Divorce & Remarriage #4

Fred R. Coulter—December 14, 1991

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We live in a society that I would like to describe as a Babylonian bias against God. Everything that this whole society of Babylon is set out to do focuses in on destroying the knowledge of the true God and destroying the family.

The way the family is destroyed is because of equal rights (so-called) and the 'femi-nazi' NOW gang and all of the things that they portray to this world. All the media, and everything is designed to destroy the knowledge of the true family. Just look at your television and you can see all these 'soap operas'; even this stupid one called 'Married with Children' which is a terrible and awful television program.

All of these things are designed to make women take the role over the man. It's all designed under the guise of fairness, under the guise—if you know the Word of God—that God was not right in giving the rules and giving the format for marriage.

So, we find—true to the prophecy in Isa. 3—that this is true not only here in the United States, but in so many other countries. Some of these things I'm going to mention as we go through, because of the crassness of the society around us, and all the things that have taken place here recently—especially with the Magic Johnson incident and the 'Willy' Kennedy Smith incident—the whole society has been desensitized and more crass because of it. I'm not going to be crass; I'm going to be very straightforward.

It is known that the leaders of the National Organization for Women (NOW) are lesbians. Their goal, instead of the liberation of women, is the enslavement of women into their standards. Their interpretation of rape is any sexual relations—even in marriage—with a man. Many of you don't even know that, and they won't proclaim this aloud, but that is their secret agenda, that is their secret goal and that's why all of these things are portrayed that they are.

In Isa. 3:12 we see that God prophesied the turning of the world upside down. You just analyze and think about it. Anything that destroys the family and marriage—as God designed in His Word, as God instructed us as human beings His creation, results in

  • ruin
  • anarchy
  • poverty
  • depravation
  • misery
  • unhappiness
  • mental disease

—and every other thing that you would want to name under the sun can focus right down in to the destruction of the family, which means destroy the husband/wife relationship and let the woman rule over the man.

One other thing about this women's liberation thing that most people don't understand: Women say they want equal rights, so when they supposedly get equal rights, they say 'now I'm a woman and must be treated as a woman.' If you want the same rights as a man, why then do you insist on being treated as a woman? What is really happening is that they want all the rights of men and all the rights of women combined together in women's rights and to rule over men! That's the whole goal of the women's liberation movement.

Isaiah 3:12: "As for My people, children are their oppressors…" You can't even discipline them anymore because they run down to the social services and have you arrested for child abuse!

Here in Los Angeles they can't even have a football game because too many gangs in high school come all loaded up with their weapons and end up shooting each other. Wonderful society that we have now that we let children oppress us.?

"…and women rule over them…." (v 12). That's Satan's key and leverage into the destruction of every society! You can go the other way and you can say, 'All right.' Are there societies where the men rule over and treat women as vassals and serfs and slaves and oppress them? Yes, that is true! That's the other extreme of it. For those who point out the difficulties and the wrongs of the women's liberation movement thing. They always point to this extreme, so therefore, you will take your eyes off their extreme. We're going to get our eyes off of both of these and we're going to focus in on what the Bible has to say.

"…Oh, My people, those who lead you cause you to err…" (v 12). They cause people's lives to become miserable, empty and rotten, because they are given the wrong advice; they are given the wrong instruction!

"…and destroy the way of your paths" (v 12).

This is the way that the society is today. This is what we are confronted with even as Christians. Living in this world and being bombarded by it all the time even we tend to get our ideas out of kilter with what God wants, and we get it out of sorts with what God wants. Let's look in the Bible and see what God has to say.

Let's understand something very important concerning what God did. God made man and woman. There is one thing that is absolutely true, we can just use the Scripture that says that no man, no one, no person 'can serve two masters.' Therefore, I do not countenance—the Bible doesn't countenance—where that God made woman equal with man. That does not give man authority to destroy the woman or to oppress her, but they're not equal.

A lot of women will say, 'That's not fair!' Well, you show me one thing that is 'fair' in life. There's a difference between what is right and just, and fair. The whole Soviet Union collapsed because fairness didn't work. Fairness doesn't work! When people say that, many times they have a mistaken understanding of what God originally intended.

Genesis 1:26: "And God said, 'Let Us make man [mankind] in Our image…" We'll see how God created and how specifically God did it, and for some very important reason.

"…after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of heaven and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that crawls upon the earth.' And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him. He created them male and female" (vs 26-27).

There's one thing for sure, in spite of what people like to try and think and do and change and work things around, you are what you are by creation. You're either made male or female! None of us have any say-so as to what it's going to be. You can say in the first place that God isn't fair, because He didn't ask us, if you want to look at fairness.

Rom. 9[transcriber's correction] says 'Is the thing made going to say to the Maker, what are you making?' I don't like what You're making. Is that going to have any standing anyplace? Of course not!

We find here with the creation of Eve, we know that Adam was made, Genesis 2:7: "Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."

God made the man first. We have no control over that. God did it! For people to argue about that, what is it going to accomplish? Is it going to change God? Is it going to make your marriage better because you argue against God, what He's done? Of course not!

Then we find where God made woman. There wasn't anything of all that God created that was compatible and suitable for the man. After Adam named all the animals, then we come to:

Verse 20: "And Adam gave names to all the livestock, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field, but there was not found a helper compatible [suitable] for Adam":

  • mentally
  • intellectually
  • emotionally
  • and every other way

for the man!

We know that we have literally a situation where the man is not complete without the woman, and the woman is not complete without the man. God made it that way, and that can't be changed. Once we get some of these basic foundations in mind, and we get some of this thinking out of our brains, which are not correct, then maybe we can make some progress in husband/wife relations and get along in this world in the way that God wants us to.

Verse 21: "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall over Adam, and he slept. And He took one of his ribs, and afterward closed up the flesh underneath. Then the LORD God made the rib (which He had taken out of the man) into a woman, and He brought her to the man" (vs 21-22).

In order for there to be equality the way that a lot of people think there should be equality, you would have to have God making the man from the dust of the ground and the woman from the dust of the ground at the same time. Then you could say that by creation they are equal. Lack of equality does not necessarily mean inferior. That's something that needs to be understood concerning husband/wife relations. We're getting the basics out of the Bible.

Verse 23: "And Adam said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man.' For this reason shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife—and they shall become one flesh" (vs 23-24).

That is the whole basis for marriage; the whole basis as to why God made us male and female. Out of it we can rise to the very heights of:

  • love
  • joy
  • oneness
  • goodness
  • profound closeness
  • deep love

or we can have:

  • misery
  • wretchedness
  • profound unhappiness
  • arguing and fighting

That can all come!

We're going see quite a few things in the book of Proverbs, but before we go there, let's just mention here the whole situation with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the woman bringing the fruit to Adam and so forth. There is a lesson for us there. The very first sin was that Adam allowed his wife to usurp the creation of God from Him. The whole society has paid for it from that time on. It says the woman was 'deceived.' Adam was not deceived; he knew what he was doing. Then we come to Gen. 3 and we see what happened to Adam and Eve. Women tend to focus in on the curse that was brought to Eve and overlook what God said to Adam.

Genesis 3:16: "To the woman He said, 'I will greatly increase your sorrow and your conception—in sorrow shall you bring forth children. Your desire shall be toward your husband, and he shall rule over you.'" That's the whole key that women do not like! It's created this fight and tension all the time.

I'm sure that anyone who is married has had some problems and difficulties in this age, as well. Especially when you get to a situation where we have all these modern conveniences and things that the man does not have to go out and do the physical hard work to make what he has to make, to build what he has to build, and the whole roles have been changed. Therefore, this gives more impetus to women to thinking that they are equal or better than men. For men then to take the other hand, and many of them become brute beasts and just beat up on women, abuse them, abuse their children and all that sort of thing.

When we're talking about how to have a Godly marriage, those things on both sides are put aside, that those things should have already been overcome or at least understood. I don't know of any situation where, in the years that I've been in the ministry—except for people just coming into the Church—that I've had to go counsel concerning battered wives. I remember one that I had to go counsel concerning a battered husband. So, it can work both ways.

We tend to forget what was brought here also upon the man, v 17: "And to Adam He said, 'Because you have hearkened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree—of which I commanded you, saying, "You shall not eat of it!"—the ground is cursed for your sake. In sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life.'"

There are certain residuals of this that carry over even today. Life is tough; earning a living is difficult; and we have to get out there and work and slave and all this sort of thing to just try and make ends meet. That's part of what was brought upon a man.

We need to understand that in Christ many of these things can be ameliorated to a great degree and we need to focus in on how we as Christians can get along with our husbands and our wives and our children. I know that given the world that we are living in, I don't think that there's going to be one really, absolutely perfect marriage around. That may create some problems for perfectionists. That may even accelerate and cause more problems than there really needs to be.

Now let's go to the book of Proverbs, because the book of Proverbs has a lot of instruction for us. As we're going through, I want you to understand that certain key things are directed toward women. Most of the book of Proverbs, women, is directed toward men; they need to understand that. In highlighting some of these things concerning women does not mean that I'm picking on women. It does not mean that I'm overlooking the man, but it just is. Most of the book of Proverbs—if you read it and you are really honest with it—has to do with the man, telling him how to live and what to do and how to handle his life.

I can vouch for this, it is true—Proverbs 18:22: "Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD."

That is so absolutely vital and important, and absolutely true! It's tremendous! When God made Eve, He made her completely compatible and suited for the man!. Obviously then, the man was pre-made to be compatible and suitable with his wife. That was the whole lesson of God taking all of the animals and passing them by Adam, to name them, so that he would see:

  • that he needed something special
  • that he needed something good
  • that he needed something directly from God, which also came directly from himself

That's really something to keep in mind!

You husbands keep in mind that God created your wife for you. You might say, 'Well now, the way we met…' Well, there are many, many different circumstances in life that we can look to that we really don't understand that in the initial analysis God worked it out for us. Later on we can see that, but maybe right at first you can't.

If you look upon your wife as something that is good, as something that is a blessing, something that gives you favor with God.

  • How is it going to give you favor with God?
  • Is it going to give you favor with God because you're a dictator? No!
  • Is it going to give you favor with God because you're inconsiderate and brash and crude? No!
  • Is it going to give you favor with God because you run around in your shorts and underwear and smell, stink, don't shave, belch and all that sort of crude, crass bodily processes? No!

Handled in the right context as God wants it to be!

Proverbs 18:22: "Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD."

We're going to see how the husband is to nourish and to cherish and to up-build his wife. That's an obligation that comes from God. He gives a command that that's the way that it is.

Proverbs 19:14: "…a prudent wife is from the LORD." A lot of men don't know that and don't appreciate that, because they look upon women just as sex objects, sex symbols, and a lot of women look at themselves as that way, too.

Too many people have followed this course—too many men. I bring up the example of Magic Johnson, and Wilt 'the stilt' Chamberlain who in his basketball career said that he 'slept with 20,000 women'! Someone figured it out that that had to be 5-6 women every other day on an average for his whole basketball career. That is total whoremongering! That is total beastly licentiousness beyond belief, but he couldn't have done it without the women who wanted to.

So, there's a warning here for men. I want you to understand, women, that God brings this upon the men more so than upon the women because the man is the one who is tempted by sight, tempted by sexual drive more than women. That's just the nature of things, and God made it that way. No one is going to change it. Therefore, there are things that men have to be very careful of.

It says in the New Testament, 'flee fornication.' I think they're going to learn that with all of this AIDS epidemic. They just ran a test in Paris of as many prostitutes as they could—male and female—and guess how many percent of them have the HIV virus or AIDS. Just take a guess—20%? 30%? 50%? 60%? 70%? 80%? 90%? 95%? 98%? 95%!

Here's what God says to every man, and there's also some correction in here for women, Proverbs 5:1: "My son, attend to my wisdom; bow your ear to my understanding; That you may keep discretion, and that your lips may keep knowledge" (vs 1-2).

God is saying that because 'I've given you free moral agency…'—which God has done. The only thing God is going to do to intervene against free moral agency is when human beings get to the point they're going to absolutely destroy the world. That's when God is going to intervene.

  • God is not going to stop a person from committing adultery if they want to.
  • God is not going to stop a person from becoming a whoremonger or a prostitute if they want to.
  • God is not going to make you become a good husband if you don't want to.
  • God is not going to make you become a good wife if you don't want to.
  • God is not going to make you get along in your marriage. You must choose to get along in your marriage!

I've had fights with my wife, and don't look at is as with some great shock. Ministers are not perfect. I bet you've had fights with your wife or your husband. If you haven't then I would certainly like to have a letter from you or a phone call from you and tell me that you have been perfect all your life, or close to it. I mean, even 80% perfect would be wonderful! I would like to hear that.

Verse 3: "For the lips of a wanton woman drip as a honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil; but her end is as bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword" (vs 3-4). Whatever emotionally, mentally, physically, sexually, compatibility; all of these things are tied in with it!.

Verse 5: "Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on the grave. She does not ponder the path of life…" (vs 5-6).

In other words, it's going to be a lot of slick things coming along here to entice men. Also, by the way, it brings down the morals of women, in general, too.

One of the things that's very important in doing that is movies, television, magazines and media. And rather than filling their mind with God's Word, too many people fill their minds with the ideas of this world and of Satan the devil, which sound good, look good, which sound right. That's why there's the AIDS disease, because God is showing that He's not going to tolerate this any longer. It's not going to be!

So, women entice men; that's just the nature of things. You have to be aware of those of enticements.

Verse 7: "Now therefore hear me, O you children, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Remove your ways far from her, and do not come near the door of her house… [don't give yourself the step into the door of opportunity to sin] …lest you give your honor unto others and your years unto the cruel" (vs 7-9).

There's a whole life to live, and there are years to be lived. Marriage was intended to last a lifetime. Wasn't intended to be a sex partner today or two or three tomorrow, as Wilt Chamberlain did and so-called 'Magic' Ervin Johnson, or many of the others. Of course, the shocking thing is that there are groupies of women that follow them around. Groupies are followers, and they stand there in line and after the basketball game come along and say, 'I want you' or 'I want you' or 'I want you.' In that case they're all willing in it, by choice.

So, God is saying here, 'Before your heart and mind ever get started with that kind of thing—because it's going to lead to death—don't even go near the door of it.' That's one of the great problems that is the result of marriage today; that too many have done that, whether in the service or whether before they were married or whatever the situation may be. There are some people who come along and they are victimized.

  • What do you do when you find out that your mate really was a whoremonger or a whore before you got married?
  • What do you do?
  • What if it happens during marriage?
  • What do you do?

We'll cover that a little later!

Verse 10: "Lest strangers be filled with your wealth, and your labors be in the house of a stranger; and you moan when your end comes, when your flesh and your body are consumed, and say, 'How I hated instruction…'" (vs 10-12).

The older we get the more we'd like to go back and relive our lives. You can't do it! Therefore, we have to take some things and learn right now. We can modify and adjust our ways. There are too many who say: "…I hated instruction…"

  • they're going to die of AIDS
  • they're going to die of syphilis
  • they're going to die of gonorrhea

They're going to bring into this world:

  • deformed children
  • mentally retarded children
  • cocaine addict children

and on and on and on!

"…and my heart despised correction; and I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined my ears to those who taught me! I was almost in utter ruin in the midst of the congregation and assembly" (vs 12-14).

God says here is the solution. Here is God's original solution as we can say for the sex problem, which is beginning right here:

Verse 15: "Drink waters out of your own cistern… [this is put in symbolic language, and it's interesting]: …and running waters out of your own well."

We'll see later where the husband is to encourage and up-build the wife with the 'washing of the water by the Word' as Christ does to the Church! This is very important that it follows along here.

Verse 16: "Let your fountains be dispersed abroad as rivers of waters in the streets. Let them be only your own, and not strangers' with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth" (vs 16-18).

That is the ideal, that you get married when you're young, not teenagers not knowing anything. Some do, and you know the insinuating problems with that. This is what God is saying is the ideal of God's way. He wants it to be that you enjoy 'the wife of your youth.' That's the whole thing that needs to be!

  • learn to enjoy your marriage
  • learn to enjoy each other

Even though there may be some differences and interests.

Almost anything can be overcome with understanding and knowledge and proper attitude and working at it. It surely can! And almost anything can be destroyed, divided and separated apart by hatred, animosity and bitterness. It can happen! I've seen it happen!

This is what we need to do right here, v 19: "Let her be as the loving deer and pleasant doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times, and be ravished always with her love…." vs the 'love' of a stranger!

They have found that psychology counselors is saying 'the way you can spice up your marriage is to get some pornography—television or magazine—make your sex life better.' What they've found out is that it destroys it and plants the seed in the minds of the individuals out there. That's not the way to solve the problem. Believe me:

  • you can't solve any of your marriage problems by taking Satan's advice
  • you cannot solve any of your marriage or sexual problems by following Satan's instructions

It isn't going to work! You have to follow God's ways and do what is right and do what is good and proper!

Verse 20: "For why will you, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger? For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and He ponders all his paths" (vs 20-21).

  • God knows!
  • God understands!
  • God realizes!

Our lives are an open book before God! God says that He knows every hair that is on our head.

  • Does He not know how to help us, to encourage us when we come to Him and pray to have our marriages work properly?
  • Do we not have that ability and access from the Creator?
  • Does God want you fighting and arguing always?

No! It's your choice! God didn't make it that way.

  • Can you come to God and solve the problem? Sure you can!
  • Is it necessarily going to be absolutely perfect? No!

May not be! You may have some imperfections to deal with yourself and your wife/husband—either way. That's the way life is. As my wife says, 'that's the way the cookie crumbles, the mop flops and the jelly rolls.' You have to take it as it is and go from there. We'll see that there are several things that we need to understand and realize as we're going along.

How many times does it say in here in referring to a man? Mostly the book of Proverbs is for men!

Proverbs 9:13: "A foolish woman is clamorous; she is simple and knows nothing"—but a wise woman is great! Same way with a foolish and simple man; causes no ends of problems to a marriage.

Verse 14: "And she sits at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, to call those who pass by, who are going straight on their way: 'Whoever is thoughtless, let him turn in here.'…." (vs 14-16). Sounds like the lineup after the basketball game!

"…And to one lacking understanding, she says to him, 'Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant'" (vs 16-17).

That's the whole philosophy of the movie industry, which, by the way, is designed to destroy families, to destroy loving sex within marriage and to create lust and amorous and wrong ideas in the minds of men and women.

Prov. 12—this is true concerning anything in life, whether it be marriage, job, investment, studying, whatever you are doing, this is true.

Proverbs 12:1 "Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid."

That's exactly what the whole women's movement is about today. They hate any reproof, whatever there is. That's just the way that they've leveraged to get rule over man.

Verse 2: "The good man receives grace from the LORD, but He will condemn a man of wicked devices." This applies in marriage!

You cannot take the devices of Satan in a marriage and rule over your wife to make her a vassal, a servant, put her in fear and wretchedness and cause your marriage to be destroyed. God is against that as He is anything else.

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Verse 3 "A man shall not be established by wickedness…" Neither shall a marriage or a business! Nothing shall be established by wickedness!

"…but the root of the righteous shall not be moved. A woman of virtue is a crown to her husband…" (vs 3-4)—because she supports him!

Now, let me just mention here that there is a vast difference between supporting your husband and just defending your position with him. What do I mean by that? Men really—as you women know but don't want to admit, and a lot of men don't want to admit—have fragile egos! Men need support. The last thing a man needs is a contentious woman: carping, picking, criticizing, always being a downer. Too many women are like that. Men think differently than women. That's just the nature of it. God made us that way, to think differently!

Men are more goal-oriented, and in that, to get to the goal, they're going to do it. Maybe they'll forget some of the niceties along the way. Maybe they'll even offend women in doing what they're doing, because they're different. For a virtuous woman to be a crown to her husband, then she needs to support him—not just defend him—uplift him. Not sympathizing as with a little child—'now, now there, little junior, you hurt your knee or let me kiss your finger where you cut it.' That's not support. That is condescending!

Support is that you help him in everything that you can do to help him to achieve whatever he's to achieve—whether in work, whether at home, whether in the family, regardless of what it is. I'll tell you one thing, if you do that, you're going to find that your whole relationship with your husband is going to improve tremendously. Absolutely tremendously! It really, really will! Be the crown to your husband!

"…but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones" (v 4). That's the way it is with some men!

Women can get so bad that they their whole lives just shrink up and shrivel away, because of the treatment of women toward their husbands. That can happen, so we need to keep that in mind. Again, we see both sides, how it's going here. Now, let's talk about some of the little problems that you may have.

Proverbs 15:16: "Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it. Better is a dinner of vegetables where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred with it" (vs 16-17).

This shows, and I'm sure you've experienced it, where you've had a knockdown, dragged out argument and no one is speaking! I've experienced it.

  • How did you feel? Miserable!
  • How did your food taste? Terrible!
  • What was the best you ever had in the food? It was rotten!

because of fighting and contentiousness and things like this!\.

Verse 18: "A wrathful man stirs up discord, but one slow to anger calms strife." That's a source of a lot of problems in marriage! The man gets angry and just stirs it up!

Same way with a woman; she'll do it a little differently. She'll be contentious like the dripping of a faucet—pickety, pickety, pickety or drip, drip, drip—which can also stir up the anger! Like fueling the fire here. Then it goes on and on. We'll see in the book of Ephesians there's a solution for that.

Proverbs 16:8: "Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice." Oh, how true that is! There's nothing but fights over it.

Verse 19: "It is better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud."

That's what there needs to be in a marriage, a humble spirit from both husband and wife. How? Toward God! In the way that it should be.

Verse 24: "Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." There's the way to get right results in your marriage! You can overlook a whole lot.

  • You don't have to bring up every negative thing that there is—do you?
  • You don't have to be contentious about everything that comes along—do you?
  • You don't have to point out every fault that there is—do you?
      • Why not uplift?
      • Why not help?
      • Why not have pleasant words?
      • Why not be encouraging?

'Oh, that may puff him up.' Not necessarily! Maybe he'll be more puffed up if you don't. Maybe your wife won't be so divisive and contentious and drippy with her criticism if you have pleasant words for her. That's just part of life! You really need to understand that.

Proverbs 17:1: "Better is a dry piece of bread, and quietness with it, than a house full of sacrifices with fighting." Absolutely!

Have you ever walked into a house where they just ended a family argument? If you had a knife you could take it out and cut the atmosphere and just stack it.

  • Is anybody happy? No!
  • Is it pleasant? No!
  • Is it good for anybody? No!
  • What does it work out to be? Rottenness and misery, just like the Proverb says.

Now, let's go to the New Testament and see what we need to do; see how we can live our lives in a right way. A lot of these things are here for us to learn, to know, to do, to understand. A lot of it has to do with just living and time and love and experience. Each marriage is going to be different, because of the interest of the people involved and the things that need to be done.

Let's understand something that is true. I think that one of the biggest problems that men have in a marriage is that they don't consult with their wives when they need to—which they should. They're not kind and considerate to their wives—as they ought to be. One of the biggest problems that women have is that they think they know what their husbands are thinking!

Many times you can make a pretty good guess, but not all the time; and it applies to husbands toward their wives, too. If you think you know what your wife is thinking, or if you think you know what your husband is thinking, you probably really don't know.

  • Do you know their heart and mind before God when they pray?
  • Do you really?
  • What does that end up being?

That ends up being judgmental! Being judgmental to condemnation is one of the worst things that there is in marriage!

We have some good instruction in 1-Peter for us in how that it affects our relationship with God and our relationship with our marriage. We need to understand that and learn that, because this is how we can improve our marriages.

1-Peter 2:21: "For to this you were called because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow in His footsteps, Who committed no sin; neither was guile found in His mouth" (vs 21-22).

I want to focus in on fairness and equality. That becomes very important at this point. I want to talk a little bit about fairness because

  • Was it fair that God had to take upon Himself all the sins of the whole world?

You think about that for a minute if you think some of the things you're going through are not fair.

  • That He was beaten for our sin?
  • That He received stripes because of our iniquities?

Of course not!

Verse 23: "Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when suffering, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him Who judges righteously; Who Himself bore our sins within His own body on the tree, so that we, being dead to sins, may live unto righteousness; by Whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray, but you have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls" (vs 23-25).

Then He leaves that idea and goes right into the situation of husband/wife relations as Christians. We all get our perspective and we all see that God took upon Him all of these things. That becomes a solution to the problems within a marriage.

  • not the divorce courts of this world
  • not the psychologists of this world

But going to God and getting things solved God's way!

1-Peter 3:1: "Likewise…" What do you mean likewise? In reference to what we just read. In the same manner and attitude as Christ had.

"…you wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands…" (v 1). That's the only way a marriage is going to work! You cannot have two heads. You cannot have two bosses. You cannot have two directions to go in a marriage—only one!

"…so that, even if any are not obedient to the Word, through the behavior of the wives they may be gained without a word" (v 1).

That's a source of a lot of problems within marriage, where one mate believes and the other one doesn't believe, and then trying to convert that one. No! It needs to be by example, both for the husband and for the wife.

Verse 2: "Having witnessed your chaste behavior carried out with reverence; whose adorning, let it not be the external adornment of braiding the hair, or wearing gold jewelry, or dressing in costly clothing; but let your adornment be the inward person of the heart, manifested in the incorruptible jewel of a meek and quiet spirit, which is of great value in God's sight" (vs 2-4).

That doesn't mean you give up your person. That doesn't mean you give up your personality. That just means that this is the way—provided that your husband is loving you, which he ought to—to make the marriage work and be happy.

Verse 5: "For in this way also the Holy women of the past who hoped in God adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands."

That's the way we have a Christ-centered, God-oriented marriage and are able to get along as husbands and wives.

Verse 6: "Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord…"

I don't know of any women today who are willing to call their husbands 'lord.' This is not an absolute requirement that you do, I want you to understand that, because you can call a person lord and be hateful in it. It's not the calling him lord that made it right, but her attitude in yielding to him.

"…and you are her children, if you are doing what is right, and are not frightened by any intimidation. Likewise, you husbands, dwell with your wives according to knowledge…" (vs 6-7).

That's very important. Man has to have knowledge and understanding on how to make a marriage work. You're never going to beat your wife into submission. You women are never going to make your husband be what he is to be by picking at him. It won't work!

You've got to do it "…according to knowledge as with a weaker vessel… [since she is a woman] …giving them honor…" (v 7) There's a place of honor that God has for women. Honor as your wife!

  • she is not chattel
  • she is not a servant
  • she is not a slave.
  • she's not there to do all of your dirty work and for you to go through the house like you're a rampaging torpedo and strewing and throwing everything around, so that 'now the woman can clean up my mess'

No way! That won't work! Too many men do that though. You need to consider it.

"…dwell with your wives according to knowledge, as with a weaker vessel, giving them honor…" (v 7)—by doing the things to show the honor to her; to help her; to encourage her.

She's going to have more emotional ups and downs than you. You need to be a help and a stabilizing and a loving factor for her. That's just the way it is.

"…as women, andas joint heirs of the grace of life…" (v 7). Here's something that is given as a warning to men! Not to women, but to men! Is God holding you responsible? Yes! What does He say?

"…so that your prayers may not be cut off" (v 7).

If you husbands are having trouble getting your prayers answered, maybe you need to look at how you're treating your wife. Maybe you need to understand how your relationship with your wife is. Maybe that's why your prayers are not being answered, they're being cutoff. They're not going any higher than in the room in which you are praying. Maybe you'd better start:

  • O God, help me to have the right attitude in my marriage.
  • Help me to re-establish the right situation with my wife.
  • Help me to humble myself before You so that I can:
  • show love to my wife
  • show her honor
  • show her the respect

That doesn't mean you're giving up your rulership. As some might say a man is to rule over the women. I've heard that in the Church, too. Then they've gone all the other way and saying now, 'let's treat them with equality.' God never said it's equal! It's togetherness, but it's not equal. God gives this warning to men; He doesn't give it to women. Therefore, the man bears the greater responsibility.

Let's see something else that's very important in the marriage. Sex is never to be used as a manipulative tool to withhold so that you can get your own way. That's either for the husband or the wife.

1-Corinthians 7:2: "Rather, to avoid sexual immorality…"—because God made us as creatures who have sex and love in that sex!

No animal has love in sex, only human beings. That's why He made it so that when a husband and wife have relations, they are the only thing of God's creation that have conjugal relations face-to-face! You think about that! Nothing of all the creation that God has done for reproductive of any animal of any species anywhere are face-to-face. It's not just reproduction; there is love, joy, becoming one! That's what marriage is all about! What Paul is saying is that sex outside of marriage is not right.

"…let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render his conjugal dues to his wife, and in the same way also the wife to her husband" (vs 2-3).

That doesn't mean that now the man becomes a total sex-monger and drags her off into the bedroom five times a day. That's not what God means. Do you understand that?

Verse 4: "The wife does not have power over her own body, but the husband; and in the same way also, the husband does not have power over his own body, but the wife." Notice, if you don't have proper conjugal relations in the marriage, it says:

Verse 5: "Do not deprive one another of conjugal dues…" In other words, you are defrauding the marriage. Why have marriage if there is not sex?

If there wasn't sex people could just live together and come and go as they want. There would be nothing to bind them. That's why God made male and female. That's why there is marriage. This is the responsibility that is due. God says so! That would be another thing, which would cut your prayers off from God. You're not going to solve any problems in the marriage by rationing sex, by cutting it off.

I'll tell you one thing: There may be a lot of emotions that make it miserable and rotten and not worthwhile unless you're trying to run your marriage God's way.

  • Can there be sex without love? Yes!
  • Can there be marriage without love? Yes!

Not all marriages are depended upon love!

  • love is something you grow in
  • love is something you build up
  • love is something that you work at

It's not just a feeling! There's the responsibility there. This then is the physical aspect of it.

Let's see the spiritual aspect of this, so we understand how God expects a husband and wife to react and interrelate together and how that marriage can be as Christ would want it to be.

Eph. 5:20 shows our attitude; this shows what it needs to be. Marriage is a dual responsibility of husband and wife and God lays the final, ultimate responsibility upon the husband. The one who is made the head is the one who is ultimately responsible! We know that marriage pictures Christ and the Church.

  • Is Jesus responsible to the Church? Yes, He is!
  • Is He responsible for helping, encouraging, teaching and uplifting the Church? Yes, He is!

Ephesians 5:20: "Giving thanks at all times for all things to God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

I tell you, if you count your blessings—there's even the song: 'Count Your Blessings, name them one by one and it will amaze you what God has done.' That's what we need to be here. Be thankful! You can always find a circumstance in life that is worse than yours. Always! I don't care how bad you may think it is, there's always one worse than you somewhere in the world.

"…at all times for all things…" irrespective of whether you're being tried. You may have some difficult times, or being blessed. Always be thanking our God and Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Then Paul shows that with that attitude; this applies to husbands and wives; v 21: "Submit yourselves to one another in the fear of God."

Do you think that God is going to bless you as a husband because you're mean and cruel to your wife, and that you're going to rule over her and that you're going to force her and you're going to make her to do this? Of course not! Absolutely not! Your prayers are cutoff, because you're not honoring her as God expects you to do.

Do you think you're going to accomplish the will of God by nagging and picking and criticizing and looking at every fault that your husband makes? No! It won't work! You have to be submitting yourselves to God. Then the rest of it flows.

Verse 22: "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord."

Are the husbands to submit to Christ? Yes, they are! Absolutely! So, what God requires of a wife is no more than God requires of the man toward God. Absolutely the same!

Verse 23: "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the Head of the Church; and He is the Savior of the body. For even as the Church is subject to Christ…" (vs 23-24).

  • Are you husbands really out there doing these things as Christ does for the Church?
  • Are you really trying to be the provider and preserver and deliverer?


  • Are you lazy and sloughful and indolent?

All of those things all come into play in it. Here is the thing that's important with it. What we're doing is giving you some tools on how you can assess your marriage, how you can assess your life and what you need to do to have a marriage that is Christ-centered and God-oriented.

"…in the same way also let wives be subject to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your own wives… [How? With Godly Divine love!] …in the same way that Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it" (vs 24-25). That shows a tremendous attitude of:

  • sacrifice
  • work
  • perseverance
  • continuance
  • honor and all of this

Why did Christ do that?

Verse 26: "So that He might sanctify it… [make her Holy, pure and righteous] …having cleansed it with the washing of water by the Word"—through the grace, command and mandate of God!

It's accomplished by grace, love and understanding. No by browbeating, brute force, shouting, yelling and screaming. That isn't how Christ is doing it.

How many times you make mistakes and go to Christ and say, 'O God, forgive me.' Does God forgive you? Yes, He does! How ought you to treat your wife?

  • with love
  • consideration
  • kindness
  • understanding
  • forbearance
  • hold your tongue
  • hold the correction
  • let things work out

You'll see that things go along a whole lot better!

Marriage is not going to be that the husband is going to make the wife do his will, or the wife is going to make the husband do her will. It won't happen! It just won't work.

So, what if you do have a big fight? What if you do have a big, knockdown argument? Then you do just exactly as it says there in Eph. 4: 'don't let the sun go down on your wrath.' Make up before the day is over. That's what it's saying. Then when you get up in the morning, don't carry over yesterday's problem into today.

Why destroy the present time with past problems. There are going to enough future problems in the coming present time that you don't have to destroy it with past problems. Do you see how this all works? It's not that God is against women! It isn't that God is unfair to women and now he's given this all to the man to beat up on the woman and the woman's place is just to suffer. That's not God's way at all!

Verse 25: Husbands, love your own wives, in the same way as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; so that He might sanctify it, having cleansed it with the washing of water by the Word; that He might present it to Himself… [How?] …as the glorious Church…" (vs 25-27)—untarnished!

The whole purpose of the New Covenant is that Christ and the Church enter into this marriage relationship, which is pictured by the physical marriage of husband and wife. That shows we all have a long way to go in making our marriages right before God. It's something that is continually ongoing. Something that you have to set your course for your whole life, and look down through time and space as it were and realize that it's going to have to go beyond children coming into the family, marrying and growing up and going out on their own, and then grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all of this.

Then there's going to come a time when one is going to die. Very seldom do husband and wife die at the same time. If you're a widow or a widower, you don't want to look back and say, 'oh, if I could have done this or done that, or the other thing.' No!

You can say that you did the very best that you could and with God's blessing and you had as good a marriage as it could be. You had some human faults and mistakes, but that's just the way that it is. That's exactly what God wants to do with the Church, that she might be consecrated, Holy and completely blameless!

"…not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it might be Holy and without blame. In the same way, husbands are duty-bound… [under obligation to God] …to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself" (vs 27-28).

That says an awful lot. That means not only just as yourself—your goals, purpose, work—that is all bound up in the phrase: "…loves himself." Not just necessarily the flesh of your body alone, that's part of it, but it has to do with the whole focus and purpose of your life.

You can see the great responsibility that God lays upon the husbands; and the responsibility that God lays upon the wives. It has to work together. It's a one-way street, but there are two people involved. You can't have one going one way and one going the other way. You have to be going in the same direction.

If there are difficulties involved, learn how to work around them. Learn how and I'll tell you this: You can understand how to do it more by taking it to God in prayer:

  • asking God to help you do it
  • asking God to help you see and understand what it needs to be

than you can by going to all the marriage counselors in the world! I can guarantee you that. I can tell you that from personal experience.

Verse 28: "In the same way, husbands are duty-bound to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself; for no man has ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord does the Church. For we are members of His body—of His flesh…" (vs 28-30)—through the crucifixion and all that means!

That is a whole lifetime of trying to understand what that means. After being a minister for as long as I have been, and being in the Church as long as I have been, I'm really beginning to understand the whole greatness of what Christ did and becoming that perfect sacrifice for our sins. That is absolutely incredible beyond belief. It is something that we need to grow in, and as you do then you're going to grow in understanding and how to make your marriage happier.

"…and of His bones. For this reason shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife; and the two shall be one flesh" (v 30).

That is the whole key and emphasis as to what we need to look to in marriage. Your whole spiritual existence as it were is all wrapped up in your marriage. Whether it's an easy marriage or a difficult marriage. You can't just up and walk away from it because there are difficulties that come along.

  • Did Christ up and abandon the Church because there were difficulties? No!
  • Did He reject it because they had problems and things that maybe in their own choices helped create the problems? No, He didn't!

He's kind, understanding, corrective, merciful, leading, guiding in every way!

Verse 31: "In correlation to the spiritual analogy, which is a type, a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to and cleave to his own wife and the two of them shall become one flesh and blend their live into one."

You need to think about that! Marriage is so that you can blend your lives into one! You don't lose your identity, but you both gain a greater identity with both of you working together in the marriage. Just as we are to be one flesh in marriage so are we to be one spirit with Christ.

Also, that comes down to the marriage that we are going to have the same attitude, the same going forth in our marriages in the attitude that we have toward Christ.

Verse 32: "This mystery is great, immense and supreme; but I am speaking concerning the relationship between Christ and the Church and their eternal destiny."

Remember that with your marriage. Remember that when you are trying to get things straightened around in your marriage. Start with the spiritual aspect of it. You're not going to correct any part of the physical aspects of the marriage until you get the spiritual aspects squared around.

You're not going to get that going in the right direction except through prayer and yielding to God, studying His Word. This sermon is not intended to be a cure-all for all relations between husbands and wives. This is intended to be a view from God's perspective as to what we need to do to bring our marriages together the way they ought to be. Everyone is going to be different from the other. Getting the spiritual things straightened out is the most important.

Verse 33: "However, let everyone of you be loving his own wife exactly as himself; and the wife see that she revering herhusband." And oh how much better our marriages would be if we were to all do that!

God's Word is absolutely profound concerning our marriages and is a great key so that we can enter into the Kingdom of God and will be an added blessing for us having our marriages in the way that would result in having a blessing from God now to eliminate the fighting, arguing, encroachment from the world and really draw close to God. Do that as God would want you to do!

Husbands, love your wives; and wives, you submit yourself to your husbands and walk down the same road together.

Then you can enter into the Kingdom of God knowing that you have given your best to each other and to Christ!

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Isaiah 3:12
  • Genesis 1:26-27
  • Genesis 2:7, 20-24
  • Genesis 3:16-17
  • Proverbs 18:22
  • Proverbs 19:14
  • Proverbs 5:1-21
  • Proverbs 9:13-17
  • Proverbs 12:1-4
  • Proverbs 15:16-18
  • Proverbs 16:8, 19, 24
  • Proverbs 17:1
  • 1 Peter 2:21-25
  • 1 Peter 3:1-7
  • 1 Corinthians 7:2-5
  • Ephesians 5:20-26, 25-33

Scripture referenced, not quoted:

  • Romans 9
  • Ephesians 4

Transcribed: 7-27-11
Reformatted/Corrected: 4/2020