My heart has been broken may times when a married couple comes to see me because their marriage is falling apart. Once they walk in the room, more often than not, I can see where to begin.
Generally, there are two categories they fall into. One is a dominant man who demands that his wife always obey him in every way yet misinterprets what the Word of God really says about marriage relationships. In this case, the wife is broken and extremely quiet throughout our conversation. (That’s before the man gets called to account.)
The other is the woman who is resistant to any form of equal cooperation and has openly demanded to be in charge for so long, that the husband gave up trying to communicate.
Father God has so much more planned for a husband and wife if they understand how He has structured the Christian marriage. Once the concept is grasped, it’s the beginning of the healing needed to totally restore their association.
The Biblical Picture of Marriage
God considers both marriage partners joint heirs and equal in value. However, the function God has intended for both men and women in a marriage provide structure to His plan for the family. This design rhymes with the beauty, love, and proper order that shows marriage to be the perfect representation of the relationship between Christ and His Church as explained in His Word (Ephesians 5:21-33).
Picture the man as a structural beam or covering header that holds up a roof and the woman as a supporting pillar of that beam. The two, in essence, become one. And they need each other. The header cannot stand and function properly without a strong support pillar; it will collapse. Likewise, the pillar cannot fulfill its design without the beam overhead.
A husband is intended to be the spiritual covering his wife needs to protect her from the torments of this world. A wife lifts her husband up and supports him so that he can fulfill his God-given purpose.
In Scripture, a wife is called to be cooperative with her husband, supporting and partnering with him. Harmony occurs when both men and women subject themselves in Christ-like love to the responsibilities each has been given. They become one in purpose, and they can provide a covering for their children if they’re blessed with them.
What NOT to Do
Where there is a full understanding of the design that God has established, dominance or the minimizing of a woman by a man is foolishness. It's horribly destructive to the family structure if allowed to continue. Conversely, if a wife attempts to overstep the responsibility established for her husband, disorder and confusion ensues for everyone in the family.
When the God-ordained design is disrupted, the family fortress becomes weakened. In this state, it's vulnerable to the onslaught of the enemy. He is relentless, insidious and bent on destroying the family so that it doesn’t overcome the world as Jesus did. A weakened or nullified family structure gives little hope of providing children with the ability to pursue a significant spiritual life in Christ.
There Is Hope
Supportive spouses, living out a marriage centered on Jesus, provide hope and a powerful picture for this world of the kind of love that Christ alone makes possible.
What has worked best in your marriage to balance responsibilities and maintain the structure of marriage God intended? Comment below so we can learn from each other.