Summary: With Valentine’s day coming, and confusion about marriage let’s have affirmation that marriage is good and is forever and probe the question of dating.
How the Bible Views Marriage
Valentine’s Day is coming up – day of luv… romance, dating, marriage… Much of our culture is preaching love and intimacy without commitment. Time is ripe for us to reaffirm marriage to stem the tide of our culture’s influence and to prevent broken hearts, cold feet at the altar and be fully alive to the vision of joy and love that God wants for each marriage. This recent stat alone should cause to take a double take:
YAmericans aged 13-17, who believe unmarried couples living together is acceptable
Y Teens overall: 70 percent
Y Churchgoing teens: 50 percent
Gallup Poll - “Snapshots” USA Today (6-10-03)
A. Marriage is good.
27So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”… 31Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 1:27-31 (NKJV)
Three things from the very beginning we need to know about marriage:
1. God affirms both sexes. “Male and female He created them” which tells us there is no other different “lifestyle choices.” The Genesis passage is a clear statement that homosexuality is NOT part of God’s will or design. Two sexes, male and female and not a third was affirmed and it was very good!
2. God is in it! There is something very good about both male and female. Together they formed the image of God. It is blessed by God! There is something about very attractive about God Himself. It was never the intention of God to separate the sexes, as God said in Genesis 2:18 (NKJV): “IT IS NOT GOOD that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
3. God blessed it: Part of the blessing of God in a perfect world is marriage, very good sex and kids. His will is “be fruitful and multiply.” How can this be fulfilled apart from sex and marriage? This was all “very good” to God! God has placed sexual desire in every person anf it was definitely part of His design.
So, we should not be treating sex and marriage as if it were a dirty little secret that holy people do not talk about. One whole book in the Bible is dedicated to it – “the Song of Songs” and it celebrates the joys of marital love and intimacy. It was there before sin entered the world. In a profound way we can say that the sexual revolution started with God, it was His idea. Males will be attracted to females and vice versa, and that’s a fact of life. Right off the bat God deals with it and proclaimed it as part of His creation, part of His joy, part of Himself, in the very image of God!
In the context of marriage, the Bible speaks of Christ as the Bridegroom who loved and gave Himself to the Church as His bride (Eph.5:25-32). No wonder God As Tim Stafford (1993,p.81) commented “A good family, which begins with a good marriage, is a signpost of heaven.” What happens between a man and woman as depicted in a wedding ceremony is but a taste of heaven.
B. Marriage is forever.
21And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23And 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.”
24Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:21-25 (NKJV)
1. One-flesh Mystery: Seen a child cling to their parents? What would cause a child to leave father and mother? Why risk leaving, forsaking the close parent-child tie? The answer comes through Adam’s cry of discovery “bone of my bones” – a glorious unashamed “yes, yes, yes” to someone he can share life with and be completely at home with in the one-flesh mystery God created. There is a “wow” factor involved. As Matthew Henry observed: “man being made last of the creatures, as the best and most excellent of all, Eve’s being made after Adam, and out of him, puts an honour upon that sex, as the glory of the man, 1 Co. 11:7. If man is the head, she is the crown, a crown to her husband, the crown of the visible creation. The man was dust refined, but the woman was dust double-refined, one remove further from the earth.” Now wonder Adam said “wow” to God’s beautiful creation when He brought Eve to him.