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Discerning God's Will for Marriage

(Genesis 24:37-48, 57-60)

Lesson 5 -- fourth quarter 2007
September 30, 2007

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2007

Singled out

God created Adam equipped for marriage, but single. And in this single state, Adam dedicated himself to one sole purpose -- doing the work God had for him.

I suggest to you that God yearns deeply to have singles all for Himself. He strongly desires for them to dedicate their lives to the service of the church. God wants these people to give themselves to Him and to His church somewhat in the same way they would give themselves in marriage to a human spouse.

"He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord.... The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit..." (1 Corinthians 7:32,34).

As a married man, I find this truth somewhat unnerving -- singles can serve the Lord in ways and with a dedication that marrieds cannot.

A married person has responsibilities to a spouse (and possibly to children also). But singles have the Lord and the church to serve and to please. Just as a married man's self, job, time, attention, efforts, money, energy, and other resources go to his wife and children, so a single man's job, time, attention, efforts, money, energy, and other resources should go to his Lord and His church.

God does not intend for singles to live for themselves! Far too many Christian singles live self-centered, selfish, groping lives, insulated from the needs of their rightful "spouse." (Been there; done that.)

To be single is to be singled out -- by Jesus for Himself exclusively. Wow! What an honor!

Attention, spouses!

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself" (Ephesians 5:22-25,28).

The marital relationship should be the most intimate human relationship. Therefore, every husband or wife has to give his or her spouse the highest earthly priority (surpassed only by the one with God). This priority should be more important than the priorities of children, work, other interests, parents, other people...and even more important than one's own self.

When a man marries, his wife becomes his first responsibility. God wants the husband to love his wife, thus giving her a solid relationship in which she need not fight alone against the harshness of life. He ought to be her lover and the leader of his home. God wants the husband to give direction and meaning to the life of his wife...to do his best to sustain, support, and help her. She is secondary only to God.

The wife should allow her husband to give direction to the life of their family. She should submit herself to her husband's direction instead of following her own desires. This is one of the supreme expressions of the love she has for him. Being that she was designed as his suitable help and his "crown" (Proverbs 12:4), he is secondary only to God.

What I were to ask your spouse if she or he occupies first place in your life? What would the answer be? Give your spouse the importance she or he deserves! "Oh," some (perhaps even you) will say, "but my spouse does not deserve such importance." My friend, it is very possible that if you treated your wife as a queen, she would become one. And my friend, perhaps if you treated your husband as a king, he would become one. Besides, did you know that God requires you to give your spouse such importance? Notice, and notice well:

"But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband" (1 Corinthians 7:33,34).

If both spouses honor this Biblical priority, they will enjoy a living fountain of satisfaction, love, success, and fulfilment. Seek diligently the Creator's help in the development of this relationship.

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