Summary: In our Scripture today, we learn five things about marriage.
Love and Marriage
In the next few weeks, as we look at God’s design and intention for families, and there will be a lot of pain. We know that a lot of marriages are struggling. Some may be considering divorce. Others have been through the heartache and pain of divorce, either personally or in a family member’s life. Yet in the midst of this, our God is a God of grace and mercy. God gives us healing and hope and He gives us the power of the resurrection to makes the needed changes. Some of you may feel hopeless in your current circumstances. You may feel that all of the love is gone. But this we know: with God all things are possible. Relationships are based on commitment and it is out of that the miracle of repentance, reconciliation and love occurs.
For those of you in this room who are single, guess what? Eventually, you will come to a place in your life where you will be faced with the decision of whether or not to make a lifetime commitment. It’s important to understand the investment required before you make the commitment to get married. The Bible teaches us not to make this commitment too quickly.
In our Scripture today, we learn five things about marriage. First, marriage is God’s design. God has purposely brought us together and designed this one particular person for you. Up to this point in the creation story, God said everything was good. Yet, in our passage today, God declares that it was not good for Adam to be alone. God chose to create a unique need within us which was not fulfilled by God’s presence or any of creation, but only by another. There is a purpose in marriage. Marriage is not just about how you feel, it’s about God’s plan for your life. When you stand at the front of the church and say, “I do”, there comes a point at the end when the couple kneels, their hands are joined and I drape my stole over the couple’s hands, signifying God’s blessing coming upon them. In effect, you are anointed and empowered by God’s spirit to make you a husband or a wife. God has blessed you for this task and you have answered the call because it’s his design.
Second, men and women are meant to be a gift to one another. You are to be a gift to your spouse and they are called to be a gift to you. Many of us are much better at being a curse than a gift. We’re better at tearing down than building up, taking rather than giving, and discouraging rather than encouraging. We find it easier to pick people apart rather than to build them up. It’s so easy to get into bad habits in our relationships and that can cause us to forget that we are meant to be a gift and a blessing to each other. Does your spouse thank God every day for you? Or does your spouse ask God for the strength to make it through one more day with you? It’s tough being a gift, but that’s what God has called you to be. God has called you to bless, to encourage, to build up, to stand alongside, to love sacrificially, to serve faithfully and to be a tangible representative of God presence. Last week, we were reminded that we are created in the image of God. So we are the very presence, character and heart of Christ for each other, reflecting His love, His grace, and His desires for your life. What greater blessing can there be than being the very hands and heart of God for your spouse?
Third, we are to be a helper to one another. The Hebrew word for helper does not mean subservient—men that doesn’t mean that she’s in your life to do your laundry, cook your food and pick up after you! Rather, helper means “a stronger one coming along to help the weaker one.” Did you get that? It literally means the stronger helping the weaker. A woman has been designed with strengths that men don’t have and vice versa. Yet too often, we don’t value the strengths of the other but instead intentionally or unintentionally devalue them. When we pair together, we are stronger than we would be alone.
Fourth, we are shaped in marriage. There is no doubt that marriage can be one of the biggest blessings of life. But it can also be one of the most frustrating and painful of life as well. God made us male and female…” Have you ever heard the expression, “Opposites attract?” The vast majority of couples I have married in 25 years have been opposites of one another. Why? It’s God’s design for us. God created men and women to counter-balance each other. Alot of what frustrates us in marriage is the other person’s counter to what we need in our lives. God has made males and females unique and different from each other. Amen? But these difference are meant to be a creative, collaborative tension to counterbalance us and to make us the people God wants us to be and to enable us to accomplish His will. No one can do that alone.