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1/31/2014

EQUAL PARTNERS: Marriage Through a Biblical Lens

Christians are instructed in the New Testament in specific behaviors that their "new life" in Christ will produce.  These 'gifts of the Holy Spirit' were to be seen in the believers.  Repeatedly the Christians in the various New Testament churches are urged to avoid one group of actions and develop another group of actions.  This was to be done through the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believing Christian and the growing self-discipline created by the adoption of new values and standards of conduct and morality. The behavioral expectations of followers of Christ was being clearly framed. 

Behaviors to Be Developed and as Results of Spiritual Transformation and Formation:
Love  (Rom.13.9; Matt.19.19; Eph. 5.22)
Kindness (1 Cor. 13.4; Eph. 4.32; 1 Th 5.15)
Faithfulness
Forgiveness (Eph 4.32; Col. 3.13)
Patience (Gal. 5.22)
Caring (1 Th 2:7; 1 Peter 5.2)
Self-control (1 Th 5.8; 5.13)
Good (1 Peter 2.12)
Joy
Submission, Mutual and to God (Eph. 5:21)
Gentleness
Respect (Eph 5.33;1 Peter 2.17; 1 Peter 3.16)
Honor
Sacrifice (Rom.12.1)
Unity (Phil.2.2.)

Behaviors to be Avoided and Overcome through Spiritual Transformation and Formation (Gal.5.20):
Sexual impurity
Idolatry
Witchcraft
Hatred
Discord
Jealousy
Fits of rage
Selfish ambitions
Dissention & factions
Drunkenness
Orgies
and anything that was the opposite of the first list.

It will be noticed that in very few places is there any emphasis on control or power and it is specifically linked to the behaviors to be avoided (selfish ambition, lack of respect, lack of  unity, lack of mutual submission to God, etc.)

Anyone who argues that the verses that say a man is the head of a woman, should be very careful and very clear as to the context of that source of authority.  The rest of the setting clearly says as Christ is head of the Church.
Does Christ limit a person from service or voice in the Church?
Does Christ control the Church?
Does Christ make his Church to suffer?
Does Christ make his Church to feel inferior?
Does Christ make his Church second class?
Does Christ make his Church ...

Go back to the list of behaviors to be demonstrated in the believers among themselves and as they interacted with the world around them.  This is important, because all that they did was a witness to the validity of the message of the Gospel.

A careful and honest look at the model of Christ and the Church applied to the marriage relationship reveals how far astray we have often gone.

In the marriage vows, women were once required to "obey" their husband?  Where did that come from?  Where is there a Biblical instruction for such...

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