Nurturing/ Teaching Courses
The Marriage Vows
Dr Alex Tang
Text: 1 Corinthians 7:2-4
The power in the marriage vow is covenant companionship and commitment
Alarming in statistics in Malaysia that divorce among non-Muslims rose 167% from 2009 to 2010. Sobering statistics and serves as a warning to the church.
Wedding rings remind me of the Lord of the Rings.
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
--- J.R.R. Tolkien's epigraph to The Lord of The Rings.
The Rings of Power were the masterwork of the elven-smiths of Eregion headed by Celebrimbor who was descended from Fëanor. Encouraged and assisted by Sauron, who could at that time still assume a fair appearance and came to Eregion under an assumed name, the Seven and the Nine were made with his assistance. The Three were made by Celebrimbor alone. In secret, Sauron forged the One Ring in the fires of Orodruin, seeking to bring all the rings and their wearers under his sway. The elves sensed his intention and hid the Three, not using them until after the One Ring had been lost in the Gladden Fields. The Seven and the Nine seemed to favor their bearers, but in time brought them to ruin. Men under Sauron's command as the Nazgul, dwarves, harder to dominate, overmastered by their greed for precious things. (http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Rings_of_Power)
Three Rings for marriage foundations under the sky,
In the Land of Marriage where blissfulness lie.
Here the ring of power is the marriage vows. This ring controls:
Three rings of marriage foundations
Seven principles for marriage
Involvement of the nine aspects of the fruit of the Holy Spirit
The Three Rings of Foundation of a Marriage
The foundations for a marriage is given by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:2-4
2 But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband.
3 The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.
4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 
1. Marital Partnership (Equal)
The parallelism in verses 2 and 3 is remarkable and demonstrates Paul’s interest in and concern for marriage.
2. Marital Surrender (Duty)
Although the next verse fails to match the rhythm of the preceding two verses, it has its own internal balance:
With keen insight into the intimacies of married life, Paul declares that both husband and wife should fulfill their conjugal duties toward each other. He stresses the equality of male and female in respect to marital union: “Let the husband fulfill his marital duty to his wife and similarly the wife to her husband.” Further, he stresses that the husband should not demand from his wife but rather fulfill his marital obligations to her; comparably the wife should extend to her husband that which she owes him.
With the words fulfill and duty, Paul denotes the payment of a debt that each one owes the other. “Marriage without sex is not only unnatural, but it is expressly forbidden.”12 He issues no command on asceticism within the bonds of marriage. Paul discourages those well-meaning but misguided Corinthian Christians who were of the opinion that married couples should abstain from sexual intercourse (see v. 5).
3. Marital Paradox (Authority)
Verse 4 reveals that Paul has an even deeper understanding of married life than he expressed in the preceding verse (v. 3). He states that the wife has no over authority over her own body, but that the husband has this power; and vice versa, the husband has no power over his own body, but his wife has this authority. John Albert Bengel correctly calls this verse “an elegant paradox.”
Paul teaches that the husband is the head of the wife (11:3;
The Seven Rings of Principles in a Marriage
people male and female (v. 4;
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (KJV)
In the Bible, the basic unit of society is marriage. It is the first human institution formalised by God as a basic building block of society. In the church it is also a basic building block. Any attack on marriage is an attack on society. Gibbons writing in The Fall of the Roman Empire, noted that all the great ancient civilization started their decline with the loss of integrity in marriage amongst its people. With disintegration of marriage comes immorality and disorder.
From the way, most of us talk about our marriages, it is to produce children. Even though God does give us the mandate to be fruitful and multiple, marriage is not about children. Marriage is about a relationship between two persons- a man and a woman. Children are a gift to this relationship. Somehow when children come, they become the centre of the marriage until the marriage is all about them and the husband and the wife part fade to the background.
Guys, notice when your wife stopped calling you darling and started calling you daddy? The shift of emphasis is subtle but there. You are not longer the focus of her affection. You are somebody's daddy and that somebody has taken your place as the focus of her affection. Most marriages are so revolved around their children that when their children leaves home, the husband and wife find that they are practically stranger to each other. Who is this stranger with a familiar face? They have sacrifice all for their children.
Children are not part of the marriage deal. This means those marriages without children are also blessed by the Lord. Couples without children should not feel they have a raw deal. Your marriage is still part of God's plan.
No it is not. It is a imperfect partnership for two imperfect people.
God uses human marriage to show the marriage between His Son, Jesus Christ (the bridegroom) and the Church (the bride).
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Marriage is about a covenant commitment to love one another, even when at times we are not lovable. The Church is not always a beautiful, clean and radiant bride. Sometimes, she is dirty, smelly and unkempt. Yes Jesus loved her all the same. He died for her. So in a marriage there will be good times and bad times. In the good times let us enjoy it. In the bad times, let us hang on to our marriage vows and our commitments.
This does not mean all people are to be married. There are some among us who are called to be single. God has called these individual to a single life so that they can serve Him better. A single life does not mean a lonely life.
John Stott (27 April 1921 – 27 July 2011) remained celibate his entire life. He said, "The gift of singleness is more a vocation than an empowerment, although to be sure God is faithful in supporting those He calls." (Albert Hsu, Singles at the Crossroads. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1997. p. 178.)
Marriage is not about the romantic love we see on television, movies and romantic novels. These are more of infatuation and lust rather than love.
Remembering birthdays, anniversaries; doing each other a favor; having a date; do something together special every month; holding hands; compliment one another; basic courtesy; saying 'I love you'.
There is a very strong tendency to take one another for granted in a marriage, especially in our busy lifestyle, with so many demands on our time and energy- work, children, ministry, golf, hobbies etc.
Married couples must continue to communicate. Not just talk about the children. Some couples find that aside from their children, they have nothing to talk about. Find other common areas of interest. Learn to listen.
Couples must learn to resolve their conflicts. Conflicts are inevitable as two human beings learn to be one. Conflicts must be resolved properly or it will lead to more problems later on. Unresolved conflict has a tendency to accumulate until one day it explodes in a spectacular fashion or it leads to emotional divorce. Emotion divorce occurs when the couple drifts apart until there is nothing between them but dead space.
Help one another to grow and develop to their potential and as persons. Do not stiffer the growth of a spouse.
The Seven Facets of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit
The foundations (equality, duty, authority) will not stand and the principles in a marriage will not work without the fruit of the Holy Spirit being involved.
The Ring of Power: The Marriage Vows
The marriage vows is a covenant. Marriage is for covenant companionship. Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. It is a covenant relationship which means it is a contract of commitment to each other and to no others. Why did God create marriage? Because God said it is not good for man to be alone and He created a helpmate for him. Man is body, spirit and soul. Woman is body, spirit and soul. Marriage is the process where two become one - one flesh. In a metaphysical sense, there is a merging of the body, spirit and soul. One merged, one cannot separate without some damage. It is a lifelong commitment.
The power of the marriage vows come from covenant companionship and commitment.
Wedding Vow Sample 1
This is a social and spiritual contract for two people to come together to become one.
This is a decision to commit to the covenant companionship despite all odds.
The institution of marriage is under attack today. Those who are struggling in their marriage should take courage in the Lord and renew their commitment to covenant companionship. It is often not easy but the needful is to hang on and keep praying that the Lord will intervene and make the necessary changes.
Soli Deo Gloria
|posted 21 August 2011|
New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (
 Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953-2001). Vol. 18: New Testament commentary : Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians. New Testament Commentary (211–213). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
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