Today the outlook for successful marriages is very bleak. One out of every two couples end up in divorce. And I feel this is because there is so much out there now that competes for our attention. Because of increased technology the protective shield that used to exist around most marriages, no longer exists.
Technology plays a part:
Fifty years ago there were no computers to lure us away from our mates. There were no cell phones for us to sneak off and call someone other than our spouses and then be able to erase the call. There was no secret text messaging between two people behind their spouses backs.
Air travel hardly existed, so it was harder to leave our towns and meet other people. And because of the endless "information highway" that is on the Internet, we could not, at the touch of our fingertips, bring up tempting images of the opposite sex to compare with our mates or go into chat rooms or private rooms and have conversations with complete strangers. Because of the anonymity of the Internet, many people confide in complete strangers their unhappiness with their marriages and before long, the two people doing the sharing have developed an online emotional affair. Which eventually leads to phone conversations and then finally a meeting takes place.
Women in the work place:
Fifty years ago women did not work that much in the office environment and so were not tempted to become intimate with men at the office, and men at the office were not tempted to become intimate with the women at their office, other than their wives. Now men and women spend more hours with the opposite sex at the office then they do with their mates at home. When men went to work they usually worked with other men, not 20 year old secretaries.
Because someone spends more time with the people at work than they do with their wife at home, emotional affairs are epidemic. (An emotional affair is one where intimate information is shared with the new person that should only be shared with your spouse.) Eventually, the emotional turns into the physical as well.
The Hollywood image of thinness
The media, Hollywood, magazines, all sell SEX SEX SEX ,so that it is on every street corner and every television set. and the impossibly high standard of thinness in this country have resulted in women hating their own bodies and having tons of plastic surgery done to look young again.
What did Jesus say about marriage in the end times?
Jesus said that "marriages would grow "cold" in the last days and that "they would no longer believe in marriage." He said that men would dress like women and women would dress like men. This appears to be what is happening. Today many couples "live together" rather than commit to marriage. Which means that they regard marriage as something that you can just "trade in" like a used car if you want another model. So the future of marriage itself appears to be pretty bleak.
3.) The relationship between husband and wife is similar to that between Christ and the Church.
Eph. 5:23: "The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior."
4.) Eph. 5:25:"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."
5.) Husbands must exercise headship in love. NOT in dictatorship!!!! If all husbands loved their wives the way that Jesus loved the church, all women would feel sincerely, genuinely and completely loved by their husbands. But many husbands do not know how to love their wives in this manner. They take this verse out of the Bible and use it as a "weapon" against their wives, acting like a domineering "bully" and thinking that they are following God's instructions.
Nothing could be further from the truth. God NEVER SAID to lord it over your wives and treat her like dirt. So, men have to "earn" the right to be the head of the family. And when they do it correctly the wife and the family have no problem following their leadership. This is why God ALSO said:
Col. 3:19: " Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them."
6.) 1 Peter 3:7: Husbands must treat their wives with respect and as equal heirs of God's gifts.
" 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 in the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers." Evidently, a man's prayers and whether God answers them or not depends on how he treats his wife.
7.) Husbands and wives must not fight and destroy each other.
Gal. 5:15. " If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other."
8.) A wife is to submit to her husband, as the church submits to Christ.
Eph. 5:22-24 " Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 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. Now as the Church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."
*****( THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU SHOULD SUBMIT TO a verbally, mentally, emotionally or physically DANGEROUS MAN AND DO WHATEVER HE SAYS. THIS ONLY APPLIES TO WIVES WHO ARE MARRIED TO MEN WHO LOVE THEIR WIVES WITH RESPECT AND HONOR AND WHO TREAT HER AS AN EQUAL WITH THEMSELVES. )
Please read my article on Domestic Violenceso that you understand what submission really means. And it does not mean that your husband can become a dictator over you and dominate you in a cruel and physically abusive way.
There is a reason that God asks wives to submit to their husbands, and it is really for their benefit. However, the word "submissive" in the original Greek means "to have equal respect for." It DOES NOT mean that a woman has to do anything that her husband says.
9.) 1 Peter 3:1-2 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without any talk by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
You see, when men are acting like bully's they are not really acting like Christians, and therefore they are in need of God's intervention to change their ways. God is saying that the best way to do that is not by nagging and nagging, and yelling and screaming, and giving them long lectures. He is saying that if you DO NOT TALK and behave in a gentle and quiet way, (even though inside you may feel like tearing your hair out over how your husband is acting) when your husbands see your quiet, gentle spirit, then they start to look at themselves, instead of at you, and they begin to feel guilty for whatever they are doing wrong, and then God Himself can begin to work on them to CHANGE. So wives, you need to get out of God's way and let him do the changing of your husband for you.) You can test this scripture out and it will prove to be right.
10.) The fear of the Lord is more important than physical beauty.
Prov. 31:30. " Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
( This is where our society goes wrong. We have put almost 99% emphasis on the outward physical appearance and completely ignored the inner beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.)
11.) 1 Peter 3:3-4. " Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, 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." ( How many beautiful people do you know that are incredibly shallow on the inside? )
The main problem today is people scoff at God's word on marriage, and the man being the head of the wife, and wives being submissive. However, the reason that marriages are ending on a scale of one out of every two are for these very reasons. The man is not being the head of his family, and the wife is not being submissive. This DOES NOT mean that she can't have a career, and pursue her own talents, and try to reach her highest potential.
It just means that when women start to act like men, and men start to act like women, marriages and attraction for each other, and intimacy go right out the window. Because they have reversed their roles. Women who are very controlling, domineering and opinionated "TURN A MAN OFF" and he does not feel very masculine around her, nor does he have tender feelings for her.
And men, who are effeminate and don't handle things, and abdicate that responsibility to their wives, become "wimpy" in the eyes of the women, and the women loose respect for them. Believe it or not, many women have to take on the man's role because he won't. Of course the Women's Liberation Movement contributed greatly to men not treating women with respect. When women try to become men they lose the man's desire to protect and care for them. And women who say " I don't need a man to be happy" have completely lost their femininity. Obviously women like this have ceased to become a help mate to their husbands, which is how God set it up.
In every marriage there are three people. The man, the woman and God. Think of it like a triangle with God being at the top point of the triangle and the woman and man on either side of Him at the two other points on the triangle. If both the woman and the man have an individual and strong relationship with God, then God can keep their marriage together because they are connected to God. Likewise, if you take God out of the marriage the marriage will fail. God is what holds the marriage together, if we believe in Him.
Patricia Jones, M.A.
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