Defining Our Relationships

For the miserably married, thinking of marriage, and soon to be married:

Defining Our Relationships

At the heart of Christianity is the doctrine of the mystical union of the believer with Christ. The New Testament does not only call us to believe in Christ, but to believe into Christ. Faith links us directly into Christ. We become in Him and He in us. This mysterious union is carried over into the relationship between Christ and the church. The church is His bride, whom He has brought into a real, profound, and powerful union.

We normally assume that the image of the church as the bride of Christ is a metaphor borrowed from the institution of human marriage. In this case, the earthly serves as the model for the heavenly. Perhaps that is the intent of Scripture. Actually the earthly estate of marriage is based on the heavenly model of the mystical union of Christ and His bride not the Godhead. Marriage is the reflection of the heavenly reality, not the basis for a heavenly image. All the more reason to examine our motives for marriage in the first place.

Ephesians 5:21-33 is explicit in what the ideal marriage would be like. Yet everyday Christian men and women have found themselves in a marriage that is not sustainable. Women become terribly abused because they did not choose wisely and find themselves and their children subject to demonic oppression in the home that is supposed to be a safe environment. Many have found they married for all the wrong reasons and therefore chose badly in a mate they bonded to. When a choosing a mate it is VERY IMPORTANT to view their entire character, not find reasons for convenience to marry just because the situation fits your loneliness or need of a family life. If the church had done it's job in teaching how to pick a mate for life(ie looking at integrity, entire character), many divorces would never had happened in the first place. It is impossible to give due honor or even submit to a fool if a fool is what you married. In fact, the Bible commands you to leave a fool and his folly. Why set yourself up for a divorce by not taking into account the full spectrum of one's character before marriage? Therefore, choose wisely whom you decide to bond with.

The perfect unity of persons existed in eternity in the nature of the Trinity itself. Though the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not “one flesh,” they are ONE being in perfect eternal harmony. In the Godhead, there is no possibility of divorce. It is a union that cannot and will not be broken. It is the eternal pattern of relationship that defines our human relationship. We share with God not only an analogy of being, but also an analogy of relationship. It is found in the mystery of a good marriage.

Ephesians 5:21-33

Once again, if you find you are indeed in an abusive relationship, physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual please go and read what Pastor Crippen has to offer those in terrible relationships. Don't be afraid to get help. The problem will only get worse!

 More Weapons in the Abuser's Arsenal
One aspect of sin is that it feeds on power and control. When things are going "well" in a relationship, the abuser's control and power are really not very evident. There even appears to be a pleasant, co-equal relationship, and the abuser hates this. He then launches his surprise attack, at least in part to remind his victim and himself that HE is in control. Sin in its very nature is malevolent.

Abuse and the Doctrine of Headship and Submission
Headship, as we will see in our examination of 1 Peter 3 and Ephesians 5, is not something that means a wife is bound to obey her husband's every whim. The husband is to lead his wife "in the Lord," and this does not mean that a wife is obligated to take abusive behavior as her lot.

From Pastor Crippen in his book A Cry For Justice Chapter on Marriage Vows and Divorce Please READ THE WHOLE CHAPTER and SCRIPTURES!
In the case of abuse in marriage: the abuse victim is NOT the one “committing” the divorce when he or she decides the marriage contract has been rendered null and void.  That has already been accomplished by the abuser who has refused to love, honor, and cherish as he vowed before God to do.  The church continues, in many cases, to do great harm and injustice to abuse victims when we insist that if she files for divorce, she is actually the one who is effecting the divorce and therefore, guilty before God.  All the victim is doing is suing for the court to recognize that the marriage contract has been broken.  We even use that legal language – suing for divorce.

Why is it that we seem to hold credit card agreements and home mortgages in higher esteem than the marriage contract? What person in their right mind would ever enter into a contract, knowing that the other party can violate the terms to our harm, and yet there will be nothing we can do to get out of the contract?

In Christ,
See you next blog when I continue ...Give Me Fifty


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