Marriage - God's Great Idea

June 6, 2019

Patty and I are celebrating 30 years of marriage this month. Not “marking or observing,” truly celebrating a wonderful gift to us, designed by God. The success of our marriage is undeniably tied to our relationship with Jesus. I wouldn’t be married today if Christ hadn’t been the center of my life; I won’t be married in the future if He doesn’t stay first and center in my life.

There are a lot of things marriage can’t do, but it does have a God-designed function. So why did God design marriage? He wants us to be happy, but that’s not His primary purpose. He wants us to be holy, and happiness comes as a by-product.

Marriage doesn’t solve your problems. Marriage does not create your problems. Marriage reveals problems. It simply magnifies what was already a problem when you were living as a single adult. The more you can deal with it before you get married, the happier, more God-honoring, and more fulfilling your marriage is going to be. You and your spouse will develop a deep soul intimacy that is personal, spiritual, even sexual. It is the oneness that comes from being unified by a relationship to God.

God designed marriage as a symbol to represent Himself, and as the very best way for men and women to live.

Marriage represents God. This is His gift to us. It shows His heart for us.

"Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:4-5; Genesis 1:26-27

Marriage represents Christ and the church. This is His example of how the church is loved by God and the individual members should work together.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:31–33

Marriage represents covenant. Covenant is God’s way of making a promise that is far better than the world can make.

You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Malachi 2:14

Humans seem to concentrate on contracts. In contracts, we protect our rights and we limit our responsibilities. God’s way is covenant: We give up our rights and we pick up our responsibilities. He is the initiator. He does that with us. He has covenanted to be with us and meet our needs as we surrender to Him. This is the pattern for a great marriage; the pattern that has abundantly worked for Patty and me for 30 years, thanks be to God.

The very best thing Patty and I have going for us is that we implicitly trust God and each other. I trust that I am loved unselfishly and completely by someone who knows the worst about me and the best, someone who I trust has my best interests at heart 100% of the time. God and Patty will not allow anything to break our trust and separate us. That is the exact picture of God’s relationship with us. The deeper the trust, the deeper and richer the relationship.

This is directly related to the world’s confusion about the church. Deep inside each person, God has placed a suspicion or idea that our human relationship of marriage is supposed to truly represent the faithful and committed union of God and His people. But we see so many poor relationships, so many divorces in the people God is supposed to be helping most, that our observers pick up a faulty picture of God’s covenant with us.

Today I am praying for your marriage and mine, that trust in God and each other will be the major characteristic of our lives.

God bless your covenants and give you joy in fulfilling them.