My wife and I were married earlier in 2017. She is from the Philippines, and I am from the U.S. While coming from different cultures, we have a number of things in common. We both grew up in Christian homes, are affectionate and have similar personalities.
Shortly after the wedding, I was surprised when asked by the administrator of an online group to write about marrying a woman who has been divorced. Why? Because usually the controversy over our marriage hinges on the fact that I am ex-gay.
Like homosexuality in modern times, many churches no longer identify divorce as sin. Over dinner in the first few months of courting, I outlined the worst of my past and ongoing challenges. After my dirtiest laundry was aired, I was shocked when my future wife voiced concern that I might pass judgment on her for having been divorced.
As followers of Christ… Had I told her about my past without mention of repentance (turning away from my sin), she should have been concerned. My thinking was the same- Was the divorce done on biblical grounds (explained further below)? And if not, did she understand that it was sin and repent?
Some say, “If you want to walk sanctified, get married.” – meaning that putting two formerly independent adults together can be a test of, for example, taming the tongue (James 3:1-12). Granted, my wife and I do not always agree, but the bottom line is that…
Marriage is a serious lifetime commitment between a man, a woman and God. The Lord warns against causing division between a husband and wife.
“…a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife… So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” – Matthew 19:5-6
There is a difference between God’s law and man’s law. There are only three biblical grounds for divorce:
- Adultery (Matthew 19:3-9)
- Unbelieving Spouse Chooses to Leave (1 Corinthians 7:12-15)
- Death of Spouse (1 Corinthians 7:39)
Any reason apart from these three biblical grounds constitutes sin. No matter how difficult the circumstances, we should not rejoice in our sin and advocate that others sin as we have. Instead, we must repent.
As winds of pop culture have blown into the church, I believe that the reason many marriages fail today is that men have abandoned their God-ordained role in the home. Establishing roles is a vital first step.
The husband is the head of the home without exception.
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” – Ephesians 5:22-25 (see bottom of page for additional supporting Scripture)
These are commands. There is no plan B.
The following are NOT justifications for allowing your wife to head the home:
- Wife knows the Bible better than the husband.
- Husband has made bad choices in life.
- Wife is a natural leader with a strong personality.
- “But I am just a janitor, and my wife is president of a Fortune 500 company!”
- “But our culture favors women leaders.”
Sorry, brothers. The Lord put you in charge of your home.
Does this sound appealing to you? Me neither. It is certainly not popular. Hollywood says a woman can head the home. Almighty God says she is not. Here comes the choice: Follow God’s Word or popular culture?
The role of head of the home is assigned- not something that is gained or lost. To us men, even those of us who once considered ourselves women, the Lord commands, ‘STEP UP!‘
“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” – Genesis 2:18
“To the woman he said, I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” – Genesis 3:16
“Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.” – 1 Timothy 2:11-14
“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” – Titus 2:3-5