What every single or dating person needs to know.
Marriage… oh what a wonderful thing! Or is it? Many people love the idea of marriage but truth be told, they know very little about its realities. Their idea of marriage stems from what they have seen in romantic Hallmark movies or the portrait illustrated by Hollywood. Neither one of these illustrations however paints an accurate picture of what marriage is all about.
Marriage is an ancient covenant instituted by God between the first man and the first woman that ever lived back in the Garden of Eden. God created marriage and it was good. When God created mankind, He placed in us a desire for relationships: first with Him and then with others. Part of that desire for relationship included the desire for marriage. After God placed the man Adam in the garden to tend to it and have dominion over every thing God had created, He recognized this desire He placed in Adam and stated that it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). As a result, God created the first woman, Eve, to be a “help meet for him”. This woman would be someone who would complement Adam, be equally valuable, intelligent, have her own personality, a sense of ethics and morals, and be spiritually sound. A big part of her role was to be what I call a purpose-mate, a mate who would help Adam in his purpose and in the calling God placed on his life. She would support him and help him operate in his purpose rather than hinder him. And so God called them to become one flesh, hence to be united as one in a covenant or lifelong relationship as well as united intimately. Although Adam and Eve were two people with their respective individuality, they were still meant to operate as one unit.
Marriage has two great purposes. The first purpose of marriage is to glorify God.
The Primary Purpose Of Marriage
When God created marriage, He established it for His own glory. He desired for marriage to first reflect the relationship He has with His bride – the church (body of believers). Truly this purpose has little to do with us, and everything to do with God. God desired marriage between a man and a woman to be filled with love and reflect the love God has for His people. Founded on God’s agape love, the highest and purest form of love, God wants marriage to be a daily reminder of His love for humanity. The husband is meant to be the head of the home, loving his wife with the same sacrificial love that Christ had which led him to give his life for us. In the same way, the wife is to submit in love to her husband as she would to Jesus and as the church submits in love to Christ (Ephesians 5:22-33).
Truly, the unity between husband and wife, as the two are joined to become one flesh, is the unity between Christ and His body of believers. It is a mystery that we may never fully comprehend until we reach the other side of heaven. Yet, in giving us the pure model of love, Christ gave us the foundation and revealed the purpose of marriage.
The Secondary Purposes of Marriage
Though the primary purpose of marriage is to glorify God, marriage was instituted with other secondary goals. The goals of marriage consist in meeting our needs for:
– Companionship. God gave us marriage to be able to have someone to build and do life with. This companionship must rest on friendship because friendship is the first level of relationship we should achieve and succeed at before entering in this lifelong commitment. If a marriage is first built on friendship, it will not only bring enjoyment in the relationship but it will also help build a strong and lasting foundation. Friendship is key in marriage and should not be neglected.
–Pleasure. Our need for pleasure must be met in marriage as the latter provides a perfect, sacred and safe place to enjoy sexual intimacy between two spouses. Sex is powerful and also a form of worship. It is so powerful that God placed it within the container of marriage so it would remain a blessing. On one hand, when sexual intimacy is achieved outside of marriage that is when we can see its dangerous aspects and repercussions. Indeed, it has similar effects to a volcano in eruption with lava destroying much in its passage and perverting what God created. It can have lasting ramifications such as emotional or psychological pain, soul ties, and health issues. On the other hand, when it remains inside the sphere of marriage it is an enormous blessing to both spouses. It is God’s desire for us to experience this blessing with a spouse and in a way that glorifies Him. We’ll talk more about the power of sex in a later article.
-Protection. Marriage creates a system of protection in so much that husbands protect wives, wives protect the home, and husband and wife protect the children. It provides a way for everyone to be cared for and watched over.
–Procreation. Many of us want children. This innate desire is a direct response to God commanding us to go and multiply. In marriage, we can build a family unit and fill the home with children, which are a reward from God as well as a responsibility. (Psalms 127:3)
Finally, we must understand that marriage is a sacred covenant and honorable. This covenant is built on trust, love, mutual respect, forgiveness, and a sense of commitment and responsibility. If you understand that first and foremost, marriage must be built on its primary purpose as its foundation, you will be better equipped to journey through life with your future spouse. God must be at the center and core of your marriage. To win in your future marriage, you must first change your flawed perceptions in regards to it.
…continue to Part 2