Your Marriage and God
Genesis 2:7-8, 18, 21-24
7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
13 And this second thing you do. You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. 14 But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. 16 “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”
Marriage and family are fundamental for the existence and health of the human race. They are the very first social things created by God. And they are one of life’s most wonderful and amazing blessings. And they can be incredibly painful. I like to share a message or two about marriage on a regular basis, and felt like during such a stressful time, that it would be especially meaningful.
Our passages today speak about God’s purpose for marriage as a concept, and therefore, His purpose for your marriage, and then why it is that God takes your marriage so seriously, maybe even more seriously than you do. Let’s start with the idea of purpose.
- God’s Purpose for Your Marriage
- Your fundamental relationship and identity
The same name. A new family. One new flesh.
Something in the Garden of Eden was not good. “It was not good for Adam to be alone.” So God made Eve from Adam. The symbolism is clear. They are of the same stuff. They share a common identity.
We share a last name. We are on the same team. At my house it’s “team Lykins.” And this team is different from my parents team. I left them, I cleave to my spouse. I am on a completely different team that lasts for the rest of our common life.
- A helpful life complement
We work together.
We are meant to work for the good of each other.
We work in cooperation.
The two become one flesh. We are suitable helpers. God fashioned Eve, just as He fashioned Adam. I think of Ephesians 5: 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body.
This is so obvious in child bearing and child raising. It doesn’t even need to be said that the husband must have a partner to reproduce. The woman not so much right? But when the woman is pregnant, she needs support, protection, provision. This is a partnership! When the baby is born and is small, there is a huge need for protection, and provision. This is a partnership. The two work together. They both give up their energy, their time, their bodies in different ways, their independence for the common good of the last name, which includes each other and the children.
Ecclesiastes 4: 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
In the curse: Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you. This is not a positive statement. This is not a prescription. This is terrible, competition will spoil the cooperative nature of our relationship. And since we share an identity and our decisions impact each other so much, there are really important things to decide and therefore compete over.
- Make Godly humans
the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit,
Our church vision is a part of God’s marriage vision for you. We are helping people to follow Jesus Christ. This makes Godly offspring. Not just human beings. Not just physically healthy or mentally healthy, but real followers of Jesus Christ. This is what God is looking for from every marriage! And as we live with each other we have opportunity to model this kind of behavior for our children.
Having considered God’s design for marriage, let’s talk about why He takes our marriages so seriously.
- Your Marriage is a Covenant
- Between God and the spouses
Back to Malachi 2: the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union?
Matthew 19: 3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
- You are responsible to God for how you treat your spouse
Think about this the next time you are angry and want to yell at each other, God the Father is the maker of your marriage. He is holding you accountable for your words and actions toward one another. If you can get God in your mind in the room, there is a motivator outside of your own feelings and the behavior of your spouse that can help you to communicate and act in a constructive manner.
Remember to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God in your relating to your spouse.
We are all selfish. But we can learn to work for the benefit of each other!
- God will help you with your marriage
Malachi 2: Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union?
Galatians 5: 19-21 list: These qualities are apart from the kingdom of God 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery,
enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Galatians 6: 7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Ephesians 5:18 Be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:21-33 Submit to one another. Love one another. Respect one another. Serve one another.
III. God Desires Covenantal Faithfulness
- Will you have a blessing or a curse?
Blessings come from God and obedience to His instruction.
Curses come from God and from not obeying His instruction.
We marry for the blessing. The blessing of the purposes of God. And physical intimacy is a part of this that I did not mention previously.
- Make your life together
Your marriage is unique. It is not your parent’s marriage. It is yours. And you need to make decisions together. You need to establish priorities together, and to share victories. The scene from Jerry McGuire (watch it in an edited format). Jerry needed to share the victory of the new business success with his wife. They were in it together, they were not alone.
- Serve each other because you serve God
You have to include God in the decision whether to get along or to fight.
It’s hard to nurse grudges when you include God.
He will demand forgiveness. If you can include God in your responses you can find a reason to serve, love, support, forgive your spouse when it is hard. God is always worth serving. God does not underserve you in return. God is the one who joins you in the spirit and He is the one who will fill you with the Holy Spirit for useful service to your spouse. Serve your spouse because you serve God.