Marriage is a Unique Relationship

God has a high view of marriage and its purpose as the foundation in the kingdom of God – for each spouse, for the family, and for the kingdom.

There is nothing institutional, contractual, governmental, or small in how God begins marriage.  In marriage the LORD creates a unique relationship with and in two people.

The Lord creates a oneness.

Shortly after creation God took a rib from Adam and made Eve (see Genesis 1:21,22).  The words following (see Genesis1:23,24) begin the relationship of marriage.  The Lord brings out three important points.  1) (see Genesis 2:18-24) After creating Adam, God noted a need that Adam had.  There was nothing in all creation that was comparable to him.  Adam may not have realized his need, but he would.  He needed a companion.    2) The Lord notes (2:24) that Adam and Eve were united.  3) In that unity they became one flesh, a unique union of two people –even while two distinct people.  God has created a spiritual change – a oneness that did not exist before their marriage.

Jesus, when quoting the above passage in the gospels, restates the oneness that a man and woman have in marriage.

7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Mark 10:7-9).

The LORD makes a new emphasis (v9) based upon the oneness in marriage, “what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

Into that relationship, that oneness, husband and wife are to bring themselves fully – their strengths and their weaknesses, their faith and their challenges.  Each spouse, husband and wife, is to bring their uniqueness before God that they are specially made by Him, and redeemed by Christ Jesus on the cross.

Both Knowing and being Fully Known

We all want to be accepted for who we are, with all of our strengths and our weaknesses.  We all want to deeply be known by someone special and to deeply know someone else.  We want to be known as a person of mind, heart, emotion, will, spirit, and body.  In marriage we pursue both knowing, being known, and applying our faith and love in an intimate setting with a person to whom we are deeply committed.

When God speaks about the close and loving relationship between husband and wife he speaks of it in terms of Christ’s sacrificial love for his people (Ephesians 5:24ff).  While the Bible especially mentions the husband, God sees marriage for both husband and wife as a time of great love which is sacrificial in nature.

The Sinful Nature Unchained

Many facets of human nature, which is mostly guided by sinful nature, will discourage both knowing someone deeply and being known by someone deeply.  Our sinful nature is not living under the guidance of God, his word, or faith.  Our sinful nature is not sacrificial  but is self-centered and self-serving.   Our sinful nature lives by the moto, “I am the most important,” and “What can I get out of this relationship?”  So the sinful nature lives as a self-centered nature, and desires to “lord it” over others.  The sinful nature discourages both knowing and being known.

In most newlywed relationships the sinful nature is under control and does not show its presence too often.   Over time the control is turned off and the sinful nature begins to have greater expression. How time is used, how money is spent, how sexual a relationship is or isn’t, begins to become more self-centered.  In some marriages the self-centered nature becomes a competition and a struggle for primacy in the marriage.  The thought becomes “I want to win and I want life to be skewed mostly to me although occasionally I will allow you to have your way.”  When Scripture speaks about the main reason for divorce as being hardness of heart (Matthew 19:7-8) he is speaking about the impact our self-centeredness brings to marriage.

In marriage the LORD is doing something special.  He is not creating an institution or a legal contract between two people.  With all of the unique differences that a man and woman bring to their relationship, the Lord has established marriage – a special union of man and woman as husband and wife – not rhetoric but a spiritual oneness.

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2 Responses to “Marriage is a Unique Relationship”

  1. As someone who has been married a little over a year, I enjoyed this post. I specifically liked what you mentioned about sacrifice in marriage. I was reminded of the passages in Ephesians 5 and I Peter 3 that tell wives to submit to their husbands. These passages are often controversial, but the authors mention forms of sacrifice for both the husband and the wife. Regardless of how we interpret those passages, it is still important for both spouses to follow Jesus in sacrificial love.

    • Thank you for your kind post. I agree that the Ephesians and Peter sections are misunderstood by most. Let me know what you think of the next part of this post which I will have ready in two days. Have a very blessed day.

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