In a recent article, an author outline several rules that are no longer necessary for a happy marriage. The author believe that many marriage expectations from the past are archaic and no longer effective. The authors advice is only a recipe that will devastate the chances of a happy marriage for any couple.
According to the article, the author provides the following 15 rules for a happy marriage.
- Your husband should be your life
- Be selfless
- Good girls don’t talk about sex
- Do what your husband says
- Don’t be too emotional
- Don’t wash your dirty laundry in public
- Don’t go to bed angry
- Never argue with your husband
- The husband has to be the sole breadwinner
- Men need an ego boost
- You must not tell him everything
- Children must come first
- You marry the family
- He manages the money
- He works, you manage the home
The problem with most advice that can lead to a happy marriage is that the advice does not address the original design for marriage.
We find the original design for marriage in Genesis 2:15-18. God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden “… to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Dressing and keeping the Garden of Eden was Adams original purpose. The word ‘dress’ in the Hebrew is ‘abad, which means to work as a servant. The word ‘keep’ in the Hebrew is shamar, which means to protect. God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to work as a servant in the garden and to protect the garden. Protecting the garden required that Adam become the steward of the garden. God granted Adam stewardship over the Garden of Eden.
God provided Adam with the path that he was to follow (Genesis 2:16 – 17). God instructed Adam on what he could and could not do. At that point and time, Adam maintained his relationship with God by obeying his commands.
God decided to provide Adam with a helper. Genesis 2:18 records …”The Lord God said , It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet”. That word ‘meet’ in the Hebrew is ‘ezer. Ezer means to help. Eve’s primary responsibility was to help Adam who was to work as a servant and to protect the Garden of Eden. The original purpose for the union between Adam and Eve was to work together as a team to serve and protect the Garden of Eden. Hence, the original purpose for the marriage between a man and a woman is to serve and protect the resources that God gives to the husband and wife through teamwork. The key for the husband is to become a servant of God so that God will provide resources for the husband to protect which will enable the wife to help with the purpose that God gives to the husband.
Rule # 1 For a Happy Marriage: The husband must be a servant
True leadership is servanthood, and the greatest leader of all time is Jesus Christ. Servanthood is an attitude exemplified by Christ “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:6-7). The five words in the New Testament translated “ministry” generally refer to servanthood or service given in love. Serving others is the very essence of ministry. All believers are called to ministry (Matthew 28:18-20), and, therefore, we are all called to be servants for the glory of God. Living is giving; all else is selfishness and boredom.
Rule #2 For a Happy Marriage: The husband must be a good steward
The biblical doctrine of stewardship defines a man’s relationship to God. It identifies God as owner and man as manager. God makes man His co-worker in administering all aspects of our life. The apostle Paul explains it best by saying, “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:9). Starting with this concept, we are then able to accurately view and correctly value not only our possessions, but, more importantly, human life itself. In essence, stewardship defines our purpose in this world as assigned to us by God Himself. It is our divinely given opportunity to join with God in His worldwide and eternal redemptive movement (Matthew 28:19-20). Stewardship is not God taking something from us; it is His method of bestowing His richest gifts upon His people.
Stewardship defines our practical obedience in the administration of everything under our control, everything entrusted to us. It is the consecration of one’s self and possessions to God’s service. Stewardship acknowledges in practice that we do not have the right of control over ourselves or our property—God has that control. It means as stewards of God we are managers of that which belongs to God, and we are under His constant authority as we administer His affairs. Faithful stewardship means that we fully acknowledge we are not our own but belong to Christ, the Lord, who gave Himself for us.
Rule #3 For a Happy Marriage: The husband must obey God’s commandments
Obedience is defined as “dutifully complying with the commands, orders, or instructions of one in authority.” Using this definition, we see the elements of biblical obedience. “Dutifully” means it is our obligation to obey God, just as Jesus fulfilled His duty to the Father by dying on the cross for our sin. “Commands, orders or instructions” speaks to the Scriptures in which God has clearly outlined His commandments and His will. “One in authority” is God Himself, whose authority is total and unequivocal. For the Christian, obedience means complying with everything God has commanded because it is our duty to do so.
Today, man is not called to obey the Law of Moses. That has been fulfilled in Christ. Man is to obey the “Law of Christ,” which is a law of love for one another (Galatians 6:2; John 13:34). Jesus Himself put it in perspective when He answered the question put to Him by Pharisees, “‘Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments’” (Matthew 22:36-40).
Rule #4 For a Happy Marriage: The wife must be a good team player
While all of us are called to be helpers to others, the Bible places a special emphasis on this responsibility for wives. Genesis tells us that God realized it wasn’t good for man to be alone, and that He decided to make a “helper suitable for him” (Gen. 2:18). It is interesting to note that the Hebrew meaning of the word helper in this passage is found hereafter in the Bible to refer only to God as He helps us. The fact that this same word is applied to a wife signifies that we women have been given tremendous power for good in our husbands’ lives. God has designed wives to help their husbands become all that God intends for them to be.
For a many and woman to have a happy marriage, the husband and wife must be willing to follow the original design for marriage which include that above mentioned rules.
Dr. Derrick and Mrs. Sheila Campbell PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012 (856) 566-3267 www.advancedmarriagetraining.com
Published books – Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land -Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land (Workbook for husbands & Wives) – Advanced Marriage Training for Singles
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Samaritan Baptist Church
Trenton, NJ “I would highly recommend you to any church or organization desiring to provide their people with timely marital wisdom and practical application skills”.
Dr. James E. Woods, II
El Shaddia Christian Assembly