Marriage in Scripture – Part 11: Not My Will, But Thine Be Done


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Not My Will…But…Thine Be Done

[Study Aired May 18, 2014]

The words “Thy will be done” are taken from the so-called Lord’s prayer, and they are the words of our Lord when praying to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Mat 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
Mat 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
Mat 26:42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

We have covered many aspects of the marriage relationship, and all along we have seen that it points to the spiritual reality that Christ is the head of His church and that our desire should be to please Him in all we do:

Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

The marriage union actually “speak[s] concerning Christ and the church… even as Christ is the head of the church”. But Christ and the church are also “a great mystery… speak[ing] concerning Christ and [His] head [which is] God… the Father”.

1Co 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

“The head of Christ is God… the Father, of whom are all things”. Just as all things are “of… the Father”, so also all men come into this world “by the woman”, the wife.

1Co 11:12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

“The head of the woman is the man… [yet] the man… is… by the woman.” That is the physical order.

Here now is the spiritual order:

1Co 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

“The head of Christ is God… and… all things are by [Christ]”. That order puts the “son of God” in the same place as a wife, so that “the man [is] also by the woman”. “The woman” by whom the first man came into being was the “Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things”:

Joh 1:3 All things were made by him [Christ, the Word]; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

It is of utmost importance that we realize just what the marriage union typifies, and while it does typify the relationship of Christ and the church, Christ and the church typify the relationship of Christ with the “one God of whom are all things”, and who used Christ in the same way Christ is using His wife to bring all things to the Father “by the church”.

Joh 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace by unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Eph 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
Eph 3:11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

That is quite a work which the Lord has placed upon His Christ, “the church”, and like our example we, too, must be brought to “do nothing of ourselves” and do everything we do “to please the Father”.

The selflessness of Christ

Christ did nothing of Himself. Every word He spoke was from His Father:

Joh 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

Joh 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

Christ did nothing of Himself, and He said nothing of Himself for this reason:

Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.

That is the goal and the purpose for a marriage union. It is designed to make a man and a woman, one:

Mat 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

This “one[ness]” of a man and his wife, is the type and shadow of Christ’s oneness with His wife, the church, which is a type and shadow of the oneness of Christ and His Father, as is plainly stated in this verse of scripture:

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Paul goes on in this very same chapter to tells us that the natural man always perverts the “things of [God]” in a way that is “against nature”:

Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

What these verses tell us is that the perversion of homosexuality is “vile affections” designed by God to “change the natural use [of sex between a man and a woman] into that which is against nature”.

And why does this take place? What does God use to produce such a perverted mind in His creatures?

Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

And that is the exact opposite of these words:

Joh 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

That is the goal of the marriage union. That is what makes for a healthy, happy and productive marriage which will bring forth the fruit of the womb and will produce children who will see that same selflessness in their parents, and will be that kind of husband and wife.

We concluded our last study with this verse of scripture, among others which convey the same message:

Rom 15:5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
Rom 15:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Rom 15:7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

Any couple who are “likeminded one toward another… with one mind”, and that ‘one mind’ being “the mind of Christ”, will repent of any thoughts contrary to “be[ing] likeminded… with one mind”, and will not succumb to “uncleanness through the lusts of their own flesh”.

God has given us the safeguards to fight against the perversions of “men [having sex] with men… leaving the natural use of the woman… working that which is unseemly… and… women changing the natural use [of sex] into that which is against nature”.

Here are God’s instructions which will keep the marriage and the family intact, and healthy:

1Co 7:4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
1Co 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, [of the affections of love, including sex] except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

“Come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency” gives the lie to the Catholic doctrine and to the doctrine many Protestants also teach. That doctrine is that sex for any reason other than procreation is a sin because it is a totally selfish act.

Selfishness is the opposite of “Not My will but Thine be done”

This study is about how selfishness in a married couple can ruin a marriage. Pure and unadulterated selfishness, that places one’s own desires and wishes above the good and the needs of your marriage, can and will destroy a marriage, and one way that selfishness is expressed is in the abuse of the sex act. Whether it is out of ignorance or out of selfish stubbornness, the result is the same. The marriage suffers, and the married couple rob themselves of the joy that marriage is supposed to be.

It is true that sex outside of marriage is a sin, it is equally true that “defrauding” each other while being married is also a grievous sin. 1Co 7:5 is inspired of the holy spirit:

1Co 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, [of sex] except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again (including sex), that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

Those words are written because of the naturally selfish, stubborn nature that is common to both men and women without Christ living His life within us. Anyone who thinks that sex is only for procreation denies the need to “come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency”.

I do not want to be misunderstood. I am not saying that we should not have children. Children and marriage go together like husband and wife go together. This is what the scriptures teach concerning children in a marriage:

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Over-population is a man-made fabrication. Science was predicting world-wide famine by 1975. It did not happen, and it is now nearly 40 years later. We are not over-populated, we are over-concentrated. Vast areas that once were farmed are being returned to nature, as people move off the land and into the cities, making room for the desert tortoise, the spotted owl, snail darters, and any other animal or insect that can be concocted as being in danger of extinction. There is no such language in the Word of God, and yet that is what is taking place world wide.

Here again is God’s mind concerning married couples having children:

Psa 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
Psa 127:4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Psa 127:5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

That is the mind of God concerning the place of children in a marriage. Children are the heritage of the Lord, His reward, and they are as arrows in the hand of a mighty man. In God’s way of thinking “happy is the man that has his quiver full” of those arrows. So it should be clear that procreation is indeed a part of marriage

On the other hand, the Song of Solomon is a love song which never once mentions procreation.

Instead this the warning of the Song of Solomon:

Son 2:15 Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom. (ESV)

“The little foxes that spoil the vineyards” are those selfish actions that rob our marriages of the incredible joy that marriage is supposed to be. It is through selfish, self-centered pride that all the potential joy of what should be a happy, functional marriage, is then replaced with “a root of bitterness” resulting in a life of misery, which is so easily avoided by simply stepping back and “examin[ing our]selves”, to see whether we are letting those “little foxes” completely dig up and destroy our vineyard, our marriage.

In the preceding verses we invite our love to “come away” with us:

Son 2:12 The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
Son 2:13 The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.
Son 2:14 O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the crannies of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.

We tell the world that God is working all things after the counsel of His own will, and indeed that is exactly what He is doing. Yet we act as if our mate is an exception to that Truth.

“Catch[ing] the little foxes for us”, is us examin[ing our]selves, being sober, being vigilant, and being diligent to check our own selfishness and check our tendency to blame our spouse for what the Lord is using our spouse to show us about ourselves. God did not give me Sandi to show me her weaknesses and faults. I used to think that way. It sure seemed that way when she failed to pay diligent attention to every thing I expected of her. Of course the lesson was really nothing less than a reflection of how I was treating my own husband Christ. I was the one who was not diligent to listen to what He expected of me, and so it is with all of us.

Exo 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

“If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord” is speaking to me, not to Sandi. We cannot change our spouse. God alone can do that. Of course we cannot change ourselves either, but that is what we are exhorted to do, even as we acknowledge that it is all a work of God within us:

Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

If we are concentrating on “working out [our] own salvation”, and “listening diligently to the voice of the Lord”, then it will come much easier to love our mate, to hide the sins of that mate, and to “from the heart” repent of how we have failed to do that.

1Pe 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

Does that verse not include our own mate? “Have fervent charity among yourselves because charity shall cover a multitude of sins”. Love does not delight in exposing the sins of others. Love takes great care to hide the shortcomings and faults of others. How much more the faults and sins of our spouse:

Pro 17:9 He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.

Tit 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

Jas 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

“Love covers a transgression and hides a multitude of sins”, but ignoring that commandment of God causes us to find fault with our mate. We then ignore the commandment to “speak evil of no man”, and we literally advertise the faults we see in our spouse before our children and families and friends. That is certainly not “seeking love, [or] covering a transgression”. Rather when we tell other of our mate’s faults, that is selfish narcissism, by which we attempt to make ourselves look better at the expense of our spouse. This is common to all of us, both men and women, and we will in God’s time, repent of working against our own marriage with such reprehensible words and actions.

Such a situation does not lend itself to making our love, our spouse, sound like “the [cooing] voice of the turtledove”. It does not promote an atmosphere of wanting to invite your love to “arise… and come away”. Whether our children ever see it or not, there has never yet been a marriage so perfect that either spouse is above reproach within the marriage union, and without the mind of God, and without the miraculous work of God in our lives, no marriage could survive the selfish, stubborn “little foxes” that destroy the “vineyard” which is our marriage. But God has made provision for salvaging a marriage from the errors of our self-centered, pride-filled ways.

According to 1Co 7:5 we are all instructed:

1Co 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, [of sex] except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again (including sex), that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

The most natural thing in the world is to “defraud” each other when our pride is hurt, when we feel ignored, neglected or disrespected. As the leader of our families, we men need to remember that our wives simply want to be loved and respected and made to feel special in our eyes. Pride is a beast that has, and will continue to destroy marriages, and that pride should not rule the leader of the family. As the leader in our families we should look for an opportunity to break the ice and let our wife know we love her and that we want to discuss our differences in a humble and loving spirit. There is no place in a marriage for “the strong silent type”. Communications cannot be over emphasized within the marriage union. Men can seek reconciliation without surrendering their place as the head of the family. But it will require patience and humility. Ask God for His power to overcome that beast of pride within us all.

Neither is there a place for a bitter, silent, resentful wife, who shows her children even by body language that she is not ‘one mind’ with her husband, but rather takes offense at every comment he makes to her and rejects any sign of affection he may want to show her because of her stubborn pride. Either side can ruin a potentially good marriage, and if both are in play, how difficult it will be when both mates are exhibiting their pride toward the other.

This is what the scriptures say to us men:

1Co 6:7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?

We seem to think that verses like this refer to any brother or sister in Christ except for the one to whom it should be applied first and foremost, our wives!

While a Godly husband will take the lead in seeking reconciliation, reconciliation will also be the goal of a Godly wife. We as men are commanded to be the leader in our homes, but we fail in that way far too often. Fortunately God has made us men quite simple creatures, and He has given us a weakness for our wives which a humble, loving and wise wife will utilize when a pride-filled, self-centered, and stubborn husband will not take the lead in seeking reconciliation in the marriage. She will “suffer herself to be defrauded”, but she will never defraud her husband. Get rid of the destructive anti-male spirit of modern feminism which teaches young women that equal means alike. That spirit is anti-male, anti-children, and completely consumed with stubborn, selfish pride. Children are considered a burden instead of a blessing, and men are the enemy who just want to tie you down to the house with the children, and it is all a lie straight out of the ‘bottomless pit’.

In Matthew men and women alike are told:

Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

But look at what Strong’s Concordance, and the TVM module in e-sword reveals concerning the Greek for that word ‘be’. Here is Strong’s definition first:

G2071
ἔσομαι
esomai
es’-om-ahee
Future tense of G1510; will be: – shall (should) be (have), (shall) come (to pass), X may have, X fall, what would follow, X live long, X sojourn.

The first thing we are told is that this word is in the future tense, followed by all the future tense translations which appear elsewhere in the King James Version.

This is the TVM entry:
G5704
Tense-Future See [G5776]
Voice-No Voice Stated See [G5799]
Mood -Indicative See [G5791]

Both inform us that this is not a commandment in the present tense or in the imperative mood, rather it is a simple statement of what we are to become. ‘You are becoming perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect’ is a much better translation, and it certainly comports with all the rest of scripture which tells us, in fact:

Php 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

These words are all applicable to our marriages. There are no perfect marriages, and if we are unaware that marriages are designed by our Creator to bring us pain and to make us to see where we ourselves fall short, then we are missing the very purpose of this Godly institution. Adam needed Eve, and Eve needed Adam, and they still do to this very day. We need the very wife God gave us, and you wives need the very husband God gave you. Work at appreciating the pains of marriage.

In conclusion we should see that “Not my will but thine be done” is our Lord’s example for both husbands and wives. If we both have this spirit, we will treat each other like Christ treated His Head, and we will not attempt to avoid the pain which we are told in advance is to be expected when we married our Lord:

2Ti 3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
2Ti 3:11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

If that is what we are to expect as the bride of Christ, why would we ever expect to live a physical marriage without the same trials? Just as God is not looking for perfect children, rather He is looking for repentant ‘publican’ children who are willing “from the heart” to forgive those who have trespassed against them.

Luk 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

All of these great spiritual truths apply also to our marriages. That is where they should be applied first and foremost whether we are speaking of wives with unbelieving husbands, husbands with unbelieving wives, or believing married couples, let us all consider the personal application to our marriages of these very sobering words directly from the mouth of our Lord Himself:

Mat 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother [or spouse] sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Mat 18:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Mat 18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven [within us] likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
Mat 18:24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents [this is not our spouse, but us].
Mat 18:25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
Mat 18:26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Mat 18:27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
Mat 18:28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants [Our own spouse?], which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
Mat 18:29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Mat 18:30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. [Our own spouse???]
Mat 18:31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. [Verses 15-17]
Mat 18:32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
Mat 18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant [your own spouse above all men or women on earth], even as I had pity on thee?
Mat 18:34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
Mat 18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother [and his spouse] their trespasses.

May God help us to apply these words of our Lord to our own spouse first and foremost!

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