Mutual Dependency In Marriage

Hope for Today (English)
Hope for Today (English)
Mutual Dependency In Marriage
Loading
/
1 Corinthians 7:1-9

Marriage is the first human relationship recorded in the Bible. It is found in the second chapter of the first book of the Bible. The Lord God knew that one lone man was socially incomplete. Of all the animals Adam had named, none was found to be his equal. He needed someone unique to stand beside him.

God said, “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:24). God acted on that thought and created a woman for Adam. He called her name Eve. The Lord instructed them to fill the earth, and by this union, they would be one, and they would become creators.

Sadly, over the centuries this high relationship of marriage has become so tarnished that today for most people marriage has lost its meaning. People want to experience the sexual union without assuming its responsibilities or consequences. That is why abortion clinics operate, and why immorality and perversion are on the increase.

The Bible gives clear, basic instruction for MUTUAL DEPENDENCY INMARRIAGE. The apostle Paul explains the significance of gender relationships in I Corinthians 7:1-9:

1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.

9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

From Paul’s writings, I have discovered several direct and intimate COUNSELS to instruct us for Mutual Dependency in Marriage.

The first counsel for mutual dependency in the marriage relationship is:

STRIVE FOR SEXUAL PROPRIETY

1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

First off, Paul warns that becoming too friendly with the opposite sex, especially to the point of so-called casual physical contact, is extremely dangerous. “It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” Clearly, he made this statement with reference to intimacy outside of the marriage relationship. Because God Himself has created the powerful attraction that exists between the sexes, it is essential that God-ordained matrimony take place to prevent “fornication.”

Paul then forcibly argues for monogamous relations: No husband and wife swapping! Let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband. This principle is first stated in Genesis 2:24: “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and be joined unto his wife and they shall be one flesh.”

This is the natural, physical, human relationship. Yet because man is body, soul, and spirit, and woman is body, soul, and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23), marriage brings about a union of all the parts of their beings.

Let them maintain their union, the apostle Paul says, by common consent. Let the husband render to the wife her due, and let the wife render to the husband his due. Later Paul speaks of the impropriety of depriving or defrauding a partner for other than mutually agreed upon spiritual reasons.

On my first trip to Nigeria, two brothers asked me what I thought about polygamy. I said, “Coming from America, I don’t feel confident to answer your problem. First of all, I have to say that in America we have polygamy, one marriage partner at a time. I can tell you what the Bible says, ‘One man, one woman for life.’”

The Christian pattern for marriage is a monogamous union. That is what the apostle Paul said here. Let a man have his wife, and let the wife have her husband.

Barnes gives appropriate instruction:

Paul would keep the church from scandal. How much evil, how much deep pollution, how many abominable crimes would have been avoided, which have since grown out of the monastic system, and the celibacy of the clergy among the papists, if Paul’s advice had been followed by all professed Christians! Paul says that marriage is honorable and that the relations of domestic life should be formed to avoid the evils which would otherwise result. The world is the witness of the evils which flow from the neglect of his advice. Every community where the marriage tie has been lax and feeble, or where it has been disregarded or dishonored, has been full of pollution, and it ever will be. Society is pure and virtuous, just as marriage is deemed honorable, and as its vows are adhered to and preserved.

Yes, Amen.

The second counsel for mutual dependency in marriage is:

SUBMIT TO A YIELDED POSITION

4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

When the partners in a marriage say “yes” in the marriage vow, there is an implied transfer of authority. The apostle says in verse 4, “The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.”

The word translated power here is the Greek word for “authority” or “right.” For example, in John 1:12 the Scripture says, “As many as received Him, to them gave he power [the authority] to become the sons of God.” That is the word used here. Whenever the “yes” is said in marriage vows, the partners transfer authority. Now I realize that today some movements for personal identity and power have misunderstood or ignored Paul’s words. Unfaithfulness can never be justified. I repeat that. Unfaithfulness to the marriage vow can never be justified.

Next, the apostle speaks about defrauding one another. By that, he means denying the right of sexual union. God intended that the physical union of male and female be carried out for the fulfillment of the purpose of marriage. That’s what Adam said, “They shall be one flesh.” Every married couple that is able should have a family to fulfill the mandate from God, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). It is not proper, it is not right, I believe, to deny family for personal enjoyment, financial advantage, or social climbing.

The second counsel Paul gives us then for mutual dependency in marriage is to Submit to a Yielded Position. Such mutual dependency results in family rewards for humanity, as expressed in The Pulpit Commentary:

The family is the true unit in human society, and the enemy of marriage is the enemy of humanity. It is in the family that virtuous and honorable citizens are bred and reared, and there principles are instilled which are at the foundation of national stability. And the old saying is equally true, that by marriage heaven itself is replenished. It is hence that the Church draws its members and its officers; it is here that the natural life and the eternal life are alike commenced and nurtured.

The third counsel for mutual dependency in marriage is:

SEEK TO OBTAIN A GODLY PURPOSE

7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.

9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

Each person is to discern the gift God has given him or her. “Every man hath his proper gift of God.” That means that each person must be totally yielded to the Lord. The question that should be asked is “What has God planned for me?” That is more important than any other question we might ask. “What has the Lord planned for me?”

The prophet Jeremiah in the Old Testament has a word from the Lord: “Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).

When speaking of his calling to be an apostle, Paul wrote to the Galatians: “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood” (Galatians 1:15, 16).

Be sure to catch the truth. Paul felt very definitely he had received a gift from God. You and I need to find out what our gifts are and what God wants to do with us. After learning God’s purpose, pursue it diligently and confidently. Social relations must not interfere with God’s will.

Again, Barnes has a helpful insight:

Every man has his own peculiar talent or excellence. One man excels in one thing, and another in another. One may not have this particular virtue, but he may be distinguished for another virtue quite as valuable. The doctrine here is, therefore, that we are not to judge others by ourselves or measure their virtue by ours. We may excel in some one thing, they in another. And because they have not our peculiar virtue or capability, we are not to condemn or denounce them.

The third counsel then is Seek to Attain a Godly Purpose, which is uniquely yours.

Mutual Dependency in Marriage can be achieved when we follow Paul’s counsels:

STRIVE FOR SEXUAL PROPRIETY

One man and one woman

SUBMIT TO A YIELDED POSITION

Have the family God wants you to have

SEEK TO OBTAIN A GODLY PURPOSE

Use your gifts for God

You can have a successful and happy marriage with a mutual dependency when you build it within the will of God.

Receive Weekly Encouragement

Sign-up to get a sermon straight to your inbox on a weekly basis!