... And God Created MarriageSearch the Word | Vol. 28 No. 3 | Mar-Apr 2018
What was the first wedding like? Imagine all of heaven in attendance and everything turns out just right. And better yet, wouldn’t it be nice to know you were marrying a perfect person?
Much detail goes into a wedding to create the most picturesque ceremony, and certainly the One who created marriage missed no important details. We can imagine it was an unforgettable experience. One day we may know more about it.
What we do know is that with His own hands, God created two personal expressions of Himself and put within their genetic makeup an incompleteness that drew them together. Then he presented them to one another and pronounced, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24. He created them to be in perfect union. God created marriage.
Rightly understood and practiced, marriage brings out the best in us and brings greater joy. But if selfishness prevails in a marriage, there is no greater pain or stress in all the world.
The Bible reveals both sides of marriage. Through its lessons we may avoid the perils of marital disharmony and reap the joys of a union blessed of God.
I. A DIVINE COMMANDMENT
1. Who established marriage? Genesis 2:21–24. See also Matthew 19:4–6.
Marriage is not ideal for everyone. Some may find life easier without the added responsibility of marriage. Making a success of marriage requires maturity; therefore, young people should not be hurried into this sacred relationship.
2. What two commandments deal with the home? Exodus 20:12, 14. See also Matthew 19:16–19.
3. When entered into with the fear of God, how does marriage help to preserve the purity of society? 1 Corinthians 7:1–5.
The experience of sexual intimacy is most purely expressed in marriage. However, marriage today is often used to fulfill a person’s selfish needs, much as it was before the flood. Sexual intimacy was designed to be a selfless act, an expression of true love. The Bible says that we will meet our marital record in judgment, and this fact should have a sobering effect on our lives. See also 1 Corinthians 7:5, 8, 9; Colossians 3:18, 19; 2 Peter 1:4.
4. What were most people preoccupied with before a flood destroyed the earth? Matthew 24:37–39.
There is in itself no sin in eating and drinking, or in marrying and giving in marriage when these things are not carried to excess. But in the days of Noah, men lived without consulting God, or seeking His guidance and counsel. They strayed away from God’s design, and it was every man for himself. So it is at the present day. See also 1 Corinthians 7:29–31; Luke 17:26–30.
5. On what basis did the antediluvians choose marriage partners? Genesis 6:1, 2.
The descendants of Seth were called the “sons of God.” They married the descendants of Cain, who were unconverted. This resulted not in the conversion of the unconverted spouses, but in the apostasy of the “sons of God.” See also Genesis 24:1–3; 26:34, 35; 28:1.
III. BIBLICAL COUNSEL ON DIVORCE
1. Christ set forth only one legitimate reason for divorce. What was it? Why was it considered? Matthew 19:5, 6, 9.
The Bible does not require the innocent party to divorce the unfaithful marriage partner. In some cases forgiveness can be granted, and trust reestablished. See also Mark 10:11, 2.
2. What counsel does God give about marriage between a believer and an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:14–18; Deuteronomy 7:1–3.
3. Should one already married to an unbeliever seek a divorce? 1 Corinthians 7:10–15; 1 Peter 3:1.
4. Are people who live in celibacy holier than those who marry? Hebrews 13:4; 1Timothy 4:1–3.
5. What is God’s ideal for the relationship between a husband and wife? Ephesians 5:22, 25.
IV. LOVE AT HOME
1. How is the spiritual life affected if a wife is not honored and understood? 1 Peter 3:7; 1 John 4:7–8.
God took Eve from Adam’s side to be his “helper comparable to him,” not his slave. Genesis 2:18 (NKJV). She was to be submissive to his godly affections and Christian leadership as an equal partner. They were to be “one.” See also Genesis 2:24.
2. What is one way parents can show love for their children?* Proverbs 13:24.
Discipline and love must always go together. Eli is an example of someone who mistook indulgence for love, and did not discipline his sons. See also 1 Samuel 3:13.
3. What disposition in children is a sign of the last days? 2 Timothy 3:1, 2.
4. How does Paul summarize the ideal relationship between parent and child? Ephesians 6:1–4. See also Colossians 3:20, 21.
II. SEXUAL PURITY
1. What does the Bible call those who engage in sexual activity outside of marriage? Hebrews 13:4.
The words “whoremongers” and “fornicators” (NKJV) are from the Greek word “pornos” from which we get the word “pornography.” This verse warns against all sexual relations outside of marriage. See also 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10.
2. In maintaining sexual purity, how important is it that we guard our eyes and our thoughts?
People who lived before the flood, or antediluvians, had come to a point were they were continually guided by evil thoughts. See Genesis 6:5. No doubt they enjoyed sensual songs, pictures, and jokes. This would have contributed to their low morals. See also Colossians 3:5–8.
Even though much of today’s society is like the world before Noah’s flood, we may have Christ’s prayer answered for us: “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” John 17:15. Will you determine, by God’s help, to be pure in both thought and deed and to fulfill your Christian duty as a husband, wife, parent, or child?
* Philippians 4:5 says, “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” This also applies to discipline; as parents we must learn when enough is enough and practice temperance in all disciplinary methods. Discipline is to be done in love and not anger. Love will bring understanding. Anger is harmful and can breed rebellion and confusion. See Ephesians 6:4; Proverbs 15:1; Colossians 3:21.
In the Ten Commandments and other Bible passages, why does God portray Himself as a “jealous God”? How can a holy God also be jealous?
I. In the Beginning
II. The Change
III. God’s Solution
V. Will You Come
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