The solution for Divorce: Jesus Christ.
Statistics tell us that over 50% of the people who get married this year will most likely get a divorce. If that is true, then well over 50% of the people who get married this year will not find marriage to be all that they hoped it would be. And so people come to me and ask, “Why is the divorce rate climbing? Why isn’t marriage the stable institution that it once was? Why is the divorce rate so high in the Church?” I tell them it’s because people do not obey God. Now, this may seem simplistic, but the fact is, that this is true. If people purposed in their heart to be transformed by the Holy Spirit and become what God intended for them to be, and if they purposed in their hearts to learn what God intended for them to learn, not only would we have better marriages, we would also have a better community, state, nation, and world. But, I digress.
Roles in Marriage: When I do marriage counseling, or teach on the subject of marriage, I start by looking at the primary role and attitude of the husband and wife; two for the husband and two for the wife. For the husband: 1) He is to be the head of the wife (Eph. 5:23) and 2) He needs to seek her counsel and help. He needs a help meet (Gen. 2:18). For the wife: 1) She is to be the helper (Genesis 2:18) and she is to be submissive (obedient) to her husband (1 Peter 3:1, Ephesians 5:22,24; Titus 2:5 – Yes, I put several scriptures here on purpose…). Now the problems that occur in marriage come about when both parties forget these divinely appointed roles and attitudes or do not act in accordance to the Word of God when fulfilling these roles. Let me explain.
The Husband: He is supposed to be the head of the house while acknowledging that he needs help. So what if both of these roles are not kept or are not kept correctly? Then he is not following the plan of God and, of course, the marriage suffers. The husband must acknowledge that headship is not dictatorship or tyranny. Headship is governed by the primary law, which is love. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” (Eph.5:25) When a husband demands authority but does not model the love of Christ, a wife feels the need to resist that authority and contend with the husband. Or, when a husband, because of pride, fails to ask for help, fails to discuss issues with his wife, and fails to demonstrate unity, his wife feels neglected and demeaned, and once again, resists the authority of her husband because she does not feel the oneness with him that God intended for them to share. Asking for help demonstrates his awareness of his shortcomings and his obedience to God’s plan. And despite all of the problems associated with headship, the husband must not “be weary in well doing.”
The Wife: The wife is supposed to be submissive to her supposed to help her husband (Yes, he needs her help). But, some wives have trouble harmonizing these two roles. The wife must realize that submission is not being a second-class citizen or having no value. It is, however, God’s chosen method of having order, harmony, and a hierarchy of authority. However, while acknowledging that the husband is the head, and has the final word, the wife also must fulfill her task of being a help meet. She needs to give him advice, counsel, and feedback on the joint issues of their lives and family. She must make him aware of her perspectives, experiences, and intuitions. She must model respect and obedience so the children can learn respect and obedience. And, despite all of the shortcomings of her husband, she must not be “weary in well doing.”
When a couple start off by accepting and acting accordingly in their two, Divinely appointed roles, the marriage has a much greater chance for success. What a concept!
Next issue: Parents and Children
Dr. Alan Kitay is the Director of Grace Christian Counseling Ministries. He has a Ph.D. in psychology and is a Licensed Professional Christian Therapist. In addition to providing Christian Counseling, Dr. Kitay teaches Certified Christian Counseling courses through Grace Bible Institute. He can be reached by calling 832-419-0673 or e-mailing him at AlanKitay@graceccm.com.