Sunday, December 22, 2013

What You May Not Know About Marriage

Marriage is an institution. It is an institution established by God Himself. If you are a Christ-follower a keen understanding of this can revolutionize your marriage. If you're not a Christ-follower what I am about to share can draw you to the cross of Jesus.

The institution of marriage was established immediately after God took one of Adam's ribs and made Eve in the Garden of Eden. The Bible says, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." (Genesis 2:24) For what reason? To answer this question we must look at the preceding 3 verses. "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." (Genesis 2: 21-23)

"For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." (Genesis 2: 24) The word "man" in the preceding verse is the Hebrew word 'îysh which means - a male or a man or a husband as an individual. The word "wife" in the same verse is the Hebrew word 'ishshâh which means - a female or a woman or a wife as an individual. It is actually the feminine form of the word 'îysh. Now I am not a Hebrew scholar, but it is clear here that the Scriptures refer to male and female, husband and wife completing God's institution of marriage. They become "one flesh" in God's eyes, just as Adam was one flesh before God created Eve.

Here is another (and perhaps very unique way to look at it). God created Adam with all the attributes of male and female. This may sound weird but think about it. Adam was created in the image of God. Even though Adam had all the attributes of male and female he was alone. So God took part of Adam and made Eve. Eve now had female attributes. Adam retained male attributes. And...according to the Scripture they are not complete until the "two become one flesh". "One flesh" is marriage. God designed it so that the "oneness" is completed through complete intimacy within that marriage.

Marriage between a man and a woman is holy and ordained by God. When couples acknowledge this they enter into the blessings of God. Why? Because God blesses marriage they way He instituted it. One of God's blessings of a Godly marriage is the gift of children.

This issue of marriage between a man and a woman, and the two becoming "one flesh" is mentioned several times throughout the Bible. Jesus stresses it. "And He answered and said, 'Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."(Matthew 19:4-6) (Upper case added by NASB) Mark's account of this is almost identical in chapter 10. Paul addressing marriage mentions this in Ephesians 5:31.

Paul teaches in Ephesians that the Godly institution of marriage should be a reflection of the relationship between Christ, and His bride the church. He also stresses that in order to have and to maintain a Godly marriage we must study the relationship between Christ and the church.

Finally, please let me encourage you to include Jesus in your marriage. Build your marriage on Jesus Christ Himself...making Him the center and foundation of it. When your marriage struggles (and sometimes it will be challenged), keep your eyes on Jesus. He is the Creator of marriage. Understand that the ways of the world only work against marriage. But Jesus as the center of your marriage will empower it to stand and overcome the challenges of this world. Remember marriage is holy and instituted by God.

The Love Dare
By Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick / B & H Publishing Group

Discover the #1 best-selling devotional seen in the hit movie Fireproof! Featuring a new preface from the Kendrick brothers and real-life reader testimonies, this updated 40-day guide is designed to steer you away from a painful breakup---and back to your spouse. Includes Scripture, a practical daily challenge, journaling space, and a progress checklist. 256 pages, softcover from B&H.

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