In this sermon, part of a series on “Whatever You Do,” Pastor Neil admonishes– there is no such thing as a perfect marriage. Here are some excerpts:
In the Bible, there is no such thing as a perfect marriage. Every marriage in the Bible is imperfect in its own way. The only exception is the marriage between our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His church, a marriage to be celebrated and consummated at the end of time when the kingdom of God comes in all its fullness and the Lord Jesus “presents (us) to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:27). This will be the perfect, eternal union of the Redeemer and His redeemed people, the Lamb of God and the people for whom He died. We live, and wait in hope and expectation – it should be an eager expectation – for the day of the marriage supper of the Lamb to come.
Adam and Eve did not have a perfect marriage. That is intuitively obvious, isn’t it? Mr. and Mrs. Noah were married for hundreds of years, but theirs was not a perfect union. Do you know the name of Noah’s wife? No, it was not Joan of Arc☺. Noah’s wife is not explicitly named in the Bible, although Jewish tradition says her name was Naamah, who is mentioned in Genesis 4:22.
Abraham and Sarah didn’t have a perfect marriage. Nor did Isaac and Rebekah. Or Jacob and either of his wives, Leah and Rachel. Or Moses and Zipporah. David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22), and he didn’t come close to having a perfect marriage. Not even Joseph and Mary had a perfect marriage. It is impossible to have a perfect marriage when it is the union of two flawed, sinful, imperfect people.
It is not God’s fault that there are no perfect marriages, no is it a flaw in God’s design for marriage. The fault is with us. The flaw is in us, in the sinfulness of our fallen human nature, in our disobedience to God, in our deviation from the blueprint God has laid out for marriage as a means of blessing and flourishing in the human community.
The biblical blueprint for marriage is not rocket science. It begins, as Paul says in Ephesians 5:21, with mutual submission; submission on the part of wives to their husbands, and submission on the part of husbands to their wives. It is not one-way submission–it’s two-way submission rooted in mutual submission to and reverence for Christ as Lord of the marriage relationship and Lord of all of life. Because we submit to the sovereign and gracious rule of Jesus in our lives, husbands and wives are to submit graciously to one another. So, submission is not a one-way street. It is not just a matter of the wife submitting to the desires and decisions of her husband. It is a two-way street.
What motivates the husband in his leadership of and submission to his wife is … love: Love for his wife that is modeled after the love Jesus demonstrated for us in His life, ministry, suffering, and sacrificial death on the cross for us.
Pastor Neil has much more to say about this topic. Please click on the link below to hear the sermon in its entirety.