What constitutes a good marriage, Biblically speaking? It always rather irritates me when people talk about the Bible as if the references in there to a marriage are sexist. They are not. The God of the Bible is not sexist, as some people like to think, or claim. Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” In Christianity, there is no superior or inferior…”all are one in Christ Jesus.”
But what about where it says wives have to “submit” to their husbands? Submission indicates a weakness…indicates a recognition that you’re somehow less? Not in terms of the Bible’s reference. So, let’s look at that whole passage.
New International Version (NIV)
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Yes, it says wives must submit to their husbands, and respect them. But it also says husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church. Now, that’s a big love…it is not a love that would crush someone under the foot, beat them, treat or disregard them in any way that is abusive. If this passage is followed, the way it’s supposed to be followed, nobody will be unhappy.
So what does it mean for wives to recognize that their husband is the head of the family? Well…any good company or organization has someone who acts as the head. But this passage also says that “the two become as one.” That indicates a partnership. Just because a wife has to submit to her husband as the head of her, and of the family, that doesn’t mean that she can’t have any input in a situation. It just means that when it comes down to it, the husband makes the final decision. But if he’s loving her the way this passage says to, he’s not going to disregard her thoughts and opinions as worthless, either. He will at least hear her and consider what she has to say about a matter.
What does it mean for a wife to respect her husband? Marriage actually is mutual respect. If either party is going about, telling all their friends what an idiot the other is, or talking bad about them in some way, that’s not respect. If a husband or wife gets with friends and talks all about his or her sex life and either how great, or how awful it is, either way, that’s not respect. That’s a very intimate part of a relationship. Respect…really, you know what that means. How do you want to be treated? Then treat your spouse the same way.
The Bible’s description of a marriage, from what I see, is absolutely ideal.
And typing this out, I’m feeling rather sad, given my own situation. But that said, I still believe in marriage, and I still believe that it’s possible to have a good one.
Love and blessings,
Note: Again, Biblical passages were taken from BibleGateway.com and I say a big thank you to them for their awesome site.