Summary: A sermon looking at the teachings on marriage give to us in the book of Ephesians
God’s Plan for Marriage (Pt. 1)
Text: Ephesians 5:21-33
By: Ken McKinley
A man and woman, both 60 years old, had just spent the day celebrating 40 years of marriage. They got home and were examining their gifts when all of a sudden an angel appeared and said, “Because you two have been such a loving couple all these years, the Lord is going to give each of you one wish.” The wife jumped up and said, “I want to travel around the world.” Poof! Airline tickets to London, Paris, Moscow, and Tokyo appeared in her hand. Next it was the husbands turn, he scratched his head and then said, “I’d like to have a wife 30 years younger than me.” Poof! He was all of a sudden 90 years old.
Most of the time; people go into marriage with certain expectations and desires. Most people have the perfect picture of marriage in mind, but the reality is that we all marry imperfect people. The choice that people then have is to either destroy that false image we have, or destroy the other person we’ve married.
I once heard it said like this:
A woman marries a man expecting he will change, he doesn’t. A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change… she does.
Our text this morning is the classic passage on marriage. It is the longest, most popular and most debated passage on marriage found in Scripture. For some wives, verse 22 is enough to get their blood boiling to the point that they question the inspiration of Scripture. For some husbands verse 25 must have been written in error and they want to throw it out of the Bible.
What I want to do is look at this passage over the next few Sundays and really unpack what it says and what it is teaching, and in order to do that we have to first look at the overall idea that Paul is trying to get across here. Now you might be sitting here today and saying to yourself, “Hey I’m not married, this doesn’t apply to me at all.” But let me just tell you, whether you’re married or not, the nature of marriage affects each and every one of us.
Now I want you to notice that in verse 31 Paul goes all the way back to Genesis 2:24. So we see that Paul is saying that we need to see marriage as rooted in creation. This was something that God instituted before the fall of mankind. By doing this Paul is showing us that marriage is rooted in the creation and that marriage reflects the covenant and that those who are married are complementary to one another. Way back in Genesis; everything that God had created was said to be good, but then God says, “It is not good for man to be alone.” Adam needed a companion, so God gave him the job of naming all the animals. That’s more than just saying, “dog, cat, bear, horse, elephant, etc…” naming implies knowledge of the animals’ character and personality. It would neat to know what Adam named all the animals, but also in the process of naming, Adam was made aware that each animal had a mate that was suited to it.
So Adam was then made to sleep and God took from Adam in order to create what was most suited to him.
When Adam first saw Eve he was struck with awe and wonder.
It’s “Woah – man!” Not “Woe – man.”
And I could preach just on this for the next year, but I don’t want to stray too far from our text. Paul ties marriage in with creation and what that means is that marriage is the first and foundational institution. Marriage existed before government; marriage existed before the church even. All aspects of society are just extensions of the home. Government isn’t anything more than the enlargement of the parental structure on a grand scale. Education is the formalizing of home instruction. Health care comes from the nurturing of parents. Every institution derived by man can be traced back to the home in some sense or fashion.
And Paul says that it is marriage that causes us to leave our father and mother and be joined to our spouse. A lot of problems stem from this. Often times a man might be looking for a wife who was just like his mother, or a woman might be looking for a husband who was just like her father. Maybe her dad was a successful businessman, but her husband is struggling, or maybe her dad was Mr. Fix-er-uper, and her husband is Tim the Tool-man Taylor, an accident waiting to happen. Or maybe a man’s mom was Suzy homemaker, but his wife is afraid of the washing machine.