Summary: Message 20 in our exposition of Exposition of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians. This message focuses on the purpose of marriage.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“Married with Purpose” 1 Cor 7
It doesn’t take a great deal of research or study to realize that marriage in the world is in big trouble. Cohabitation has dramatically increased. People do not see a reason for getting married.
This is especially the case in those countries where marriage is no longer understood as between a man and a woman. Whenever society abandons God’s prescription and purpose for marriage, the whole culture begins to deteriorate.
God’s Purpose for Marriage
If you want to find the blueprint for living…start looking in Genesis. There God established the foundation.
1. Partnership (Companionship)
God created man in His image. God has existed in community from eternity. God created man with the capacity and need for community. All through the stages of creation God declared that it was good. When it came to man without woman, God said that it was not good.
“It is not good that man should be alone! I will make one corresponding to him.
“We will make one who can relate.”
Notice that Adam’s “aloneness” was a reality even in a perfect environment and with unbroken fellowship with the creator.
Adam recognized an essential unity between them.
“Bone of my bone. Flesh of my flesh.”
“They were naked and not ashamed”
“There was no self-consciousness.”
For the original couple there was absolute partnership and community between them. Marriage provides companionship. Marriage illustrates an exclusive commitment to another person.
God told Adam and Eve to leave, cleave and become one flesh. How far from God’s design we have wandered. Instead of companionship and cooperation, marriage had turned to competition and conflict. Very few marriages could be characterized as companionships. Marriage and the family is a perfect training ground for learning to function in community.
2. Potential (Completeness)
God purposed to make a “helper”. God created woman to come along side. Man is incomplete without woman. Woman is incomplete without man. God designed interdependence between man and woman.
In the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God. 1 Cor. 11:11-12
A marriage works best when both work together and come up with a solution or direction that neither would have arrived at on their own. God designed marriage to teach humility and the necessity of functioning in community. Marriage becomes the training ground for learning to be more effective in the body. Marriage is God’s way of bringing us to our full potential.
“Be fruitful and fill up the earth.”
God established the family with a mother and father to fill up the earth. Children find the greatest protection and security in the confines of a mother and father who love God and each other.
4. Portrayal (Illustration)
Paul referred to marriage as a living illustration of Christ and the church.
FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. Ephes. 5:31-33
Even the Old Testament referenced marriage to picture relationship with God. Trusting other god’s was continually compared to infidelity in marriage. There is something about the marriage relationship that teaches us about relationship with God. The intimacy, the community, the partnership, the commitment, the trust. Marriage was intended as a picture of intimacy with God.
In fact, when we get to heaven, there will be no more need for marriage. Jesus made that clear when the Sadducees brought up a doosy of a hypothetical situation. Matthew 22:23-30
Once you have the real thing, the picture, as glorious and glamorous at it is, becomes insignificant. We have a distorted concept of marriage that unfortunately parallels the lines of our culture. All of the purposes previously presented, parallel our relationship with God.
Partnership (companionship) “I am with you!)
Potential (completeness) “You are complete in Christ!”
Procreation “Bear fruit for righteousness (Rom 7)
Portrayal “Relationship with God is a vital, graphic picture of meaningful community.”
What does your marriage teach you about relationship with God?
What in your marriage stirs a deeper desire to relate to God in the same way?
If it doesn’t, there is something wrong in the marriage. The marriage is not operating in line with God’s design. There are two more purposes for marriage found in the marriage chapter of 1 Corinthians. This chapter probably says more about the marriage relationship than any other one single passage.