MARRIAGE. MARRIAGE? MARRIAGE!
BY: CHARLES W. WELLER
Matthew – The Lion
Mark – The Ox
Luke – The Man
John – The Eagle
When Does Christian Marriage Begin?
What Is Faith?
Can “Faith” Cross Denominational Lines?
Principle – Marriage Is To God
Principle – Marriage Is a Unity
Marriage Is Spiritual Warfare
Principle – Marriage Is To Produce a New Vessel
Intimacy with God is Marriage
As one studies the Scriptures, the Gospels stand out in many ways. Natural man has discerned that there are four basic personality types in the world (some subdivide them even further). This truth, like all truth, comes from God. All throughout Scripture four is the number of witness in the world. The Gospels reveal the four different “faces” of Christ. Each face does correspond to a personality type.
In a marriage, each personality is God-given and must be recognized as such. This is a difficult problem for two specific reasons. First, we each have a tendency to move in the syndrome that the spouse should conform to the way we think and do things.” This is epidemic in marriages! When a spouse sees his/her partner from this syndrome, the spouse is viewing the person either from the adamic, fallen nature OR from his/her own personality, which has its own way of viewing things. Your personality is God-given and the way it views things is correct for it, but it will not agree with a person with one of the other three personality types. It takes all four jointly to give a true picture. Thus, we have four Gospels in the Scriptures. Each reveals a facet of the Lord Jesus’ personality. How do the Gospels do it? Each writer looks from his perspective, his own personality. As one studies the Cherubim we find that Ezekiel 1 and 2 show that the living creatures also have four faces that correspond to the faces of the flags, banners, of the leading Israelite tribes. In Numbers 2:3 we find that the tribe of Judah is the tribe around which the tribes of Issachar and Zebulun rally. Genesis 49:8-10 reveals that the Lion is the symbol of the tribe of Judah as well as a face of the living creatures in Ezekiel. Judah was placed at the East side of the camp before the Tabernacle. The Lion is also a symbol of kingship and the Gospel of Matthew reveals Jesus as the King ruling in the kingdom of God. On the South side is the tribe of Reuben whose flag sways with the symbol of a Man, also a face of the Cherubim. On the West side of the camp is the flag of Ephraim which like the Cherubim has a symbol of the Ox. On the North side of the Tabernacle is the tribe of Dan (Numbers 2) whose symbol is that of an Eagle. The Eagle corresponds to the face of the Cherubim and also to the Gospel of John which constantly shows Jesus as the overcomer, the conqueror.
MATTHEW – THE LION
One would have to study the Gospels a little to see some major differences between them, but if an in depth study is done, the peculiarities of each are pronounced and reveal so much of our Lord. Matthew reveals our Lord as a LION, as a KING, and the use of the word “kingdom” is quite prevalent in his writings. In fact, the opening verse declares “the book of generations of Jesus Christ.” Matthew establishes immediately the genealogy of Christ as well as His heritage of kingly rights. Here Jesus is traced to Abraham to show His lineage is of the “promised seed.” In contrast, Luke traces Jesus lineage to Adam, revealing Jesus as a man descended from Adam. Both are valid but each reveals a different facet of the Lord. Again going a little further, Jesus’ birth in Matthew is connected with the genealogy of His Kingship with the thought that Jesus is descending from heaven; whereas Luke connects His birth with His baptism and His humanness and His ascending from that to His Lordship and manifestation as the Son at the baptism. In fact, to my knowledge, no writer of the Gospels other than Matthew states that a “governor” (Matthew 2:6) comes out of Israel. This too reveals quite simply that Matthew sees the Lord from the perspective as a dominant, authoritative, take charge, leader-type of person. This view reveals Christ as a Choleric personality type. The dominant (choleric) personality is very much like a king. For this person envisions the correct way to do things, and when asked to make a decision is generally 90% correct. While there is a tendency to make such a decision from a fleshly point of view, if in the Spirit, this leader will listen to counsel and make good decisions. This person is progressive in his ideas, and his value is his ability to confront issues (sometimes without concern for the other person’s feelings). This personality type has a tendency to view others by his performance, rather than their relationship. Yet, this personality type will work within the system, although he will remain somewhat of a loner. Within a team concept this person would feel a little more comfortable by doing his own job that is part of the team goal rather than working with others as a group to accomplish the goal together.
MARK – THE OX
On the West side of the camp was the leading banner of Ephraim, which means “double fruitfulness.” The symbol for this tribe also coordinates with the Gospel of Mark. For here we see a man who is in the ministry and active in the “doing” of the work. As one reads Mark we notice that Mark refers to the “service” of the Lord. Mark calls the gospel the “gospel of the Son.” Here he means that that Jesus came to serve. In Mark we read, “He ordained the twelve that they might be with Him.” This also reveals the thought that Jesus wanted these twelve to share with Him in ministry, i.e. service. Perhaps a small contrast with Matthew would be helpful. At the Last Supper, Matthew records: “They began to say, Lord, is it I?” But Mark records: “They began to say unto Him, one by one, Is it I?” He omits the word “Lord.” This is true in quite a few instances between Matthew and Mark. Matthew is always looking at things from a governmental point of view (Kingdom). But Mark looks at it from an identification with Jesus with the thought of ministry or service. Another feature of Mark is his showing of tenderness, of which a service oriented person will consider. Examine the following Scriptures in Mark and then compare them with the other Gospels and you will see the difference. Speaking of the little children Mark states: “…took them up in his arms.” Or of Peter’s mother he states: “took her by the hand and lifted her up.” Only in Mark do we find the line “Jesus, looking upon him…” when talking to the man seeking eternal life. Thus, the servant personality is apparent. This person will correspond with the Phlegmatic personality type. Willing to work at a task, faithful, hard working, detail oriented etc. Jesus reveals this in Mark and is a good study for this personality type because the revelation of Jesus here in Mark fits that personality type. We see concern, loving outreach, understanding, a willing ear to listen which are all admirable traits. Perhaps the most interesting statement used frequently by the book of Mark is the word “compassion.” It is used here more than in any other book of the Bible. This personality type is truly a compassionate person.
LUKE – THE MAN
On the South side of the camp the rallying tribe was that of Reuben found in Numbers 2:10. Reuben was the first born who lost his birthright to Judah because of his incestuous sin. Yet, he was not cut off and was still the leader in the family because of birthright. Reuben’s symbol was that of a man. for Luke shows Jesus as a man. In contrast to Matthew which lists the genealogy of Jesus based upon His legal right as a ruler and calls Him the Son of God, Luke lists Jesus’ lineage as that of the Son of Man. Luke writes revealing the Melancholy personality type using this facet of Jesus’ nature so that those born with that nature might have great encouragement. It is in Luke that we read the words that Joseph and Mary “went up to be taxed.” Again Luke shows Jesus as the one who has descended and identified with us: whereas, Matthew shows the wise men coming and giving offerings unto the King of Kings. Incredible the difference of focus of each personality isn’t it? Yet, each is valid and true. We need not think someone who is different is wrong or carnal etc. because they do not think like us nor act like we do. Again Luke deals with the natural man in that Jesus was offered before the priest on the eighth day for circumcision. None of the others mention this nor do they say that He was 30 when His ministry began. Luke focuses on the man. The word “prayer” is used more in Luke than in all the other gospels. Here again a man would have a need for prayer far more than God. And that is the point of Luke’s writing about the Lord. He wanted to show Jesus as a man and His struggles as a man. This would help the Melancholy person who is given over at times to despondency or even rage. At the same time, this personality type is given to details and quality control and is very concerned about the little things that make a difference and Luke reveals these important details of Jesus.
JOHN – THE EAGLE
The Gospel of John reveals Christ as an eagle, the overcomer. This Gospel constantly, more so than all the others, speaks of and uses the word “life” voluminously. We see this personality as the vivacious one, the enthusiastic person who is sanguine in nature. In this gospel we see Jesus revealed as the one who knows everyone. John is known as the disciple Jesus loved. John is “center stage” as he is the one leaning on Jesus’ breast. Jesus’ emotions are illustrated at the last supper, with Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ tomb, and after His resurrection when He appears by the sea teaching Peter about love. In chapter 5-7 Jesus is contrasted with the law (the tendency of Luke) and walking in grace in that He is shown as fulfilling the law by living in life. Jesus is seen as the One in which the devil can find nothing (John 14:30) and as the One who has victory over all circumstances. (14:33) The sanguine personality is totally optimistic. Given a lemon, they rejoice and make lemonade. Thus, this face of the Cherubim and the North side of the Tabernacle banner, the eagle, is the epitome of life. I am sure you have met people who are “the life of the party” with their cheerful attitude (Jesus said be of good cheer 16:33). Such is this type of person. Each person has resident in them all four types of personality but one “colors” or predominates the others. The Gospels reveal each facet of each one and in that sense reveal the very fullness of Jesus to us. As we study marriage then we must be aware that each personality is given of God and is good. We must discern the “Christ” in the other. It is to this goal that we endeavor to write this brief booklet. May it enhance the revelation of our Lord Christ Jesus in you and in others.
WHEN DOES CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE BEGIN?
Church-going people feel that marriage is a Christian marriage when performed by the minister or priest of the Protestant or the Catholic Church. Born-again believers are taught that a Christian marriage begins when two born-again people enter into a marriage relationship.
Yet, neither is correct. Adam in the Garden of Eden was “one” in himself. We find that the woman was taken “out of him” by means of the symbolical rib. Before Eve was taken out of Adam, Adam was asexual, even like God in that God procreated and produced out of Himself. When Eve was brought before Adam, Adam proclaimed “bone of my bone flesh of my flesh.” Yet, in the natural he had never seen Eve before. How did Adam know Eve? He knew her spiritually as one with him before the separation and recognized her after the separation by her nature and ways. Literal marriage was the fruit of a spiritual union which had already taken place. But church tradition has taught us that union occurs after a marriage occurs – the very reverse of truth.
Tradition has taught an approach to marriage that is not necessarily the correct way. Tradition presents the idea that two people, of the same faith, will walk together in that faith. Such an idea is to be admired. But a devout Catholic and devout Protestant will not get along. In fact, a devout Presbyterian will not normally agree with a devout Baptist. We could use other denominational name tags here and still be correct. While Catholics and Protestants believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Savior of the world, they disagree on certain fundamentals. So, does the word “faith” mean Christian faith, or faith of the denomination?
To be in the “faith” has a greater meaning than being in a denomination or an independent church. It is based upon a personal experience (relationship) with Jesus Christ which is augmented and built up with the doctrines of the Christian faith. “Faith” is a vibrant, living, exciting, daily experience with the Author and Finisher of it – Jesus Christ. It is not a legalistic regime of do’s and don’ts but a walk filled with the growth of grace being expressed in your personal daily life.
Other factors must also be considered: What is faith? Can faith transcend denominational lines and ties? Is marriage automatically successful with people of the same faith?
WHAT IS FAITH?
Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ; whereas, rituals and law came from Moses. (John 1:17) Only those who walk by grace are actually in the faith. Trying to have a Christian marriage, trying to do all the things written in the scriptures which are correct in a marriage, will fail if it is done out of one’s own efforts. Legalistic endeavors, personal efforts, to try to have a successful Christian marriage will not work. Rather it takes growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ to enable and empower a believer to have a successful Christian marriage.
Going to church on Sunday is helpful to growth (hopefully). But going to church and hearing the Word of God preached is far different from performing or revealing God’s truths in your life. So, then faith is based upon a PERSON. It is based upon Jesus Christ. It is based upon your growth in that personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Faith is not something you “do” in order to reveal your belief. But faith is something you “have” which is revealed automatically.
When I was dating my wife, everyone knew I was in love because of the way I acted. Yet, I thought I was acting like usual – nothing out of the ordinary. It was love that caused me to act differently. Faith is love in action. Love in action is Jesus Christ moving through a person. Marriage doesn’t have anything to do with man-woman relations. When a person becomes a Christian, that person begins a marriage relationship in the spiritual realm with Jesus Christ which will have its full revelation in a marriage with a spouse.
Divorce is caused by a spouse being the center of the universe rather than the Lordship of Jesus Christ in the spouses being the center of the marriage. Neither the spouse nor the marriage itself should be the center, should it? Show me a person who has divorced his spouse and I will show a person who has lost hisr true religion. For a person who divorces remains “god” in his own life and his egocentricity denies the concept of union which marriage precludes.
CAN “FAITH” CROSS DENOMINATIONAL LINES?
Most assuredly it can. But it is a very difficult time for those of different backgrounds. It takes a real searching, a more considerate approach to the spouse. A Calvinist will think one way about the same thing an Armenian will view differently. A true “faith” can overcome denominational as well as economic and cultural environments. In fact, a marriage of similarities will inbreed. This reinforcing of theological ideas will have a tendency to “set in concrete” and allow little grace with others of a different bent. In reference to our previous definition of “faith” it would seem that a marriage would be successful. Yet, we cannot state it will AUTOMATICALLY be successful. If that were the case, it would be a matter of following set rules and we would have legalism again. A Christian marriage is a continuous effort and process which entails a lifetime of commitment to working together. If either party fails to give 100% effort to the marriage, it will not survive. The more love and grace work, the more the two shall become one. BUT… none of these questions asks the most fundamental question: When does a Christian Marriage start? It is to this point we shall begin our quest.
The engagement period, while part of the courting in Western society, has nothing to do with the beginning of marriage. Dating in any culture is part of the courting process, and is a valid part. In biblical times, especially in the land of Israel, the engaged couple would live together for a year before consummating their marriage in order to get to know each other. Then when marriage did occur, the first year the young man was excused from going to war, etc. so that he might get to know his wife better.
The entire Christian life experience is summed up in the word “marriage.” Marriage doesn’t have anything to do with man-woman relations. When a person becomes a Christian, that person begins a marriage relationship in the spiritual realm with Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus and His Father were one (union) as stated by Jesus in John 17:21, so we are to be one with Him. This is a true marriage relationship. It is from this relationship that a man and woman can enter into a natural marriage and succeed.
For the person lays down his old ways and his old life (even that old sin nature) and the name of Adam as his last name. For when a person becomes a Christian, he is no longer a person related to Adam or his descendants but now is a child of the King and has a heavenly citizenship rather than earthly parentage. As a bride changes her name by dropping the one she has had from her youth and takes on the name of her spouse, so we are to leave our old nature, that sin nature inherited from Adam, our father. The bride then becomes totally identified with her husband and his family. So too, upon repentance and forgiveness a person becomes a new vessel, a Christian.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) pushes the idea of keeping the woman’s name and hyphenating it with her husband’s. This way the woman can keep her identity. Thus, if Karen Smith married John Jones, her name would be Karen Smith-Jones. Such a philosophy is adamantly opposed by the scriptures. It is destructive to a marriage because it does not allow the fulfilling of the scripture “the two shall become one flesh.“ (Genesis 2:24, Ephesians 5:31, Matthew 19:5-6)
Many churches teach about marriage but fail to develop it as a spiritual relationship which it truly is. For when a person becomes a Christian, he loses his old name and now becomes an heir, a son, of the Most High God. Whereas before he was married to flesh, he was a prisoner of the flesh and corruption, he now is married spiritually and becomes a “prisoner of the Lord” even as Paul.
As we have put off the old garment, we also put on the new. In a Christian’s life he is to grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord through being a true Berean. His marriage to God, whether it is one year old or fifty, should reveal a deepening and a growing relationship.
In the Old Testament are numerous examples of Israel being called the wife of God. In fact, God even divorces her. In the New Testament we find the church being called the bride of Christ. Constantly, we are being bombarded with this thought in scripture about marriage. Well, if it is true of Israel of old and the church now in a corporal sense, we need to take it down from the “group” member idea and place it on an individual basis. As long as it remains a “group” there is no real responsibility – everything can be blamed on the group. This is one reason why the church has almost the identical divorce rate as the world – failure to appropriate God’s Word on an individual basis.
The church has preached to its members that they are the bride of Christ. Most of the believers accept this as truth, which it is scripturally. But the truth of scripture is dead letter unless it is appropriated into one’s life. Failure to grasp the truth of marriage to Jesus, reveals itself in failed relationships in the home and marriage. The depth of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ who has ascended, is directly proportional to the success of a marriage of a man and woman. In fact, if both are Christians, the marriage should succeed even if it has some rough moments.
PRINCIPLE – MARRIAGE IS TO GOD
A Christian marriage actually starts when a person becomes a Christian. The individual has entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ as husband. The person is part of the universal church, the bride of Christ. This is a corporate action as well as an individual action. What is so thrilling is that the whole Bible is nothing more and nothing people could come into an intimate marriage relationship with Him. The less than a love story of creation. God created man so that through His Son Bible is a story of a marriage.
The success of a person’s marriage will be totally contingent upon the depth of the marriage with Jesus Christ. How well one grows in the Lord will be geometrically magnified in a marriage. Of course, if the spouse is immature and remains so, the reflection will be hindered by his level of understanding. But if the two are agreed, it will be exciting.
Marriage to the Lord occurs when one is “saved.” From that point on the marriage is supposed to grow and mature. At the point of being overly simplistic, let me say many Christians get a divorce from God or are at least separated from Him. Many do not develop spiritually and many continue to have a love for the old ways which were to be ended when one comes into a marriage relationship.
The depth of commitment to the marriage relationship with God is very shallow, or giving the benefit of the doubt, is not fully comprehended by the person. Most saints fail to mature because they fail to study the marriage relationship that they are supposed to have with God.
While some might question whether there has been a marriage to God by the person, I do not. I sincerely believe that everyone who meets the Lord as his personal Savior has made such a commitment. But the failure resides in not being taught the fundamental principles of a marriage to God. There are many scriptures that prove such a truth.
Have you considered the success of your marriage to your spouse? What made it successful? Was it not the communication and understanding that you have? Likewise when was the last time you communicated to God and He to you? Most shudder at that question. For many it is the day they received salvation and not since.
God may have spoken to others but perhaps it has been a month or so. Can you imagine your marriage to your spouse lasting a month without communication of any sort? It would probably be devastating to the marriage. Yet, God generally will not speak to us unless He is spoken to. He has manners and is considerate towards us. He woos us but does not force His thoughts upon us.
God will readily communicate with us if we will talk to Him. A marriage has to be a two-way-street of communication. Yet, the marriage to God that many people have needs development. It needs 100% effort by the person. Marriage is firstly to God. A natural marriage will not really be successful in the spiritual sense (it might be in the mental and physical sense – but highly improbable), if each individual doesn’t develop his own spiritual marriage to God.
How often have you been caressed by the Spirit of God ? How often have you been astounded by the wisdom and action of your Husband? How humbled have you been in the presence of God ? Has the glow of His joy touched the strings of your heart and made you play a merry tune? Surely, these things have happened. But in an intimate marriage they should happen often.
PRINCIPLE – MARRIAGE IS A UNITY
Marriage to God is not a dualistic relationship but is rather the changing of two people. In chemistry class you can take two chemicals, sodium and chloride which are lethal as separate items, and make them into a life giving source.
A mixture will not do it. A mixture is the taking of two distinct items and mixing them together. Yet, they can still be separated. Somehow, they can be sifted out from each other and remain exactly as they were before they were joined. A chemical compound is composed of two distinct substances which when these chemicals are put together form one new substance. The compound formed cannot be separated into its old two chemicals. There has been a change. So, if we take these two poisonous chemicals and make them a compound they are no longer filled with death but produce a new chemical which is called salt. Rather than producing death in each individually or being used together as a mixture, which would still produce death, these two chemicals changed their nature by producing one new substance.
Thus it is also to be in a marriage. In our marriage relationship with God, He is Spirit and we are made of the earth. The two are to produce a unity, a compound if you will, of one new man totally spiritual. Eugene O’Neil once said: “Man is born broken. He lives by mending. And the Grace of God is the glue.” Broken by sin, man made of the earth is married to God, who is sinless. The new creation man made from the two is no longer carnal and controlled by the sin nature.
What we have in the United States, and perhaps in other countries too, is a large body of Christians who have produced dwarfs. For when the person becomes a Christian, and fails to develop his marriage relationship with God, he produces a new creation man that is not fully developed and the world sees failure.
There is no desire for the world to get saved from their sins if “Christ formed in us” is a vessel of mutation. The world is looking for release from corruption and doesn’t want to enter into anything that will produce anything less than perfection.
Grace must have its work in us, and we must develop a union with God. The world system and even the NEW AGE groups have their special “convergence” days. They are trying by carnal means to establish a whole new creation. The generic Christian feels saved and does little if anything to develop a unity with God while the world tries with all its might to do so.
Union with God causes and results in a good marriage relationship as two separate people come together and produce a new entity. The manifestation of the new creation man will be seen only as a proper marriage develops.
The book of Ephesians is a classical book for the study of marriage. Most books use Ephesians as the foundation and basis for clearly focusing on the duties of a husband and wife. I shall too, but later for I find that there is a far greater truth revealed here that is a priority over the husband – wife relationship.
Verses 32-33 states: “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let everyone of you in particular so love his wife even as himself, and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” Verse 33 follows verse 32. Verse 33 is a further explanation of verse 32. It is a mystery which every Christian can understand, even as Paul did for he was the steward of all the mysteries of God. (1Corinthians 4) We are not to remain ignorant, for if any man lacks in wisdom let him ask God. (James 1:5) We are to ask so that we might grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
The analogy found in these verses is the truth that Jesus is the husband of the church, and the man is to treat his wife as Jesus treated the church. If we understand God’s order, we know that out of Jesus all things exist and have their being. (John 1:3) He has preeminence over all. He was the first born of all creation. (Colossians 1:15)
Since He is the author and finisher of all things, especially our faith, He has authority over each man, even as He did in the Garden of Eden. Yet, Jesus is subject even unto the Father. (1 Corinthians 15:28) Jesus is our pattern to follow. (1 Peter 2:21) Every man is to consciously see Jesus Christ as the pattern to follow. What He did we should also do.
I know many a farmer who will nurse a sick cow through the night. His success is based upon that cow. I’ve seen businessmen work endless hours because their success is based upon the success of the business. Few are the men who have their priorities correct. Sometimes it takes a traumatic experience be-fore a man will realize that his wife is more important than the business or the cow. If the man knew how the wife held the family together so that he could do what he was doing successfully, the man would probably be shocked.
Jesus provided leadership. He opened the door and showed the way. He LOVED the church so much that He gave His life for it. He laid down His ministry. He gave up the daily teachings, healings, etc. which could have netted him the Kingship of Israel. He set His “business” aside for the love of the church. He could have provided on the natural plane for many people – healing, wealth, wisdom etc. But He set aside the natural because He realized the spiritual was more important and was actually desired by the people even though it was such a deep need of which they weren’t aware.
How many men spend thousands of dollars on their family to show their love and yet lose their family because they didn’t provide the love of giving and being there? Thousands have been wrecked on the altar rocks of material things. Jesus recognized the true cost, counted the cost, and sacrificed the “now” things of healing, provisions, etc. for that which was more important – relationship.
Jesus recognized that the church was crying out for love. They needed love. The desire for natural things was an indirect manifestation of their real spiritual need of love. He healed them because He loved them. He died for them, because He wanted to heal them forever (the Hebrew word for salvation means healing in total).
Since the church is the bride, then the husband has to be Jesus. Jesus knew that the woman (the church) needs to have love given to her. He provided leadership by His ability to express love to the church. Whether biological or emotional cannot be accurately determined, but it is a known fact that women need to have love expressed to them. Not only do they need to hear the words expressed, but they also need a physical manifestation of that love. Jesus did this for the woman (the church).
As a pattern for us men, Jesus did it all so that we could provide leadership. He showed men how to reach, keep, and maintain a relationship with a woman. He did this by His giving of Himself for the church. His laying down of His life was a total expression of His love.
The man is either married to his job (which in reality replaced his wife – he just doesn’t know it) or his wife. The worldly system teaches that man is to provide at all costs for his family. In fact, most men in a given meeting will ask each other what they “DO” as a means of establishing their personality, rather than asking who they “ARE”: husband, father etc. Jesus was first concerned with the person and RELATIONSHIPS. As a leader, He revealed how to have a successful and fulfilling life by serving people – laying down His own life for others. He took time to develop a personal relationship with the people he ministered to. So should the husband.
The worldly system says you have concern for others by doing things and providing things for others. All things are to be superficial and limited in intimacy but are to give the atmosphere of intimacy. As Christian men, we are to take the time to develop our marriage with Jesus. We are to become intimate with Him since we are the church or bride of Christ. How can we be a good spiritual leader if we cannot develop our marriage to the King of Kings?
How do we develop the marriage? I John 4:20 states: “If someone says “I love God” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” The word “brother” is generic in the sense that it refers to male or female. How can a man love God if he cannot love his wife whom he has seen? Show me your love for God and I’ll show you a man who loves his wife, physically, emotionally, spiritually – it is an intimate relationship.
Leadership begins with reverence. (Eph. 5:33) We are right back to the verse about the mystery of the church. The wife is to revere her husband. The man is the “wife” to God because he is a member of the church which is the bride of Christ. Since the man is to be a “bride”, it would be appropriate to understand his wife, so that he could be a better “wife (bride)” to God. IN ORDER FOR A MAN TO TRULY LOVE HIS WIFE AS A HUSBAND SHOULD, HE FIRST HAS TO LEARN TO BE A GOOD WIFE TO THE LORD AND THEREBY LEARN WHAT A WIFE NEEDS FROM A MAN. By the same token scripture states that each of us is to be like Christ to the world, and Christ was a strong male figure. Consequently, the WOMAN SHOULD LEARN TO FOLLOW AND UNDERSTAND HER HUSBAND IN ORDER TO TRULY LEARN HOW TO MANIFEST JESUS IN HER LIFE.
In Ephesians 5:21 we find that the man is to be head of the woman. This word doesn’t mean a strong-arm mentality. The scripture places headship as a “rank” of government or authority, not as a place of superiority as has been taught in the past. Governmental authority is vertical. Relationship is horizontal. Thus, the balance is a cross! Traditional Christianity, Victorian virtues do not tell the whole story. Man can only govern over a woman if he has a relationship with the woman and with God. Then and only then will the woman be submissive – although to win the man to the Lord (if they were not Christians when they were first married) a submissive woman could bring conviction on the man. (See the story of Sarah in Genesis 12:9-20.)
God/ Christ Christ/Man Man/Woman
Whereas, in times past the woman has been considered an inferior vessel, because the word “weaker” is used, it doesn’t mean that in the Greek at all. “Weaker” doesn’t mean in the physical sense even though physically a woman is built differently for different purposes. But it is true spiritually, for she was deceived and Adam was not. (1 Tim. 2:14) “Weaker” means a person less in spiritual knowledge. Strong’s Concordance brings this out in the root of the Greek word “sthenoo.”
Yet, even this is by design of God. For God in His wisdom and under-standing planned for the man to be the “high priest” of his own home. The man is to lead and guide the family in spiritual matters as well as in natural things. God gave to man the ultimate – “the buck stops here.” Headship has nothing to do with the many personal attributes, but is a position given to him by God. The woman has control over bearing and nurturing children,, and the man does not have the ability to take on the role of the woman.
God has endowed and placed each vessel in their position. Whether they serve God or not, they are judged for what they are created for. Adam was removed from the garden because he was ultimately responsible for the sin Eve committed as it was his positional, governmental duty.
In the society of the United States today, we find many cases of role reversal. The husband staying home and the wife going to work. There was a TV program called “Mr. Mom.” All these accepted standards which are presented to the viewing public as normal are radically opposed by scripture.
Deuteronomy 22:5 states: “The woman shall not wear that which pertains to a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are an abomination unto the Lord thy God.” Here we find that it is literally talking about a man putting on a woman’s clothing or vice versa. While the literal is a sin to God, we believe that there is a spiritual interpretation to this as well. Neither men nor women should role change, for such is an abomination to God also. An abomination is worse to God than a sin. The reason is that a sin means literally to “miss the mark.” But an abomination is that which totally goes against divine laws and principles of the natural order of things. It is something that is contrary to its actual created function. Such is the seriousness of the man and woman reversal which the worldly system seeks to have as an accepted norm. Psychologists tell us that the abnormal is that which most people don’t do. If enough people conform to the really abnormal ways, that which is Godly will be considered abnormal by society. Things are going that way. That which is righteous will be considered unrighteous. This too follows scripture. Unless the people of God enter into a true marriage relationship, the world will never see God in the flesh. (2 Thessalonians 1:10)
True marriage is found in the Hebrew word BEULAH. It means “married to, master.” It is found only 12 times in scripture and 12 is the number of divine government. Nine times it is translated marry. Otherwise it is found in the KJV as wife, dominion, or BEULAH. Isaiah 62:4 speaks of Beulah land. It tells of the land that is married. Obviously, the language is symbolic. Land cannot be married in the literal sense. But in the allegorical sense it speaks of God, Himself, marrying the land.
Beloved, you are the earth. Made out of the earth as Adam. God seeks to enter into a covenant of marriage with you. He wishes to place an incorruptible seed within you. He hopes to produce from out of the earth a whole new creation man.
MARRIAGE IS SPIRITUAL WARFARE
Christians fight the urge to react from the fallen nature of Adam and strive to manifest the nature of Christ. The key to success is to realize you are married to God first, and then to your spouse. Realize that you are in Christ and not in Adam. The fallen nature of Adam was removed from the earth (you) when you realized you were saved by Him who was slain from before the foundation of the world.
Christians have so many traditional thoughts that are erroneous. For example, Christians compartmentalize their faith. To many Christians talking about sex, seeking to please the partner in a pleasurable sexual way is a taboo because of Victorian concepts that are erroneous and unscripturally based. You can also test a Christian’s faith when you approach the subject of money – you quickly find out who is God. These two great subjects (sex and money) create a mental difficulty for the saints in many ways.
Sex is considered “animalistic” in Victorian circles. But God created it! He endorses it! Carnal man teaches you to fantasize about someone else while having a sexual relationship with your spouse if you have trouble “performing.” What a lie and a deception! But since you know you are to be like Jesus, conformed to His image, manifesting His life, when you have sexual relations with your spouse, are you loving your spouse as Jesus would? Do you have to fantasize? If you do, you do not know the Lord nor do you see the Lord in your spouse. For how can you love God whom you have not seen, if you cannot love your brother (spouse) whom you have seen (1 John 4:20)?
PRINCIPLE – MARRIAGE IS TO PRODUCE A NEW VESSEL
As a vessel made of the earth, made of the fallen nature of man due to sin, God seeks to quicken us (Romans 8:11) and change us from earthly to heavenly beings. (1 Cor. 15:49-50) His purpose and will is to create a vessel in His image – heavenly.
Our life in a marriage is to recreate that which once was. We are to begin again a new garden of Eden. A child born of a marriage is a symbol of the union of two becoming one. A new life comes forth as an example of union of God and man, man and wife. Yet, while many enter into a union on the natural plane, they are not married in the spirit or mind. They fail to develop such a relationship, desiring to be carnal rather than spiritual creations.
Thus, a child reveals a new vessel but the fruit of the loins of two denies the truth of union. Yet, God desires to dwell in Beulah land. He will have a remnant that will reveal this truth. Most Christians will not attain because of their carnal desires. On the other hand, there is a people of God who are sold out to the principles of marriage. Sold out on the relationship between each other and their relationship with each other through God. These, who have caught the vision of developing intimacy with God as with each other, will produce a manchild which is another way of saying the incorruptible seed will produce a full fruit.
Such results can only appear as one develops a personal union and relationship with God. As this develops it is possible to enter into a marriage with another person. As the two people grow in their individual relationship with the Lord, the Lord will use their personal time with Him to assist in their growth together. As they grow together they learn more about union with God. It is almost a circle within a circle. One feeds the other. One helps or strengthens the other. But if the circle is broken, then degeneration rapidly follows. Union and growth lead to manifestation of God in the individual and the marriage. It is also seen in the fruit of their children.
“He knows not how to rule a kingdom, that cannot manage a Province; nor can he wield a Province, that cannot order a City; nor he order a City, that knows not how to regulate a Village; nor he a Village, that cannot guide a Family; nor can that man govern well a Family that knows not how to govern himself; neither can any govern himself unless his reason be the Lord, Will and Appetite her vassals; nor can Reason rule unless herself be ruled by God, and (wholy) be obedient unto Him.” Hugo Grotius, 1654
But the fullness of the manifestation of love begins with you and your relationship with God. It builds through marriage union with a spouse. It manifests a greater fullness as the church, that local assembly of believers, begins to reveal this truth. Then as the individual is swallowed up into the corporate body of Christ spiritually, the corporate reveals Him to a dying world and they come finding Him in you, a vessel of honor, His signet, given for a sign that He has come in the flesh.
Just as Jesus was slain from before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8), as the “husband” of all creation, so He has given the ministry of reconciliation to us (2 Corinthians 5:9) that we might present the church as a bride blameless, perfect before the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:8) that in the fullness of time He might through her testimony as His bride gather all things into Christ (Ephesians 1:10, Philippians 2:10, 1Corinthians 15:22,27-28) whether they be in heaven, on earth or under the earth. Love conquers all.
INTIMACY WITH GOD IS MARRIAGE
There are certain divine principles which govern the universe. The law of cause and effect is one. Simply stated, it is this: If I push a wheel it will roll. I caused an impact on the wheel and the effect was that it moved. In Genesis God establishes, as far as I can see, seven foundational principles. If any of these seven principles are abrogated, the foundation of the cosmos is negatively impacted. No society can stand if these seven principles are broken. Obviously, marriage is one of the seven principles. The other six are: multiplicity, dominion, image, life, Sabbath, creation. These are found in union with God.
The whole Bible from beginning to end is nothing more than a love story. From the moment that creation is begotten out of the heart of God until its consummation back into God in the fullness of times, the love of God is expressed through marriage. God created Adam to have a union with Him. God wanted relationship. Adam did not realize his union or relationship was to be solely with God.
It was because Adam did not realize his union with God that he eventually separated himself, that is, divorced himself from God. Adam was concerned with things, as most men are. Men relate to other men by “things.” They talk about cars, sports, events, news, etc. Men do things together and have camaraderie without close relational talking. A man seeks a relationship with a woman based upon what she does: cooks, makes a home, is his lover, raises his children etc. To him this is relationship.
Women are just the opposite. They do not “do things” together so much as they talk and communicate to each other. Women can talk (from a man’s point of view) for hours about seemingly nothing. But from a woman’s point of view such talking creates relationship. Women seek intimacy from a man, a knowing of his feelings, desires, goals, etc. To a woman sex is secondary to a spiritual/mental relationship created with her husband.
Consequently, God had assigned Adam to name the species and have dominion or rule over the earth. Adam was very strong in his “manly” qualities. But Adam was weak in his relational qualities. He was so busy “doing” that he had little time for intimacy with God. While it is only personal conjecture at this time, I believe that God put Adam to sleep to slow him down a little as well as to separate from him the strength of his male tendencies (of dominion) . Adam needed to see his female tendencies and the appropriateness of them. God did this so that Adam could then develop a closer relational union with God based on more than the “manly” view of things.
Scripture declares that man is made in the image of God. As one studies the names of God one sees that God has many manifestations. For example, the name Jehovah presents God as a stern judgmental figure. El Shaddai presents God as a loving mother, and in fact El Shaddai means the “full breasted one” or one who gives milk. Within God’s nature is the ability to be all things. Therefore, we find at times that He reveals Himself as a Father, Spirit, Son, Mother, etc. God made man in His image so that man too could fulfill all the same roles and thereby learn more and be more intimate with His Maker.
But Adam did not know and was not initially in touch with himself concerning his own woman nature. When Adam was created he was created “asexual.” This biological term refers to the ability of a plant to reproduce within itself since it has both male and female parts. Consider that God begat everything out of Himself and we see the pattern after which Adam was created. It was when Adam was asleep that God removed Eve from him, not from his rib, but in reality the Hebrew goes deeper than that and suggests that she was taken from his reproductive organs.
Thus, the beginning of a husband-wife relationship began before Eve was separated from Adam! The Christian church as a whole teaches that when a couple becomes married they learn to grow together, that is, they begin to form a union. In reality, the creation story is just the opposite. Adam was one (Eve within him). Eve had to be separated from him, removed from him, so that he could fully understand the union he had.
Note as you read the account in Genesis 3 that Adam recognized Eve when she was brought to him. He called her bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. Yet, he had never seen her before. Consider that. He recognized her because he knew her after the spirit. Marriage had already occurred in their relationship before any physical consummation. But the church system has generally taught that physical consummation begins union and will lead to spiritual union. This is a false premise.
Consider God. He is “asexual.” Everything begotten out of Him will in the fullness of time, whether below, above or on the earth, be gathered together into Him. (Ephesians 1:10, 1 Corinthians 15:28) Everything is in union with God. Adam and Eve began in union. When Eve sinned, Adam knew that the union must be maintained. He could have separated himself from his wife, dissolved the union. But he chose to maintain the union, the marriage. What more can a person do but to lay down his life for another? Thus, while accepting the judgment of sin on himself, he freed her so that she could produce the seed. Jesus accepted on his shoulders our sin, so that we who are His bride could produce a son. (Romans 8:19, Revelation 21:7) In many ways Adam was like Jesus. When the woman sinned, Adam realized that separation (divorce) was wrong and immediately partook with her of the fruit. By participating with her, being the man, he bore her sin for her and, as we know, she was able to be saved through childbearing. (Genesis 3) Jesus bore our sins so that we might be saved. The manly characteristics, in the natural, to protect the woman and family are natural manifestations of a spiritual truth from the beginning.
Physical marriage then is the fruit of a spiritual union which occurred previously. This point is fundamental to understanding the very foundation of marriage. Marriage does not produce union. Union produces marriage. Why is it that some “non- Christians” can have a marriage of 50 years or more and some Christians divorce after a short period of time? Of course there are many reasons, possibilities, etc. But one premise we would suggest is that these “non-Christians” entered into a spiritual union and lived this spiritually divine principle, unbeknown to them. Thus they have a better understanding of God (since the whole Bible is about marriage) than some Christians.
There are two types of union. One is the feeling of His presence. But there is a far greater, deeper union that should be thought of as a spiritual marriage. Consider the Song of Solomon. Here we find the woman (the soul, the mind) in 2:16 stating that “My beloved is mine and I am His.” The fallacy here is that there are two possessions – He is hers and she is His. There is an identity problem. As the Greek states in the New Testament a double–minded (schizophrenia) man is as unstable as water. The soul holds on to her identity and tries to have Him identify with her. The mistake is that the soul, the feminine, is to take the name of the masculine – losing her identity for His. Is this not true of the church and Christ? So too in a man-woman relationship.
Song of Solomon progresses and in 6:3 it states “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” We see that the identity is switching. She is placing her relationship with Him first and His relationship with her secondarily. Slowly her identification is with Him. Yet, the duality of two identities still exists. She obviously has felt “union” with Him in His presence, but total union – spirit, soul and body is yet to occur. The story seems to indicate that there is spiritual union and physical union, but union of the soul, the mind, is the struggle.
Finally in 7:10 she states: “I am my beloved’s and His desire is towards me.” His desire has always been towards her, just as Christ’s desire has always been for the church. But just as Israel, the spouse of God was divorced from God because she went a whoring, so the tendency of the soul is to remain its own captain. But in this last verse we find that she understands that His desire is for her and the reason she understands is that her identity is totally with her spouse which heretofore had not been.
Consider the desire from the kiss (1:2) which produces a union but not the depth that is desired for verse three tells of the desire for His name. She wants total identity with Him. Adam wanted total union with God but in reality had by virtue of his creation only a “kissing” relationship. God wanted Adam to have depth. So God separated Eve out from him in order that Adam could learn from Eve what he was supposed to be like with God!
Isaiah 62:5 states: “For as a young marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you…“ (NKJV)
This verse is the totality of marriage. Consider it carefully. Note that the verse is talking about marriage. Secondly note that it states that “thy sons”, which are men, are going to marry God. Does this sound like a homosexual relationship here? By no means. It is a spiritual word. Let me try to explain.
If you remember when we began this discussion we mentioned that God wanted intimacy with Adam, and Adam was so focused on his masculinity that he could not be in contact with his femininity. So God removed the female part of Adam and created Eve as a separate being so that Adam could learn about unity, oneness, marriage and its deeper implications to a relationship with the Father who had created him.
The church throughout the New Testament is called the bride of Christ, that is to say, a feminine nature. natural men, i.e. husbands, are included in the church and thereby are in a sense, symbolically feminine. If natural Christian men are to be spiritually considered a bride to Christ, it is imperative that they understand what a woman is and how a woman acts, thinks, etc. How else could they be a good bride to Christ? That is the only way.
Marriage is given to man as a means to learn to understand a woman, identify with a woman because she really is part of his own nature. The fallen adamic nature of man (the macho man) would not even consider anything but himself and thereby divides (the opposite of union, oneness) from his spouse, even though he may be married in the natural. A divorce has occurred because of his fallen nature. But a true Christian man seeks to understand his wife in all facets so that he, himself, can be adorned as a bride for the Lord. It is only as a man seeks to uplift his wife, serve his wife, understand his wife’s desires, that he can be a true “bride” to God. This man must learn to be emotional, relational and become more balanced for he generally is more logical in action and less empathetic.
But it goes further. A woman, a wife, must also become identified with our Lord’s masculinity. How can she make godly decisions, be authoritative, be logical like a man, have less emotion that controls decisions, etc. She needs to understand her husband so that she can become more like Christ. This is as difficult for her as it is for him to become like her!
Perhaps this could be said another way. In type and shadow we realize that the church is called the bride of God. (Revelation 21:9-10, Ephesians 5:25) Now the church is made up of men and women but collectively we are the “bride.” What we are about to say is true, but difficult to swallow. How can a natural man like myself be the bride to God?! Yet, in essence if I am in the church, the church is feminine and I must understand that role. God created Eve so that Adam could understand the fullness of God’s different manifestations (El Shaddai, Jehovah etc.).
The only way a man could be a “good wife” to God, so to speak, is if that man could totally identify with his wife. I must as a husband strive to completely fathom the depths of my wife’s personality. That is to say, I must understand why she thinks the way she does – which is different from a man (not better nor worse – just different). I need to comprehend what motivates her, so that I can appear to her as Christ to fulfill Ephesians 5:23-24. As Christ (male image) gave Himself for the church (female image), so the husband (male image) must also do this for his wife (female image).
How can a man give himself for a woman? It is simply stated but takes a lifetime to accomplish. He must lay down his own paradigm of seeing things from the “things” and “do” level of Adam (mentioned in the beginning of this article) and begin to see his wife from a relationship view. This is seeing through her eyes or as the old American Indian saying states – “You won’t understand me until you walk a mile in my shoes.”
The depth of Ephesians 5:28-29 is truly a mystery that many take superficially. If the man truly understands who his wife really is, if he realizes his union with her, then he could not hurt her because his identity is totally with her. If union is truly accomplished, he loves her for she is his body. Thus, we can begin to understand how Adam knew his wife before she physically appeared to him, and we also now know why he laid his life down for her. He laid his life down because he wanted to maintain union, even if it meant losing a relationship with God. In some ways it is as Paul stated in the letters of Scripture that he would be a castaway for his brethren if it would bring them in. Such love is a godly love.
Oh, how the woman in Song of Solomon cries out for His name. What natural woman would not want a husband who would lay down his life for her? Yet, she too must struggle. For she is a woman and yet, if she is a new creation in Christ, she must then become manly in order to procreate spiritual offspring. Thus a natural woman must identify totally with her husband. She must not be a worldly woman and seek to keep her name after marriage like many do. Rather she must identify with her husband’s name, i.e., nature, which is what the word “name” refers to. As difficult as it is for a natural man to understand a woman, it is just as difficult for a woman to think like a man. She has a paradigm shift also. Song of Solomon reveals that the woman can think like a man for in the end she accepts his name and his identity laying hers down totally. We find the spiritual counterpart for the man in Ephesians 5:25-27.
A union of two becoming one is manifested in marriage. Remember the union occurs first and marriage follows producing fruit. While we have talked about this on the natural plane to a great degree, if you have been perceptive we have tried to bind into it the truth of the spiritual plane. The spirit must come into union with the soul, the mind. Let me explain.
Adam was made a living soul. But the day he sinned (missed the mark – “hamartia” in the Greek), he died. (Ezekiel 18:4) Obviously in type and shadow the soul is feminine. God offered His Son, the only begotten and firstborn of many brethren, as a sacrifice for the soul that died. In Isaiah 53:10 we find that Jesus actually offered His soul, His mind to replace ours. Scripture declares that we should let the mind of Christ be in us. (1 Corinthians 2:16) Thus, the Spirit which rules in the affairs of men, also rules within the vessel. The Spirit leads and replaces the carnal mind which is at enmity with God. The Spirit replaces the carnal mind with the mind of Christ which is in union with God.
We who have entered into a new life as a new creation man are neither male nor female because we have entered into union with Him. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. In the natural, the wound in a woman can only be filled by a man to make her complete. The flow of blood is stopped when life is begun. So too in the Spirit. When the Spirit and the soul have become one, we have a new heavens and a new earth as is spoken of in the Scriptures (see our book The REAL Location of Heaven and Earth). They have kissed each other! For the old heavens and the old earth have passed away.
So in a marriage there is to be a union of Spirit and soul. The natural man and woman in type and shadow represent this. For the man is the example of the Spirit and the woman the example of the soul. We know that Timothy tells us the woman is easily deceived. It does not say the man was deceived. Because a woman operates out of the realm of emotion and all its instabilities, it predominates her and can lead her into deception.
A woman will move more out of her emotions and a man more out of logic. Have you not seen a woman come to a man for comfort, and the man could not offer comfort on her level although he was truly trying to communicate? Unfortunately for the woman the man was coming out of “his shoes” rather than having walked in hers. What did the man say? If you had done this or that it would not have happened. He gave comfort out of logic; she looked for comfort in an embrace and empathy.
But since we are in Christ there is no male nor female, i.e. neither the male nor female lives in that realm of the spirit. As we mature in Him our identity is hid within Him. Once identified with Him we no longer act out of logic nor emotions but out of union. How do you come into union? Read Song of Solomon 1:7. He tells his espoused to go out and find out who she is. In other words, the soul, that woman nature, must find her identity. Her identity is not with herself, but she does not yet realize that. She is drawn to His identity, but still she thinks He is drawn to her. Every woman prepares herself to look her best to draw the man to her. “Self” always thinks others are drawn it. He is drawn to her because He sees His identity complete in her
Perhaps, you remember the story of Esther. Please take time to read it again. Here is Vashti, whose name means beautiful. She is the queen. She has the King’s name but is not in union with him. In fact, when he sets the date for a feast and asks her to come her response is that of the feminist movement in the United States. “But Queen Vashti refused to come.“ (1:12) She preferred her own identity. Her beauty was her downfall. The soul, whether in a man or a woman, is the downfall of the person. For the soul sets itself up as God in the house of God which you are.
But the King, who represents the Spirit, divorces the queen. This is similar to God divorcing Israel, who having God’s name and blessing also began to play the harlot. The King begins to look and search the land for the right soul, the mind of Christ. Behold, he finds Esther which means star or Haddasseh in the Hebrew which means myrtle. Esther did have a fragrance about her and she was a heavenly object.
Unlike the other women who vied for the new position of queen, Esther did not even try to put on “what she liked.. She noticed that all the others failed when they walked before the King, and they looked very good. These others were not accepted for a very serious reason. Esther knew the right answer. She asked Hegai, the King’s servant, what the King liked. She dressed in what He liked. He waved the scepter, and she became the queen. Only the mind of Christ can please the Spirit. The carnal mind cannot please the Spirit.
True oneness is recognizing that your feelings are a part of your being. We must be before God and tell Him of our feelings and at the same time control our expression of our feelings so that we can allow God to use us for His purposes in the situation. Adam was frustrated – “The woman made me do it” is what he basically said to God. But recognizing her mistake, Adam rather than being in life and divorced from her as she dwelt in death, crossed over and partook of the fruit so that the two could be one, and at the same time he delivered her, sanctified her, even as Christ sanctified us by bearing our sins upon Himself.
So too it is in a marriage. The woman seeks security. The man seeks significance, importance. These root driving forces in each individual must be satiated. These forces are God given. For the woman to receive security and stability she must make the man feel important; when he feels important, he will provide love and security for the woman. A true marriage is the union of the Spirit and soul, the man and the woman. When this occurs there is a Sabbath rest in the house. Creation is complete and it is good.
Who can perceive the depths of a marriage? On many levels within a marriage there is a bonding that is supposed to go on. The spiritual bonding occurs before the actual marriage event. The marriage of the souls (minds) of two individuals begins after the spiritual union, but before the marriage event. The physical consummation of the marriage should occur after the ceremony. Only those individuals who are intimately involved with each other can determine if all three unions occur or to what level they occur.
You have heard the verse before which states: “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14) While this verse is not particularly addressing marriage, yet it does relate to marriage. Marriage is to be a true union; however, an unequal union is where one of the three realms of marriage is not consummated: spirit, soul or body. Another way to state it is that the marriage union is not fully completed because union means there must be 100% union on every level.
This verse, 6:14 is pregnant with depth of thought. If the man does not act as Christ unto his wife at all times, then he is in darkness, lawlessness. If the woman does not see her husband as Christ, she is in darkness and lawlessness. Selah (ponder and think upon that). Paul clearly states in 1 Corinthians 7:4, “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” Of course most people will understand this verse to refer to conjugal rights. While that may be true in the natural, there is a far deeper spiritual significance here. Since each of the individual’s lives involved is in Christ as a new creation, the Christ nature in each of them willingly yields to the demands of the other for whatever purpose. (Let it be said and clearly stated the Adamic nature can cause a divorce through abuse of many sorts.) But if both are in Christ and growing in their new nature, the new nature will cause the development of Christ in each.
What happens when this occurs? Consider the church and Christ. The church is to be a bride to Christ. That is to say that the bride will give conjugal privileges to Christ in the allegory here. Now take the same thought to your own relations to your spouse. The marriage bed is undefiled because the Christ nature is to be seen in it. The marriage bed is not an animalistic act. (Many Christians consider the sex act as a necessary evil and separate it from their religious life for many different reasons.) Sexual activity is godly when in the confines of a marriage. Christ can be seen in the natural act for it is a type and shadow of the spiritual relationship between Christ and the church. In truth the consummation of a marriage is to be an in depth revelation of Jesus Christ to each other.
In the natural, men in general are visually attracted to women. In general women for any number of reasons are visually impaired in that they feel their bodies are inferior. When the evening comes, women do whatever it takes to make themselves appealing (in their own eyes) to their spouse. Generally, the men will accept their wife without all the eye shadow, fancy nightgown etc. When a woman can be pleased to be naked before her husband, she has lost her inhibitions and feels truly accepted as she is. What has occurred? She has matured in Christ and in union with her spouse to “flow” together.
In general, a man will have no inhibitions about being naked like a woman does, but his worth is tied to his performance. If he can’t perform the way he envisions, it compounds the problem. A woman who is in Christ can accept his non-performance, but if the man is in his Adamic nature, he cannot accept his own non-performance. It takes the Christ nature in the woman to remove the Adamic nature and fear that the man has. If she can do this, it permits the Christ in him to mature, just as he in his Christ nature helped remove her inhibitions. Now this is true union.
True union is being 100% vulnerable in a marriage – not just in the physical sense but in all possibilities. Marriage is a frontier that continually reveals new things and possibilities that need to be addressed in the nature of Christ. Jesus Christ was 100% vulnerable. How vulnerable? He spread His arms and they nailed them to a cross. Hear and understand. When you are in Him, which you are, you are able to accept all spears from your spouse and turn them into plowshares. Let me explain. It took over 5 years of our marriage before I felt that I could trust Joyce. Not that I didn’t, but due to pain of a home life, I distrusted women – although not enough to not marry one! But when I felt comfortable to share some inner feelings, she could have done one of two things. She could have reacted out of her fallen Adamic nature (in reality she could not for she was in Christ otherwise I would not have opened up and shared). If she had reacted out of her Adamic nature, she could have used that as leverage on me for the rest of my life. But praise God she did not. She took my wound into her Christ nature and redeemed me from the Adamic curse that had me bound. She allowed my Christ nature to arise from the ashes of the pain of the Adamic nature. What a woman. What a manifestation of Jesus in her. So, how vulnerable are you?
True union is a spiritual, emotional, mental and physical union. Each part is necessary for the other parts to function correctly. In some ways the physical union controls the development of the others, if the spiritual/mental union did not occur first in a relationship before the actual marriage. The physical relationship should be a reflection of the spiritual, emotional and mental union that is already there. Many people have a good physical relationship but a poor spiritual, emotional, mental relationship. However, if one partner is in Christ, that partner can reveal the Christ nature in the marriage bed and use it as a way to communicate with the unsaved spouse and thereby win the individual to the Lord.
A union of two to become one flesh is a tremendous empowering act of God. If any two agree on any one thing it will occur. Thus, if two have become one, their will, emotions, desires enlarge and become their strength. As an example, I do not particularly enjoy candlelight dinners. Joyce does. Since I had been away from home for a few days, I was returning and while driving I was talking to the Lord. What would Joyce really like when I get home? I searched my soul and since she knew that I was coming home at dinner time, later in the evening, the thought entered my mind to ask for a candlelight dinner. When I arrived home, there it was and just about ready to be served! Union causes the desire of the spouse to be considered above your desires.
A spiritual marriage seeks to give life, seeks to empower, uplift and edify the other spouse. In fact, the Christ nature in the person seeks to release the Christ nature in the other. Scripture declares that the unbelieving spouse is sanctified by the believer. While this definitely is talking about a relationship between the non-believer and the believer, it can also relate to the two spouses who do believe because each may be on a different level. One might be saved and the other might be saved and also have the baptism of the Holy Spirit of 1 Corinthians 12. This can cause division in a marriage. Doctrine always causes division because the Adamic nature lives in doctrine and not in the life of God. But if the spouse who has experienced the second feast (Pentecost), truly has that feast in his/her life that spouse will not use it as a club to convince, convict and batter the other about the truth. But the spouse will use that truth to empower and edify himself in Christ so that a greater revelation of Jesus will be revealed and thereby draw the partner into the depths of Christ. Here we have union at work, not as a club but as a tool to draw the other to Christ. Yet, when I counsel Christians in their marriage I see this is not the way it is because few be that understand what marriage truly is and how it is to work
Whether both were believers before they were married (which is the correct way to enter into marriage) or one became a Christian after the two were married, the understanding must be that the believer brings sanctification into the marriage. The word used in Corinthians, sanctification, means that the individual actually makes something or someone holy. The very nature of Christ in you is sacrificial. A sacrificial nature means that the believer will lay down his/her life to bring the spouse into the Lord. Jesus made us holy because He took our sins and cleansed us. Thus, He made us holy and acceptable to God that we can go boldly to the throne of Grace, the Holy of Holies. This being true, how does your garden of marriage grow? Are both sanctifying each other? This is life; all other things are death.
Ephesians clearly states in chapter 5 that Christ gave Himself for the church. It further states that the husband is to give himself for his wife. Many men do that in the natural via the jobs that they have. Some men are so workaholic that the women are hurt by not having a relationship develop with their spouse as they had hoped. But these workaholic men are driven to provide as a means to show through things that they love their family. While there may be some other motivations involved, the root motivation is provision because God has placed that in the man. Some women fail to understand this is a natural type of Christ (albeit unbalanced) that their husband is fulfilling. Rather than elevating this man’s action and rejoicing, the woman complains failing to see the Christ nature in it and her husband (and an unsaved man does have Christ in him, see John 1:9) and she fails to act out of her Christ nature, residing in the Adamic. The woman needs to remain in Christ, rejoice for her husband, find a way to communicate her need which is a Christ desire for relationship in another way, and then enter upon the plan of action that will enable her husband to fulfill her need.
Marriage is a blessing. Such a union gives each of us the opportunity to see how selfless we are, how Christ-like we are. This is the purpose of marriage. God created out of Himself the whole cosmos. He created it so that it could find out what its purpose was. Once creation knows its purpose, it will seek to enter into a full union with God. Now, some may question that but have you considered why creation cries out to be delivered from the bondage of corruption (Romans 8:19-20)? Creation is looking forward to deliverance by the sons of God. The sons of God are those who have fully entered into His nature. Only those who have entered into union with Him can deliver creation. The best possible way to enter into union with God is through a marriage relationship. It causes the individual to place another before itself. Only those who have placed another above themselves have fulfilled 1 John 4:20.
A major flaw in the concept of marriage today, 1994, is the belief that a Christian marriage should be happy and fulfilled. Scripture is not considered, but rather emotional well-being of the individuals is the utmost concern. This philosophy destroys the premise of being in union. “Perhaps, it would be better if I didn’t tell him. After it is better than getting in an argument.” How many times people have said such or thought it. A decision is made upon the person’s well being without regard to the Scriptural basis of dealing with a problem. Such action actually destroys trust and the basis of “agape” or Godly love. What actually happens is the person sets up his/her own value system, the old Adamic system, and replaces the divine value system for the sake of personal emotional need. This will bring God’s action upon the individual in the form of judgment, and the other spouse suffers because of the one who has been disobedient to Scripture. Actions must be based, founded upon biblical principles and not emotional needs.
There is only one goal in marriage and that is oneness. Oneness between husband and wife will produce a spiritual result and revelation of union with God. How do we define that more succinctly? Each person desires intimacy, a deep personal intimacy. This desire is two-fold. First, it is the need for security; the security of unconditional love. Secondly, it is the need to feel important or significant by impacting another in a relationship. But if feelings enter into the relationship as a final arbitrator, the marriage is doomed to failure. Feelings can sabotage a marriage quickly. Marriage, obviously, is greatly influenced by feelings but it should not be governed by feelings.
Your relationship with Jesus Christ, as a true believer, is not based upon feeling but founded upon the facts of what He did for you. Your acceptance of Him in your life is not based upon feeling. Some days you may not “feel” married until you roll over in bed and see your spouse there. But even though you do not “feel” married you have been and are. Marriage is based upon a principle and an act of conscious will. True feelings will enhance a marriage. Carnal, personal desire will destroy a marriage.
Meeting our personal needs is not the goal of union in marriage. Oneness is found in union with each other as we seek to establish the development of Christ in each. This development takes place as we first begin to see ourselves in Christ and not in the Adamic nature. As we grow into that understanding we begin to see our spouse in Christ. Isn’t it amazing that as we grow in Christ, the other one seems to also? The reason is that each spouse begins to fulfill 1 John 4:20. Only as we see the other as the Lord, can we become open and vulnerable enough to share the depths of ourselves. We cannot trust Adam but we can trust the Christ nature of Galatians 2:20 found in our spouse.
God has created each spouse, each “Joe and Mary,” with their own special needs. These needs require fulfillment. I am sure that you can picture a situation. A husband comes home from work exhausted. He comes in the door and wants to flop in the easy chair and unwind. The working wife comes home and starts dinner and tells him to entertain the kids (who have needs too). He plays with kids and hopefully helps with the homework while mom cleans up. The children go to bed. Both now mentally and probably physically exhausted fall into bed. He tries to share his day and so does she but each never really communicate because each wants to talk and neither one listens.
Joe and Mary fall fast asleep. …Neither solving the needs of the other, although their desire is to be intimate with each other. Their needs for security and significance cannot be fulfilled by each other. Read again Ephesians 5:21. It is only as we have our deepest needs met in Christ that we can accept the failure of each other in not completely fulfilling our needs. Then a miraculous thing occurs. We find complete fulfillment because we can accept and rest in ourselves and remove the pressure off of our spouse from having to perform at all times to fulfill our emotional, spiritual and physical needs.
The rest of which we speak is a Sabbath rest of Scripture which is different from a normal Sabbath. Joe and Mary can rest in the life that is hid in God in Christ. As they rest in Him, are at peace in who they are in Him, He arises in them to fulfill the need that the other spouse cannot perceive. Thus, the marriage is enhanced when each spouse is in the Lord’s Day, that spiritual realm, the day He rested from His work and allowed it to be seen and enjoyed. It is only as we rest in Him that our deepest needs are met and we can overlook the failure of our spouses to provide everything for us.
Normally a person turns “external” in that they look outside of the marriage for fulfillment whether it be in achievements through the business world or relationships with others. This action denies a true spiritual intimacy with God as well as a spiritual, emotional and physical relationship with a spouse. The key is to look internally for fulfilling the true need. If “external” sources do not meet the need, then some look to their spouse (or children) to fulfill the need. When the spouse, children etc. fail to meet the need, a wall is erected to protect from hurt; it is now seriously doubtful whether true intimacy can be found.
The test of true intimacy is the foundational biblical principle that our security and our significance is found in Christ alone. Emotions aside, it must be a logical, knowing within our being. There is no other foundation a person can lay. If this can be done in truth, then a marriage can grow because we can see each other in Christ and allow the Christ nature in the other to minister to us according to the measure of Christ that they have within their personality. The remainder of our need will be met by the Lord. But it takes spiritual maturity to walk such a walk.
A carnal person would take what was just said and say that since Christ is all I need, I do not need a spouse or any relationship with people. Nothing could be further from the truth. God always uses people through which He reveals Himself. Marriage is a hotbed of a furnace to create a revelation of the Lord so that the world might see and be convinced that God is above all gods. Or perhaps a carnal person would believe failure shows that they are not worth anything. But that is also false. Our relationship with God is not based on performance but on intimacy. Our worth as an individual is founded upon who He is and not what we do.
Thus, the fulfilling of each person’s needs and the pushing away from intimacy for fear of failure or rejection are but players in the covenant of marriage to cause us to draw near to God. As we submit ourselves unto Him seeking first the kingdom of God, then the marriage is empowered to release each spouse from the bondage of corruption. This deliverance causes Christ to ascend from the vessels of clay and the “living” marriage is enabled to deliver others.
God wanted union with Adam. Adam couldn’t understand. So, God created woman. A man can only understand God as well as he understands his wife. A man who divorces his wife truly separates himself at the same time from his own religion. Marriage is the acknowledgment that our spouse is me! I would never do anything to hurt myself, yet how many hurt their spouse? Why? Because they do not like themselves. They have not found intimacy with God. Yet, to find intimacy with their spouse on a spiritual, emotional or physical state is to a limited degree intimacy with God. For it is only as we see Him in each other that we can come into a more perfect union with God.
Spiritual oneness begins with a personal, intimate, developing relationship with God. This must have occurred within each spouse before marriage if Scriptural principles are followed. Ecclesiastes 3:11-12 records the following: “Again, if two lie together, then they have heat; but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” The word “cord” has the connotation within it of childbearing – which comes with pain. The threefold nature of it also speaks of husband, wife and God. These two bound together by God cannot be broken, bound together in proper order. But if it is, the life produced, the child birthed of this union, is that which will draw all men unto Christ.
As a husband has a personal relationship with God, so does his wife. God is the center of all the married life. When I was first married there were many adjustments that had to be made, accommodations, if you will. As we closed our evenings out in prayer at the bedside, I would “bellow” out to God (obviously my wife was listening) my frustration with her in a certain area and how it affected me and ask God to help me to understand her and her motivation. I would thank God for the answer. She would do the same. We never let the sun go down on anger but prayed through. A diagram of how it works is like this:
The advantage of this method is that we vent our frustration to God who alone is able to change either vessel as is necessary. Each of us addressed our attention to God rather than focusing on ourselves and our personal needs. We did not let emotional issues color our relationship but remained focused on bringing glory to God in our marriage, which is our purpose of marriage. We did not let any situation hinder the development of our “soul”, that is, our union of minds, the purpose for which we were married. What was that purpose? It was not self-gratification in any way shape or form but to “glorify God” in our relationship. If what we did brought glory to Him, it would give us joy in our relationship. This is a kingdom principle.
A threefold cord cannot be broken if the two (husband and wife) are submitting themselves to the third part (God) which is the working out of Ephesians 5:21. As we took what frustrations we had to God rather than take them out on each other, as we submitted ourselves to God, He established us in Himself. As we focused on loving each other with agape love (God love which covers a multitude of sins), phileos love (brotherly love, mental and emotional union), eros love (physical love) in that order, He caused us to become life unto each other rather than death through frustration. Union produces life if the individuals are committed to God.
I am sure that you have read the verse found in Isaiah 40:31. In the KJV it reads: “But they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.” The Hebrew word here for “wait on” has as its meaning: bound together, joined. As one is joined to the Lord there is strength. The word could very easily adapt itself to the thought of being married. The word joined is a strong word. In fact, as one looks at a similar verse in the New Testament – 1Corinthians 6:17 it states: “He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit.” The Greek word here is “kollao” which actually means “glued.” There is for sale in the USA a glue that is called “super glue.” What happens when this glue is attached to material is quite fascinating. There is a chemical bonding that goes on and the bond is so strong that these joined pieces will never break apart, although the item might break in another place. Such a “super glue” concept is what 1 Corinthians 6:17 is expressing when it states a person is “joined” to the Lord.
Without entering into union with God on a personal basis, the union of the souls is but temporary, albeit longer than the attraction in physical union. Thus marriage has to be first spiritual in order to facilitate the true cementing or bonding of the individuals. Only as one seeks the kingdom of God for himself can that person begin to understand the requirements of union with another. In reality, marriage is the church in microcosm, the body of Christ in miniature.
Consider an example. A wife states to her husband: “Do you have to go back to work tonight?” Many times I have heard this. Her immediate sounding goal is to keep her husband home. But there is a deeper goal, not verbally spoken perhaps, as there was in one case. The wife did not think it was good for him to be away from the children so she was trying to manipulate him into staying to satisfy her longings. Of course, it is a good and even godly thing for a father to be home with his children. That is her point although she did not directly state it. My concern is that her motivation is not correct; therefore what she does is not correct, even if the goal is respectable. The end does not justify the means. This woman, rather than praying about it at the foot of the bed, and seeking her husband to hear it as she prays, takes things into her own hands to manipulate the man into what she thinks is God’s will for him (and it could be). This moves this couple further apart in their relationship. She has not considered him in that her manipulation denigrates him, shows less respect to him as a person. She has not thought of his need but rather is thinking of her own. True union, true spirituality, considers the other first.
Or consider perhaps a husband who comes home from work. He sees his wife correcting the children and thinks she is wrong in her methods. When he corrects her in front of the children, he shows her lack of respect, his correction is not considerate of her as a person. He corrects because she was wrong. He does not act out of a mode of ministry to her, if he did, he would have considered correction in private and discussed it with her so that she would not be humiliated in front of the children and so that she could accept the correction if necessary.
True union comes from ministering out of our identity with Christ at all times. Each spouse must minister daily from union with God. Hopefully, in the above two situations one of the spouses was in Christ and recognized the other acting out of the fallen Adamic nature and was able to reconcile, sanctify that spouse by reacting out of his/her own Christ nature. Jesus was vulnerable. Marriage makes you vulnerable, strips you naked, before your spouse. In your vulnerability, Christ can shine through. Union with God individually allows you to be crucified by the other spouse, as in the cases above, and take their darts into you and turn them into life. Adam never forgives nor forgets. Christ always forgives and forgets.
1 John 4:20 “If a man says, I love God and hates his brother (i.e., brother and sisters in the Lord), he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”
Applying this verse to a married couple we can see a very distinct depth of spirituality. If a spouse cannot see the Lord in the other, then their marriage is not completely developed. If you do not love your spouse as the Lord you have missed the purpose of marriage and perhaps the purpose of the Christian walk.
The marriage bed is to please the other spouse and uplift them, even as Christ has uplifted you. When you seek to please your spouse, you are spiritually uplifting the Lord who resides in that spouse. Since you are edifying your spouse, the Lord will see that you too are edified in this loving sexual act. But to fantasize is to separate and divide, to be selfish, to dwell in the fallen nature of Adam. Again, please grasp the thought here. Do you make love to Jesus? I hope that both of you do. For marriage is a spiritual act in all facets. The natural can be elevated to a spiritual experience as your understanding of union occurs between both of you.
If I cannot love [(agape – Godly love), (phileos – mental emotional love), (eros – physical love)] my wife in the natural, how can I love God whom I have not seen in her/him? For my wife is perhaps the closest manifestation of the love of God I will ever see outside of the day that I met the Lord. Marriage is a ministry, a ministry unto each other in all levels of understanding – physical, mental, spiritual. You must see Jesus in each phase of your walk in this life. You grow up and get married. Marriage is not the end. Marriage is the beginning of a new frontier, a path never gone before. It is different for each couple, but the goal is the same. Christ is to be revealed in your marriage. The world cries out for union with God. The world looks for the answer. When a Christian marriage is seen, Christ is manifested and God is glorified in the vessels. Think it not strange when fiery trials come upon you. It takes the fire for the fourth man to be seen in the midst of the furnace. You will not be consumed; God didn’t put you in the fire if He didn’t think you could stand. He put you in the marriage so that He could be seen in the midst of what He is performing.
Marriage began in Genesis 1:1 when God’s Spirit hovered over the earth which was void. He filled it with life so that it produced, even as a man places seed within the void of a woman to produce life. “Again a new commandment I write to you which thing is true in Him and you: because the darkness is past and the true light shines.” (1 John 2:7) It is true that you are in Him. If we be in Christ we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and the old nature has passed away. Therefore abide in the light as He is in the light. “Wherefore know no man after the flesh…” (2 Corinthians 5:16) If during your relationship you know your spouse after the flesh, that is, you recognize their Adamic, fallen nature, you have bound them to that realm. One of the purposes of marriage and the development of relationships is to redeem your spouse through the Christ Jesus who is in you. You are to quicken, vivify your spouse out of the realm of death, darkness into His marvelous light, life. Your ministry as a spouse is to appear as the Lord unto her/him (even as the sinner sees Christ in you).
A marriage between a man and woman is to be the revelation of two becoming one. Such a revelation will consequently reveal the Almighty because He sought such a relationship with Adam. When a man understands his wife, in many ways he will understand God. Adam was moving along those lines when he accepted the judgment of God for the disobedience of Eve. (Genesis 3:6) Adam knew that to be separated from her was death, better then to bear her burden that she might live. Thus, it was through Eve that Jesus was eventually to come. In some ways Adam had begun to be a type and shadow of the Lord.
Our faith must be a radical faith. The whole Bible is the revelation of a great love story. God created Adam in order to have a spiritual union, an intimate fellowship with him. In order for Adam to come to the knowledge of such, God revealed his love to Adam through the creation of Eve. But going even further through Eve and childbearing we have the manifestation of Jesus in the fullness of time to redeem mankind (Adam) from carnality and the sin nature. The final consummation of a marriage is a union between the two vessels. A union of spirit, soul and body. 1 Corinthians 15:28 which states: “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto Him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” True union occurs when everything is back into God with complete harmony, oneness of purpose, which is to glorify the Creator through our Savior Christ Jesus.
Only as we sail the uncharted waters on the lifetime sea of marriage, can we consummate the full revelation of Christ Jesus, our ascended Lord in and through us. (2 Thessalonians 1:10) The actual Greek word here is “doxazo” it means simply that His innate glory is brought to light, made manifest similar to John 12:28. To glorify God is to have God revealed in us. There is no greater glory. Marriage is one of the means to do so.
“And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.” 1 Kings 11:3
Solomon asked God for wisdom, but he didn’t always use it! One of his greatest downfalls was his intermarriage with many women. He had over 700 wives and 300 concubines. A harem of 1,000 women was large even in his day. Some of the marriages were politically inspired in order to create “peace” alliances and to honor treaties etc. But that still was no excuse.
The concubine was permitted in Abraham’s day. She had a position inferior to that of the wife. The concubine had no rights in family matters or in the government of the family but she was entitled to the right of protection. The custom of concubinage degenerated greatly, and in Exodus 21:7-11 we find a law was created to protect the concubines. Abraham’s second wife, Keturah, was a concubine.
Judges 19:1 states: “And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephriam, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehem-Judah. Even the priestly lower officers were allowed to have concubines!
In the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 7:2, it states that each man and woman is to have one spouse. The reason is spiritual, not natural. The New Testament seeks to re-establish the very situation that Adam and Eve had before the fall. It was a spiritual union, which is clearly seen when Eve is removed from Adam, and he sees her physically for the first time and states: “Bone of my bone.” She had just been taken out of his “rib.” There is to be one at your side, not under your feet nor above your head, but at your side to walk with you and assist. Such is a bad paraphrase of a Jewish saying.
Union in marriage depends upon each using their personal identity, personality, to create one new person that is shown to the world. This is not doing away with each one’s personality but rather placing the assets of the personality into the new creation. As an example, as a choleric (Matthew, Lion), I have some visionary abilities that my wife, a phlegmatic (Mark, Ox) does not have; however, she is great on details and I am not. Consequently, I recognize her strength to supplement my weakness in details because I always see the “big picture” and she does not. Now, if I were in the Adamic nature, I would contend with her about her inability to see things the way I see things. The Christ nature recognizes the differences of people and then empowers those differences to enhance the development of the two people.
There is no doubt that Solomon began this way with his first wife. In fact he was married before he asked God for wisdom. (1 Kings 3) But that did not relieve him of the Law of Moses which forbade marriage outside of the faith. He may have been ignorant of the law, but just like in the USA, ignorance of the law is no excuse. On the other hand, in the house in which he was raised, his father married Bathsheba who was a woman of the faith. So, Solomon had a pattern to follow, but did not.
I was saved and filled with the Spirit when I met Joyce, my wife. She was a Lutheran and unsaved. God showed me that she was to be my wife. But I knew the Scriptures about being unequally yoked with an unbeliever. So, I sought the Lord. I waited what seemed to be an eternity! But within two years, God saved her and filled her with the Spirit. Now, I was able to propose marriage. But even then I placed a condition on it. I told her wherever HE would lead me I was going and she was welcome to walk with me, but it would mean much sacrifice in our lives. She agreed.
Solomon does not appear to have asked that question of Pharaoh’s wife nor did he wait for her to shun her gods and follow his, which was allowable in Israel (strangers could sojourn in the land if they followed the religion of Israel). The failure of Solomon to make a wise, scriptural decision was not because of a lack of training and education in the faith. 1 Kings 3 shows that he married because of “political” reasons.
Whether it be a “political” reason for your marriage or something else, if the foundation is not right from the start the marriage will not work. In counseling couples, I have seen them marry to “get out of the home situation”, “to get even with another”, “to relieve sexual desires”, “to rectify premarital sex” and the list goes on. Like Solomon all these are “political” reasons, reasons of manipulation. Manipulation is never correct. Neither is a selfish desire. If any decision, whether it be marriage or some other, is made without being based on biblical principles it will cause hardship and failure.
Judgment from a poor decision is in this life. In Solomon’s case his poor decisions concerning his wives and concubines destroyed his life. It is interesting to note Solomon asked for wisdom after he was married to Pharoah’s daughter. Yet, in receiving wisdom, it is as if God blinded him in the area of marriage, allowing him to continue in that deception, paying the price of rebellion.
“For it was so, when Solomon was old “that his wives turned his heart after other gods.” 1 Kings 11:4
The intermarriage that he did was contrary to the very nature of God. Yet, he continued having full wisdom of what he was doing. At the end of his life he realized that all was vanity and the folly of his way, but wisdom did not keep him from lust. We are not talking about lust of the flesh here although some may think there is cause and reason for such a belief. No, we are talking about something far more serious than that. Marriage, while consummated in the natural, is truly a spiritual experience. The failure of Solomon laid not in the number of wives he had, but in the failure to walk in the understanding of the principles of God
God performs everything out two foundational principles. One is holiness. Love can only come out of holiness, or it is perverted in some selfish way. Secondly, God acts out of union. All the plans of God are “yea and Amen.” He seeks and will have all things brought back into Himself. (1 Corinthians 15:26-28) This cannot be accomplished without everything being reconciled to Him and renewed after His nature – i.e. brought into oneness of God.
Solomon had the kingdom wrestled from him because he failed to see the importance of oneness. His folly of marrying incorrectly caused a split in his kingdom upon his death and was a direct result of his sin. Lack of perception of the divine principle of union wreaks havoc with not only your life but with the lives of others who have contact with you.
Mike Mason, who wrote a book entitled “Mystery of Marriage” printed by Multinomah Press in the 1980’s, states that a man (woman) who divorces his/her spouse has divorced himself from his religion. This is a difficult statement to swallow but it is true. We see that in the end of Solomon’s life he was turned from God. How was he turned? It began by being married to another. Solomon married someone who did not have the same vision, the same faith. He became unequally yoked in the natural but most importantly in the spiritual realm.
In our current day situation, I counsel people who have been abused by a father or mother and then they marry someone just like their mother or father and continue the downward spiral of co-dependency. I see people get divorced from these situations (and I rejoice at that!) but they fail to change themselves and fall back into the same problem with another. These people have failed to recognize and face up to their “personhood”, their own weakness, etc. and plan to change.
Solomon did not stop with Pharaoh’s wife. Once he married outside the faith, he continued with the same commitment spiraling downward. Having made a mistake, he could have stood his ground in his faith and worshipped God and sanctified the unbelieving spouse, but he did not. He wanted union. So, rather than causing her to change, he changed for her! Their union was complete.
We divorce ourselves from our religion when we do as Solomon did. For true union with God means that you have no other gods before you. When I married Joyce, we served the same God. Then in our marriage we were able to see each other as a manifestation of God because we are complete in Him. Even in the marriage bed, we seek to uplift and please the other because our faith teaches us to edify each other in Christ. True Christianity encompasses ALL aspects of our life. Thus, the natural acts are elevated to a spiritual one while being natural. There is a union, a oneness because of the spiritual nature of the persons involved.
I have heard some preach that there is no longer a need for an expression of love through sex. Such a statement is a failure to grasp the truth of the Lord. Union encompasses the whole being – spiritual, mental and physical. When Joyce and I become one in all realms, we are the manifestation of Who He is because we are seeking to create an atmosphere in which He can be seen. In traveling over the country, I have encountered women who have come up to me and asked “Do you have a soul mate?” I asked what they meant by that, and I was told that it means that the one you are married to on the natural plane may not be your soul mate. I quickly informed them that my natural mate was also my soul mate! Such deceptive doctrines belie the truth of marriage.
Solomon’s sin of intermarriage is the same sin that affects many people today. They go after false gods. “For Solomon went after Ashtoreth… and Milcom…” (1 Kings 11:5) Ashtoreth is similar to Venus, who is the goddess of sensual love, maternity and fertility. Milcom is the god who required the sacrifice of children (Lev 18:21, 20:1-5 prohibited this). Solomon built an altar for this in the valley of Hinnon – (Gehenna, KJV word for) hell. Do we not see today in USA society the “throw away” children being offered up? Is it not also rampant in the body of Christ? Where are those parents who sacrifice their golf day, their bowling night to have time for a family night with the kids? In our home we limited our children in their activities in school so that we could be a unit, a family, who did things together. We had game nights, friends nights, etc.
Marriage is more than that of a way with a man and woman. Marriage encompasses the family. I must see my children as Christ. I must do those things as Christ would do those things, that enhance the development of my children in the Lord. Consequently, one must help with home work instead of watching Monday night football; one must listen to the children tell of their daily experiences so that when they are teenagers they will trust you with their thoughts; one must get up earlier to lead Bible studies with the family so that the day is started with the Lord, and on it goes. This is true marriage.
For the man (in the natural) and the spiritual man (in each) must ascend to lead the soul into union with God. Solomon failed to lead, and his children did not walk with God. Solomon’s soul led and not his spirit. Solomon divorced God, i.e. caused division. The division continued in his seed. Marriage is inclusive, it restores, enlarges, enhances, empowers, reconciles. But that person who is unequally yoked fails to see the depths of marriage and has not truly understood his God.
God wanted union with Adam. God created Eve out of Adam, so that Adam would learn how to fill the empty space in himself with Eve. Once Adam learned this concept of marriage, union, then Adam could truly become spiritual and enter into union with God. Hear and understand. Catch the vision. Unless we can see our natural spouse as fulfilling us because of the void in our soul, even as a man in the natural fulfills the void in a woman, we cannot see the depth of God’s marriage to us. Marriage to God must be seen in the microcosm of this life now so that we can enter into the macrocosm of it spiritually in this life now.
“So the Lord became angry… because you have not kept my covenant, My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you…” 1 Kings 9-12
We who have been called to be sons of God (Romans 8:19-20), must realize that it will not occur if we have gone a whoring after other gods. Solomon’s kingdom which was given to him was wrested from him because of his sin. When he was manifested as a son, he failed the test of rulership, because he did not understand the principle of marriage. Marriage is one of the seven principles (covenants) in Genesis 1 (creation, image, dominion, marriage, life, Sabbath and multiplicity). God made a covenant with Israel and divorced her because she went after other gods. The reason the nation faltered is because the leadership failed. It trickles down from the top.
Now is the time to enter into true marriage with God. Those called to the high calling must manifest it their lives, in their families, in themselves, in their churches/fellowship groups etc. Marriage refutes the concept of separation. God may have called you out of the church system. Now that the system is out of you go, marry that woman, the church, and give your life for her. For in that, you prove your sonship! Do you see the church system as evil? (it is not evil but the men who run it might be) Then you see from the eye of Adam, for the eye of Christ sees her complete in Him, which eye you have.
“They that wait (Hebrew “to bind together”) upon the Lord shall be renewed.” (Isaiah 40:31) “Bind together” in the sense of “married to” is the concept here. Our strength is renewed as we are married one to another. This is accomplished as we see Him and only Him in each other for Adam’s day is done, does not exist and has been finished for almost 2,000 years.
MARRIAGE, Parts 1-5, 4 Personalities [Charles W. Weller] 1