Your Cursed Marriage

posted in: Messages | 0
Happy Valentine’s Day!!  It’s not often that this holiday falls on a Sunday – about every seven or 8 years. This year, Christmas Day also falls on a Sunday. Haven’t decided yet about church that weekend yet. We’ll probably do a poll about it later.
Anyway, welcome to week 2 of our series called “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”
With it being Valentine’s Day, love is truly in the air…or at least a specific kind of love, no doubt the kind (as we learned last week) that is not found anywhere in the New Testament.
Perhaps a better word for what is in the air today is ROMANCE! Hearts and flowers and lots and lots of chocolate as we celebrate the day that commemorates Saint Valentine. Saint Valentine is famous for being the inventor of the heart-shaped box of chocolates! Before him they were all just rectangular. Hence the holiday that we celebrate today…
No, actually, most people have almost no idea who he was or what he did – and that includes the scholars and the Catholic church who sainted him. There are legends, but really not that much to go on.
Legend has it that Valentinus was a bishop in Italy in the late 3rd century under the Roman Emperor Claudius. At one point in time, it is said that Claudius outlawed marriage for a time in order to get more men to join the military to fight in his wars. Valentine, however, continued to marry couples in secret. When he was found out, he was arrested.
While in jail, it is said that he caused the healing of his jailer’s blind daughter causing the jailer to become a Christian. And when Valentine was brought before the Emperor himself, he actually almost convinced him to convert – but Claudius chickened out in front of the onlookers and got mad and ordered Valentine’s execution instead.
Valentine was beheaded on February 14th, 269, becoming a Martyr.
The church began having a commemorative feast in 496 on February 14th.
The traditions and romance attached to February 14th, Valentine’s Day, today are in large part due the fictional writings of the English author Geoffrey Chaucer of the 14th century and, of course, the Hallmark Greeting Cards company.
So, in honor of the probably real Saint Valentine, I’m going to talk about marriage today. And more specifically, I’m going to talk about why your marriage – and every marriage – is cursed from the beginning…..and what you can do about it.
But before I get into that fun stuff, let me make it clear from the outset – I am referring to marriage as it is defined in the Christian Bible, and more specifically defined by Jesus himself.
Matthew 19:4
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Actually, Jesus here was simply confirming the Genesis account of the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. Jesus was confirming the design that he, himself, actually brought about (because he IS God), that people are created as either male or female, and that these two complimentary beings become one flesh upon being united in marriage. And, yes, he’s talking specifically about marriage because this statement is in the context of a discussion on divorce.
And so, despite what our laws say, and what popular opinion says,
marriage in God’s eyes is ONLY between one MAN and one WOMAN,
and it’s for life.
And furthermore, it is ONLY within this God-ordained marriage that SEX, of any kind, is permitted.
If you would like the full scoop on that, I can send you a link to a very detailed talk I gave on this subject several months ago. Let me know in your bulletin or send me an email or something. But for now, I will leave it at that.
And the reason I wanted to be clear on this is because the things I am going to talk about today ONLY apply to people who are properly married.
If you are in a relationship that in some way violates God’s plan for marriage and you intend to stay that way, you cannot expect God to bless what He does not ordain.
And you especially cannot expect God to bless you in your sin.
The only advice I can give to you if you fall into that category is to STOP immediately, back up, then start over the right way and get married.
I know it may sound harsh, but I’m here to preach the TRUTH of God’s Word – not to make anyone feel good about doing the wrong thing.
And I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that God is going to bless what He clearly condemns.
So, with all of that said, let’s talk about marriage God’s way. If you are married right now, or will be soon, or hope to be at some point – then what I’m about to cover can make the difference between heaven and hell on earth.
In America, the divorce rate is about 50%. Half of all marriages, Christian or not, end in divorce. That means that it’s quite probable that half of us in this room have been divorced. I’m not going to ask for a show of hands, but I do want to tell you that I, myself, have been divorced. Nicole is my second wife. The first one lasted about 2.5 years and ended due to her unfaithfulness. I don’t claim that I was a great husband. That’s just what happened. I’m not proud of it, but I also will not let that fact keep me from serving God with all of my heart and loving my wife of 11 years, Nicole, and our four kids.
Because, while God does hate divorce. It is not unforgivable, and it is absolutely NOT disqualifying for service of any kind in God’s Kingdom. If the Apostle Paul could be the greatest missionary ever after being a murderer of Christians – then do you really think a failed marriage could disqualify you from whatever call God has on your life? As Paul would say, BY NO MEANS!
God hates divorce because of what it does to us, and the lives that it hurts and ruins. Most of us have been effected by it one way or another, so I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
Anyway, what I’m going to share with you from God’s Word today will hopefully help all of us do things right from this point forward, and thus prevent more pain and heartache and perhaps even bring about a bit of JOY in marriage.
I said a little bit ago, before I went on a couple of tangents, that your marriage is cursed from the beginning. Some of you probably could have told me that – but I assure you, I’m not talking about the same thing you are.
No, the curse on your marriage and my marriage and everyone else’s marriage dates back to the very beginning – to the first marriage. Adam and Eve.
In case you’re not familiar with it, the story of Adam and Eve begins with God creating the heavens and the earth. Then He makes human beings in His image. First he makes Adam, then he makes Eve from a rib taken out of Adam. They are placed in the Garden of Eden, a paradise, and tasked with naming all the animals and tending the garden. They had free rein and could so anything they wanted except for one thing. They could eat anything in the garden except from one particular tree. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But, the Devil tempted them and they both disobeyed God, so God kicked them out of the garden and cursed them and every one of their descendants, which includes you and me.
The curse itself is found in Genesis 3. They are hiding from God and He “finds” them. Godconfronts them about their sin. Adam blames Eve and Eve blames the snake. Then God has something to say to each of them.
Genesis 3
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all livestock
    and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
    and you will eat dust
    all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”
16 To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
    with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
    and he will rule over you.”
17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
    through painful toil you will eat food from it
    all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
    and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.”
It’s a real bummer being cursed by God. And I could give a whole series probably on that passage, but the specific curse I’m talking about today is part of what He said to the woman.
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
    with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
    and he will rule over you.”
That first part, I know all you mom’s out there are not very happy with Eve about this. But it’s really the second part that has actually been a curse on marriages ever since. It’s a rather misunderstood, and I would say, poorly translated verse that most people probably don’t realize is the cause of a great deal of our world’s problems.
This version says “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.
Without any study, many have assumed that women are cursed to insatiably desire their husband while he rules over them. This thinking has even been the basis for many culture’s male dominated societies to the point that women have zero rights while men literally rule over them. This was the world of the Old and New Testament, and it is really only pretty recent history that men and women have been on more equal ground, though some would argue we haven’t gone far enough.
But what is this curse really saying?
First of all, a more accurate to the meaning of the hebrew translation is “your desire will be to control your husband, but he will dominate you.”
That hebrew word for desire is used elsewhere in the OT in reference to Cain and how sin desired him, but he was to rule over it in Genesis 4. So, the Hebrew term for desire here is not talking about wanting something, but wanting to rule over something. In Cain’s case, sin’s desire to control him was contrasted with God telling Cain to instead rule over sin.
And to Eve, God says the same thing. Her desire will be to rule over her husband, but instead he will rule over her.
And that curse has been handed down to every human being, and every marriage, ever since.
When you read it like that, does that not resonate with all of us? Isn’t it really the running joke of marriage, that the man, on the outside looks like he’s the boss of his family, the king of his castle, the lord of his domain, but in reality it’s the wife who has all the power? Isn’t this what you see in movies, that the husband is domineering but the wife is manipulative? Isn’t that what we see in our own selves?
Men, don’t you feel a natural urge to be the “man of the house” to be the “head of the household” to dominate your wife and kids? My paw is law. My way or the highway. Remove your Christian indoctrination for a minute and you will see this curse working full well inside of you.
Ladies, don’t you feel the natural urge to “change your husband”, do you see him as “rough around the edges” with such “potential” such that after you’ve “fixed him” he’ll be perfect? Do you know how to get your husband to do what you want? Do you feel the urge so subvert his efforts to lead?
That’s all part of the curse from the Fall. And put those attitudes together and you end up with exactly what we see in the world of marriage today.
But it doesn’t have to stay that way. It’s a curse, not a command. That’s another mistake many have made. God saying that the woman will desire to control her husband but he will rule over her is not a command to be that way. It’s a curse, not a command! It’s not something we are told to do, it’s a prediction of what the sin inside of us will cause us to do. And the prediction has been coming true for thousands of years for billions of married couples. And I’m certain many of you have experienced it, or may even be experiencing it now.
But there is a cure!, or at least a remedy. Part of the remedy has been done for you, and part of it is something you must do.
The first part of the cure is that Jesus Christ died for you to forgive you of your sin and set you free from the control of this curse.
Paul tells us in Romans 8 that
Romans 8
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
In other words, Christ set you free from being bound to the CURSE of sin, the same sin that causes us to live out the curse of Genesis 3 no longer has involuntary control over you if you are a Christ follower. If you have made Jesus your Lord and believe in your heart that He rose from the dead, you are not only saved and going to heaven, but while you live on this earth you are set free from the control of sin.
Which means the only reason that we as Christians still sin is because we choose to. The rest of Romans 8 talks all about that, and I talked at length about that last Sunday. When you are not a Christian, you are still enslaved to sin and do not have a choice but to obey the curse.
But once Christ breaks those bonds, you are now free to choose to do things God’s way or continue to live in the curse. It’s like having a prison door open and choosing to stay in the cell. You are free to go, but you have to choose to get up and move.
It works the same in a marriage. It’s the reason why love is hard, and marriage is hard. It’s not like the movies where you ride off into the sunset and live “happily ever after” just because you are “in love.” It takes effort, because our default is to live out the curse and “happily ever after” turns into “happily NEVER after” and you become another statistic.
So, step one to a better marriage and really, a better life is to say YES to Jesus and let Him free you. To make you new!
Because when you do that, you truly are a new creation! But guess what we all have to do with anything totally new to us? We have to learn how to use it, how to operate it. No one picks up an iPhone for the first time ever knowing everything about it and how to use it to its max. And no one ever becomes a Christian and immediately knows how to fully live in their new freedom. It’s something you have to learn.
And learning to live free from the curse on marriage is no different.
And fortunately for us, instructions on the perfect marriage are beautifully laid out in a letter that Paul wrote to the Ephesians. In this letter are instructions on how to completely reverse the curse of Genesis 3 and actually have a deeply happy and fulfilling marriage. And I can personally attest that it works. Let’s take a look:
Ephesians 5
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
This is a beautiful description of what the ideal marriage should look like. Sadly, though, this passage has become one of the most hotly contested of all scripture in modern times, with the major rub coming against the idea that wives are to submit to their husbands. No one has a problem with the husband loving the wife, but there are whole movements within the church to try to erase verses 22 through 24. Why?
Well, one reason is the curse. If it is a woman’s natural cursed inclination to control and manipulate her husband, then obviously the thought of doing the very opposite should be enough to make one angry, defensive, and perhaps even outright violent in opposition to the notion. 
But you have to remember, this isn’t just Paul giving some chauvinistic opinions on how to keep the women down – this is a command from God – this is God-Breathed Scripture. This is God saying this is how I designed it to work and the very fact that it riles up such negative emotions in you is proof that the curse of Genesis 3 is true! 
Another way the curse is to blame for the aversion to this notion of submission is that men have used these verses as justification for ruling over and dominating their wives, and even women in general, just like the curse said we would. So, it is no wonder that a woman would balk at the idea of submitting to a domineering man.
Another reason these verses are so hated is because they are misunderstood. Wives are to submit to their husbands as to the Lord, as the church does to Christ. In all that we read about Jesus, is submitting to Jesus a bad thing? Of course not!
But submitting to a man fully owned by the curse absolutely is a horrible thing, even a terrifying thing.
Which is why Paul doesn’t stop there. In fact, if you notice, he has much more to say to the men than to the women, but most people never bother reading that far because they are so incensed at the wives submitting part. Let’s not make that mistake.
What does he say to the husbands?
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…
Does that sound like ruling over or dominating your wife? Actually, surprise, surprise, this is the exact opposite of that – what’s the opposite of dominating, but to give yourself up for her?
Men, we are to love our wives as Christ loved the church. And this is AGAPE love, not feeling love, but a love of action and choice like we talked about last week. We are to choose and decide to actively love our wives as Christ loved the church. And Paul, just to make sure we get it, lists a few specifics for us.
The full statement is
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Why did Christ give himself up for us the church? To make us holy, clean, radiant, blameless! Obviously we cannot do this for our wives like Christ did for us, but how this can translate into our relationships is put very well by John MacArthur:
Love wants only the best for the one it loves, and it cannot bear for a loved one to be corrupted or misled by anything evil or harmful. When a husband’s love for his wife is like Christ’s love for His church, he will continually seek to help purify her from any sort of defilement. He will seek to protect her from the world’s contamination and protect her holiness, virtue, and purity in every way. He will never induce her to do that which is wrong or unwise or expose her to that which is less than good.
That last sentence I believe is the key.
Husbands, you are called by God – not to FIX your wife and point out all her faults – but to FIRST lead by example (giving yourself up) and then protecting her by, most of all, NOT BEING THE SOURCE or CAUSE of any wrinkle or stain in her character.
“You will never induce her to do that which is wrong or unwise or expose her to that which is less than good.”
This doesn’t mean you keep her under lock and key, but that you act as a shield, protecting her and your family from the evils of the world surrounding you.
Now, if this seems confusing or patronizing, bear with me as it will hopefully become clear when I bring this all together.
After this, Paul gives another charge to the men:
28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
It is indeed a profound mystery. Jesus is the head of his body, which is the church. And he cares for his body, just as you and I care for our own bodies. And Paul is saying that as husbands, we must love our wives at least as much as we love our own bodies. And again, this is agape love, so he is not talking about how we FEEL about our bodies, but how we TREAT our bodies, which for most of us is pretty good.
And just like the mystery that we are somehow joined with Christ as his body, a husband and wife become joined together, united to the point that they are one flesh.
And within that one flesh, God is saying that the husband is the head and the wife is the body, just like Christ is the head and the church is his body. And a husband and wife should interact and treat each other the same way that Christ and the church interact and treat each other.
In your body, does your head dominate, rule over, abuse, and subjugate your body? Does your body undermine, manipulate, and try to control the head?  NO, they work together completely – the head and body are inseparable! And there is no vying for control between your head and the rest of your body – you are one unit in every respect. And this is how a marriage should be.
It is a profound mystery indeed!
Then, Paul sums it up with this final statement:
33 Nevertheless, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Nevertheless – means, to sum it up, and despite the mystery, and whether you truly understand it or not – this is what you must do.
Husbands love your wife.
Wives respect your husband.
Husbands, instead of giving into the curse and dominating and ruling over your wives, you are to sacrificially love her as Christ loved the church. You are to give yourself up for her. You are to die for her daily. You are to to be patient and kind, never envious or boastful, never dishonor her, or be easily angered. Don’t keep a record of wrongs. Always protect, always trust, always hope, and always persevere for her. Do not be self-seeking, but put her needs above your own. As Christ loved the church and gave himself up for us, so you must love your wife with more than just your feelings. 
And wives, instead of giving into the curse and trying to control and manipulate and subvert your husband, you are to submit to his God-ordained headship as the church submits to Christ, and you are to respect him, lift him up, revere him. The greek there is really the word FEAR him, but in this context it means reverent respect. And just like agape love, this is a command to treat your husband with respect – not to feel respect for him. 
Husbands you are not commanded to FEEL LOVE for your wife, but you are commanded to TREAT HER WITH AGAPE LOVE. 
Wives you are not commanded to FEEL RESPECT for your husband, but you are commanded to TREAT HIM WITH REVERENT RESPECT.
Looking at these two roles, does either one really have the taller task? Actually, both are outright impossible for us to do on our own. On our own desire to obey Scripture and have a good marriage. Both of these commands go completely against our natural and sinful inclinations. Which is why there must be a third party in this.
Which is really what Paul was saying in the beginning of this passage:
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Both commands are really a form of submission to each other. Husbands are to submit to their wives in one way and wives are to submit to their husbands in another way. And both are to do it, not only for the sake of the other and the sake of the marriage – but out of reverence for Christ.
My wife and I can only do what God is commanding when we are both submitted to Christ first. When we have both made Jesus Christ our Lord, Master, and King. When we both seek first the kingdom.
There’s a common graphic that is used to illustrate this. It’s this triangle where God is at the top and husband and wife are the other two corners. (this is not your fill in) The idea is that as we both get closer to God, we end up closer to each other. As opposed to both of us seeking our own way and drawing further apart.
And while this is true and quite practical, I would argue that what’s really happening here is much deeper than that.
Scripture tells us that when you become a believer, a Christ follower, that Christ actually comes to live INSIDE of you. That you and Christ become one.
Paul says in several places, but notably in 2 Corinthians 13:5 of those who have the faith...Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you?
Jesus himself spoke of us “abiding in Him, and He abiding in us.” (John)  And he prayed for future believers, us, that “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:21)
As believers, we are literally one with Christ..
So, as a believer you are somehow one with Jesus. And as a married couple you are somehow one with each other, one flesh.
So, the ideal biblical marriage looks kind of like this:
The husband and wife are one flesh. The husband is one with Jesus. The wife is one with Jesus. Three in one. As Paul said, it is a profound mystery! But it’s right there in the bible.
But here’s where it gets deep. What else does this look like?
I submit to you that the ideal marriage relationship as designed by God and operating in accordance with Ephesians 5 rather than the curse of Genesis 3 is none other than a picture of the very image of God. The trinity. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, somehow three yet one. And the way that biblical marriage is supposed to work is clearly a direct representation of that.
This is your KEY CONCEPT
And doesn’t that make sense? Are not man and woman created in the image of God? 
This is why marriage is so sacred. This is why God hates divorce, because it is a breaking up of a representative of what is unbreakable.
This is why the Enemy has gone to great lengths to destroy the institution of marriage God’s way.
Marriage is sacred and holy because it represents, when done right, the sacred and holy image of Almighty God.
Does that perhaps put things in perspective for you? Can you see now how all this mutual submission is actually a wonderful and beautiful thing when both the husband and wife are doing it right? Which happens only when they are both submitted to Jesus first, and then to each other.
Instead of a cycle of misery, where both parties are trying to secure their own needs and wants from the other and vying for control – God offers us heaven on earth and a relationship of mutual submission where each party is doing all they can to lift the other up while lifting Christ up, and He in turn lifts us both up. 
Instead of submission being down down down – it results in nothing but up.
And instead of vying for control leading to up, it really just leads to down and eventually out.
This is where all the debaters and nay-sayers miss the point. Instead of just going with it, they have to ask “Then who is in charge?”
The Complementarians say that the man is the head, therefore he is in charge. He’s not mean about it, but in the end he has the final say in decision making. The Egalitarians say that it’s equal authority between husband and wife and that they share in decision making. Who is in control depends on the situation.
But they are both forgetting something very important. The correct answer, is that when it’s done properly, neither the husband nor the wife are in charge. Jesus is. The underlying theme of the curse of Genesis 3 was about control – who would control who. Both sides of the modern debate are staying within the curse instead of realizing that when both parties are submitted to Christ and to each other – Christ is in control! Christ has the final say! 
And any attempt to work around that is attempting to have God’s way and the curse (i.e. My way) at the same time. It can’t be done. The moment you take Christ out of the control spot – one of you is going to step into it, which is exactly what the curse predicts. You can only submit to each other if you are submitted to Christ first. And if you are both submitted to Christ, then He is in charge – not you.
Now, I know this is a heavy topic, and hard to really figure out how to put into practice – especially since we have all been so entrenched in the curse that we hardly know how to behave a different way. But, If you’d like to dive more into this topic, and perhaps save your marriage or at least strengthen it, I encourage you to join the Love and Respect class that starts today. Instead of chocolates, give your spouse a valentine gift that will keep on giving and make every day valentine’s day for you. On second thought, do both – because chocolates are awesome!
And one final thing I want to say before we close. Many of you may be sitting there and thinking…I get it, and I really want to do it, but I know there is no way that my wife/husband is going to do it too – which means I will be submitting to a tyrant, or sacrificially loving a resentful manipulator – if I do it alone, then my partner will surely take advantage of me, so I dare not do it.
And that is a very legitimate fear. The ideal marriage takes two people working together to be ideal. So, if you do it and your partner does not – it will not be ideal. In fact, it could even be hell. But I will suggest to you, based on what I know in Scripture, and what I’ve learned through experience and seen work in others – Do it anyway. 
Husband – you are called by God to behave a certain way, and in the end you will be accountable to HIM for what kind of husband you were. And you can’t blame your wife for how YOU behave. Therefore, YOU be the right kind of husband because it’s the right thing to do and you are called to it by God almighty – regardless of how she responds. 
Wife- you are called by God to behave a certain way, and in the end you will be accountable to HIM for what kind of wife you were. And you can’t blame your husband for how YOU behave. Therefore, YOU be the right kind of wife because it’s the right thing to do and you are called to it by God almighty – regardless of how he responds. 
This is your KEY TAKE-AWAY
Because if you do that, not only will you be right in God’s eyes, you will be showing your spouse who Jesus is in your actions, and JESUS has a way of having an effect on people. And who knows, he or she may just come around and you will have saved your marriage and possibly even your spouse.
The movie War Room is a good illustration of this if you haven’t seen it.
The other option is to continue in the misery of the curse with no hope of it getting better, and likely end in divorce like most other marriages that choose that path.
I’m not saying it is easy. But God’s ways are ALWAYS better than our way. Our ways are literally cursed because of SIN. But Jesus has set us free from that so that we can once again enjoy the life God designed for us in the beginning when we live in submission to HIM and to each other. 
And this again, is how LOVE WINS.
Let’s Pray