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Understanding God's Blueprint for Marriage
The First Institution Established And Elevated To The Most Intimate Of Relationships
Marriage is a divine institution, ordained and regulated by God’s word. It is found in every human culture. God formed humanity as male and female with the intent that a man leave his father and mother to cling and commit to a permanent union with one woman (Gen 2:24). It is the first institution established and elevated to the most intimate of relationships by God and the only one founded before the Fall. Many people throughout the ages have questioned, rebelled against or attempted to change the shape of this ideal covenant forged by God. Rooted in a divine origin, marriage is an institution that is not subject to the human electoral process, political correctness or even the cultural trends that influence the tide of traditional or liberal thinking today. When some Pharisees confronted Jesus about grounds for divorce, his response affirmed God’s original and perfect blueprint for marriage—the Creation ideal (Mt 19:1-6).
The Institution Of Marriage
Genesis 1:26-27, without question, clearly presents God’s intention for humankind to have male and female discover and express the beauty and sanctity of marriage. Three different aspects of the creation account provide insight into the divine ideal for marriage. Men and women were to have a: (1) shared nature in that Adam recognizes his likeness to Eve declaring, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”; (2) one flesh in that the two are not only joined through sexual union, but as husband and wife they share their oneness of life on earth along with all the experiences it will bring; and (3) suitable helper in that after Adam was allowed to explore creation for a time in order to sense a longing need for companionship, God provided Eve as a suitable “helper as his partner” (Gen 2:18,20). The story of Adam and Eve provides us with God’s perfect standard for marriage—an intimate union between a male and female for life. Marriage was not only meant to populate the earth through reproduction, but also designed to propagate God’s image via spiritual multiplication throughout the generations to come (Gen 1:28; Mal 2:15).
The Image of Marriage
If the Old Testament portrays Israel as the wife of YHWH, God remaining faithful in a fallen and unfaithful union, the New Testament contributes to our understanding of the marriage relationship using similar imagery. We learn that through the act of loving, accepting, forgiving, encouraging, rebuking, edifying, and many other ways toward oneness, a husband and wife participate in one another’s lives. When Christian marriages embrace this God-given ideal that is taught in the scripture and made real by the Spirit, marriages can be redeemed from the impact of sin allowing our lives to closely equate the divine ideal. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church, for that spiritual bond is the reality that reflects the true union of God’s image (Eph 5:29-33). Today the church lives on earth as the one betrothed to Christ. At Christ’s return, the promised marriage, will finally consummate, as the bride and groom will be united forever.
© 2009, Gicky Soriano. All rights reserved.
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