Summary: God’s Word on Marriage - some key lessons for today.
A little girl was at a wedding. She asked, “Mummy, why do brides always wear white?” The mum replied, “Because they’re happy, dear.” Halfway through the wedding the girl whispered, “Mummy, if brides wear white because they’re happy, then why do men wear black?”
We live in a world that thinks marriage is a bit of a laugh.
In March 2008 The Guardian newspaper reported that almost 50%, nearly half, of all UK marriages are ending in divorce. The report said that those who live together without marrying are even more likely to separate. Since the credit crunch hit us, rates are just going up and up.
Some of us here today may find the subject of marriage a very painful thing.
We may have been through a painful separation or divorce.
We may have the raw memories of a precious husband or wife that has passed away.
If that’s you, I want you to know today that God sees you, and offers you his rich resources of comfort and healing grace.
Some of us here today are single because we’ve never found a partner yet, or we’ve even chosen a life of singleness. I want you to know that the Lord Jesus and the Apostle Paul were just like you. Through the challenges of single life, they learnt to be single and satisfied in God. They show us that to be single is not to be less ’whole’ than a couple.
And some of us here today are married and experiencing the joys and challenges of that. I want you to know something today! By God’s grace you and I CAN have a healthy and joyful marriage. But only with Christ’s help.
It’s good to remind ourselves of God’s Word on Marriage.
Reading: Genesis 2:18-25...
Four things you should know about marriage
1. Marriage is about companionship
‘The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone”’, v18.
In chapter one God kept saying everything was good, good and very good. But suddenly he is saying that something is not good. This is shocking stuff. And we need to ask why?
Why is it not good for man to be alone?
Is it because Adam would be lonely?
Is it because Adam would not be as fully himself without another human to interact with?
Is it because Adam could not be as fruitful all on his own?
Yes, yes and yes!
Apparently God has made people for people. This doesn’t mean that everyone needs to get married. But it does mean that people need people. It means that God has made marriage for companionship. For friendship.
Many of you know we lived in Asia for a number of years. In the country we were in, if a married couple didn’t have a baby in their first year of marriage the man could divorce his wife! What was the idea behind that? That marriage is about babies! And yes, Genesis 1:28 says that babies are an important part of marriage. But they are not the only reason for marriage. At least 50% of the reason for marriage is here in this verse: ‘It is not good for the man to be alone’.
I’m speaking to the married couples now. Maybe your spouse isn’t with you today. But here’s the question: How good a companion and friend are you to your spouse? How much quality time do you spend with them? Not time in front of the TV. Not time fast asleep next to each other in bed. But real time; time being a companion and friend? A marriage can be a lonely place to be. Husbands and wives, are you emotionally, practically, spiritually together with your spouse? ........ and I lead a busy life. But we make sure we make time during the week we find those moments to connect with each other.
Marriage is about companionship.
2. Marriage is about one man and one woman
The Lord goes on to say, v18, “I will make a helper suitable for him”. Look at that word: suitable.
In verses 19-20 all sorts of creatures pass in front of Adam.
But animals weren’t suitable as a life companion.
Another man wasn’t suitable for Adam as a life companion.
God didn’t provide 2 Eves for Adam.
God found that only the woman, v22, was suitable for Adam.
It was about one man and one woman!
Here in England, society is busy redefining marriage.
Marriage has come to mean something optional...something temporary.
Homosexual couples can get a kind of semi marriage – a civil partnership.
Now I want to remind us that God loves homosexual people. We must never sneer at or condemn anybody. There are many sincere Christians who struggle with homosexual feelings. We need to stand with such people, and help them to live a holy life; just as we need to help anyone temped to engage in sex outside of marriage. If you are struggling in this way, feel free to come and speak to me, I or others will pray with you. Don’t try and stand alone! I have a friend who struggles in this area. He told me: Tell your people to get help and not to try and stand alone.