Tuesday, February 14, 2023

God’s Blueprint for Marriage

 “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
- Genesis 2:18

You’ve probably seen the classic animated Disney movie, “The Little Mermaid.” Early in the film, Ariel shows her sea gull friend Scuttle one of the treasures that she found at the bottom of the ocean: a fork. She asks him, “What is it?” Scuttle makes up a quick answer: “It’s a dinglehopper!” And he shows her the way humans use it … to straighten their hair out.

A little bit later in the movie, Ariel is all dressed up at the dinner table inside Prince Eric’s palace. She looks down at the table and sees one—a dinglehopper!—and she’s so excited. She picks it up and proudly combs her hair with it in front of the prince. Ariel makes a fool of herself.

Now, where did Ariel go wrong? Even a 4-year-old can answer that question. If she wanted to know what a fork was, she should have asked a human, because humans invented forks and humans use forks. But instead of asking a human, Ariel asked a dumb bird.

We Americans are more like Ariel than we like to admit. God is the Creator of marriage. He is the Grand Architect who dreamed up marriage and brought it into being. In the second chapter of Genesis, God shows us His blueprint for marriage. He tells us plainly what marriage looks like and why He created it in the first place. But most Americans today completely ignore what the creator of marriage says about marriage. Instead, they trust the warped opinions of “dumb birds” who pretend to be experts on the subject—our celebrities, political activists and social media influencers.

According to the Pew Research Center, in 2001, 35% of Americans supported same-sex marriage. In the 21 years since then, that level of support has almost doubled, to around 62% of Americans. According to the Barna Trends 2017 report, 65% of American adults say that living together without being married is a good idea. But God Almighty, the Creator of marriage, makes it very clear in Genesis 2 that marriage is between one man and one woman. And He makes it clear what the order of events should be: Marriage comes first. Then comes sex. Then come children. And according to God’s Word, changing the order of these three things is not only a really bad idea, it’s sin.

I hope you agree that it’s foolish to ignore what God says about marriage. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the Grand Architect’s plan for marriage in the Bible. God’s blueprint outlines three purposes for marriage:

#1: To provide a lifelong helper who is just right for you. Genesis 2:7 tells us that God created Adam before Eve. Then God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (v. 18), but although the garden was filled with living creatures, “for Adam no suitable helper was found” (v. 20.) And so Eve was custom-made by God to be a helper suitable for Adam. This term “helper suitable” literally means “corresponding face-to-face.” It does not in any way indicate that Adam’s wife was inferior to him. Even Adam’s surgery, as God created Eve from one of Adam’s ribs, demonstrates this. 18th Century Bible commentator Matthew Henry says it so well: “She was not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.”

#2: To provide unashamed sexual intimacy that will lead to bearing children. Genesis 2:25 tells us, “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” When a husband and wife are face-to-face, naked without shame, they become one flesh as their parts fit together like a perfect puzzle. And this physical intimacy between a husband and his wife is “just right” for bringing a new human life into the world. So we read in Genesis 1:28, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.’”

#3: To provide a living illustration of Christ’s sacrificial love for the Church. The Apostle Paul points out this third God-given purpose for marriage in Ephesians 5:25-33. This profound passage tells husbands to “love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (vs. 25). And it ends with the verse, “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (v. 33). This model of marriage provides us with a beautiful, powerful, God-given opportunity to display the gospel of love and grace to a world that doesn’t want to HEAR Christians—but is always WATCHING Christians.

If you do a Google search on the definition of marriage, this is what you’ll find: “the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship (historically and in some jurisdictions specifically a union between a man and a woman).” I hope that you’ll agree that this is a pitiful, watered-down definition of marriage. It’s a slap in God’s face.

God’s word has equipped us to offer this much more accurate and beautiful definition of marriage. Marriage is a life-long, covenant relationship between one man and one woman. God created marriage for the purposes of close companionship, physical intimacy, bearing and rearing children, and demonstrating Christ’s unconditional love to a watching world. Ladies and gentlemen, THIS is marriage.

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church in Victorville. Join us at Impact for Sunday services: in person at 9 a.m., or online at 10 a.m. on YouTube or Facebook. For more information, visit www.GreaterImpact.cc.

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