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Man was created by God – in the image of God. God quickly observed that man needed a helpmate.
Accordingly, God created Woman – using a rib taken from the man.
If a man or woman cannot remain single, devoting his or her life to serving God, they are to marry. In marriage, the two become one flesh (Eph 5: 31) a single unit just as God, Messiah-Christ, and the Holy Spirit form a triune unit.
In marriage, man is instructed to love his wife, while woman is instructed to show respect for her husband (Eph 5: 33). Proverbs 30: 23 tells us that “Earth cannot bear a married woman who is unloved.”
While all men might not acknowledge that, if a woman shows respect for him “at the city gates,” his greatest need will have been met; show me the man so respected by his wife, and I will show you a man who loves his wife.
The fundamental purpose and priority of the man-woman family unit is to give birth to God’s children and then to discipline and educate the children according to God’s love, wisdom and truth. Absent parental obedience to this discipline, any true love and respect for all others will be lacking in the child.
The growing apostasy and evil in today’s world bears witness to this fact.
While man can be happy in his work, it is woman as helpmate who most frequently exercises the many and diverse talents that Proverbs 31 tells us are possessed by the noble woman.
Note carefully, however, that all of the proverbial talents are such that can be exercised from within the home.
Having observed a noble wife, two daughters and two sons, all lawyers now thoroughly devoted to their own family units, together with having observed hundreds of lawyer families and many others over the years, I believe that the average woman is in fact more natively talented and mentally and emotionally equipped than the average man.
However, therein lies the potential danger to the family unit – since to the extent that woman is tempted to pursue her talents outside the home, the close nurturing and education of the children that only a mother can provide is often placed at risk. Additionally, if a woman’s goal outside the home becomes “gold” rather than God, her respect for her husband and/or the husband’s sense of having his wife’s respect are also placed at risk.
I Corinthians 7: 16 instructs man not to divorce his wife – nor vice versa – and Malachi 2: 16 confirms that the Lord “hates divorce.” When a man divorces or separates from the family unit – the children’s discipline and education in truth and wisdom will suffer. Know that a child’s earliest perception of the invisible God is often seen in the visible father.
Further illustrative of the critical importance of the marital relationship is Scripture’s description of all those who elect Messiah as Lord and Savior are the “brides” of Christ, a relationship which will endure throughout eternity, where marriage of man and woman will no longer exist nor be necessary. (Matt 28:1; Rev 21:9)
Many in today’s equality conscious world might seek to question Ephesians 5’s dictate that “man is to be head of his wife”. However, note carefully the words that immediately follow – “as Christ is head of the Church.” No married woman objects to her husband’s role of headship if both husband and wife love and fear God. As such, carefully note Corinthians 6: 14 instruction to “not be yoked together with unbelievers, for what do righteousness and wickedness have in common, or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” While divorce rates approach 60% in the apostate world, among those genuinely yoked the rate is virtually nil.
All of these wise commands are critical to assuring that God’s children receive the discipline and instruction so essential to lawfulness and achieving Life Eternal. I Corinthians 6: 19 states: “Know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you; you are not your own; you were bought at a price” at the cross. Next to one’s own assurance of eternity, the greatest blessing in life is seeing one’s children and grandchildren – having been entrusted to us for a brief time by their heavenly Father for our faithful shepherding through this world – ultimately returned to serve God throughout eternity.
Joe Otto is an attorney from Rockwood.
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