The Bible was written for every person, a book that has become so attached to Christians and Jews we forget its universal application. We Christians know our rules but there are rules for the rest of humanity because God is interested in every man on the planet no matter where he lives, what his religion, or background or language. As Creator He wants to keep tabs on his creation and keep it as best as He can.
The rules for marriage are the same for all peoples. It begins with the idea that marriage is for two people who do not engage in sex before marriage. There are good reasons for this, not just disease, but when a marriage starts on a clean slate it does better down the road. It reduces suspicion which an active sex life before marriage creates.
God also makes it clear that He is the center of the home. Marriages in every generation have the same problems. When we see movies set in ancient times we think they might have been spared the agonies of infidelity, or war or conflict, mothers-in-law and food shortages. But the nature of humanity is the same in all epochs; only the tools and times change. A home where there is warfare, spoken or silent, is not a happy place. It is no place for children or adults. A God-less home is a rocky start.
The blessing of marriage is that it sandpapers off the sharp edges in our personality. We learn to get along with others, and they learn to get along with us. Any marriage in which one person is dominant can see trouble down the road.
But the opposite can be true as well. where there is too much agreement it can become jaded and boring. Marriages, like businesses, need a mission statement and cooperation from everyone. A husband who demands his own way for 25 years should not be surprised when his wife leaves so she can have some life of her own.
Marriages require mutual accountability, but many men believe that as head of the home, the wife is accountable to him and he is accountable to no one. This is a recipe for failure. The woman can also be dominant and end up letting her husband defer to her when he should be taking the reins. Out-of-balance marriages like that collapse as well.
In the 20th century Christian churches got this notion that if the husband was not saved it was the wife’s fault. I do not know where the idea came from but it ended up in many divorces. Not one word in the Bible says that women are to save their husbands. That is Jesus’ job. And neither should they discipline them.
The Bible makes the community of faithful men leaders responsible for the discipline of men (husbands) who are out of order in some way. If the man does not accept the correction of other men he is usually ostracized and since he wants (and needs) the company of other men he returns and learns his lesson. Modern churches have failed in this mission. God does not want his ministers taking sides against either husbands or wives. The church leader may not be able to save a marriage but neither need he appear to be on any side but that of the Lord.
Counseling often never gets to the root of the problem because the participants will talk about surface issues, like sex, or problem children, housekeeping and time management, money issues and the problems of marriage rather that the root cause.
The result is that in the 21st century only 28% of believers are in church on Sunday. Women got tired of being blamed for marriage failure and found something else to do on Sunday morning. Church business suffers because now there are not enough women to maintain those church duties which kept churches going.
What is the answer? It comes from the scriptures. God knows that there are some people, both male and female, who as an act of their will, WILL NOT knuckle under to God in any form. The Bible says basically “Let ’em go.” If they are determined to have their own way, God has a lesson plan for them which they will sorely regret. Judgment begins at the house of God, but that does not mean after death; discipline can happen throughout one’s life. And not just husbands – wives as well. The price of Self Will on the Throne of your life is pricey indeed.
“God has called us to peace.” If a situation is impossible, splitting up the home in order to have peace may be the only final answer. God hates divorce, it is true, but he hates war in the home just as much.
I Corinthians 7:15 but God hath called us to peace.