Marriage Is Bigger than We Are…

And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?  Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.(Matthew 19:5-6)

I performed a wedding yesterday, and once again was struck by the beauty of marriage. The bride was radiantly beautiful, dressed in white. Ashley had long prepared herself for this day, now finally it had arrived. Patient waiting and preparation is rewarded.

The groom, Myles, was the picture of anticipation. He wanted to get on with his new life with his beautiful best friend. All seemed to be set before them, new joys, trials, sacrifices, and victories to be lived out on their shared path.

And as always, God was there. There is always a sense of God at the weddings I have been a part of. After all, we know and acknowledge that God is the one who ordained marriage, He is the one who defines and upholds it, for marriage is Holy.“Where two or more are gathered in my name,there am I in the midst of them…”.

By the use of the word Holy, I don’t merely refer to the fact that marriage is pure, or sinless, or even that it is religious. I am using the word “Holy” in its theological sense; marriage is “other”, it is “separate” in fact it is above us! Marriage is bigger than we are.

If marriage was merely a cultural development, or a social construct, I wouldn’t say that it was holy. Perhaps I would say that it useful, or the best possible way to insure the rearing of children, or the result of centuries of the evolution of civilisation, but I wouldn’t describe it as holy!

But marriage is more than the above, much more, for it was ordained by God himself, and established as the basic and original human relationship. Before there was a brotherhood, or father or mother, or church, son ,daughter, society or clan, there was in the beginning man and wife.

Marriage occurred before the fall of man, and before sin and death. The first “not good” uttered by God concerned the problem of man being alone, “It is not good that man should be alone…”.

God has ordained marriage to be the answer to the aloneness of the first man. Man is made in the Image of God, yet he needs a lifelong companion, a compliment, a “help meet” (suited) for him.

How does God take a “not good” and turn it into a “good”?

He first put the man into a deep sleep, and removed his side, (it literally says “side”, not “rib”), which God used to form the woman. God then awakened the man, who now had an opening in his side, and presented the woman to him for the first wedding.

The (as of yet) un-fallen man, Adam, was moved to prophesy at the sight of the lovely creature, woman, formed out of His side, made also in the Image of God,  who was created to compliment him in all of  life,

“And Adam 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.Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”(Genesis 2:24-25)

Adam could see something future that his own  marriage foreshadowed. According to Paul, the expression “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” has an ultimate application, for there has come a final Bridegroom, whose side was also opened, and who purchased his bride by his own blood! Adam saw this on that day, and rejoiced in it.

“For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.“(Ephesians 5:30-32)

There we see much of the mystery that is marriage, every wedding points to the ultimate marriage, that of the Lamb of God to be united forever to the church which he has purchased by his blood. Each wedding is a sort of prophecy, and the anticipation is spiritual.

The joy and hope as Ashley and Myles stood before the holy altar of God to make their solemn vows to love ,honor and cherish one another, were mingled with the sense of awe, gravity and reverent fear of God who ordained and upholds marriage.

Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.(Hebrews 13:4)

We knew we were standing in the presence of something greater than we, that there was a continuity in what we were doing, that goes all the way back to the beginning . When we called upon the author of marriage, we knew He was there with us.

Furthermore we were somewhat aware that what we were doing is in itself a dim prophecy of the beautiful future, for the Bible begins with a wedding and ends with a wedding, the Marriage supper of the Lamb. Blessed are all they who are going to be part of this!

This alone explains the joyous,holy, sacred, hopeful, “clean slate” feeling at yesterdays wedding. May Ashley and Myles have a beautiful life! May they be fruitful and bless all of us again and again with beautiful God fearing children. May their bond strengthen all of us! May God the Father bless them, (and us) with joys!

Who would dare tamper with this union? Who would have the utter gall to scoff at, reject or redefine it to the point of an utterly obscene, and  blasphemous absurdity? (Gay Marriage!). Who just ignores it as some kind of vain ritual, preferring to elevate fornication, “hooking up” as a viable substitute to (outdated) marriage?

The answer? This “wicked and adulterous generation” which is under God’s judgment.

more on this theme to come…

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7 Responses to Marriage Is Bigger than We Are…

  1. Jared Christensen says:

    Right again, Pastor. God intended marriage for Holiness, rather than happiness. Today’s society views marriage as simply a means to the ultimate happiness of man, a humanistic institution. But God created it for His glory. Although there can be much happiness in a marriage, marriage itself was intended to worship and glorify God.

  2. Grant Swart says:

    Thanks again, Pastor Bill. I have been ‘struggling’ with a certain PhD, a well-known psychologist who blogs in South Africa. His arguments seem to be founded on much of the emergent / post-modernist thinking, where of course anything which seems non-judgmental, universally inclusive and tolerant of man’s ‘goodwill’ is acceptable. Of course additionally, anything biblical is far too exclusive and outdated in thinking for the likes of these intellectuals.

    He refers to his having done Bible Study as a part of his academic qualifications, which he also admits has become very rusty through the passage of time. It is evident also from his writing that he does not regard the Bible as being the final authority on pertaining matters. Of course, this is simply another result of the tragic influence which the false church and the intellectual world has on society. Virtually all individual interpretation of the Word is thus acceptable, as long as it ‘feels’ good and right.

    I would not have devoted as much time, prayer and effort into presenting to him the biblical position, had he not made it clear that many of his patients were homosexuals, muslims, criminals, delinquents, in general many destitute and lost people. I have referred to some of your previous postings (such as The MacDonalds Assault..) in what I have written to him; these types of truths he regards as being particularly ‘unpleasant’.

    So thank you once again for this posting which is very relevant and strengthening.

  3. Kevin Holmes says:

    God is the author of marriage. A marriage without God will fail. This I know from my own past and am ashamed but will not hide that I have been divorced. Co-habitation before marriage is also sinful, and although it is now considered “socially acceptable” is unholy. This too I knew but went on about my own way. I recently told a therapist that I would never again live with a woman or have intimate contact with a woman ever again before marriage. The therapist went on to say there have been many successful co-habitant relationships. I disagree. If a man takes a woman before marriage she will never respect him, because he took her before the security of marriage. The man will also not trust the woman as he may begin to think “Why did she give herself to me so easily?” Do not be swayed by what society consideres acceptable. This is a deception. Marriage is from God and should be honored as such. Anything else is adultry and fornication.

  4. KAP says:

    I LOVED this post…thank you. So much ignorance and wrong teaching over many generations has caused so much destruction and lack of true enjoyment and contentment among marrieds and thus lack of respect for marriage and being a spouse. This progressive downward trend arose much from as God has said “MY people are destroyed for lack of knowledge’ and ‘ they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters and hewn for themselves cisterns , broken cisterns that can hold no water.’

    The lack of knowledge and understanding of sound biblical doctrine has been running ruin over lives …the attack upon the Bible by so called ‘scholars ‘ and anti christian ‘experts’ who read through a veil of flesh and unbelief has impacted many people who have not become equipped by a maturing knowledge of the Word….thus a vacuum satan has many who are willing to make merchandise of the sheep.

    I am thankful to read such a clear and solid respectful account of marriage here ! Thank you !!!

  5. Denielle says:

    I think this was a very well written article and it’s so beautiful to see the contrast between the first marriage between Adam and Eve and the last between Christ and the Church. I do however, respectfully disagree that woman’s purpose (amongst many) wasn’t to compliment man as you’ve written but to complement him.

    I find it very difficult to conclude from scripture that from the beginning there was a hierarcy within Adam and Eve’s relationship, namely due to the words God uses when cursing mankind and speaking to Eve… ‘And he (your husband) shall rule over you.’ Gen 3:16 This gives the impression that they had held both equal status beforehand. Nothwithstanding this a help- meet/ mate- as Eve is described as- is defined as something bearing differences to but comparable in nature to a counterpart.

    A curse is very powerful, something God wouldn’t bring into effect had it not be deemed burdensome. This would accurately explain the gender inequality present today and the patriarchial societies which have stemmed since God’s righteous words were uttered. One can deduce from this also that childbirth was never initially ordained to be a painful experience but for sin. ‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children….’ Gen 3:16

    Anyway looking forward to reading the rest of your articles. God bless.

    • billrandles says:

      Thanks Danielle.I am afraid I might of made a typo, if I said woman was to “compliment” man, rather than “Complement”. The scriptures teach the equality of “male and female,in the Image of God” via Creation. The “hierarchy’ of order indeed came in the fall, but 1 Corinthians eleven compares the original status of male and female, with the willing subordination of the Son of God to the Father, which is eternal, and did not come about because of the fall.”But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God…+ I appreciate your input- Pas Bill

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