In my last article "God's Law Concerning Relationships, I briefly explained the fundamental principles of relationships pertaining to the Law of Moses. Now we are going to look at relationships in scripture to get an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.
ABRAHAM & SARAH (Gen 12-23)
The marvelous thing with this couple is that they married young, were willing to obey God and endure 25 years of setbacks. The only major issue in their life was their impatience to see God’s promise come to pass. From all accounts of scripture, Sarah was a great, submissive and gentle wife. Abraham was a meek and wise leader and took care of his family; even taking-in his nephew Lot. They both stayed married until death separated them.
ISAAC & REBECCA (Gen 23-25)
How these two got together is a great story. They lived a fairly normal life until the two boys were born. The only problems that arose in this family was because of the two boys. Isaac loved Esau and Rebecca loved Jacob; and when you read the account between the boys you will see how Rebecca was smart, but yet crafty too. A lot of people blame Jacob for his dishonesty, but Rebecca was the main facilitator of the trouble. Isaac and Rebecca stayed married until death separated them.
JACOB-RACHEL & LEAH (Gen 28-50)
This is a story of a strong romantic love between Jacob and Rachel, and the confusion and trouble that occurs when two jealous wives are vying for the love of one husband. This marriage and family had turmoil in it all the time, so much so that Jacob told Pharaoh (when he was old) that he saw many evil days. This is also a story that points out how, that too strong of emotions for a spouse can cloud a person’s judgment. Rachel was idolatrous and Jacob didn’t see it until he wrestled with an angel. Leah seemed driven to win his love using kids and mandrakes. There was a lot of deception going on in this family, but through it all God was actually in this. In the end, Rachel died and was buried under an oak tree, but Leah was buried alongside Jacob in his tomb.
JOSEPH & ASENATH (Gen 41)
This is a marriage that takes place because of the troubles and exaltation of Joseph in Egypt. Asenath was a stranger in a strange land. There is not a whole lot about her, but we are to assume that she was a comfort for him and was a woman of disciple, seeing she came from a “priestly” home. Joseph is a man of character having been sold and accused of rape which he didn’t do. Strong people arise from tribulations.
MOSES & ZIPPORAH (Exodus 2-18)
This is an odd marriage on several points. Moses marries a stranger in a strange land. Zipporah gets mad at him because he didn’t do what God said concerning circumcision; which she took care of because he was deathly sick. Other than that, we don’t have a lot to go on. However, later down the road Miriam accuses Moses of marrying an Ethiopian woman. If this is that Zipporah (which most believe it to be), then we may have our first inter-racial marriage. Again, we don’t have a lot to go on and we don’t hear about her from that point on. And from all indications, Moses' marriage wasn’t centered around the work of God. We do know that Moses then dies with no mention of her.
RUTH & BOAZ (Ruth 1-4)
This is a story of trouble and redemption for Noami and a Moabite woman named Ruth. During a famine in Israel, Elimlech and Noami decides to go to the land of the Moabites. While there he dies leaving two boys that eventually died also. Ruth convinces her to go with her back to Israel. And so, with God directing the situation, Ruth ends up working in the fields of a kinsman named Boaz. Through customs of the Law of Moses, Boaz got the rights the marry Ruth, which became the grandfather of David the King. It really is a touching romance on how tragedy turned into such a blessing.
DAVID & WIVES
Most people are familiar with the wives of David; mainly Michal, Abagail and Bathsheba. Michal loved David, but Saul used her to try and kill him. Because of a deal made by Saul, which he lost; Saul had to give Michal to David as his wife. Not a great way to get married, but it seems she stayed with him until death.
David defended a man who had a wife named Abagail. She was a beautiful and wise woman. She convinces David not to kill her husband and men. However, because of the evil dealings, Naboth died and when David found out, he went and married her also. She stayed with him until his death.
The most famous wife of David was actually a major sin to him and his kingdom. Through David’s adultery, they lost a child and there were consequences for his sin for the rest of his life even though God forgave him. Bathsheba became a blessing afterwards when they bare Solomon.
David’s life is an open book of a man who had strong passions and struggled with discipline of his own desires. However, he was a man after God’s heart and was a good husband to his wives. He listened to his wives and took what they said to heart. His wives were all beautiful, wise and seem to help him through life. Each one had a different quality about them; Michal adored him, Abagail taught him and Bathsheba helped him rule the throne.
SOLOMON & HIS WIVES
Because of the many wives Solomon had, we are not covering any of them. But, we want to consider how Solomon’s love for woman caused him to fall away from God in his later years. Solomon spent his time trying everything under the sun to learn wisdom and folly so he can teach others. However, Solomon’s desires caused him to marry strange wives that served heathen Gods.
When a person has too much emotion and “loves” (inordinately) too deeply, it tends to cause a person to ignore unrighteousness in a person. Solomon had an inordinate “love” that causes him to lose sight of God. Not all emotions, infatuations or attraction is real love. Inordinate affections actually borders on a type of lust… a strong desire that a person JUST HAS TO HAVE THEM. More on this later in this series.
AHAB & JEZEBEL (1 Kings 18-21)
Ahab was a wicked king of Israel when he married Jezebel, which was a worshipper of Baal. Her influence on Ahab made him even more-wicked. You can tell from her speech and council to him, that she had the upper hand in that marriage. She was bold and brassy; and didn’t submit to any authority. She planned and carried out the murder of Naboth for a vineyard. Even though she is most known for wearing makeup, the real major issue with her was her rebellion. Even though Ahab eventually repented of his evil deeds, both of them ended up dying for their transgressions. This marriage was doomed from the start.
JOB & HIS WIFE (Job 2)
God had blessed both Job and his wife with a good family, flocks and riches. Because of a clash between God and Satan, they lost everything in just a moment of time. Job, in his anguish worshipped God, but his wife, being angry at God, told Job to curse God and die. I can understand both of their grief’s, I am sure it was devastating.
However, that wasn’t a good time for his wife to push him down any lower than he was. Even though we do not read anything about her for the rest of the book of Job, she was there when God restored him and gave him more family through the very same wife that condemned him at the beginning. I am sure God understood and forgave her. We can’t be too hard on her; she went through a lot and restored her too.
HOSEA & GOMER (Hosea 1-14)
This is not a great example of a good relationship because of the type of woman Gomer is. However, I want to figuratively show you something that God did through this relationship. The whole reason behind the marriage is because God wanted to illustrate to Israel how he takes back the adulterous people of God. God commanded Hosea to marry a wife of whoredom and he actually fell in love with her. But, because of her nature, she of course left him to go a whoring. However, he later takes her back. In a real world relationship, when lasciviousness is involved, it makes a relationship very unstable.
But, I only point their relationship out to help us understand that even if things are not good in a relationship, God can forgive them (male or female) and take them back if they fall away.
JOSEPH & MARY (Mat 1-2)
Most know about these two and the miraculous birth of Jesus. While most key in on Mary, which is overshadowed by the Holy Ghost, we don’t always look at what Joseph went through during this time of reproach.
There are very few couples in the whole world that could ever keep from being intimate with each other after getting married. Before being married, sure, there are lots of people that can do that, but Joseph… He was married, but couldn’t consummate the marriage. So, how could Joseph endure nine months of celibacy, and yet be in the prime of love and affection? Simple… self-control and commitment to God’s will. In my eyes, Joseph is a hero. Not only was he committed, he was also willing to go through the reproach and gossip of the city.
Ladies, if you ever find a man that is willing to go through anything like this… he is a great man. Joseph was the best step-dad in the world. He got to teach Jesus important things, protect Jesus from harm and he took care of Mary through his life-time.
ANANIAS & SAPPHIRA (Acts 5)
To understand what happened, you have to understand that God had laid it upon the entire church to have all things common. And those who had land could sell it and bring the proceeds to the church leadership for distribution. Apparently this was a voluntary thing because of the way Peter spoke to Ananias. However, after selling the land, they only brought a part of the profit, but pretended that it was all of it and kept it private. But, Peter, through the Holy Ghost had a word of knowledge and rebuked them both, and they both fell down dead before the Lord.
This is a tragic story of a couple who were unified unto death. Something in their marriage wasn’t right where two people could be so greedy as to lie to God and the church when God was doing a great work. It just goes to show you that even in the midst of an incredible revival, evil can still be present. This is no way to have a marriage before God.
AQUILA & PRISCILLA (Acts 18)
There is not a lot about their romantic relationship together, but it is important to note that both of them are mentioned together for the good work of God they were doing as a team. They were tent makers and traveled with Paul for a little bit. They were also instrumental in helping Apollos, who preached the word; understand more of the truth of the gospel to be saved.
When scripture mentions a couple, it is usually for a reason, whether bad (like above) or for good. These two were united in their ministry. They were most likely a loving couple that was in harmony with the teachings on husband and wives in the epistles. There is a great honor to be bestowed on a married couple that can do the work of God and stay in unity. Because, we know for sure, that if they were always arguing and in strife at home, it would have shown up in their ministry.
As you can see from above you have examples of great and bad marriages. Each couple is unique in what they can do for God or what destroys them. So, you can get a good idea of why choosing the right spouse is critical to your walk with God. Choosing the wrong spouse can even cause you to fail God.