What is “marriage”… really?
Men and women everywhere are forgoing traditional marriage for convenience, it is an epidemic really. The question goes from, “When are we getting married?” to “Why should we get married?”. What is “marriage”… really?
Adam, the First Marriage Counsellor
Getting down to the basics of marriage, marriage was originally designed by God to be for a man and a woman to have one partner for life, as Adam had Eve.
“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. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Gen 2:24
Adam had it figured out, look at his thinking about marriage and the creation of Eve and listen to his words:
bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh…
This shows us the level of intimacy between a man and a woman… Q. Do you LOVE your spouse as you LOVE your own body?
she shall be called Woman…
“Woman” was named “woman” due to the fact that woman IS created the same as man (in the respect that she is human), except that she has been created with a womb. Thus she is a womb-an… Q. Do you treat your spouse as an equally created partner?
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother…
Notice how Adam is already talking about the future?! There were no “kids” yet, there was no “father and mother” and yet Adam is saying, “This is a GOOD thing, in the future men and women will be joined together and should leave their parents in order to become something GREAT” … Q. Have you left the safety of your parents house in order to live a GREAT life with your spouse?
shall cleave unto his wife…
I was always under the impression that “cleaving” meant to “stick” two things together. According to the Oxford Dictionary however the number one definition of “cleave” is: split (a molecule) by breaking a particular chemical bond. WOW! So according to Adam, a husband and wife are called to split from their parents on the molecular level. How is this? Think of a cleaver (knife) cutting something in half, as soon as what is being cut has been cleaved can you EVER put it back together again?NO! The very molecular structure of the thing being cut has changed! It can NEVER be put back the way it was. When a husband and a wife are cleaved from their parents… they are PERMANENTLY divided- and there is NO more going back to being a child again. Adam is showing us the thinking behind marriage. In marriage we are to take our vows to each other as seriously as if our very DNA was cut and split APART from our parents and rejoined together on the same level and with new creation to each OTHER, the two becoming ONE. Q. Have you been taking your vows THIS seriously?
they shall be one flesh…
Learning how to be “happy though married” takes understanding the unity, seriousness and finality of marriage. When you were married, the Lord JOINED the two of you together.
“The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Q. Have you closed the back door yet?
Happiness in marriage comes when divorce is no longer an alternative
No one in their right mind initially gets married with the desire to end up divorced. Unfortunately, many men and women have accepted ending up in divorce as an alternative way of living “If things don’t work out, we’ll just get divorced“. Just as a warrior “burns his ships” before going into battle, so as Christians embarking in marriage must learn to refuse divorce as a mean to an end. Scripture says: “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” GOD JOINED the two together on a spiritually molecular level, and if you are a friend to a struggling couple do not attempt to separate their union. This is between them and GOD.
What would happen in your marriage if “there was no back door”? After five years of marriage, I was feeling rather stuck. I had never accepted divorce as an alternative, but I wasn’t happy either. What to do? It was at this point in my life that I had to receive the identity of wife. As soon as I did that… WHOA! Things started to change! I would venture to say that I had never been completely “married” as long as I rebelled against the reality of my identity as a WIFE. The day I decided to walk, talk, think, act, and serve as a WIFE, I became married in thought- and thus was able to maintain and succeed in “marriage.” Until that day, I was just playing house!
While we may be legally “married” by law and spiritually “married” through sexual unity a marriage does NOT truly begin, and cannot become a happy one until you become newly identified for the rest of your life as “the married one”. Marriage was designed for a man and a woman who desire to no longer be children in their fathers house, but instead desire to become a life-long spouses excited about entering into the sonship creation process. A man and wife devoted to God have chosen to focus their lives developing future generations that love and desire to serve and spread the message of Christ. If you are not ready to become identified for the rest of your life as spouse… DON’T get married!
“Happy” Though Married RECAP:
- Q. Do you LOVE your spouse as you LOVE your own body?
Understanding that when you “got” married you not only “got” a wife, you got an extension of yourself, may cause you to change the way you do things. From the foods that you buy for the house, to the types of activities that you do outside of the home. Thinking of your spouse as an extension of your own body is a vital key in having and living happy though married. Could I do this activity with my wife? Is this food I am cooking as good for me as it is for him? Would I want my (spouse) to see this? Should I see this?
- Q. Do you treat your spouse as an equally created partner?
Galatians 3:28 says: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Scripture also calls us “Co-laborers” in Christ. Does this apply to both men and women absolutely! What we must understand however, that while we Christians operate free from the curse that fell on Adam and Eve (read Gal 3;13), the world still operates under sin until delivered in the final battle by Christ. As long as there is sin and death in this world- there will be a curse in operation against both men and women.
To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16
Until women receive Christ, they are subject to being ruled by men as the curse so clearly states. However both men and women have been made free from this curse through Christ. I would encourage husbands to understand that while they are equally created and in unity with their wives, they must understand that their wives are the weaker vessel in marriage due to the fact that their free wives are forced to operate in a cursed, oppressed and sin ridden world!
“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” 1 Peter 3:17
- Q. Have you left the safety of your parents house in order to live a GREAT life with your spouse?
We are not really married as long as we keep running home to mommy and daddy to solve our problems. Getting financial assistance, emotional assistance, and codling of any kind from our parents negates the marriage union. A husband and wive need to be able to live on their own and together. When is there an exception to this rule? In my experience, and in my opinion, during short periods of relocation only. It is in these periods of relocation that ALL parties should participate in the attempt to get the couple out and on their own. In Jewish tradition a man or woman is not considered an “adult” until 30 years of age, and until they are completely able to take care of themselves. What would happen in America if the age of adult was changed from 18 to 30!! How would the establishment of society be affected?!
- Q. Have you been taking your vows seriously?
Taking your vows as serious as having a redefined identity is paramount in having a happy marriage. People used to say, “They made their bed and now they have to lie in it”. Is true. We MUST begin taking responsibility for our home and our marriages, if we are going to be happy though married. Once we accept our decisions and have a new identity we can choose to make the BEST out of any situation. Will it be painful? YES. Will it be “hard”? YES. Will it involve growing up… DEFINITELY! But put Christ at the center… and ALL things are possible!
- Q. Have you closed the back door yet?
As long as divorce is an option, you have not assumed the identity of “married for life”. As long as there is a back door for you, you have not SOLD OUT to being married. If you have not sold out to being married, you have not sold out to God. Scripture says, “We can love ONLY because God first loved us.” I propose to you today, “We can only understand commitment because God first committed to us.” In other words, if you cannot commit yourself FULLY to God, you cannot begin to understand commitment to a person in the flesh and full of faults.
There is NO Sex without marriage
Sex was designed specifically and ONLY for marriage. As soon as you decide to engage in sex, your physical bodies and their design through the shedding of blood is a blood covenant between a man and a woman. Sex solidifies the marriage union, and it shows through bloodshed the severity of that relationship to God. You will never forget your first sexual partner because spiritually speaking you were married to them. It was both as memorable for its discomfort in the flesh as it was memorable in the spirit for the covenant marriage mark placed upon the spirit and soul of the man and woman united. Consider this scripture:
Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 1 Cor 6:16
There is redemption and absolution for those who believe in Christ
What hope is there then for the previously divorced, promiscuous, self-loving, flagrant and or lascivious man or woman who did not know Christ? ABSOLUTION! Through Christ our redeemer we have been set free from sin and have been given the victory! I love this scripture interpretation in The Message Bible:
“Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.” Romans 5:8
Christ DIED for the sinner! We were of no use to Him whatsoever. There was NO glory in us, NO righteousness or honor. We were like monkey’s in a show, doing a dance and getting nowhere. However when Christ came on the scene, he set us ALL FREE! We now and forever more do not need to be identified as divorced, fornicators, homosexual…etc. Those of us who are IN CHRIST have been made new creations and are new in identity… CHRISTIAN! Followers of Christ!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Cor 5:17
God bless you my friends as you choose to be happy though married. Marriage is AWESOME! Everyday, my husband and I communicate in order to make sure we are on the same page. First with God, second with each other. We look to each other as extensions of ourselves, and serve one another as if we were partners for life which we ARE. In all honesty, I was not committed to God before I turned my heart to Him, and in so doing I was married “spiritually” to other men. I can speak personally to the redemptive power of Christ because EVEN THOUGH I was once unfaithful to the Lord by living a sinful life, as soon as I submitted myself to the Lord and committed ONLY to Him… my Prince Charming arrived, his name is Jeff, he is my HUSBAND and I am his WIFE and together we are married for life!
What would you do if you could do ANYTHING with your life and money was NO object? Ever since Jessica was a little girl, she dreamed of being a mommy, a wife, a teacher, and a writer. In 1995 her wedded dream came when Jesus Himself introduced her to her now husband Jeff. Together Jeff and Jessica have 5 children and Jessica writes and blogs daily in the hope that someone will be blessed by the Lord, in the same direct and relevant way that she has been. Jessica teaches and believes that an intense and personal relationship with Jesus IS all that you need, and that the Bible is the key to unlocking that intensity for Christ that you have always dreamed of having.
You can keep in touch with Jessica and Wholehearted Minisrties at wholeheartedministries.com, on twitter, via facebook, through email subscription to articles, and directly through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your support!