- What is the body of Christ’s (corporately and individually) role in marriages?
- What does it look like when that Biblical role is used practically?
- What are our husband/wife responsibilities within our own marriages and to other married couples, especially during times of strife?
1. Our corporate role as a body of Christ is to encourage and edify other believers. Because of this we must be in prayer for each other and other people’s marriage so they will be encouraged. The churches responsibility to marriages within the church is to instruct people about the bible and disciple people to make them understand the covenant agreement they have entered into with marriage. We do this through a constant accountability with each other. We do not have the luxury of allowing people to fade away and suffer in silence. We are to approach and give help and prayer support. Individually we are to encourage and edify as well. As an individual you should never do anything to cause strife within any marriage, including yours. As an individual, you should always be in prayer for certain marriages within the church to stay strong. Our responsibility is to be there for others. There is no option not to do these things. We are to utilize the gifts we have to make things better for everyone and every marriage.2. Practically this means to:
PRAY for and PRAY with other couples and people. Men should help other men in their marriages, and women should help other women in marriages. As a couple you should be available to help other couples through prayer and biblical advice. Under no circumstance should a man council another woman about marriage or anything else. Also no woman should provide any counsel to a man about marriage or anything else. When this is done Satan can get a foothold and destroy what God has put in place.
Provide Counsel: Open up your life to others and allow them to see what God has done and is doing within your marriage. Be a friend to those in need, and see God work through this process. We are all called to be ministers to each other. We are all going to be weak at some point, so we need strong people around us.
3. In times of Strive>
Husbands: It is your responsibility to sacrifice within your marriage first. So to me this means you are the first to repent, first to forgive and the first to start the reconciliation process. If your wife does not follow in this then it is your responsibility to pray for her and to help her understand the importance of this in the marriage and then to seek Godly counsel together.
Wives: It is your responsibility to follow your husband in this process, and to help him through it as well. If your husband is not doing what He should then it is your responsibility to pray for him and communicate in a loving way to seek Godly counsel in this area.External:
Pray for this couple in trouble. Do not allow their problems to become your problems. Allow your own marriage plenty of opportunity to grow and thrive. Spend time with other couples in healthy marriages. Do not let the couple invade your marriage with their problems. This is very important to understand. You should never be 100% accessible to anyone but your own spouse. This is a great rule to live by. Lead them into reconciliation. Do not be afraid to call in the professionals. You are not a professional counselor and neither am I. When I am faced with something beyond my schooling and capabilities I then refer people out to a professional marriage counselor who I believe could help them. Do not be too proud to do this. Strife within your marriage or other people’s marriage can cause tons of stress. Be very careful and always enter a discussion with prayer and humility. God honors humble people. Never argue to win, argue to understand. And remember “FIGHT FOR YOUR MARRIAGE AND OTHER MARRIAGES!”
Derek Osburn, Lead Pastor
The Vine Community Church