Summary: Marriage between a man and a woman is essentially, intentionally and constitutionally a divinely ordained covenant, spiritual in origin, civil in its legality, and personal in its expression.
MARRIAGE SECRETS FROM THE GARDEN OF EDEN.
Gen. 1:26-28; 2:18-25
Int. There is a question being raised in our day concerning the fundamental nature of marriage. Is it strictly a civil institution to be affirmed and acknowledged by a secular set of standards, or is it a spiritual covenant that has divine authority in back of it?
There are those who argue that marriage is simply a civil institution that has been developed by our forebears and that the time has come for the traditional understanding of marriage to be redefined. Those who support this view seemingly have been influenced by an interpretation of life that measures the value of life as that which is limited to the time between the cradle and the grave.
These people believe that man is totally responsible to himself and to no one else nor is he accountable to any power beyond himself. This attitude, which has been called secular humanism, is one that has continued to gain more widespread support over the past three or four decades. Advocates of this type of thinking want a world without accountability, crime without punishment, sex without babies, perversion without AIDS, children without parental responsibility, money without work, laziness without poverty, and advancements in school without learning. More than we would like to admit, this philosophy of life has made some inroads into the modern church. Instead of molding, shaping and influencing society, secular society has been molding, shaping and influencing the religious bodies of our day. What spiritual power the church once had has been largely rendered ineffective, and in its place; compromise and permissiveness have become more desirable to a material taste.
The results of this tidal wave of humanism are extensive. It is out of this type of mental manipulation, that the core values of man’s well being are being seriously challenged, one of which is marriage. The ease with which a divorce can be gotten has opened the door to unbelievable problems. It is rare in our day to find a family, which has not been subjected to the heartache of seeing a marriage die. It is not unusual to find a child in our day that has two or three mothers by his father and two or three fathers by his mother. Divorce is never the solution to a problem, in fact, most of the time it is simply an act that opens the way for numerous problems to follow. Those who suffer most are the children who are being shaped in the most formative stage.
The Marriage relationship, as a spiritual covenant, ordained by God, is so fundamental to every society that to corrupt that relationship is to do fundamental damage to that society. Even the Supreme Court of the United States recognized this some years ago. They ruled that: “States must anchor their marriage laws in the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony. (Such a marriage) is the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization, (marriage is) the best guaranty of that reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement.” (Murphy vs Ramsay)
The keys to a successful marriage can be properly understood and genuinely appreciated when a person perceives the essential place that God is to hold in the marital relationship. We can learn this in the Garden of Eden!
I. IN THE GARDEN, WE FIND THAT GOD CONCEIVED THE PLAN FOR MARRIAGE.
John R. W. Stott “God has created us social beings. Since He is love, and has made us in His own likeness, He has given us the capacity to love and to be loved. In particular, when God had created a man, He saw that it was not good for the man to be alone. All of the other living creatures were paraded before the man but for the man “no suitable helper was found.” God said, “I will make a helper suitable for him.” This “helper” or companion, whom God had so described, would complement man and be his counterpart, his companion. She would be so designed as to become man’s sexual partner, with whom he would become “one flesh.” Within this relationship, the bond of love would flourish and the potential would be there for the procreation of children. In order to accomplish this, a special creation was necessary.
In Genesis, chapter one, the order of creation is presented. Beginning on day one and continuing through day six, there are seven distinct commands given by God.
v. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,”…
v. 6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to