Summary: Why marriage? TThis message looks at three answers to that question and hopefully come to a deeper understanding of and commitment to marriage as God’s plan
Mike Bowie tells the story of his 6 year old daughter asking the question while they were driving in the car. “Dad, are Anjolina Joli and Brad Pitt married?” Why do you ask? “Don’t they have a kid and they’re getting ready to adopt another one?” Yes. “Aren’t you supposed to have kids after you’re married?” Yes. And then he added, Why are you going to buy the cow when you’re already getting the milk? “What does milk have to do with that?” Well, the world just has a different way of doing things but that’s the not the way we do it in our house. It’s college, career, marriage and then family. He repeated it several times and then asked her to repeat it too. She then said, “College, career, marriage and milk.” And then Mike says, Lauren asked the question that many people have asked, Why marriage? Society is a lot like Lauren. There are a lot of misconceptions and misinterpretations of relationships and marriage.
Recent studies have found that….
· More than half of all couples now live together before getting married compared to just 10% three decades ago and the divorce rate is exceeding 50%
· Since 1960 there has been an 850 % increase in the number of cohabiting couples who live with children, and an estimated 40% of all children are expected to spend some time in a cohabiting household during their adolescent and teenage years
· The Census Bureau projects that within 3 years families with children will comprise only 28% of all American households
· 31% of kids under 18 live either with single parents or no parents at all, more than double the 12 % in ‘60.
· More than a third of children are born outside of marriage
People get married for all kinds of reasons. Some people get married for romantic reasons. Others get married for passionate, sexual reasons. Some people get married because that other person provides them with the security they need in their life. Some people get married out of necessity. But the fact of the matter is that marriage has been created for something far greater. Why marriage? Today, we’re going to look at three answers to that question and hopefully come to a deeper understanding of and commitment to marriage as God’s plan.
First, marriage reflects heaven. Gene Gregory writes, “Some years ago Gladys and I bought a computer that was a display model. We used it for a number of years. As a matter of fact, we just finished having it rebuilt so the church can use it while the church’s computer is being repaired. Now, that computer served us well and I was able to do a number of things with it, but it never did all it was supposed to do, because when we bought it, it came without some of the software and without the manual. I didn’t have the manual and no one ever taught me how to do much with it. The same is true of marriage and of your home. It may be OK, it may be good enough to get by. Your children might not be arrested and you might even stay married to the same person until you die, but it will never be all it could have been if God is not the center of it.” Marriage is more than a contract between two consenting adults. It is a covenant between three persons: man, women and God. This is the relationship where God is most fully known in the presence of both man and woman. Marriage is more than walking down an isle, cutting the cake, having a great reception and then enjoying the honeymoon for the rest of your life. It is a mystical union that reflects heaven. Gen 2:34 “Therefore man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife and they become one flesh.”
Marriage is the only union where man and woman are intimately joined together where God forms a living covenant reflecting the relationship that God wants to have with us. Nothing brings God greater joy than a relationship here on earth which is what God has designed in heaven. Marriage is meant to reflect a picture of heaven. Gen 1:27 “God created human beings in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” When God created them in his likeness and his image, they literally became reflection from heaven.
Most marriages don’t reflect heaven because they fail to realize the time for this image to develop. Image: developing film in a darkroom. Marriage is like developing film in a camera. To develop film it most go through a process. Film goes from a negative, then to a dark room and through several chemical processes until it finally become a photograph. Most marriages never make it to the final printed picture because they get stuck in the negative stage. Just a few months after the honeymoon, you begin to realize that it is no longer a romantic dream but now is a realistic nightmare. You know the old saying, A honeymoon is a Short Pause - between - I Do and You Better. It was once all love and kisses and now the underwear in on the floor, the house is a mess, the clean clothes haven’t been put away, the toilet seat is up, the wax and strips for waxing the legs sits on the counters for days, there’s long hair clogging your sink and most of the time she has a headache. Most people quit marriage in the negative stage and they never get to experience the transformation, utter joy and intimate connection which you could never have imagined in your wildest dreams.