Summary: #7 in 10 Commandment Series
“1 + 1 = 1”
TEXTS: Ex. 20:14; Gen. 2:18,22-24; 3:20; Matt. 5:27-30; I Cor. 7:3-5
INTRO: The culture we live in today scoffs at the concept of sexual fidelity in marriage, consider the following:
ILLUS: The conclusion made by a study of 104 leading television writers and executives conducted by the Center for Media and Public Affairs, the study found that Hollywood’s views run far from the mainstream of public opinion. Some examples: Though 85 percent of Americans believe adultery is wrong, only 49 percent of TV writers and executives do. Everyone else is less likely than Hollywood to say a woman has a right to an abortion (59 to 97 percent). While only 4 percent of Americans have no religious affiliation, 45 percent of the TV writers and executives have none. -- Reported in Newsweek, 7/20/92, "To Verify," Leadership.
It is no wonder that our society is inundated with messages about sex that is contrary to God’s 7th commandment “You shall not commit adultery.” Our divorce rate and the number of married couples in counseling over extra marital affairs has never been higher. It is time we stop listening to Hollywood and listen to God’s Holy Will!
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that healthy marriages are built on sexual fidelity and that the healthiest sexuality comes in a committed relationship of one man and one woman in marriage for life.
I. PURPOSE IN MARRIAGE Gen. 2:18,22-24; 3:20
A. Partnership 2:18
1. To understand a healthy marriage it is necessary to understand the purpose of marriage, God has created marriage to have 3 elements to it and in a particular order, and the first of these elements is “partnership”.
a. Note that Adam was productive without Eve, he had already started “work” – but he was not complete without Eve!
b. Men need to understand this dynamic, while they may feel fulfilled in their work experience they may also feel empty emotionally and incomplete without a healthy relationship with a spouse.
c. God looked at Adam and said it was “not good for the man to be alone.”
2. When Eve is created there is nothing said at the beginning about her existence to make babies, she was made first and foremost to be Adam’s “suitable helper” (2:18) which in the Hebrew means “a counterpart” or “partner” of equal value!
a. God’s call for having dominion over all the Earth was given to them both, (1:28) not just Adam, they were equal partners.
b. Eve was different in function and roles, not less in value.
3. God’s purpose for marriage was clear from the beginning, one woman for one man for life, God made no other women for Adam nor any other men for Eve.
ILLUS: Adam and Eve had the world’s only perfect marriage. She couldn’t talk about the man she might have married and he couldn’t complain that his mother was a better cook. -- Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1997).
4. In a world that changes partners, or fails to cement a relationship as a marriage in favor of simply living together, the purpose of marriage as God intended cannot take place!
a. Every attempt by society to alter God’s intended purposes in marriage has proven to be a step backward and not one forward.
b. Though the voices in our culture are loud against a Biblical sexual ethic the evidence proves society wrong and the scriptures as true!
ILLUS: According to an article by Felicity Barringer of the New York Times, trial marriages do not increase the chance of a marriage lasting or being successful. In fact, those who live together before marriage, separate and divorce in significantly greater numbers than those who go directly to the altar. -- Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1997).
5. A good marriage is one built first on “partnership,” both with each other and with God!
B. Pleasure 2:22-24
1. The second purpose in marriage was pleasure, not producing children!
a. When God brings Eve to Adam to present her to him the first words out of his mouth were, “THIS IS bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh…” The first two words in English here are a translation of the demonstrative adverb in Hebrew which can also be loosely translated, “WOW, bone of my bone…” an expression of pleasure!
b. Marriage was to be enjoyed, a relationship of great pleasure, as was their relationship with God before sin entered the picture.
2. The mutual sharing and the bonds emotionally, physically, and socially all produced great pleasure.
3. This pleasure was not just some accidental product however, it was the product of great responsibilities and a commitment to one another exclusively.
ILLUS: In the "Peanuts" comic strip, drawn by Charles Schulz, Charlie Brown says to his friend, "My Granpa and Granma have been married for fifty years!" The friend replies, "They’re lucky, aren’t they?" Charlie Brown answers. "Granma says it isn’t luck--it’s skill!" -- Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1997).