Fit For Marriage

Are You Fit For Marriage?

The Family Foundation—Rationale

C. Russell Yates, Director
If the foundations be destroyed,
what can the righteous do? Psalms 11:3

The foundation of the family is given in Genesis 2:24—that a man and a woman would cleave together and become one flesh. Any other marital arrangement is a cheap imitation of the genuine article. I start with a fanciful illustration.

A builder is about to construct a new home, and you're at the job site. Suddenly the tradesmen arrive—carpenters, bricklayers, plumbers, electricians, plasterers, roofers, painters, and the A/C contractor. But the crew that pours concrete is missing. The work begins with a frenzy, and before the day is finished a house has been built. It's a beautiful home, but one thing is missing. The builder forgot the foundation.

It is the same for marriage and family; there has been a flurry of building activity, but the foundation is missing. Go to Parable.com and do a site search for the word “marriage.” Christian marriage books fill up fifty-three pages of internet space. Go to Google, enter “marriage” and then click on search. You'll find millions of results. There is a mountain of stuff on marriage. But for all their effort, we have yet to build families that work.

Except the LORD build the house,
they labour in vain that build it … .Psalms 127:1

According to Focus on the Family (tape CS741/8829), two of three marriages lead to separation or divorce; one in four continues in a state of unhappiness; but only one in ten brings mutual satisfaction. Christian marriages do no better than do secular ones. “But, why?” you ask. The builder has not embraced the foundational requirements of headship and submission. Let me explain as follows:

In today's world, love is “in” and submission is “out.” For a wife to submit to her husband is an outrage. That's where you have to use your FOGWOM. The foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men—FOGWOM. In Ephesians 5:22, and elsewhere a woman is specifically told by the Lord to submit to her husband. When God says something, we need to listen. The Lord knows what is best!

Most marriage ministries present submission as a peripheral item when it is in fact central to the success of the relationship. Because submission is so unpopular in our culture, the listener just filters out the unwanted information. That's why the marriage builder ends up with “a building that has no foundation.”

It was love that sent Jesus to the Cross where he paid the redemptive price for our sin. But it was submission that made it possible—“not my will, but thine be done.” Because of love, a man submits to the needs of his wife, and learns to dwell with her according to knowledge (1 Peter 3:7). For the sake of love, a woman voluntarily places herself under the authority of her husband.

The money and effort spent trying to solve the marriage predicament is immense, but the problem still hasn't been solved. What is required? I'd say it's time to get ruthlessly honest. Let's do that using another illustration:

The driver is a man, and his bumper sticker reads, “I love my wife.” Is that biblical? Yes, Ephesians 5:25 tells husbands to love their wives. Is it okay for a man to love his wife? Yes, it is entirely praiseworthy.

The next driver is a woman, and her bumper sticker says, “I submit to my husband.” Is that biblical? Yes, Ephesians 5:22 tells a wife to submit to her husband. Is it socially acceptable? No, our culture is vehemently opposed to the idea.

If an intimate marriage requires a man's love and a woman's submission—if the culture smiles on love and frowns on submission—what is the logical conclusion? The lack of submission on the part of a wife is the primary obstacle to oneness in marriage.

Ladies, if what I said is true, that is actually good news: It means the ball is in your court, and the choice is yours. In her book, The Surrendered Wife, Laura Doyle seems to agree with me. She says that most men make good marriage material, and all a wife must do to find intimacy is surrender. Read the book for yourself—it'll be the best $13 you'll ever spend.

Once the foundational issue is settled, then what? Then it's time to build, and I will be the first to recommend other ministries. Click here to explore some links to organizations that I believe to be worthy. If I prove to be wrong in my recommendations, I will be the first to admit my error. If you think correction is necessary, please let me know.

Thou shalt raise up the foundations
of many generations. Isaiah 58:12b

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