christ, Christ to God, and each Christian one to another.
As a side note, in light of this, would it not be foolish for a Christian young lady to marry a man who is not totally submissive to Christ? If she does marry such a man, she will have to live the rest of her marriage submitting to a man who is not squaring up with Gods plan for his life.
Oh, how we need submission. One of the first things that children must be taught is to submit joyfully to authority. Unfortunately, many children, by precept and example of their parents, are taught how to judge authorities rather than how to submit to them. It is not by judging an authority that we bless authority, for remember, all authority is ordained of God (Ro. 13:1ff). It is by submitting to authority that we bless authority and thereby bless God, and we are blessed by him!
If you can only get into submitting to authority as Joseph did, and not judging authorities as the children of Israel did, there is no telling what God will do for you.
So, it is the spirit of submission--at home, at school, in the youth group, at church, and at work--that prepares us for the two universals of the Christian marriage. The spirit of submission will destroy within us that stubborn, rebellious, self-seeking, carnal nature which is a cursed enemy of God.
The AS of the Two Marriage Universals
Makes a Successful Christian Marriage a Human Impossibility.
Wives submit to your own husbands AS Christ....
Husbands love your wives AS Christ....
Had Paul said, wives submit to your husbands as Sarah did to Abraham, and husbands love your wives as Joseph loved Mary, we perhaps would have responded: Yes, we can do that.
But for us to do AS Christ did is humanly impossible. And it is exactly at this point that the Christian marriage is rejected by many Christians. It is too radical, too demanding, too self-humiliating, too crucifying for a woman to submit to her husband in everything. She feels she has no reason to submit to a man who is less than perfect. Likewise, the husband feels he has no obligation to love her as Christ loves the church when she has so many short-comings. We must realize that the carnal man will always find reasons to opt out of Gods divine laws.
It is only those who are willing to take the plunge and utterly crucify this wicked, carnal nature continually who become candidates for the Christian marriage. Indeed, unless both partners are placing themselves entirely under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, they will never square up to the divine universals of the Christian home.
Any lack on the husbands part to love his wife as Christ loved the church exposes his lack of total surrender to God. Any failure of the wife to submit to her husband is an indication of her lack of total submission to the Lord Jesus, as well. We should remember that Christ still loves us totally in our failures, so we should love the failing spouse as Christ would: no excuses.
Dear ones, the Christian Marriage Laws do not fail. Christian marriages will not fail except where either party refuses to obey God. Let us, therefore, get rid of any phony excuses for marital failures and dryness, and let us realize that God has given us universals for the Christian home as reliable as the plumb line and the level. If we square our marriages with these laws, the devils of the world will not prevail against us.
You are a Christian, and your spouse is a Christian, but do you have a truly Christian marriage based on the universals of Almighty God for the Christian home?