MARRYING A NON BELIEVER:

Being married to an unbeliever can be one of the most difficult challenges in a Christian’s life. Marriage is a sacred covenant that joins two people together in one flesh (Matthew 19:5). It can be very difficult for a believer and an unbeliever to live in peaceful harmony (2 Corinthians 6:14-15). If one partner becomes a Christian after the marriage, the inherent struggles of living under two different authorities quickly become apparent.

Often Christians in this situation will look for a way out of the marriage, convinced that this is the only way to truly bring honor to God. His Word, however, says the contrary. It is very important not only to be content in our situation, but also to look for ways to bring glory to Him out of our challenging circumstances (1 Corinthians 7:17). The Bible specifically addresses those who are married to unbelievers in 1 Corinthians 7:12-14: “…If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband…”

Christians married to unbelievers will need to pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to enable them to profess Christ and live in the light of God’s presence (1 John 1:7). They should seek God’s transforming power to change their hearts and produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). A Christian wife is obligated to have a submissive heart, even toward her unbelieving husband (1 Peter 3:1), and she will need to remain close to God and rely on His grace to enable her to do so.

Christians are not meant to live solitary lives; they need to find support from outside sources such as the church and Bible study groups. Being married to an unbeliever does not alter the sacredness of the relationship, so it should be the priority of every Christian to pray for his or her spouse and set a good example, allowing Christ’s light to shine brightly (Philippians 2:14). May the truth found in 1 Peter 3:1—that an unbelieving spouse is “won over”—be the hope and goal of every Christian who is married to an unbeliever.

Prophet Nathan Emol

WILL THERE BE MARRIAGE IN HEAVEN?

The Bible tells us, “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30). This was Jesus’ answer in response to a question concerning a woman who had been married multiple times in her life —whom would she be married to in heaven (Matthew 22:23-28)? Evidently, there will be no such thing as marriage in heaven. This does not mean that a husband and wife will no longer know each other in heaven. This also does not mean that a husband and wife could not still have a close relationship in heaven. What it does seem to indicate, though, is that a husband and wife will no longer be married in heaven.

Most likely, there will be no marriage in heaven simply because there will be no need for it. When God established marriage, He did so to fill certain needs. First, He saw that Adam was in need of a companion. “The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’” (Genesis 2:18). Eve was the solution to the problem of Adam’s loneliness, as well as his need for a “helper,” someone to come alongside him as his companion and go through life by his side. In heaven, however, there will be no loneliness, nor will there be any need for helpers. We will be surrounded by multitudes of believers and angels (Revelation 7:9), and all our needs will be met, including the need for companionship.

Second, God created marriage as a means of procreation and the filling of the earth with human beings. Heaven, however, will not be populated by procreation. Those who go to heaven will get there by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; they will not be created there by means of reproduction. Therefore, there is no purpose for marriage in heaven since there is no procreation or loneliness.

Prophet Nathan Emol

RESTORING YOUR MARRIAGE:

Since the need to restore a marriage relationship can be for many different reasons, we will look at underlying principles that the Bible sets forth for relationships in general and then marriage in particular.

The place to start is with the individual one-on-one relationship between a man or woman and the Lord Jesus Christ. As born-again believers, the success of any relationship with others is in direct correlation with the quality of our personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. When we are out of fellowship with the Lord due to sin or mental attitudes that are contrary to divine viewpoint, we find that we are out of sorts with ourselves, first, and that spills over to our relationships with others. Therefore, restoring our relationship and fellowship with the Lord through agreeing with His viewpoint and resting in the forgiveness that is ours in Christ Jesus (1 John 1:9) is the place we must begin.

The above presupposes that one has a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ through the new birth. That is being born again unto newness of life in accepting salvation through the gift of eternal life given to us in Christ. If that step has not been taken in an individual’s life, then biblical principles are not the first issue to be addressed; one’s eternal salvation or redemption is. This website has an excellent resource available to help to guide one to repentance and acceptance of the gift of life in Christ.

For the born-again believer, forgiveness is the position and privilege that we have in Christ, and because of that forgiveness we are commanded to forgive others. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). If we are believers, we are forgiven “in Christ,” and “in Christ” we also forgive others. No relationship can be restored without forgiveness. Forgiveness is a choice we make based upon the reality of our own forgiven state.

For the marriage relationship, the Bible has given us a very clear model that is opposite to the world’s viewpoint. To restore a marriage relationship once forgiveness has been given and received, applying God’s model will begin to bring the two separate parties into a God-honoring union. This requires a choice on the part of both parties. There is an old saying, “you cannot use what you do not know.” Therefore, to learn God’s model for marriage we must look into God’s Word.

God ordained the first marriage in the Garden of Eden between Adam and Eve. When sin entered because of their disobedience, that perfect union was destroyed. Subsequently, God told Eve that Adam would be her “head” to rule over her (Genesis 3:16). (Compare 1 Corinthians 11:3Ephesians 5:22Titus 2:51 Peter 3:5-6.) This “rule” has been overthrown by the modern liberal women’s movement and has brought untold unhappiness to those who believe the “lie.” There is also the human viewpoint that “all are equal.” In a way, that is true. We all have equal access to salvation in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28). But to say that all in the world are equal in human opportunity, abilities or even power is naïve. God had a purpose for placing wives under the authority of their husbands. Because of sin, that rule has been both abused and chaffed under, and the result has brought chaos to the home and family. However, God does not let the husband off the hook. The husband is to “love his wife as he loves his own body” (Ephesians 5:28). In fact, the greater part of the responsibility of the marriage model is given to the husband. The woman is to obey her husband as unto the Lord; however, husbands are to love their wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25-29).

There is also a passage in 1 Corinthians 7 that lays down some principles and practical, personal, Spirit-led, advice about marriage from the Apostle Paul. This is all in accordance with the supposition that the individuals are born-again believers. This passage speaks about adultery, fornication, staying single and pure or—in order to avoid the pitfalls of passion and fornication—to marry.

God’s marriage model works, but it takes commitment on the part of both parties to create a relationship with a balance of each individual’s obedience to God and walking in fellowship with the Lord. It does not happen overnight. And, usually, if a marriage relationship has broken down, there are issues that need to be forgiven and put behind in order to move forward, and, again, that takes a choice and a commitment. Unwillingness on the part of either party will mean no restoration. The overriding issue is with each individual’s responsibility before the Lord and then coming together before the Lord. Walking in forgiveness and fellowship would be a wonderful place to start to put the pieces back together again.

Prophet Nathan Emol

RIGHT TIME FOR MARRIAGE:

The right time for marriage is different for each person and unique to each situation. Maturity levels and life experiences are varying factors; some people are ready for marriage at 18, and some are never prepared for it. As the U.S. divorce rate exceeds 50 percent, it is obvious that much of our society does not view marriage as an everlasting commitment. However, this is the world’s view, which will usually contradict God’s (1 Corinthians 3:18).

A strong foundation is imperative for a successful marriage and should be settled before one even begins to date or court a potential life mate. Our Christian walk should include much more than just attending church on Sundays and being involved in Bible study. We must have a personal relationship with God that comes only through trusting in and obeying Jesus Christ. We must educate ourselves about marriage, seeking God’s view on it, before diving in. A person must know what the Bible says about love, commitment, sexual relations, the role of a husband and wife, and His expectations of us before committing to marriage. Having at least one Christian married couple as a role model is also important. An older couple can answer questions about what goes into a successful marriage, how to create intimacy (beyond the physical), how faith is invaluable, etc.

A prospective married couple also needs to make sure that they know each other well. They should know each other’s views on marriage, finances, in-laws, child-rearing, discipline, duties of a husband and wife, whether only one of them or both will be working outside the home, and the level of the other person’s spiritual maturity. Many people get married taking their partner’s word for it that they are a Christian, only to find out later that it was merely lip service. Every couple considering marriage should go through counseling with a Christian marriage counselor or pastor. In fact, many pastors will not perform weddings unless they have met several times with the couple in a counseling setting.

Marriage is not only a commitment, but a covenant with God. It is the promise to remain with that other person for the remainder of your life, no matter whether your spouse is rich, poor, healthy, sick, overweight, underweight, or boring. A Christian marriage should endure through every circumstance, including fighting, anger, devastation, disaster, depression, bitterness, addiction, and loneliness. Marriage should never be entered into with the idea that divorce is an option—not even as the last straw. The Bible tells us that through God all things are possible (Luke 18:27), and this certainly includes marriage. If a couple makes the decision at the beginning to stay committed and to put God first, divorce will not be the inevitable solution to a miserable situation.

It is important to remember that God wants to give us the desires of our heart, but that is only possible if our desires match His. People often get married because it just “feels right.” In the early stages of dating, and even of marriage, you see the other person coming, and you get butterflies in your stomach. Romance is at its peak, and you know the feeling of being “in love.” Many expect that this feeling will remain forever. The reality is that it does not. The result can be disappointment and even divorce as those feelings fade, but those in successful marriages know that the excitement of being with the other person does not have to end. Instead, the butterflies give way to a deeper love, a stronger commitment, a more solid foundation, and an unbreakable security.

The Bible is clear that love does not rely on feelings. This is evident when we are told to love our enemies (Luke 6:35). True love is possible only when we allow the Holy Spirit to work through us, cultivating the fruit of our salvation (Galatians 5:22-23). It is a decision we make on a daily basis to die to ourselves and our selfishness, and to let God shine through us. Paul tells us how to love others in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” When we are ready to love another person as 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 describes, that is the right time for marriage.

Prophet Nathan Emol

A WIFE SUBMISSION TO THE HUSBAND:

Submission is an important issue in relation to marriage. Here is the plain biblical command: “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22–24).

Even before sin entered the world, there was still the principle of the headship of the husband (1 Timothy 2:13). Adam was created first, and Eve was created to be a “helper” for Adam (Genesis 2:18–20). God has established several types of authority in the world: governments to enforce justice in society and provide protection; pastors to lead and feed the sheep of God; husbands to love and nurture their wives; and fathers to admonish their children. In each case, submission is required: citizen to government, flock to shepherd, wife to husband, child to father.

The Greek word translated “submit,” hupotasso, is the continuing form of the verb. This means that submitting to God, the government, a pastor, or a husband is not a one-time act. It is a continual attitude, which becomes a pattern of behavior.

First, of course, we are responsible to submit to God, which is the only way we can truly obey Him (James 1:214:7). And each Christian should live in humble, ready submission to others (Ephesians 5:21). In regards to submission within the family unit, 1 Corinthians 11:2–3, says that the husband is to submit to Christ (as Christ did to God the Father) and the wife is to submit to her husband.

There is much misunderstanding in our world today about the roles of husband and wife within a marriage. Even when the biblical roles are properly understood, many choose to reject them in favor of a supposed “emancipation” of women, with the result that the family unit is torn apart. It’s no surprise that the world rejects God’s design, but God’s people should be joyfully celebrating that design.

Submit is not a bad word. Submission is not a reflection of inferiority or lesser worth. Christ constantly submitted Himself to the will of the Father (Luke 22:42John 5:30), without giving up an iota of His worth.

To counter the world’s misinformation concerning a wife’s submission to her husband, we should carefully note the following in Ephesians 5:22–24: 1) A wife is to submit to one man (her husband), not to every man. The rule to submit does not extend to a woman’s place in society at large. 2) A wife is to willingly submit to her husband in personal obedience to the Lord Jesus. She submits to her husband because she loves Jesus. 3) The example of a wife’s submission is that of the church to Christ. 4) There is nothing said of the wife’s abilities, talents, or worth; the fact that she submits to her own husband does not imply that she is inferior or less worthy in any way. Also notice that there are no qualifiers to the command to submit, except “in everything.” So, the husband does not have to pass an aptitude test or an intelligence test before his wife submits. It may be a fact that she is better qualified than he to lead in many ways, but she chooses to follow the Lord’s instruction by submitting to her husband’s leadership. In so doing, a godly wife can even win her unbelieving husband to the Lord “without words” simply by her holy behavior (1 Peter 3:1).

Submission should be a natural response to loving leadership. When a husband loves his wife as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25—33), then submission is a natural response from a wife to her husband. But, regardless of the husband’s love or lack thereof, the wife is commanded to submit “as to the Lord” (verse 22). This means that her obedience to God—her acceptance of His plan—will result in her submission to her husband. The “as to the Lord” comparison also reminds the wife that there is a higher authority to whom she is responsible. Thus, she is under no obligation to disobey civil law or God’s law in the name of “submission” to her husband. She submits in things that are right and lawful and God-honoring. Of course, she does not “submit” to abuse—that is not right or lawful or God-honoring. To try to use the principle of “submission” to justify abuse is to twist Scripture and promote evil.

The submission of the wife to the husband in Ephesians 5 does not allow the husband to be selfish or domineering. His command is to love (verse 25), and he is responsible before God to fulfill that command. The husband must exercise his authority wisely, graciously, and in the fear of the God to whom he must give an account.

When a wife is loved by her husband as the church is loved by Christ, submission is not difficult. Ephesians 5:24 says, “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” In a marriage, submission is a position of giving honor and respect to the husband (see Ephesians 5:33) and completing what he is lacking in. It is God’s wise plan for how the family should function.

Commentator Matthew Henry wrote, “The woman was made out of Adam’s side. She was not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be loved.” The immediate context of the commands to the husband and wife in Ephesians 5:19–33 involves the filling of the Spirit. Spirit-filled believers are to be worshipful (5:19), thankful (5:20), and submissive (5:21). Paul then follows this line of thought on Spirit-filled living and applies it to wives in verses 22–24. A wife should submit to her husband, not because women are inferior (the Bible never teaches that), but because that is how God designed the marital relationship to function.

Prophet Nathan Emol