It could be questioned; how does the matter of marriage relationships pose as a vital component in the quest to be 'the House of the Lord'?
Another question - Does a marriage relationship have any impact upon the well being of a family?
It doesn't take much consideration to account the huge adverse effect of marriage difficulties on the husband and the wife and the often devastating run on effect upon the children. The whole family suffers great spiritual arrest through marriage difficulties and strife.
In a Christian home there should be unmistakable clear markers of a precious thing going on between dad and mum. In the Amplified Bible the rendering of Hebrews 13:4 reveals that such preciousness should exist and be tangible to the whole family.
"Marriage is honourable in all esteemed worthy, precious, of great price and especially dear ....." (Amplified Bible)
The expression is that of being honourable to both the husband and the wife. There should be an unmistakable honour bestowed by the husband upon the wife and the wife toward the husband. This injunction is very specific to the husband and he shouldn't joke about it but rather seek the real blessing of finding in her a vulnerability and preciousness that causes him to race to vouchsafe his care and meet her need.
Peter stressed such with an unmistakable warning - "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." [1 Peter 3:7.] A husband's prayer life will be stalled by the Lord if he stalls in the matter of honouring his wife. If a man's prayers are turned away by the Lord he should have flashing red lights of 'danger ahead' and change his course of attitude.
Refused prayer means a very damaging blow to the whole spiritual life!
All of us men need a blow torch touch from the Lord to melt us down to tenderheartedness towards (as Peter said) the "weaker vessel" and to be of good cheer to see her joy! One of the most precious things to behold is to see your wife happy and joyful in the many things that your love comforts and promotes.
likewise the wife can attract the husbands love by a "meek and quiet spirit" [1 Peter 3:4.] Peter points out in the same passage that it is not the outward adorning that is important but the inward beauty. Let's face it ladies; the inward beauty that Peter is talking about is the beauty that lasts and has great reward. Peter says, in the sight of God it is "of GREAT PRICE." [1 Peter 3:4.]
"Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised." [Proverbs 31:30.]
Perhaps it could be said ... "all of this stuff about women has been said by men, Solomon and Peter!" Exactly! That is the point. That is what men need. It is often not what he wants but it is what he needs more than the physical attraction!
How true are Solomon's words that a man can favour a woman for her beauty but find it has all been in vain. The beauty was only skin deep and the raw vanity of a broken relationship has almost left him as a dead man or like some, preferring the corner of a roof top to get away from it all! [Proverbs 25:24.]
The physical relationship of husband and wife is very important and truly precious if it is established on the foundation of love and tender affection.
The final value of the physical, both of the woman and the man is that of a good feed for the worms! [Job 19:26.]
In Christ the body is sown in weakness and raised in power. It is sown in dishonour and raised in glory. [1 Corinthians 15:43.]
The body of an aged woman or man that has inward beauty and glory in Christ becomes a "dishonour" to that beautifully adorned person within. The weak and disintegrating body is ready to be surrendered to the grave. Such is the demise of the earthy body till its final redemption and glorious transformation.
The Honour of a wife to a husband is that of reverence.
"Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. [Ephesians 5:33.]
A well known adage by women is - "Sure my husband is the head but I'm the neck that wags the head".
It was a real surprise on one occasion to hear an elderly lady of some spiritual recognition say - "The husband is the head but the wife has her many means of manipulation!"
Many women suffer unnecessary physical dilemmas through the stress of ruling issues in marriage and home which they are not designed to bear. When a woman marries, and takes upon herself the control of her man and all that comes with the management of marriage and home, it is like a tug boat trying to guide the stalled Queen Mary through a storm! Ropes break under the sheer strain and stress and the ship can end up anywhere.
The woman is the "weaker vessel" but that does not mean she is restricted to contain less riches of Christ. A vessel sitting in a special spot in the home on a shelf may be the weakest and most fragile vessel and yet may contain the most valuable items in the house.
The first Church in Europe began in the home of Lydia in Philippi. She was a business woman of the city of Thyatira "whose heart the Lord opened". [Acts 16:14.] Such a thing with Lydia is a spiritual matter but marriage is a soul and body combination of two people which presents a whole different landscape which can suffer erosion and poor fruitfulness if not under spiritual guidance according to the Word of God.
Concerning the office of a bishop/elder/pastor, such are to be - ".... Blameless, the husband of one wife ....." [1 Timothy 3:2.]
Both the man that is a wimp of a husband with his wife and a man that is a pig of a husband with his wife are disqualified from holding the office of a bishop/pastor/elder.
The other qualifications mentioned in 1 Timothy are such that many men may pass with flying colours and yet their closely guarded attitude and relationship with their wife can be deplorable. Many may qualify with the requirement to be "vigilant", "sober", "given to hospitality", "apt to teach" etc, etc, but ask the wife how are things really going and that can be another sad story.
Here then is the first opening qualification of being an elder/pastor in a local Church. As a husband - "blameless"!! Then account the matters of vigilance, apt to teach, not a brawler, etc.
Marriage and home life then are of prime importance and of great consequence in the high vocation and calling "to Build the House of the Lord"!
Haggai gave a great encouragement - "Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD." [Haggai 1:8.]
The Lord help us to "qualify" as his ministers in his house.
If there is a need in your marriage relationship or any other sin problem for that matter; know without a doubt that one of the Lord's top calls among his people is to RESTORE! Take with you words and come to him who loves you and think not on any negative that issues will be too hard to work out.
The Lord BLESS. He does the BEST.
Apologies for the accidental loss of a popular "Thinking it over" article
"The Shadow of a Great Rock"
Which has now been re-posted.
Please notify of any problem.
click here to send a message.