Irrespective of the current zeitgeist, the pattern for godly family life is the pattern laid down for us by God. That pattern includes a fathers’ responsibility for his daughters and a husband’s obligation to his wife.
If you read Numbers 30:3-16 you will notice that a woman (widows not included) is under her fathers’ care until she is given into the care of her husband. A man leaves his mother and father, but a daughter is given (Genesis 2:24).
A woman, regardless of her physical location, is under her fathers care until Mr Right shows up. “Who gives this woman to be joined to this man?” Dad.
Daughters are Given, Not Stolen
You are a gift to some lucky guy. A gift that comes with a great deal of responsibility.
Take purity as one example. In Deuteronomy 22:13-21, we learn that a father has direct responsibility for his daughter’s purity. Note that the problem here is not fornication. Fornication does not carry a capital punishment. The offence is sexual fraud.
But here is a curious thing. Why is the woman who commits sexual fraud against her husband (lies about her virginity) executed outside the father’s house? Because he was responsible for her purity. In the world that God made virginity is an inheritance protected and insured by the father.
When she marries, this responsibility is transferred to the husband. The husband becomes directly responsible for her purity.
Her exposure to impurity and her protection from temptations that would compromise that purity are the husbands’ responsibility. He is not guilty of her sins, but he is responsible for taking the appropriate action to prevent them or seek atonement for them if they occur (see Job 1:5).
This is no small thing. The responsibility is immense and in the normal scheme of things, there is only one man equipped to judge who should take on that responsibility – her father.
Past failures are not the issue, the upright life of the girl is not the issue. What matters is who, in the fathers’ eyes, is worthy and willing to take on the responsibility for guarding and loving this fair maiden?
The importance of the father’s responsibility can only be understood when we see the young bride-to-be the way scripture does: as a gift.
She is not a free agent, she is not a possession and she is not a slave. She is the most precious gift a father has. And until he walks her down the aisle, she has not been given to anyone, she has been stolen!
That’s how it was for the daughters of Israel. Who was worthy to have her? Who would the father find that would cherish, guard and guarantee her purity and keep her from reproach?
Who would go guarantor for her life?
God the Father did have someone in mind. In fact, there was only one man who could ever fill those boots. The Son of Man, Jesus.
Jesus assumes full responsibility for His bride. He is the faithful man who can and has been entrusted with this most beautiful of prizes, the Church.
For the groom, you are being given a treasured gift. You are expected to guard, guide and govern that gift with your life, just as her father has done till now, and just as Christ has done for His Church.
For the bride, you are not to diminish the value or beauty your Heavenly Father has placed on you by throwing yourself into the arms of anyone – except the one to whom you have been given.
Marriage Preparation PDF
Marriage exists because Christ died for the world. He came to kill the dragon and get the girl. Which He did.
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