The Basic Cause of Marriage Problems
Lesson 1. [continued]

The Lord’s church is our counterpart in the institution of marriage. Please take the time now to read Ephesians 5:22-33 before we continue this lesson.
Now that you have finished reading the above passage, we are ready to study some wonderful principles about these two institutions, marriage and the Lord’s church. First of all, you must understand that the Lord’s church is the most important institution on earth. It is more important that school, recreation, vacation, work, family worship or even marriage itself. Nothing can take its place, nothing. As you have just read in our text passage, the church is the model for the marriage institution. It is not just the best model; it is the only valid model. Oprah doesn’t have the answers to a successful marriage and Dr. Phil doesn’t have the solutions to it. The only one who has all the right answers is the one who created marriage in the first place. The problem with folks like Oprah and Dr. Phil is that they are “outstanding in their field” instead of standing on the principles of the word of God. Now, let us consider some very important principles which must be adhered to if marriage is going to be successful; keeping in mind that the Lord’s church is the model.
Principle number one: If the Lord’s church is not kept pure it cannot serve as a role model for marriage; that is, pure in its message and pure in its mission. Number two, the success of the church may in fact rest on the strength of its counterpart, marriage. It stands to reason; that if a church has spiritually strong families she will be spiritually strong as well. Therefore, principle number three: if the church is spiritually strong, then her families will be strong as well.
Now, the question I wish to ask is this, what is important to you? To follow that question up, I ask you another question (taking liberty with Matthew 16:26), what doeth it profit a man or woman if you should gain the whole world and lose your marriage? Or what will you give in exchange for your marriage? Many marriages are offered up as a sacrifice on the altar of personal success or fleshly lust. Many modern households have husbands and wives who are so pre-occupied with their own vanities and fantasies and ambitions that they allow their marriage to disintegrate. Love, affection and a sense of loyalty gives way to selfishness, self-gratification and self-satisfaction. It behooves every Christian family to educate themselves in the ways of God in order to preserve the second most important institution on earth. The husband and wife are to yield or abdicate their personal rights to the other and render due benevolence; that is, making your marriage partner your “second self.” Ephesians 5:28 “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” Of course, it goes without saying, the application goes both ways.
God’s way of doing things is not the best way, it is the only way. I would like for every person reading this article to resolve to examine your marriage closely and make whatever corrections and adjustments necessary to comply with Biblical doctrine. If you will bathe yourself in the truth and refresh your marriage by the word of God in Christ, you will be the better for it. Your marriage is not perfect and to think so is to open yourself up to the attack of Satan; however; the best insurance you can have is to put Christ in the center of your marriage and make the word of God your guide. E-mail, johnpruitt@frontiernet.net

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