Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Restoring the Covenant Ministry of Marriage (Part II)

The prophetic word God has given me for married couples is simply that we must GET BACK TO THE WORD. Christian couples, particularly those in ministry, have twisted Scripture to a point of embarrassment for the Kingdom of God, just to justify disobedience and failure in following the plan of God. As we saw in the last message, God ordained the marriage relationship. "Doing marriage correctly" glorifies and pleases our Father. In fact, it pleases Him so much that the family is literally the base of ministry. Yes, God does care about our home and family life, to the point that His word states...

1 Tim 5:8 If anyone fails to provide for his relatives, and especially for those of his own family, he has disowned the faith [by failing to accompany it with fruits] and is worse than an unbeliever [who performs his obligation in these matters].

We understand that we are not to place our families before God, however, we are commanded BY God to care for them. FAMILY IS A PRIORITY in respect to ministry.

Principal II: Your Marriage Must Be a Priority

If you are married, your marriage is your first "pulpit." This is where ministry begins. For anyone who is contemplating marriage, keep this in mind before entering this covenant. It is crucial that we understand the gravity of our commitments in the marriage covenant.

1 Cor 7:3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights (goodwill, kindness, and what is due her as his wife), and likewise the wife to her husband.
1 Cor 7:4 For the wife does not have [exclusive] authority {and} control over her own body, but the husband [has his rights]; likewise also the husband does not have [exclusive] authority {and} control over his body, but the wife [has her rights].

When two are joined in marriage, they become one according to the Word of God. In this, the husband and wife no longer belong to themselves, but to one another. In a covenant relationship, the signers of the contract become the most important factors in the success of the deal. With marriage, we must return to a point of making our spouses a priority. Oftentimes we use "ministry" as an excuse to allow our marriages to weaken and dwindle - this is not indicative of a priority. Our marriage ministry must be successful before any other will.

1 Cor 7:5 Do not refuse {and} deprive {and} defraud each other [of your due marital rights], except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves unhindered to prayer. But afterwards resume marital relations, lest Satan tempt you [to sin] through your lack of restraint of sexual desire.
1 Cor 7:6 But I am saying this more as a matter of permission {and} concession, not as a command {or} regulation.

Though Paul is essentially giving his opinion here, he stresses that a man and wife should not ignore or abandon one another for the sake of fasting. In other words, alms that require separation betwixt the two should be mutual. Of course, we are speaking here in terms of two believers. We will consider later, how this relates to couples that are unequally yoked.

In the meantime, think on these things... Have you made your spouse a priority? Are you more eager to preach to a stranger than love and minister to your husband or wife? Are you able to forgive others, but hold grudges against the person you have married? Are you accountable to church leaders, but have trouble submitting to your spouse?

In the next message, I'll elaborate on specific roles of the husband and wife and how marriage is discussed in respect to unequally yoked couples...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this blog! It has been a blessing unto my life!