Summary: A review of God's foundation for marriage in Genesis chapters 2-3.
Unveiled: Foundations of Marriage
I first met my wife when she was seriously dating one of my roommates. I was dating a girl in Dallas. You can tell the story gets interesting right away. Fast forward, we both had bad break-ups and lightly dated a few other people. Then, the night before I left Austin to go to Dallas Theological Seminary, cupid shot his arrow. Our friendship suddenly turned romantic. It was magic. Four months later I gave her a ring and asked for her hand on a ski trip in Red River, New Mexico. Six months later we vowed our love to each other, committing to serve God together as a couple. Twenty-eight years later our relationship is sweeter than ever.
Today we are beginning a three-week series called "Unveiled: God’s Take on Marriage and Divorce." We have a study guide for you on-line and we have photocopies available from the ushers or on Main Street for free. Today we are looking at God’s foundations for marriage in the book of Genesis and how those original foundations were shattered by our sin.
If you are single or single again, we believe and affirm the goodness and value of singleness. Not everyone should get married. Not everyone should stay married; there are situations where divorce is the best of the bad options, even though we seek to avoid divorce. If you are married, no matter where you are in your marriage, desperate, tired or excited, we want to bring you hope and help. There is no way I can speak to every specific situation. If you are on the verge of divorce, dealing with recent adultery or abuse, know that God is with you. He is your refuge and strength. He is bigger than your greatest problem.
In Genesis God invites us to discover the foundations of marriage. Today I am not going to share ten top tips for a terrific marriage. There is a place for that. Rather we are going to look at the deep foundations of a good marriage rooted in the story of creation and the Fall of humanity. Humans are the highpoint of God’s creation. You and I have an incredibly significant role in the universe, given to us by God at creation. We alone are made in his image to serve as his representatives. Genesis records;
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, ‘‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”
What does it mean to be in the image of God? The image of God is the moral responsibility and capacity that enables us to sustain loving relationships, to multiply life and to rule the world as his royal representatives. Marriage helps us fulfill our created mission. Today believers in Jesus Christ are to be more and more conformed to his image. We are to multiply followers of the King as we represent him on earth.
As God’s image-bearers he has given us the dignity and responsibility of choices with consequences. We are responsible to the Creator. Listen to God’s first command.
16 Then the LORD God commanded the man, “You may freely eat fruit from every tree of the orchard, 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17 (NET).
We are given the responsibility and privilege of moral choice. One of our most basic temptations is the desire to determine what is right and wrong for ourselves. We doubt that God’s will is really our highest good. In our marriages we think we will be happy if we do things our way. Loving sacrifice is not what seems best to us. Deep inside we suspect that we know better than God what would be best for us in our own personal lives and marriages. We need to trust God, that his will is truly best.
In striking contrast to the seven-fold repetition of the goodness of creation in chapter 1, this announcement is shocking.
18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” Genesis 2:18.
Notice God does not say it is not good to be single. You can be single and not be alone. In 1 Corinthians seven, Paul says that singleness is a great choice. The issue is relationships. We are not meant to be alone. God created us for relationships. This is one of the fundamental reasons why we have Groups at Christ Fellowship.
For Adam, God made Eve. God builds woman from man for man. To grasp the Biblical view of marriage, we need to see the making of woman. God brought all the animals to Adam and he named them. Then we read;