Falling in love is easier than knowing what to do once you’re there. Marriage is kind of like your final graduation. As long as you’re going to school there is a clearly defined “next” (courses to complete, papers to write, tests to take, applications to fill out, etc…). Once you finish and can do “what you always wanted” it is least clear how to make “it” happen. How do you get from degreed to employed? How do you get from employed to fulfilling work? How do you prevent fulfilling work from leading to burnout and find contentment?
Through the process of dating, engagement, wedding planning, ceremony, and honeymoon there is also a clear “next.” But what do you do when you get home from the honeymoon? How do you get from married to marriage roles? How do you get from defined roles to mutually fulfilling life? How do you avoid allowing roles from becoming stereotypes or relational ruts and find lasting contentment?
In the third of three sections in the “Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Foundations” seminar we will seek to answer two broad questions to set the stage for the rest of the seminars. a) What does the Bible actually teach and what do Christians only culturally assume about gender roles? (b) What are the pre-requisites to the healthy and satisfying implementation of roles within marriage? (c) What kind of process can a couple walk through in order to effectively discover what roles will look like in their unique marriage?
This evaluation (Marriage Evaluation_Character & Role Expectations) is meant to help couples see what they need to focus on in this third section.
Several of the plumb lines from this third section will include:
- Personal maturity, ability to be a friend, and a functional approach to life are pre-requisites for marital unity.
- Your marital mission is to make it as easy as possible for your spouse to look like, live for, and show others Jesus.
- Healthy living and marriage are primarily designed by God and secondarily canvasses for our personal expression.
- Christian leadership exists for the good of those being led; not the preferences of the leader.
- There is no such thing as a Christian leader who does not invest himself in knowing those being led.
- Family leadership is not a personality trait or skill set you’re born with. It is a responsibility given by God.
- The primary tool of Christian leadership is self-sacrifice and allowing others to follow you towards Christ.
- Both the husband (head) and wife (submitting) are playing “the Jesus role” in their marriage.
- A wife expresses as much strength in submitting to her husband as he does gracious wisdom in leading his family.
- The glory of a wife and the glory of husband are the same – the unique ways they reflect the character of Christ.
A common rebuttal to God’s teaching on gender roles (which is also raised against most every expression of uncomfortable obedience) is, “Won’t I lose what makes me unique? I don’t want to lose myself. Why did God make me with certain desires, passions, and abilities if I wasn’t going to get to express them?” This is a fair question and reveals a common misunderstanding of how obedience to God changes us. C.S. Lewis answers this objection using the metaphor of how salt changes the flavor of food. while is true of our obedience to Christ in every area of life.
“Suppose a person who knew nothing about salt. You give him a pinch to taste and he experiences a particular strong, sharp taste. You then tell him that in your country people use salt in all their cookery. Might he not reply ‘In that case I suppose all your dishes taste exactly the same: because the taste of that stuff you have just given me is so strong that it will kill the taste of everything else.’ But you and I know that the real effect of salt is exactly the opposite. So far from killing the taste of the egg… and the cabbage, it actually brings it out. They do not show their real taste till you have added the salt…It is something like that with Christ and us. The more we get what we now call ‘ourselves’ out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become. There is so much of Him that millions and millions of ‘little Christs,’ all different, will still be too few to express Him fully (p. 225).” C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity.
Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Foundations
Dates: June 23 and 30, 2012
Time: 4:00 to 6:00 pm
Location: The Summit Church, Brier Creek South Venue
Address: 2415 Presidential Drive; Durham, NC 27703