Dec 22, 2010

Marriage: Husbands and Wives

CELL PHONES: Click here for full list of links "What the Bible says on Various Topics"

Click here for related links on this site:
1. Bride - Bridegroom - Invited Guests - Wedding Supper - Feast

There is Love (The Wedding Song)

Marriage: Husbands and Wives

Marriage is a sacred union ordained of God. In the Old Testament, the relationship between Israel/the Jews and God is symbolically spoken of as a marriage between a husband/God and a wife/Israel. In the New Testament, the believers under Christ are called the Bride and Jesus the Bridegroom and we are told that the marriage supper will take place after the church is raptured/resurrected.

That God relates our union with Him as a marriage says a lot for the importance of marriage.  In the same way, in the Bible, unfaithfulness to God is symbollically called adultery.

It is sad to say that many people today do not see the need to marry. But God never changes! In God's eyes, any sexual union outside of marriage is adultery and adultery is so abhorrent to Him that it is listed in the Ten Commandments. - "Thou shalt not commit adultery."

Yet, despite the fact that sex outside of marriage is a sin, many churhes, fearing man and not God, and wanting more to fill the pews and the money boxes rather than obeying God and working towards heavenly rewards are silent on this subject. But they do this at their peril. For the priests and ministers who fail to speak the FULL gospel of Christ, who fail to warn their flocks that adultery is sin, will answer for this before the judgement seat of God, as will their flock.

For us, we have no excuse. We have the Bible/The Word of God as our guidebook. As a child of God, we are expected to be reading this guidebook and in prayer we should be asking God through the Holy Spirit to guide us into the truth of all things.

Link here and read the serious consequences of continuing in sin : Revelation 20:11-22:21 and Galatians 5:16-26.

Jesus takes the interpretation of adultry even further. He tells us that lusting after a person you are not married to is adultry as well - This would include pornography : “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’[Exodus 20:14]  But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. " - Matthew 5:27-28

It must not be the fashion of the day, or what is politically correct, or even what might be legal that dictates right and wrong. God has already clearly spoken to us through his Bible what is righteous in his sight and what he has declared is sin. Read His guidebook. If you are in a  adulterous relationship, go to the Lord in prayer and repent of your sin (Tell Him you are sorry and that you wish to turn away from your sin). Then choose the right path and walk in obedience to God.

If you are with a partner that you know is not right to be a spouse, then turn away from them and live right before God. Seek His direction for marriage in the future but stay pure.

If the person you are with now, is walking with God, or wants to walk with God alongside you, then you both must forsake your adultery and together you need to pray and seek God's will on the matter of marriage.

If God says yes, then marry, for that is a blessed union in the eyes of God - two people yoked to God and yoked together in the holy union called marriage. This is very good in God's eyes !

May the Lord God bless and keep you!

When God made you

Hebrews 13:4

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

Deuteronomy 24:5

If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married. [Wow - wouldn't it be nice if we did this today!]

2 Corinthians 6: 14-18, 7: 1
Do Not Be Yoked With Unbelievers
(Scroll down to bottom to read Article
Why You Shouldn't Marry or Date an Unbeliever
By Melody Green)

14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial [some interpret this as Satan, one of the many fallen angels, or a powerful demon]? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.  As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” [Lev. 26:12; Jer. 32:38; Ezek. 37:27 and Revelation 21-22]
17 “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” [Isaiah 52:11]
18 “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” [2 Samuel 7:14  Link here to read topic Believers are the Family of God - The Children of God - The Brothers and Sisters of Jesus]
2 Corinthians 7
1 Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

1 Corinthians 6: 13-20

The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? [or any other person outside of marriage] Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”[Gen. 2:24] 17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price [the price of Christ's shed blood]. Therefore honor God with your body.

Titus 2: 1- 8, 11-15
Doing Good for the Sake of the Gospel

1 You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. . . .
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hopethe appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

Genesis 2: 19-25, 3:20
Adam and Eve

19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs [Or took part of the man’s side] and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib [or part] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, [The Hebrew for woman sounds like the Hebrew for man]’ for she was taken out of man.”
24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. . . . 3:20 Adam [The man] named his wife Eve, [Eve probably means living] because she would become the mother of all the living.

Malachi 2: 15

15 Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.

The Marriage Prayer by John Waller

Ephesians 5: 1-33

1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Instructions for Christian Households
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 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. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” [Gen. 2:24] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you [the husbands] also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Proverbs 5: 15-23
Warning Against Adultery

15 Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.
16 Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers.
18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love.
20 Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife?
21 For a man’s ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths.
22 The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast.
23 He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.

Mark 10: 1-12

1 Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.
2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?
3 “What did Moses command you?” he replied.
4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”
5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. 6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ [Gen. 1:27] 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.’ [Gen. 2:24] So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

Matthew 19: 1-12

1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?
4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ [Genesis 1:27] 5 and said, For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh [Gen. 2:24]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”
11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”
Malachi 2: 13-16

13 Another thing you do: You flood the LORD’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. 14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.
15 Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.
16 I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself [Or his wife] with violence as well as with his garment,” says the LORD Almighty.
So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.

Matthew 5: 1-2, 31-32

1 Now when he [Jesus] saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them, saying: . . .
31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ [Deuteronomy 24:1] 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery. [ Luke 16:18]

Colossians 3: 1-21, 25
Living as Those Made Alive in Christ

1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Instructions for Christian Households
18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers, [Or Parents] do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. . . .
25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.

Prayer for a Godly Husband

1 Peter 2: 11-17, 3: 1-12
Living Godly Lives in a Pagan Society

11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. . . .
3:1 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, 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. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
7 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. [Read verse 12 below]
Suffering for Doing Good
8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
“Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” [Psalm 34:12-16]

1 Corinthians 7: 1-16, 24-40
Concerning Married Life

1 Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all of you were as I [the apostle Paul] am [single]. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
8 Now to the unmarried [Or widowers] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? . . . .
24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.
Concerning the Unmarried 25 Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.
29 What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
36 If anyone is worried that he might not be acting honorably toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if his passions are too strong [Or if she is getting beyond the usual age for marriage] and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married. 37 But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin—this man also does the right thing. 38 So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does better.
39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. 40 In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

Released From the Law, Bound to Christ

1 Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law [the Old Testament covenant]—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

My prayer for a Godly wife

Proverbs 12: 1-5

1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.
2 Good people obtain favor from the LORD, but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes.
3 No one can be established through wickedness, but the righteous cannot be uprooted.
4 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
5 The plans of the righteous are just, but the advice of the wicked is deceitful.

Proverbs 18:22

He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.

Psalm 128
A song of ascents.

1 Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways.
2 You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table.
4 Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD.
5 May the LORD bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, 6 and may you live to see your children’s children.

Proverbs 19:13-14

13 A foolish son is his father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.
14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.

9 Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
19 Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.

Proverbs 27: 15-16

15 A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; 16 restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.

Proverbs 31 : 10-15
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. 15 She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. 19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Matthew 22: 23-33 Mark 12: 18-27
Marriage at the Resurrection

23 That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 24 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him. 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”
29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’ [Exodus 3:6]? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”
33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.

Luke 20: 27-40
The Resurrection and Marriage

27 Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. 28 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. 30 The second 31 and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”
34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. 37 But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’[Exodus 3:6] 38 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”
39 Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” 40 And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

1 Corinthians 9: 5
The Rights of an Apostle [the apostle Peter was married]

Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas [That is, Peter]?

1 Timothy 3:1-13
Overseers and Deacons

1 Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer,[Traditionally bishop; also in verse 2] he desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
8 Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
11 In the same way, their wives [Or way, deaconesses] are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
12 A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Titus 1:6-9

6 An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer [Traditionally bishop] is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine  and refute those who oppose it.

Why You Shouldn't Marry or Date an Unbeliever

By Melody Green

I am addressing this article to Christian women in particular, because in my counseling experience, they seem to make this mistake much more, frequently than men do. However, the problems and the principles I will be talking about can obviously be applied to any Christian thinking of marrying (or for that matter even dating) someone who doesn't love Jesus with all of their heart. (This article is not for those of you who were first married and then became a Christian at a later date. Even though, as a result, you may now be married to someone who is not following Jesus, it was not a choice you made since becoming a Christian. This article is for single Christians who still have the "dating" and marriage question ahead of them.)

Missionary Dating

I'm not exactly sure who came up with the term "missionary dating," but I love it because it so appropriately paints the picture. Imagine this - a young girl, full of zeal for God, goes to a remote tribe of natives somewhere to evangelize the lost. She ends up having a special burden for the chief's handsome young son. He seems interested in God, and so she starts spending quite a bit of time with him in hopes of winning him to the Lord. Then, before you know it, her friends at the Missionary Society receive a postcard saying that she is getting married and won't be coming back. Was he converted? Well, not really - but she has full confidence that he will be shortly. Meanwhile, she's happily getting ready to set up housekeeping in his hut full of idols (which, of course, she wouldn't think of worshipping), and dreaming of the wonderful future they will have together. If you heard of a situation like this, what would you think about this girl's chances for real happiness - or her professed love for the Lord? Her actions certainly seem to contradict the very things she says she believes in.

I think it's safe to say that every marriage starts out with a simple date. Many Christians are deceived when it comes to this. They feel all right about dating an unbeliever, just as long as it doesn't "get too serious." They may think, "Well, one or two dates can't hurt any one. Besides, maybe I can lead him to the Lord. I just want to have some fun right now, but when it comes to settling down, I will definitely marry a Christian." Then lo and behold, the next thing they know they have "fallen in love," and are desperately trying to rationalize their relationship and their upcoming marriage - to themselves, to their friends, and to God. I say this: Any Christian foolish enough to date an unbeliever is foolish enough to marry one!

Important Decisions

Marriage is the biggest and most important decision you will make after your decision to follow Jesus. And as I said before, all marriages start out with a "first date." One of the main problems is that too many Christians approach the idea of dating with far too casual an attitude. They have adopted the world's view on this, instead of God's. There is no such thing as "playing the field" when it comes to Christianity.

Sure it gets lonesome sometimes, but remember, every date has the potential of becoming a lifelong relationship. Spending time with the wrong person is opening yourself up to becoming emotionally involved to a point where it is not always so easy to turn and walk away. Once you have given your heart and your emotions to someone, you will be surprised at how difficult it is to have the desire to take them back - even if you know you should. Here is part of a typical letter I have recently received from a young Christian girl. She has already been counseled and encouraged to do the right thing, but I wanted to share her predicament with you:

"I'm 16 and the daughter of missionaries here in the Middle East. I've had a really close walk with the Lord, and He has been good to me in so many ways. But I met a guy at school. [Oh-oh! I have always said : there are no BUTS with the Lord] He's not a Christian, and we've been going out for over three months. At the time, I believed it was fine, unless we married, which of course I have no intention of doing because he isn't a Christian. But lately I've spoken with someone who told me it was wrong, and that I should never have gone out with him in the beginning.
"This evening he came over while I was listening to the new tape of Keith's. Afterwards we were talking, and he laughed at all the 'weird Jesus, and dumb Christian songs' that I listen to. I let him know I was hurt by the way he laughed about the name of Jesus, and now I really feel bad inside because of it, and I feel we should end our relationship. But it's very hard because we really like each other a lot, and I'm afraid my witness will all go down the drain if we break up. I'm really asking the Lord for wisdom now. If you have a few spare minutes you could remember me in prayer." - Kept Anonymous
 Don't wait until it's too late. The time to ask Jesus for wisdom is before you start a relationship - not after. It is much easier than you think for your heart to overrule your conscience. Once your own desires are demanding priority, your zeal to put God first starts to quickly fade away. Your emotions are a powerful thing, and if you don't control them, they will control you! (Jer. 17:9)

Unequally Yoked

"Do not be bound together with unbelievers " (II Corinthians 6:14)

In the Bible, Jesus (and here, Paul) gave many illustrations using agriculture and animals as examples, since these were common things to everyone in that day. So what does it mean to be unequally yoked? Picture if you will, two oxen tied together at the neck by a wooden crosspiece so they can pull a plow. They are two animals of the same species who have been joined together to do a specific job. They have been carefully trained to respond to the same commands, and once they are united, they are considered to be a team. A wise farmer picks two animals of similar size, strength, and temperament because he knows they will work the best together. If one of them needed to be whipped before he would move, and the other one was terrified at even the sight of a whip, it would seem unwise to tie them together and expect them to work as a team. One "teammate" would frantically try to run away, while the other one would stubbornly refuse to budge. In fact, if two like this were joined together, it seems that disaster might be at hand - with possible damage to the equipment, hurt and confusion to the "teammates", and of course, the work would never get done.

Our beloved Jesus is the wisest and most loving "Farmer" in all the universe. He knows that we would never be happy if we were bound to someone who was pulling us in the opposite direction from where we wanted to go. Our life would be one continual tug of war, and we would never be able to get on with the work that we were called to do. That is why He commanded us to marry "only in the Lord." (I Cor. 7:39) If we are going to serve God in our marriage, then both partners must be in agreement about the job that needs to get done, how it's going to be accomplished, and who they are going to be taking their orders from. It is really very simple. I guess that's why it constantly amazes me that so many choose to ignore God's wisdom, thinking in vain that "it will all work out fine in the end."

The Dating Game

I think it should be becoming increasingly clear to you that dating is not to be done lightly - nor without God's approval! This doesn't mean that you have to feel called to marriage with someone before you can spend any time together - but you must be able to see the qualities of a sincere lover of God in this person, and the fruit of their faith should be evident for all to see. If they pass this most crucial test, you still must seek God to see if it's all right to take the time to get to know this person better. You should seek the Lord privately on this - that is, not with the person you are interested in. That way, if God says "No," no one will be hurt. I am assuming you have already spent time with this person in group situations - but a deeper relationship should only be entered into if and when the Lord gives you His express permission. If you are afraid to hear a possible "No" from God, then you are not seeking His will, but your own. This should be an immediate danger signal that something is wrong, and you shouldn't make a move until you get your heart right with the Lord.

Does all that sound a little strict to you? Well, just ask someone who has chosen the wrong mate due to a lack of patience, counsel, and prayer. They will tell you that they wish someone would have told them the same things I am now telling you. So many are bound in miserable, unhappy marriages because they ignored Jesus and let their own desires drown out the voice of God. They have learned their lesson the hard way, and now it is too late for them to turn back and start over. Marriage is for a lifetime. Once a mistake is made, you can't turn around and say, "We got married out of God's will, so now we'll just get a divorce!" It doesn't work that way. The Bible tells us that if our unbelieving mates consent to remain with us, then we must not send them away. (I Cor. 7:12-13)

Why even put yourself in the position of possibly making the wrong decision? Since God's Word commands us not to be "unequally yoked," it is foolish and openly rebellious to even consider it. You will be headed towards almost certain disaster if you lean to your own understanding instead of trusting God and taking Him at His word.

Values, Goals, And Motivations

When I became a Christian, my whole life was turned upside - down. I could no longer deal with things in the same way that I had before, because God's way was different. Everything changed. I made an abrupt "about-face" and had to sit down and re-evaluate every aspect of my life. One of the first things I noticed was that my reasons for doing things had changed. I was motivated by a love for God and a desire to please Him, instead of my own selfish desires. As I drew closer to God, He revealed His heart to me, and I found that some of the things that had meant a lot to me were no longer important. And other things, on which I had put little or no value, began to sparkle and shine like jewels. My eyes looked towards eternity instead of focusing on the temporary things of this world. I truly think my heart would have been broken if I had not been able to share my excitement, joy, and love of God with my most beloved here on earth - my husband.

Lack Of True Intimacy

"...For what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness or what fellowship has light with darkness? " (II Cor. 6:14)

When it comes right down to it, someone who loves Jesus just doesn't have that much in common with someone who doesn't. Sure, you may enjoy the same hobbies, or be engaged in the same type of work - but when it comes to the things that really matter, you will be miles apart. In a marriage, when that first rush of excitement wears off, you will find yourself yearning for the true intimacy and oneness that can only be experienced with someone of "like mind." You will be unfulfilled and strangely lonesome in this closest of all partnerships if, due to different beliefs, you cannot experience true intimacy. Neither of you would be able to share the deepest longings of your heart with each other, because your whole basis of looking at life - your very reasons for living - would be totally different. Your hearts and lives could never be truly united because there would be no common bond to draw you together and keep you together.

When I speak of marriage, I am speaking of a lifelong commitment to love, honor, cherish, and obey - till death do you part! How could you even consider making such a deep and binding commitment to someone who doesn't love Jesus? As a Christian, you have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to govern your life. But the Bible tells us that those without Jesus have the world, the flesh, and the devil to direct theirs. These are the very things we as Christians are told to overcome. (I John 2:14-17) How can you hope to overcome that which you have married, committed, and submitted your life to?

Marry Now-Reform Later

Many Christian girls seem to be pacified by the fact that their unbelieving boyfriend doesn't seem to object to their Christianity. Even though he doesn't believe like she does, he seems extremely tolerant and even goes to church with her sometimes. He really is a very nice guy, and his biggest vice is drinking a few beers with the boys while watching football. She figures if she marries him, they will have a lot more time together, and then she can really "work on him" and get him saved. Sadly enough, she will find that it's not as easy as she thought it would be. Eventually, her husband's acceptance of her Bible Studies and Christian friends starts to wear thin, and the tension between them begins to take its toll on their marriage. Most girls don't realize that if they are not strong enough to resist the temptation of marrying an unbeliever, they probably aren't strong enough to ever win him to the Lord!

"Conversions" Of Convenience

Sometimes in order to marry a Christian girl, a fellow will "make a commitment" to Jesus because he knows he has to. He'll start going to church just to make her happy. In fact, he may even be sincerely trying to "get into it." But if it is not a decision arising from seeing his own need for God, then it is meaningless and will be short-lived. His "commitment" usually starts to fade some time after they get married - when it's no longer necessary for him to put his best foot forward.

I never trust a "conversion" of this type, and I consistently tell all those I counsel to let this fellow prove his commitment on his own. That is, to follow Jesus not by his girlfriend's side, but to get to church or Bible Study on his own steam, not on a date. If he proves to be sincere, growing, and firmly planted in Jesus, then after several months, she can start to pray and seek the Lord about the possibility of entering into a deeper relationship. The problem is, most girls don't have the patience to test the fruit. As soon as "Mr. Right" even looks like he's about to utter a sinner's prayer, she's off picking out towels, dishes, and bridesmaid dresses.

The Second Law Of Thermodynamics

In science, the Second Law of Thermodynamics essentially states that as time passes, anything that's left on its own will deteriorate. Things left on their own will not be built up, but they will eventually break down. In other words, as time goes by, things get worse, not better - and a life, left on its own without God, will get worse. You never know what's around the corner. People who have married "occasional drinkers" have later found themselves married to alcoholics a couple of years down the road. You can't judge the future by the present circumstances when you are dealing with someone who has chosen to go his own way in life. If you have the Lord, you should be able to expect growth and maturity. If you don't have the Lord, you won't know what to expect. This isn't the old "marijuana leads to heroin" story of a few years back - but sin does lead to more sin - and a life that is not willingly yielded to Jesus and guided by His loving hand could end up anywhere... doing anything!


I think one of the hardest aspects of a marriage where the partners are unequally yoked is the feeling of competition between them. However subtle or unspoken it may be, the competition is felt. As a believer, your values and ideals will constantly be challenged as you live out your day-to-day life. The unbeliever will always be trying to prove (consciously or unconsciously) that he is just as happy as you are, without having any so-called "religious experience"...and you will, of course, want to show him that actually you possess the greater peace and fulfillment through knowing God. You will have no spiritual leadership or support during times of trials, and your faith will be undermined, not encouraged. And eventually, as the competition grows stronger, your mate will probably get tired of competing with your friends, your church, and your God for your attention and your love.


A believer, when put in this position, is many times tempted to compromise her faith in order to maintain a peaceful marriage. She can no longer serve the Lord in an open and free way because, if she does, her marriage may fall apart. What a terrible spot to be in! When you start to compromise, your walk with God becomes weak and undernourished. You will be guilty for your lack of obedience to God, which will tend to push you even further away from Him than you already are.

After awhile, frustration sets in for both of you because neither one is really free to do the things that make you happy. You don't have someone to love Jesus with, and he doesn't have someone to love the world with. He doesn't enjoy your friends and activities, and you don't really enjoy his. You are longing for someone to share your joy in Christ-and he is getting different types of longings. He may even start to think that if you won't go out and have his kind of fun, maybe he'll find someone else who will! As you can imagine, in a situation like this, the pressure really starts to build.

Because you are both being held back from the things you want to do, bitterness and resentment enter into the picture, putting an even bigger distance between the two of you and causing more problems. In many situations, once the resentment does set in, the unbelieving mate just may have learned enough Scripture from you to hurl it like tiny bullets of truth to pierce your heart. After all, the Bible is true. And even though he may not believe it, he knows that you do - and he may love to see you crumble under conviction, condemnation, or confusion from his attacks upon you and your faith. The Word of God is a powerful tool... even in the hands of the unrighteous.

You may think I have painted an unrealistic picture of the ruin of a marriage, but I have read hundreds of letters - all full of the "same story." It's almost impossible for a marriage like this to survive (and they usually don't) unless the believer compromises his or her faith almost to the point of having none. So it's not only the probable death of a marriage I am talking about, but a possible spiritual death as well. I believe that's why the Bible gives us such a strong warning against a union of this kind.

The Proper Balance

Usually, those who want to hang onto their "right" to continue on in the same way with their old friends and their old lifestyle say, "But, I'm not supposed to isolate myself and associate only with Christians!" Well of course you re not. We are the "salt of the earth," seasoning the world with the love of Jesus. (Matt. 5:13,16) The world and the people in it need Christians. How else will they ever find out about the only True Love that exists? But you mustn't ever forget that although we are in the world, we are never to be a part of it. We must always be careful to keep our eyes on the Lord and immediately flee any situation that may cause us to stumble and fall away from our heavenly calling. (II Tim. 2:22)

Too many Christians use the excuse of "winning their friends to the Lord" to keep one foot in the world, and so themselves remain partakers of worldly pleasures. God knows our hearts. If your friends or associates are causing your love for God to "cool off," it is far better to sacrifice that friendship, than to sacrifice your relationship with Jesus. No relationship on earth is more important than your relationship with your Father in heaven. If you are not strong enough to resist temptation, then admit it and stay away from it. Don't worry about "your witness." If you fall away after knowing and preaching the truth, your onIy witness will be a bad one anyway!


One thing people don't usually think about when they first get married is having children. Usually it's the furthest thing from your mind as you're walking down the aisle. But somewhere down the line, you will probably want to start a family. But what is "a family"? Is it the mere presence of children that qualifies you as a family, or is it something else? A family unit as I see it consists of a group of people bound together by love, a sense of loyalty, and a sincere desire to see each other reach their fullest possible potential and purpose in God. Most traditionally, it consists of Mom, Dad, and some kids, although it can be larger or smaller according to circumstance or the leading of the Lord.

One thing for sure, where there is no unity, there can be no "family." Sure you can all live under one roof, but a common dwelling place does not a family make. In an unequally yoked marriage, there will only be confusion and chaos in the home. Without the common bond of love for Jesus, there can be no unity. If the parents do not agree on how to raise their children, the children will raise themselves. If the parents have different standards for their children in the areas of discipline, responsibility, and acceptable behavior and attitudes, then the children will play one parent against the other to get their own way - and the parents will end up arguing over the results. Of course, the children are the real losers in these battles, although they may not realize it at the time. A home like this will be in constant turmoil, and will be a very unhappy place for all who live there, parents and children alike.

If there is no agreement in the home about who God is, and what our response to Him should be, then it is very difficult for children to learn how to know and love Him. If our children are getting a different message from each parent, they will constantly be confused and forced to "take sides."

The greatest factor in our children learning about God is through the example we set for them. Children usually transfer their feelings and impressions of their earthly father over to their idea of who God is. If their father is a righteous man and exercises godly judgment balanced with love and encouragement, then their image and understanding of God will most likely be good. (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21) If he is unfair in his judgments, or an agnostic or indifferent to God, then they will have a hard time (even as an adult) seeing God's true nature and character.

What an unfair burden to put on a tiny child. It will not only cost him his memories of a happy and peaceful childhood - but in the end, it may cost him his very soul. Let's not even think of putting ourselves, not to mention our innocent children, through such pain and unhappiness as to bring them up in a household of strife and confusion.

If you are thinking of marrying an unbeliever, do you have the unrealistic expectation of raising your children for God when you can't even submit something as important as your marriage to Him? I would say that the prospect is highly unlikely, at best.


Those Christians who enter into marriage with an unbeliever will never experience the fullness and richness of marriage as God intended it to be. They will never enjoy true intimacy or the blessing of a family united by the common bond of Jesus' love. In fact, instead of experiencing that common bond (or "bonding") of love, they will experience the "common bondage" of frustration and discontent that may lead to separation or divorce. For True Love is only possible when you know God, and when you can have His unselfish, uncompromising love for others, putting them above yourself. All else pales in comparison to the real thing. Don't be foolish. Don't settle for anything less than God's very best for you. If you are called to marriage, God has a perfect partner for you. But beware, the enemy is a matchmaker too.

Trust the Lord, walk in obedience, and He will meet your needs in His way and in His timing. Lean to your own understanding and insist on your own way and watch out - you just may get what you are looking for! You may also live to regret it. Trust God. He will never lead you astray.

In closing, I want to say that if you are now in a relationship with an unbeliever, or if you have been in the past (while professing to be a Christian), I think you'd better examine your heart before the Lord. If you can find peace and contentment in a relationship with someone who doesn't love God, then you must ask yourself how much you really love Him. After all, if you find you have more in common with those who walk in darkness... it may be because you are both walking down the same path! (I John 1:6-7; John 3:21)

Don't deceive yourself. A sincere lover of God would never knowingly be joined to a lover of the world. Don't even think about submitting your life in marriage to a godless partner - that is, unless it won't bother you to live a godless life. Please pray about all that we have talked about and be quick to respond to the things God has spoken to your heart. I love you very much, and I pray that you will reach the highest potential possible in Christ Jesus as you obey Him in all things. May God bless you as you seek Him.