Monday, May 30, 2016
It's become widely acceptable to live together as a couple in our culture...so you may question, "Why marry?" This isn't meant to bash those living together...it's meant to encourage those who are truly questioning God's reasons for marriage.
Everything that God did was good. He created man in His image and said, "This is very good." But Adam was alone and God said, "This is not good." So he put Adam into a deep sleep and took a rib out of his side (or a part of his side) and created woman (or womb man). And when Adam woke up, God brought the woman to him. This, in essence, was their wedding--or covenant relationship. God created woman for man and brought them together and said, "Be fruitful and multiply." You can find this in Genesis 1 & 2.
When we marry, we enter a covenant relationship. We are committing all that we are and all that we have to one another--just like God did with us. A covenant is different than a contract. A covenant is a life-long mutual commitment to relationship or a promise that this relationship will never end. A contract has an end in sight and can be voided when one party does not fulfill their end of the deal. For instance, if your partner asks you to sign a prenuptial agreement, that is a contract demanding legal rights should the relationship end. It has an end in sight. God intended for marriage to be forever.
In Ephesians 5, we're told that marriage is supposed to be a picture of Christ and the Church. Just like Jesus loved the bride enough to lay down his life for her, a man is to love his wife in that way. We are representatives of something bigger than ourselves. As believers, husbands are to show the world just how much Christ does love the Church--by loving his wife more than he loves himself. By loving her sacrificially and being completely committed to her his entire life. By being faithful. When a husband loves his wife this way, the world sees Christ. A wife is to respect her husband--which shows the world what the Church's response should be to Jesus. But both man and woman are to love, respect, and submit to one another without any selfish agenda. It's grace...just like God loves us.
God's good plan was to protect us and fill our lives with love and grace. There's just nothing like total and complete commitment from another person. Your heart is protected. Without that commitment, you're always wondering if they really love you or if they'll leave you or move on to someone "better." God wants to bless us with His very BEST. He doesn't want us hurt, damaged, and carrying heavy baggage or burdens. He doesn't want us giving ourselves to someone who loves themselves more than they love us. If they're unwilling to commit, they're considering themselves first--and looking out for their own best interests. God is "ALL IN" His relationship with us--He gave His Son for us. He's been completely committed to us from the beginning of time. And He wants us to experience not only His love and commitment, but a beautiful picture of that here on earth--marriage. It's His good gift to us.