Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Beauty of a Biblical Marriage

The wonder of marriage is woven into the wonder of the gospel of the cross of Christ, and the message of the cross is foolishness to the natural man, and so the meaning of marriage is foolishness to the natural man (1 Cor. 2:14).
~John Piper



Staying married, therefore, is not mainly about staying in love. It is about keeping covenant. "Till death do us part" or "As long as we both shall live" is a sacred covenant promise - the same kind Jesus made with His bride when He died for her.
~John Piper

Marriage...a reflection of Christ and His Church, Christ and His Bride. One man, one woman.
A beautiful complementary covenant that should never be broken...

I am truly blessed to be in the marriage I am. God has given terribly imperfect me an equally imperfect man who has continual grace, compassion and understanding with me. At the beginning of our marriage I was young and felt *entitled*. I thought, selfishly, that it was all about me. Oh, how the Lord has done a work in my heart the past decade (and more...as we celebrate 13 years of marriage in September!). Through His Word and numerous books (*not* those horrid self-help books which teach you how to "love yourself") that teach from a strictly biblical perspective, I have grown immensely! Although I still have times of mistakes, I am convicted immediately and repent. I (through God's grace...as *all* is truly of grace) am quick to apologize and strive (through lots of prayer and time in God's Word) to be an excellent wife and mother. Perfect ~ no (for that is unobtainable) but excellent ~ yes.

Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christlike, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.
~John Piper

One of the first things I realized when God opened my eyes to my need of a biblically grounded, solid marriage is to stay focused on Him...so as I studied His Word I realized that, despite what so many women in society say nowadays, I am to be submissive and my husband was to be the head of the home. My first feeling towards that (years ago) was confusion. You hear in books, television shows, commercials, people around you...how women are to be independent, strong, able to do anything a man can do. Everything is about equality these days...us girls ~ we can do whatever you *boys* can do, right?.....maybe so...but should we? Is that what God created us for?



 In Ephesians 5 husbands are compared to Christ; wives are compared to the church. Husbands are compared to the head; wives are compared to the body. Husbands are commanded to love as Christ loves; wives are commanded to submit as the church is to submit to Christ.
~John Piper

Let me start off by saying that equality is true...in a sense. In the sight of God, we are equals...men and women. Neither is better than the other. However...we were created with different roles! We are created to function differently...complementary to one another! That is not a negative thing, friends! That is a gift! Why feminists have ground traditional (biblical) roles of womanhood into the ground, I will never understand. With our husbands as our heads (our leader, provider, protector), we have that beautiful security around us to make a home (filled with love), raise children, and take care of our husbands! I don't find that degrading towards women...I find it *wonderful*!

We both live our lives serving each other...but in different ways. 

Chris takes care of our family, protecting, providing and leading us...it is a great responsibility! That is how he serves. I serve him by managing our home to the best of my ability, raising and home-educating our children, supporting him in his endeavors and making sure he feels loved and relaxed after a long day. We balance each other. He has bad days and I have mine. We pray with each other, love on and nurture each other and provide wisdom to help each other during those times. Chris values my opinion and I value his.

“The woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.” 
~JR Miller


Do we mess up? Yes, we do. Although, as we have grown in wisdom and have continually walked deeper in our faith, our times of error become less and less. When we do upset one another, we are usually quick to resolve it. The Holy Spirit convicts and you just can't stay angry for long.


I boldly reach out to you now ~if you are reading self-help type books...get rid of them. Things from Joel Osteen, Dr. Phil, Oprah and the like are completely unbiblical and wrong. Their focus is to get *you* to focus on *self* rather than how you can better serve others. None of us need a higher opinion of ourselves. In all actuality, we would be better to be aware of our wretchedness in and of ourselves...and of our great *need* for Christ. He came to save sinners...of which we all are. Our thoughts of ourselves, when truly a child of His, can then be seen through the light of His perfection. Because of His perfect life and sacrifice, we can be made holy! Praise God! He is continually working in the hearts of believers, sanctifying (setting apart) them and growing them in holiness.

Only when we take eyes off of ourselves and place them on imitating the example of Christ's servant-hood can we truly have a glorious marriage. 

“Husbands and wives, recognize that in marriage you have become one flesh. If you live for your private pleasure at the expense of your spouse, you are living against yourself and destroying your joy. But if you devote yourself with all your heart to the holy joy of your spouse, you will also be living for your joy and making a marriage after the image of Christ and His church.”

~John Piper


So, after you have tossed those horrible self-help books...it's time to really dive into the Word. Then...I really urge you to take a look into reading some of these biblically-based books on marriage/biblical womanhood:

This Momentary Marriage ~ A Parable of Permanence by John Piper
The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
Homemaking (also known as: The Family) by JR Miller
Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes
Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney



“Love is always ready to deny itself, to give, sacrifice, just in the measure of its sincerity and intensity. Perfect love is perfect self-forgetfulness. Hence where there is love in a home, unselfishness is the law. Each forgets self and lives for others.

But where there is selfishness it mars joy. One selfish soul will destroy the sweetness of life in any home. It is like an ugly bush in the midst of a garden of flowers. It was selfishness that destroyed the first home and blighted all the loveliness of Paradise; and it has been blighting lovely things in earth's home ever since. We need to guard against this spirit.” 
~JR Miller


 The Puritan ethic of marriage was first to look not for a partner whom you do love passionately at this moment but rather for one whom you can love steadily as your best friend for life, then to proceed with God's help to do just that.
~J.I. Packer



When your children see you following your biblical roles for marriage...that is what they learn and know. A beautiful marriage, with God at the center, is the best thing for children! Even when you have a disagreement (or a difficult time) in your marriage ~ the way you handle it can teach your children such wonderful lessons...forgiveness, humility, repentance, and love. Things will never be perfect this side of heaven so teaching our children the proper way to handle a situation is crucial as we raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord!





I hope this post, things that have been on my heart, edifies and encourages you. I am still growing and learning myself...but in the spirit of Titus 2 (although I may still be considered *young* to most) I desire to share with other women the things I have learned over the past 13 years of marriage to my beloved. 


There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage.
~ Martin Luther




And I leave you with this beautiful quote from Martin Luther: 
Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.

May that be the striving of our hearts, daily!

In Christ,
Katy

11 comments:

  1. What a good post, Katy. It is amazing how far many of us have fallen from where we should be..and that today's life is so completely different from what it was even 30 years ago. Blessings- xo Diana

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  2. I agree with you Katy!

    Sadly, so many have embraced feminism in part because in our fallen world so many did not love their wives and lead their families as Christ would have them do. Too many women around the world are still seen and treated as property.

    A true understanding of Christ's teaching, and following that would bring about joyous marriages and families.

    God bless your family Katy, as you and Chris continue to follow Him!

    Deanna

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  3. What a Beautiful post, Katy. When I got married my Grandma told me the only book you'll ever need in Life referring to Marriage, Children, and Life itself is the Bible. She was right, we'll be celebrating 20 yrs of Marriage in Sept. And I totally agree with you about those self help books, toss them in the trash!!! Have a Blessed day!

    Lisa

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  4. Beautiful post! A great reminder that when we keep Christ first...everything else seems to work so much better. It is very hard to step outside of the cultural norm of marriage and actually live holy and biblically!

    Thank you for your posts and sharing your sweet family!

    Kristin from NC

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  5. A beautiful post about a beautiful relationship, man and wife.

    I agree with your conclusions for making a lasting marriage.

    We're currently going to a video based class called Love and Respect by Eggerich. I've learned a lot.

    Blessings to you from Harvest Lane Cottage,
    Laura
    Married 27 years to my high school sweetheart
    Saved by grace through Jesus Christ since 1980.
    Thank you God!

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  6. Great post! I would also add to your list of resources for Biblical marriage and womanhood, "Lies Women Believe," by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and the free "Above Rubies" magazine by Nancy Campbell. Both are excellent in encouraging women to fulfill their high calling as wives and mothers!

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  7. I recently read Feminine Appeal and I thought she did a nice job of explaining submission. Most people don't understand the real meaning. Chuck and I have always had a great marriage and relationship. Since I have begun to understand true submission our relationship is changing from great to fantastic!

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  8. Very nice post. I try to explain to women I know about equal but different roles...I don't explain it well though! I think women need to be well grounded in Christ to realize that being humble is exalting really!

    Your fruits are evident in your happy children.

    Hope you didn't get bad storms in your area!

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  9. All I can say is Amen, Katy! Women miss a blessing that are so deep into feminism. Wives have a beautiful role! I love it!

    Blessings,
    Tammy

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I am always so grateful to read your comments! I thank you for the time you took to visit and share your thoughts with me. :o)
May you enter as a stranger and leave as a friend!
Warmly, Katy