The Divine Partnership: Understanding Equality, Love, and Submission in Christian Marriage

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God’s Enduring Design For Marriage

The divine partnership between man, woman, and God is a beautiful reflection of God’s love and unity. God created marriage, so he knows perfectly what is best for us and it’s still relevant for today. When we understand and embrace this partnership, we find true love, joy, and peace. Jesus is the head of the Church including the family, and when we align ourselves with His divine order, our marriage can flourish.

Equality in God’s Eyes

The Bible is clear about the equality of men and women. Galatians 3:28 states, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This verse underscores the fundamental truth that in Christ, all distinctions that separate us in the world are nullified. This equality is not about ability, worth, competence, or value. Instead, it is about function, structure, and order. As Christians, we are all called to submit and to love one another.

The Role of Submission

Submission is often misunderstood in our modern world. It is not about subjugation, inferiority, or worth. Instead, it is about mutual respect and love. Ephesians 5:22-24 says, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even 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 in everything to their husbands.”

This passage has been a point of contention for many, but it is crucial to understand it in its proper context. According to Pastor Jim, submission is about supporting and standing by your partner, much like soldiers in a well-disciplined army. The Greek word for submission, “hupotasso,” is a military term that means to stand and support in the ranks. It is about cooperating in order to protect and support the unit, in this case, the marriage and family.

The Call to Husbands

Pastor Jim in his sermon states that the call to husbands is equally, if not more, demanding. Ephesians 5:25-28 reads, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way, husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”

This is probably the strongest statement for husbands in the entire scripture. We are to give up everything for those we love, just as Christ gave up everything for the church. This love is not just emotional but sacrificial, selfless, and unconditional. It is an agape love that seeks the highest good of the other, even at the cost of one’s own comfort and desires.

The Bigger Picture

Understanding this divine partnership helps us see the bigger picture. It is not just about individual roles but about creating a harmonious and loving family structure where Christ is the head. When we align ourselves with this divine order, we can experience true love, joy, and peace.

We find order in everything God created, and the covenant of marriage reflects this as well. In the model of the Godhead, Jesus was subordinate to the Father. In marriage, men are to submit to the Lord, wives to their husband, and children to their parents. The Bible never says one role is more important than another. They all work together harmoniously. We are all in willful submission to someone, just as the employee is to the employer, but none of these roles diminish the value of the person.

God’s Design for Marriage Includes:

  1. Mutual Respect: Both partners must respect each other’s roles and contributions. This respect is rooted in the understanding that both are created in God’s image and are equal in His eyes.
  2. Sacrificial Love: Husbands are called to love their wives sacrificially, putting their needs above their own. This love should be evident in daily actions, decisions, and interactions.
  3. Support and Encouragement: Wives are called to support and encourage their husbands, standing by them in all circumstances. This support strengthens the family unit and reflects the unity that exists in Christ.
  4. Christ-Centered Family: The family should be Christ-centered, with both partners submitting to His lordship. This means regular prayer, Bible study, and seeking God’s guidance in all decisions.
  5. Open Communication: Open and honest communication is vital. Both partners should feel free to express their thoughts, feelings, and concerns without fear of judgment or retribution.

A Few Closing Thoughts

In a world that often distorts the concepts of equality, love, and submission, we should return to the biblical understanding of these terms and appreciate the blessing and joy of serving the Lord through a Godly marriage. We should strive to create families that reflect the love and unity of Christ, demonstrating a healthy biblical marriage to the outside world.

This divine partnership is not just a vital social construct, but a spiritual covenant that reflects the very nature of a wise and loving God, providing a solid foundation for a healthy and happy marriage.

Lakeview Christian Church of Portage Lakes invites you to join us in this Sunday. Together, we can experience God’s Grace and share the love of Jesus with those around us.

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