Welcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival. If you’re new here, either to the LINKUP or you’ve come for the new series on marriage, I look forward to learning together and growing in the ability to be the husband or wife God has called us to be and to have the kind of marriages that bring glory to Him. And if you’re single, I pray you’ll take away truths that will help you in any future marriage or help you minister to others who are married.
“Marriage Made in Heaven?”
We’ve all heard the phrase “a marriage made in heaven,” but it may bring to mind different thoughts and images. Perhaps, in your case, it’s of your parents’ marriage and whether it was a good one or a contentious one. Perhaps, it’s your own marriage and of the thoughts, dreams, commitments, even preconceptions, you had when you married. Perhaps, it’s the thing to which you look forward or the one over which you’ve become discouraged. Wherever you are, I believe this series will have something for you. So, whether you’re single or you’ve been married 50+ years, I hope you’ll tune in each week for this study, “A Marriage Made in Heaven?”
Was Marriage “Made” in Heaven?
Where did we get the institution of marriage? Did it start in one particular civilization? Is it the creation of government or prehistoric social engineers?
We have to go back to the beginning, to the book of Genesis to find that answer.
18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
23 And Adam said:
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
God said it was not good that man should be alone and He knew that nothing else in creation could take the place of two human beings in a relationship like the one shared within the Trinity itself.
So, He created a woman that was taken out of man. Then He called them to a “one flesh” relationship. He made two from one and then called the man and the woman to have a relationship that makes them one again.
Marriage was “made in heaven” or perhaps, more accurately, in the heart of God. But many marriages, even Christian marriages, fall far short of God’s design.
Marriage, God’s Idea
If we want the kind of marriages God planned for us, it’s important that we study it from His perspective. What should a one-flesh relationship look like? What is the purpose of marriage? Are the man and woman equal and what are their respective roles? When is it permissible to end a marriage that doesn’t seem to be made in heaven? I hope to answer these and other questions in this series.
What went wrong?
As we know, there was another being in the garden who tempted the first couple to disbelieve God. Their decision to go against God’s command and eat the fruit had an immediate effect on all of life, including their marriage.
Genesis 2.25 said, “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” But afterwards …
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
But their disobedience didn’t just bring shame and disunity between them and God. Instead of humbly admitting their own wrong, Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the devil. And the cycle of finger pointing, shame, and hiding has been going on ever since.
The good news is, just as God had an answer for the broken relationship between us and Himself, He has answers for the sinful tendencies that cause brokenness, disappointment, heartbreak, and divorce in our marriages.
My husband says that marriage is the greatest thing this side of heaven. And I can tell you, it isn’t because he found the perfect wife! I can also tell you that we don’t have the same marriage we had 34 years ago when we started out. If we did, we would never have made it this long.
It’s not that we started our married life with little or no baggage, or we had the perfect Christian upbringing, or we got the right pre-marital counseling, or we are just so compatible. In fact, none of those things is true. In the natural, we had almost everything going against us.
Next week, I’ll share our testimony, not of our great accomplishment, but of our Gracious God! I hope you’ll come back.
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