Covenantal Families 4/ Family Government/ Marriage God's Tool for Dominion PDF Print E-mail
Covenantal Families

FAMILY GOVERNMENT

A. God established three governing institutions—the family government, the church government, and the civil government. Created in His image, man represents Christ on earth with the purpose of bringing glory to the Father; therefore, God delegates His authority to man as he serves in each of these lawfully sovereign governing bodies. Man over woman, parents over children, church elders over church members, civil magistrates over civilians.

1. Romans 13:1 “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”
2. Titus 3:1 “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient…”
3. Ephesians 5:22-24 “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, a Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.”
4. Colossians 3:18 “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”
5. Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which it the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.”
6. Colossians 3:20 “Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.”
7. Hebrews 13:17 “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account…”
8. Romans 13:3,4 “For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.”
9. 1 Peter 2:13-17 “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.”

MARRIAGE: TOOL OF TAKING DOMINION

A. Consider carefully the following points. Marriage is the first covenant God makes with man and the very foundation of taking dominion of the earth for God’s glory. Adam alone was not complete and therefore unable to fulfill his role to take dominion, so God created his complement which Adam named woman, created solely for the purpose of helping Adam accomplish God’s command to fill the earth and subdue it. Filling the earth then points to the fact that it takes families to complete the mandate to take dominion, which we clearly see throughout the Pentateuch, and thus families form the foundation of all nations. Thus, as has happened throughout history as well, when the family is weakened, so is the nation’s foundation, most often resulting in collapse. God instituted three forms of government: family, church, and civil. The latter two—church and civil government—are both built upon families.

B. Hence, the very foundation of dominion then is family, with marriage being the very first tool that God gives for taking dominion, whereby God joins husband and wife into a sacred covenant (divinely created bond) with Him to glorify and serve Him all the days of their lives. Carefully consider God’s marvelous design set forth in marriage to accomplish this purpose, for not only is marriage representative of the relationship of Christ and His bride (the Church), but also marriage reflects the very image of God!
1. Malachi 2:14 “…the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth…your wife by covenant.”
2. Jeremiah 31:32 “‘…like the covenant which I made with their fathers…My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,’ declares the LORD.”
3. Isaiah 54:5,6 “‘For your husband is your Maker, whose name is the LORD of hosts; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, who is called the God of all the earth. For the LORD has called you, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,’ says your God.”
4. Revelation 21:2 “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.”
5. Revelation 21:9 “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, ‘Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’”
6. Revelation 19:7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”
7. Ephesians 5:23-32 “For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.”
8. Genesis 1:27 “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

C. It follows that a sacred covenant, then, is a divinely created bond. Noah Webster defines covenant as “a mutual consent or agreement of two or more persons, to do or to forbear some act or thing; a contract…A covenant is created by deed in writing, sealed and executed…In theology, the covenant of works, is that implied in the commands, prohibitions, and promises of God; the promise of God to man, that man’s perfect obedience should entitle him to happiness. This do and live; that do and die. The covenant of redemption is the mutual agreement between the Father and Son, respecting the redemption of sinners by Christ. The covenant of grace is that by which God engages to bestow salvation on man, upon the condition that man shall believe in Christ and yield obedience to the terms of the gospel.” Covenant is “a binding and solemn agreement made by two or more individuals, parties, etc. to do or keep from doing a specified thing; compact.” The Hebrew word is berith, which means “to bind or to fetter; a binding obligation.”

D. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words defines covenant (diatheke) as “primarily signifies a disposition of property by will or otherwise. In its use in the Sept., it is the rendering of a Hebrew word meaning a covenant or agreement (from a verb signifying to cut or divide, in allusion to a sacrificial custom in connection with covenant-making, e.g., Gen. 15:10, ‘divided’ …In contradistinction to the English word ‘covenant’ (lit., a coming together), which signifies a mutual undertaking between two parties or more, each binding himself to fulfill obligations, it does not in itself contain the idea of joint obligation, it mostly signifies an obligation undertaken by a single person.…God enjoined upon Abraham the rite of circumcision, but His promise to Abraham, here called a covenant, was not conditional upon the observance of circumcision, though a penalty attached to its non-observance.”

E. A covenant is a solemn act of commitment that binds individuals together. Throughout the Bible, the men of old thought covenantally in marriage, family, church, and as a nation. It is what bound them together in commitment and trust for the purpose of achieving God’s will as evidenced in the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. It is in essence a giving of oneself wholeheartedly without reservation. However, since God is the author of covenants and the only One who is faithful to fulfill the promises contained within each covenant, the execution of covenants is only efficacious with the help of God’s Holy Spirit. Thus, God serves as the Author, the Witness and the living Spirit that works out the keeping of the oath. Thus, the words, “So help me, God” are required of those giving testimony in a court of law and of those being sworn in for public office. This is why, in the early history of our country, only Christians were allowed to serve as civil magistrates. Men then understood that only those who were filled with His Holy Spirit were in fact capable of obeying His covenant. Moreover, God not only witnesses the oath but judges those who are unfaithful to their word. This is why a man’s word is as good as a contract, why a breach of contract is punishable, and why divorce is such a grave sin. It is all about being faithful to the contents of the covenant.

The Mayflower Compact: “In ye name of God…We whose names are underwritten…by ye grace of God…solemnly and mutually in ye presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politick…unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.” (America’s Providential History, p. 72)

The Declaration of Independence: “…We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America…appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions…And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” (America’s God and Country, William Federer, p. 200)

The Constitution of the United States: “We, the People of the United States…do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.”

“Before he enters on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: ‘I do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.’”

“Adherence to the spirit and intent of our Constitution was so important to our Founding Fathers that one of the first acts of the First Congress in 1789, was to pass the verbiage for the Oath or Affirmation of office, in compliance with Article VI of our Constitution.”

“George Washington was administered the Oath or Affirmation of office, as prescribed by Article II Section 1, on April 29, 1789, to which he added: ‘So help me God.’ He then kissed the Bible on which his hand had been placed on Deuteronomy 28 followed by a few remarks: ‘I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign Parent of the human race, in humble supplication, that since He has been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquility, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of government for the security of their union, and the advancement of their happiness, so His divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations and the wise measures, on which the success of this government must depend.’”

“Sadly, with the passing of time, the Oath or Affirmation of office has become perfunctory. It has lost its meaning to many of our elected leaders.”

“It is hoped that this publication will awaken a desire within the inhabitants of this nation to restore to the Constitution the eminence given it by our founders that we may as a nation be blessed with continued freedom, security and happiness.” (National Center for Constitutional Studies publication, Ronald M. Mann, Deputy Director, Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution)

As we have demonstrated, liberty, justice, obedience, temperance, frugality, industry, piety, love, kindness, and charity are only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. John Adams says as much: “Statesmen…may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone, which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater measure than they have it now, they may change their rulers and the forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty.” (American’s God and Country, William Federer, p. 8)

Again, John Adams states: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (America’s God and Country, William Federer pp. 10,11)

Now let us carefully listen to the words of the wedding ceremony, considering the holiness of the marriage covenant and God’s purpose therein:
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honorable estate, instituted of God in the time of man’s innocence, signifying unto us the mystical union that is between Christ and his Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle that he wrought, in Cana of Galilee; and is commended of Saint Paul to be honorable among all men: and therefore is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men’s carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God; duly considering the causes for which Matrimony was ordained.
First, it was ordained for the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of his holy Name.
Secondly, it was ordained for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication; that such persons as have not the gift of continence might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ’s body.
Thirdly, it was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity. Into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. Therefore if any man can show any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter forever hold his peace.
I require and charge you both, as you will answer at the dreadful day of judgment when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why you may not be lawfully joined together in Matrimony, you do not confess it. For be ye well assured, that so many as are coupled together otherwise than God’s Word doth allow are not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful.
To the man: Wilt thou have this Woman to thy wedded wife, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honor, and keep her in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as you both shall live?
To the woman: Wilt thou have this Man to thy wedded husband, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou obey him, and serve him, love, honor, and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as you both shall live?
Who giveth this Woman to be married to this Man?
Then shall they give their troth to each other in this manner.
The Minister, receiving the Woman at her father’s hands, shall cause the Man with his right hand to take the Woman by her right hand, and to say after him as follows.
I, M. take thee N. to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.
Then shall they loose their hands; and the Woman, with her right hand taking the Man by his right hand, shall likewise say after the Minister,
I, N. take thee M. to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.
With this Ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods, I thee endow: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
O eternal God, Creator and Preserver of all mankind, Giver of all spiritual grace, the Author of everlasting life; Send thy blessing upon these thy servants, this man and this woman, whom we bless in thy Name; that, as Isaac and Rebecca lived faithfully together, so these persons may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant between them made, (whereof this Ring given and received is a token and pledge) and may ever remain in perfect love and peace together, and live according to thy laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, bless these Thy servants, and sow the seed of eternal life in their hearts; that whatsoever in thy holy Word they shall profitably learn, they may in deed fulfill the same. Look, O Lord, mercifully upon them from heaven, and bless them. And as thou didst send thy blessing upon Abraham and Sarah, to their great comfort, so vouchsafe to send thy blessing upon these thy servants; that they obeying thy will, and always being in safety under thy protection, may abide in thy love unto their lives’ end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen…. That they may see their children Christianly and virtuously brought up, to thy praise and honor; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen…. O Lord, bless them both, and grant them to inherit thy everlasting kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

1. Genesis 17:1-7 “Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless. I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly.’ Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, ‘As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you will be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.’”
2. Jeremiah 34:18-20 “I will give the men who have transgressed My covenant, who have not fulfilled the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between its parts—the officials of Judah and the officials of Jerusalem, the court officers and the priests and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf—I will give them into the land of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their life. And their dead bodies will be food for the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth.”
3. Malachi 2:16 “‘For I hate divorce,’ says the LORD, the God of Israel...”
4. Mark 10:9 “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

F. God is faithful to keep His covenant with His people.
1. Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments.”
2. Isaiah 49:7 “Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One, to the despised One, to the One abhorred by the nation, to the Servant of rulers, ‘Kings will see and arise, princes will also bow down, because of the LORD who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You.’”
3. Jeremiah 31:1,3 “‘At that time,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.’…‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.’”

MARRIAGE COVENANT

A. Now let us examine a covenant’s components and how each applies to the marriage covenant. First of all, the covenant of marriage is transcendent meaning “independent of this world, existing above and apart from the material world.” It is divine, in that it is established by God. After God’s completion of each of His creative works, He declared their goodness, signifying their completion in perfection. But upon Adam’s mandate to keep and cultivate the garden, there was no one to help him, for he was not yet complete. Therefore, to bring about his completion, God crafted his complement and joined her to Adam, and in so doing, rendered Adam capable of fulfilling his role as dominion-taker—to fill and subdue the earth with God’s glory.
1. Genesis 2:18-23 “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’ Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’”
2. Mark 10:9 “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
a. Again, marriage is a divine covenant because it was established by God.

B. The second part of this divine covenant is the hierarchy, or in other words, God’s authority structure. Since God has ultimate authority over all creatures, and since man represents God’s authority or His Word on the earth, God is head over man, man is head over woman, and together as one unit, they are head over their children. But just as Christ is head of the church, which is called the bride, representing a bridegroom’s authority over his bride, Christ’s sacrifice for His bride sets the example for husbands to sacrifice their desires for the righteousness of their wives and children.

Husbands, it is crucial that you understand your role in bringing Christ’s glory to your wife, children, and the church. We are to love, protect, serve, and provide for our wives and children as Christ does for His Church—anything less mars Christ’s image.

Also, bear in mind that when someone names something it signifies ownership. When we have children, when we begin a new business, when we adopt children, or acquire a new puppy, we name them to establish our ownership of them. Just as Adam’s naming of the animals confirmed his dominion over them, Adam’s naming his helpmate “woman,” confirms his preeminence and ownership. This is why a woman takes her husband’s last name, thus signifying that she belongs to him. However, men, let us be certain of God’s intention: we are to be the head of our wives but not to lord it over our wives as tyrants, but to love them and nurture them, and protect them, and provide for them, as Christ does the Church.

Wives, let us be certain that God is the One who ordained that our husbands should be head over us; therefore, let us be diligent in subjecting ourselves to our husbands as the church is subject to Christ.
1. 1 Corinthians 11:3,7-9 “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.…For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.”
2. 1 Timothy 2:13 “For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.”
3. Genesis 3:16 “…your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
4. Num 30:13 “Every vow and every binding oath to humble herself, her husband may confirm it or her husband may annul it.”
5. Ephesians 5:22-24 “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.”
6. 1 Peter 3:1-6 “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.”
7. Isaiah 62:2-5 “The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; and you will be called by a new name which the mouth of the LORD will designate. You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. It will no longer be said to you, ‘Forsaken,’ nor to your land will it any longer be said, ‘Desolate’; but you will be called, ‘My delight is in her,’ and your land, ‘Married’; for the LORD delights in you, and to Him your land will be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so your sons will marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you.”
8. Genesis 2:23 “The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’”
a. The name woman signifies her dependence on man because she was taken out of man.
9. Genesis 3:20 “Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.”
a. The name Eve—the mother of all the living—not only defines woman’s role and duty as child bearer but also signifies man’s dependence upon woman, his wife, for giving him children, and on woman, his mother, for giving him life and nourishment.
10. 1 Corinthians 11:11,12 “However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God.”
11. 1 Corinthians 7:3,4 “The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”
12. 1 Peter 3:7 “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”
13. John 13:13-17 “You call me Teacher, and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”
14. Galatians 1:3,4 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.”
15. Ephesians 5:1-2,25 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma….Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”
16. Romans 12:9-11 “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.”

C. The third component of the covenant is ethical: a system of moral standards that comprise God’s commands and prohibitions. Faithfulness is the very spirit of the covenant. Consequently, covenant keepers are rewarded with blessing, while covenant breakers are punished with cursing.
1. Genesis 1:28 “God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth…’”
2. 1 Timothy 2:15 “But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.”
3. Titus 2:4,5 “…encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”
4. Proverbs 31:10-31 “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight. She is like merchant ships; she brings her food from afar. She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household and portions to her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She senses that her gain is good; her lamp does not go out at night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: ‘Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.’ Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”
5. Deuteronomy 7:12,13 “Then it shall come about, because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, that the LORD your God will keep with you His covenant and His lovingkindness which He swore to your forefathers. He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb…”
6. Psalm 127:3-5 “Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.”
7. Psalm 128:1-4 “How blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways. When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands, you will be happy and it will be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house, your children like olive plants around your table. Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD.”
8. 1 Timothy 5:8 “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
9. Malachi 2:14-16 “…Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant…Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth. ‘For I hate divorce,’ says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘and him who covers his garment with wrong,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘So take heed to your spirit that you do not deal treacherously.’”
10. Matthew 5:27-29 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”
11. Proverbs 6:23-29 “For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life. To keep you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. Do not desire her beauty in your heart, nor let her capture you with her eyelids. For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread, and an adulteress hunts for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Or can a man walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched? So is the one who goes into his neighbor’s wife; whoever touches her will not go unpunished.”
12. Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
13. 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”

D. The fourth component is sanction, or in other words “authorization or official permission” created by a vow—a solemn pledge to live in accordance to God’s rules pertaining to this covenant, and in this case, the marriage vow to remain faithful unto death.

E. And finally, the promise of permanence or continuity of the bond between God the Father and His children, whereas covenant keepers constituted His legitimate heirs; covenant breakers were illegitimate, and therefore, disinherited. In the beginning, God revealed the continuity of the covenant through covenant keepers, while also making evident the consequence of covenant breakers. For God created the institution of family to be one of continuity, accordingly based on family members’ faithfulness to His covenant. Therefore, because of Adam’s unfaithfulness to His Father’s law, Adam was disinherited and driven out of the garden. And as such, when Cain killed Abel, he, too, was disinherited and driven from his family, again, because he broke the family covenant. And as we see throughout scripture, only those who are faithful to God obtain legitimacy to receive a reward established by an inheritance; subsequently, those who are unfaithful and rebel against God’s laws are disinherited and driven away from God’s presence. Thus, as biblical continuity is based on the covenant, so inheritance is based on the covenant, and not on blood. The continuity of this is clearly seen in the reward of heaven and the punishment of hell. All men come from God, yet not all men are His children because of the covenant of grace. Those who, by grace, keep His law, receive their reward in heaven just as those who break His law, and thus the covenant, receive their just recompense of condemnation to everlasting punishment in hell. Furthermore, when we realize that our purpose is to glorify God and fill His earth with His glory, we realize the importance of giving the inheritance only to those who will faithfully execute their roles to fill the earth with His glory. Just consider the import of this law and the efficacious effect this would bring in promoting the gospel. If Christian parents, instead of idolizing their rebellious sons and daughters, would in obedience to God, give God’s provision to godly offspring, who in turn would use it to glorify God, God’s kingdom would greatly increase. Personally, we teach our children that they will receive a monetary inheritance from us and a spiritual inheritance from their heavenly Father only if they remain obedient. As we demonstrated earlier, the Puritans clearly understood this law, that the earth belonged to God’s legitimate heirs and thus determined and labored to claim their rightful inheritance.
1. Genesis 3:23,24 “Therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.”
2. Genesis 4:8-16 “…Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’ And he said, ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’ He said, ‘What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.’ Cain said to the LORD, ‘My punishment is too great to bear! Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Your face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth…’ Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD…”
3. Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.”
4. 1 Corinthians 15:50 “Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.”
5. Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
6. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, not thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, or swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”
7. Hebrews 1:14 “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?”
8. Matthew 16:27 “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.”
9. Romans 2:5-11 “But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.”
10. 2 Corinthians 11:12-15 “But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.”
11. Revelation 21:7 “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.”
12. Colossians 1:9-12 “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.”
13. Acts 20:32 “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
14. 1 Peter 1:3-5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

F. It is imperative that as husbands and wives we understand the crucial role we perform in representing Christ to our children and the world. For our behavior toward each other and toward our family displays Christ image.

G. Man was ordained by God to fill, subdue, and take dominion of this earth for Christ; it was his calling, his vocation. Voco in Latin means to call. Whereas man was called to take dominion for Christ, woman was called to be her husband’s helpmate—to help him in his calling. Obviously, both man and woman are capable of accomplishing great things because both are created in God’s magnificent image; however, God’s law (His design) for His creatures is set forth with perfect knowledge and wisdom, that which we do not possess. Therefore, let us be careful to follow God’s design, for He plainly tells us that “unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.”

Violation of God’s law brings disorder and every evil thing, ending in ruin and destruction. Take, for example, our own situation. Early on in our position as homeschooling leaders, many leaders and other speakers encouraged Candy to go on the circuit and speak professionally, but to the contrary, her role was to help me in my calling. And so she stayed under my covering and continued to help me lead our support group, help me lead our state’s CHEF organization, help me research and write my sermons, and help me operate our lawn and landscaping business. Her chief purpose and responsibility, which she executes well, is being the keeper of our home—first and foremost, my companion and confidant, which then naturally extends to everything else I do. On the other hand, when husband or wife rejects God’s law, catastrophic results follow. This is presently evident in our own country as adultery, divorce, poverty, illegitimacy, and violence escalate at unprecedented levels.

I compare a husband’s and wife’s role in marriage to the yoking of workhorses. When I was a child, my father used workhorses to plow our fields. To ease the task of such backbreaking work, my father would yoke two trained horses together so that they could share the load. Equally yoked and trained to obey their master’s commands, they put their shoulders to the task and pulled together. Inevitably, they created perfectly straight furrows that my father then used for sowing. Watching such an arduous task accomplished in such a seemingly effortless manner left an indelible image upon my mind, one which perfectly depicts the efficacy of equally yoked spouses in marriage.

If, however, my father had yoked an untrained horse to a well-trained horse, what do you think would have happened? Have you ever seen what happens when a cowboy tries to ride a wild horse? It is called bronco busting for a reason. Wild horses are uncontrollable. Not only are they not willing to confine themselves to the yoke because they desire to go their own way, but also they cannot even understand commands, thus they kick and lurch and buck and pull every which way but in the way of the straight furrow. The result would be a muddy mess. Even after many attempts, little, if any, work would be done, and that which was accomplished would be done in such a crooked manner that it would be worthless, resulting in no sowing, and ultimately, no fruit. And as if this was not bad enough, the poor obedient horse would be constantly worn out and even badly bruised and broken due to the rebellious one’s constant struggle against the master while the obedient one attempted to head toward the mark. What a vivid picture of the heartbreaking consequences that occur when a Christian marries one who is in utter rebellion to the Master. Clearly, this is why God tells us not to be unequally yoked!

For the entirety of our marriage, we have counseled countless couples, literally hundreds of them, most of them homeschooling couples, who live in difficult marriages, oftentimes very difficult marriages. Children, there is nothing worse than going through life with an ungodly spouse. Listen to us, children! There is nothing worse than living in the same house, day in and day out, with a rebellious husband or wife while trying to raise a family—alone. And do not for one minute think that a young man or woman is a Christian because they profess to be such. Do not for one minute consider that they are Christian because they attend church. Remember the story of the virgins who reached the very doorstep of heaven, only to be told to depart for God knew them not. Remember also that the tares will stand beside the wheat until the day of destruction.

Consequently, careful observation such as the following must be seriously considered. Is there visible fruit? How do they live out their faith? Is their focus on Christ? Do they immerse themselves in scripture every day? Do they fully understand the tenets of our faith? How do they relate to their own family? Do they honor and obey their parents? How do they treat their mother and father? Do they talk to them sarcastically, or do they talk to them reverently? Do they spend their time following their own dreams or those of their heavenly Father and their earthly father? How do they take care of their family? How do they treat their sisters and brothers? Are they off doing their own thing, or are they helping their parents raise godly offspring? How do they spend their time—playing sports, playing music, playing video games, playing away from home, or are they with their family working and playing with them? These are extremely important considerations because the way they live their life now is indicative of how they will live their life later.

Understand that most parents are raising their children to be selfish pigs. Unfortunately, even most homeschooling parents are raising selfish young men and women because that is the way they were raised and the way their churches, through selfish, child-centered activities, train their children. Thus, the vast majority of boys and girls are off doing activities with others instead of being trained to do things with their own families, and we have done enough marriage counseling to know that this same pattern will be continued throughout their life with their own families. The husbands and wives who live with selfish spouses are miserable, but they bear it because divorce is not an option—but they would give anything to change the life they live. Children, listen to wise counsel. Learn from the sins of others and do not repeat them!

Remember, God says that the man and woman become one in marriage, not two separate entities living in one house, but that the two people in that house shall live as one. To be one is to think and act as one. To live as one, before we become spouses, we must learn to worship, work, and fellowship as one in our own families. The family we are born into is the training ground God mandates for our future homes. And do not for one moment be foolish enough to think that you can transform a selfish pig into a loving, caring, devoted spouse. Do not be foolish enough to think that just because a young man or woman shows interest in you that you will be able to make him or her do anything for you. Many couples that we have counseled thought just that, but now would tell you how foolish they were to believe in such a fairytale. They would tell you the same thing that we are telling you—if a young person cannot honor, obey, and work for the two people who have sacrificed everything for the last twenty years for them, they will not do it for you whom they have known for such a short time. If they cannot love, honor, cherish, and gratefully serve their parents who have given them life, fed them, bathed them, changed their diapers, cared for them during sickness, taught them, worked to make each holiday special for them, worked to provide for all their needs for the last twenty years or so, do not be so foolish to think that they will miraculously change to love, honor, and cherish you.

Listen to your parents, children. Do not be foolish. A marriage that is not blessed by your parents cannot and will not be blessed by God! Godly parents want their children to marry godly spouses because they understand the consequences. They do not want God to be displeased, and they do not want their children to be miserable. They understand what it takes to plow straight furrows, and they want it to be as easy for their children as it can be.

God’s law is life and brings blessing, so when faithfully followed, equally yoked husbands and wives easily pull together in unison to their Master’s voice and are able to accomplish much. What a tremendous blessing that our work is shared together as we pull in the same direction for the same goal. Our purpose in life is not to be happy by serving our own foolish desires but to serve God, and in this, and only in this, is there joy.
1. Matthew 11:29-30 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
2. Ecclesiastes 4:9 “Two are better than one because they have good return for their labor.”
3. 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God…”

H. What a blessing our marriage has been to both of us because of the same longing God placed in us to know Him fully, to train our children with this knowledge, and to fill our lives and those we touch with God’s glory. Our time is thus devoted mostly to reading and discussing the Bible, theology books, and history books, teaching what we learn to our children, and then to others.

For 30 years, I have been blessed to have Candy as my helpmate, to work alongside me to complete the tasks God has called me to do in our home, with our children, in the homeschooling community, and now in the church. When I need a task done, I ask Candy. When I need counsel, I ask Candy. When I need prayer, I ask Candy. I depend on her as part of my very being.

Many trials have attended our 30 years of marriage, yet we faced them together, first on our knees before the Lord and then upright on our feet, side by side, as one. No one truly knows all the battles Candy and I have faced to maintain the vision and mission for CHEF to glorify God by gathering families home and equipping them to raise godly generations. But we praise God for the marvelous blessing of working together for the same goals, for there is nothing quite so wonderful as pulling together as one and then looking back at the end of each day to see long straight furrows. May God continue to protect and strengthen each of our marriages as we go forward to take dominion of the earth and to fill it with His glory!

And as delineated earlier, God’s purpose for marriage is a godly posterity that will fill the earth and subdue it for His glory, for it is families that form the foundation for both church and nations. Noah Webster rightly states that “all government originates in families, and if neglected there, it will hardly exist in society…The foundation of all free government and of all social order must be laid in families and in the discipline of youth…the Education of youth, an employment of more consequence than making laws and preaching the gospel, because it lays the foundation on which both law and gospel rests for success…”

Sadly, our foundation has been weakened by those who wish to destroy this Christian nation. Let us, therefore, work together to strengthen the foundation and rebuild the walls so that we do not end up collapsing like Jerusalem.