We have looked at five important doctrines that a woman seeking biblical womanhood should stand firm upon in her life. It is because of these doctrines that we affirm a number of beliefs that are central to the Christian faith and those desiring to practice biblical womanhood. For the next several weeks we will examine these beliefs and how they relate to us and the culture in which we live.
The year 2015 saw the institution of marriage take a critical hit. While many believe it is an issue regarding homosexual equality, it really is an attack on God’s illustration of Christ and His relationship with the church. When we break down the leadership roles within the marriage relationship – male/male, female/female, and even within traditional marriages – we degrade God’s perfect picture of godly leadership and headship authorities.
Marriage, as created by God, is a sacred, binding, lifelong covenant between one man and one woman.
God instituted marriage in the garden between Adam and Eve, male and female. One is to lead, the other to follow. It is a holy institution. The word “sacred” in the above statement means something dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity (God).
They are to become one. Binding often takes on the idea of restriction and confinement. However, there is a definition that may be more accurate in the case of marriage: to cause to stick together; to take up and hold (as by chemical forces), combine with. In chemistry, when individual chemicals combine they form something new. The same is true in marriage: a man and a woman united in marriage form a new family, a new authority structure, a new illustration of God’s divine plan.
The marriage vows state, “‘Til death do us part.” Lifelong. Marriage is a covenant, a promise, a vow between two people who come together, binding themselves in every way possible – physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially.
Genesis 2:24, Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Mark 10:7-9, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
These are very important verses for parents, in-laws, and married couples to understand. Keeping in mind that marriage is a spiritual illustration, we see a man who has been under the authority of his father and his mother leave that authority structure to cleave unto his wife. The new bride is no longer under the authority of her father and mother, rather, her new authority (headship) is that of her husband. There cannot be two (or more) leaders of the home.
In the Genesis verse, the Hebrew word for leave in the above verse is azab which means self. In the Mark verses, spoken by Christ, the meaning is more emphatic. The Greek word for leave here is kataleipó which is defined as I leave behind, desert, abandon, forsake. This is a deliberate action on the part of the man. This does not mean that the man (or woman) who leave the home of their youth disregard their families. It means that they now have new God-given responsibilities that become preeminent. The man is now on his own to fulfill God’s plan in the headship role of husband for his wife.
The Hebrew word for cleave in the Genesis verse is dabaq which means cling. It can also be translated joined or keep close. Once again, we see an even greater emphasis in the Greek. The word for cleave in the Mark passage is proskollaó which literally means I glue one thing to another. Why do they need to join together? To become one flesh. The Hebrew word for flesh (basar) in this verse is the same as used in Genesis 2:21 when God took the rib from Adam and closed his flesh when He created the woman (Eve). They become one. They complete the picture of being created in God’s image, each depicting their unique aspects of God, Jesus Christ, and the church.
When we denigrate the institution of marriage through same-sex marriages, abusive relationships, and unsubmission, we destroy the picture of Christ and the church that we are to be an example of. As women seeking to live lives of biblical womanhood we need to understand the importance of the holy institution of marriage between one man and one woman. It is more than a preference or social issue. It is a holy example that we should strive to protect and proclaim for the glory of God.
The framework of this series was taken from the True Woman Manifesto provided through Revive Our Hearts Ministry.