God has given us a wonderful instruction book on how to live to give Him glory. It’s entitled: BIBLE. Ephesians 5 starts out with a great command, “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children.” Simply, be godly in all you do! There is nothing selfish about God. God so loved the world that He gave! God was manifest in the flesh and died on a cruel painful cross to shed His blood to purchase His Bride.
As we search the scripture in Ephesians 5, it is packed with direct godly statements about sexual purity, not excusing sins, take no part in evil, etc. Paul instructs us to carefully determine what pleases the Lord, be careful how we live, don’t act thoughtlessly, instead be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Verse 21 says, “Submit one to another out of reverence for Christ – or in the fear of the Lord.” Verse 22 is the basis for much trouble when used as a whip from a husband to a wife. The wife is to submit (it was not in the original transcripts – it was added) to her husband as unto the Lord. The secret to this thought is that a wife arranges herself under her husband’s love, protection and provision as she submits to God because He proved His love by sacrificing His very life out of love for His future Bride.
Paul continues telling husbands, “Husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church. He gave up His life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by (according to) the cleansing of God’s Word.” By obeying the Word of God, through salvation, we are cleansed to become the Bride of Christ. Jesus’ death on the cross is exactly the opposite of selfishness – He became selfless! I love Him because He first loved me!
How we treat others is how we are treating God because we are created in His image and after His likeness. If we are Spirit filled, we are the Temple (house) of God. How spouses treat each other is how they are treating God. God has no part in selfishness. Paul goes on to tell husbands to love their wives as their own body. When a wife is loved as Jesus loves, she cannot resist that type of lovin’ man. Why? Because a God-centered loving husband is longsuffering, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and has self-control that creates love, joy and peace in the marriage. The wife of this husband will follow in his footsteps. Each of us must allow the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5) to rule and reign in our hearts.
We all are accountable to God in how we treat our spouse. Out of control anger and any type of abuse (verbal, emotional, physical) is absolutely forbidden by God. We are to love one another as God loves us – a selfless love. Another forbidden issue is pornography. There is no place in the heart of a man or woman of God for viewing or using pornography.
The use of porn is a totally selfish act. It’s looking, lusting and acting out to satisfy self that is a sin unto God. It is a self-induced chemical addiction that is created in the brain when sexually satisfying self. The use of porn is sinning against God, self and spouse. The Bible is very clear that looking and lusting is committing adultery in the heart. This selfish sin destroys marriages.
We as spouses are ‘brothers and sisters’ in the Lord before we are spouses. Marriage does not change that fact. Ephesians 4: 32 NLT – “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
Another secret to a loving marriage is understanding God’s love that dwells in us through the Holy Ghost. When we are Holy Ghost controlled, this is how we will treat each other: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Cor. 13: 4 – 7).
Some of these issues are in my book: God’s Design for Marriage plus communication skills, parenting nuggets, protecting your marriage sexually, etc. This can be purchased through my website: www.carolclemans.org. I love teaching marriage seminars based on God’s wonderful design. I can teach live at your church on site or through Skype.
God compared marriage to us as His Bride and He the Bridegroom. This is why we are to be Holy as He is Holy. Marriage in God’s design is a sacred relationship that cannot allow selfishness. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139: 23-24 NLT).
Carol Clemans – Certified Pastoral Counselor, anointed Bible teacher, Certified Christian Life Coach. I provide nationwide counseling by phone/Skype. Teaching for conferences/churches for spiritual, emotional and relational growth in God is my heartbeat! Website: www.carolclemans.org – bio, 90 + articles, teaching CD’s & DVD’s, book: God’s Design for Marriage. Call for scheduling seminars or counseling (636) 448-0121.