And idea is for us to go God’s way in marriage, not our ways.
One of the ideas is to have a love and oneness in marriage, despite that there can be some difficulties in the marriage. The idea is not for us to respond to our thoughts and feelings, but to respond to God and His attitudes to us.
In John 15:4-5 Jesus said that we are not to abide on ourselves, but to abide in Him:
John 15:4-5 (NASU)
4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
5 I (Christ) am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
So here are two thoughts and verses:
#1. That we are to have a “sacrifice” before God, and not a focus on our own flesh. We “sacrifice” before God because He is so kind to us. And so we are “not to be conformed to this world”.
Romans 12:1-2 (NASU)
1 I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
#2. A Bible verse that teaches us to have love in response to God’s idea on love, not in response to our own feelings. The verses in 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 first shows how we can be going wrong ways (verses 1-3); and then how “love” is to go on God’s ideas (on verses 4-7):
1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (NASU)
1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love,
I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
And next there are Bible verses here on marriage:
Ephesians 5:21-33 (NASU – “Marriage is Like Christ and the Church”)
21 . . . be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He (Christ) might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body.
31 (Genesis 2:24): FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.
32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
Colossians 3:18-19 (NASU – A wife is obey her husband; and the husband is to love his wife.)
18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.
1 Peter 3:1-2 & v. 7 (NASU – A wife is to obey even a husband with wrong ideas. She loves him and it might get him to go in a right direction before God. And in verse 7 a husband is called to love his wife.)
1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
(In verses 1 Peter 3:4 to 6 there is the idea of a woman being like Sarah of Abraham in Genesis that she is loving and obeying him:
1 Peter 3:5-6 (ESV)
5 The holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands,
6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord.)
7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
The verse on 1 Peter 3:1-2 is important to a wife – along with Ephesians 5:22-24 and Colossians 3:18 – that a husband is not in charge of the wife, but is to be a leader. And a wife is called by God to obey her husband’s leadership.
(There are also the verses of 1 Peter 3:5-6 where a woman who is obeying God like the Sarah who obeyed Abraham in the book of Genesis.
This causes wives to obey their husbands in response to God.)
And on verse 7 there the idea of a husband loving his wife. He is not to be in control of his wife, but he is called by God to be a leader. Since he is not in control of his wife he is taking initiatives, and he also loves her whether she agrees with all of his thoughts.
Tom Clark is a Family Life Ambassador with the Family Life Ministry and on the Advisory Board of the Virginia Christian Alliance.