Marriage is under attack in this country. The attack isn’t just coming from the LGBT community, but from all fronts. The mainstream media often pictures marriage as something to dread, as a last resort, or something modern couples don’t need.
Marriage, however, isn’t something to dread. It isn’t a last resort, or something to shrug off. Marriage is a wonderful union instituted by God. One God designed to be a blessing.
What is God’s Original Design for Marriage?
In Matthew 19, Jesus tells us God’s original Design for Marriage. Jesus says,
“Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (vs 4-6)
Jesus’ response is grounded in creation and it teaches us at least four things about God’s design for marriage.
(1) Marriage is between a man and a woman
Genesis 1 and 2 tells us God created Adam and Eve in the beginning. Eve was created as a helper for Adam, to complement and assist him in his God given job.
God’s choice and design of Adam’s helper is significant. God didn’t created another man to help Adam. He created a woman. A woman with different gifts to complement and help Adam. A woman who was able to bear children so they could fulfill God’s command to multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 1:28). So from the beginning God’s design for marriage has always been between a man and woman.
This idea is not popular today. The LGBT community would have you believe marriage is for anyone in a committed and loving relationship. That, however, is not how God designed it. Again, from the beginning, God’s design for marriage has always been between a man and a woman.
(2) Marriage is between one man and one woman
God didn’t create several wives for Adam. He created him one helper, one wife.
I know what you are thinking: What about Abraham, Jacob, Elkanah, or Solomon? They all had several wives. They all were blessed by God. So why can’t we?
I think that brings up a good point. Just because something is in the Bible doesn’t mean it’s the best practice, it doesn’t mean it is permissible. Before you brand me as a heretic, let me explain.
The Bible is designed to teach us. Sometimes God teaches us through commands, while other times He teaches us through life examples. When we look at the lives of those who had multiple wives, the Bible teaches us it’s not for the best. On the surface, it might seem like a good idea, but it’s not. It just creates an atmosphere of jealousy, deceit, lies, and competition. All things that aren’t good.
If you want a modern day example of polygamy and its negative affects, the show Sister Wives is a good one. The show chronicles the lives of the Brown family. They are a part of a fundamentalist Mormon group that believes in polygamy. Kody, the husband, has four wives and 17 kids.
After watching a couple of episodes, its evident polygamous marriages aren’t the best marriage environment. We understand why, when we realize God created the institution of marriage to be between one man and one woman.
(3) Marriage creates a one flesh union
When two people are married, they are literally joined together by God. They become one flesh.
The word picture evokes that of a welder. When a welder takes two pieces of metal and welds them together, those two pieces become one piece. That’s the point Jesus is making here. When two people are married, they are welded together so that they become one.
(4) Marriage is for life
Go back to our welding illustration. When two pieces of metal are welded together, they aren’t easily separated, if that can even happen. That is the same thing that is supposed to happen in a marriage relationship. Once a one flesh union is created, it’s not supposed to be separated. It is to remain as one unit for life, just like those two pieces of metal that are welded together.
Of course, this is not a popular idea today. Over 50% of marriages now end in divorce. From the beginning, however, that was not God’s intent. Instead He designed marriage as a one flesh union between one man and one woman for life.
Question for Reflection
- Do you agree with Jesus’ teaching? Why or why not?
For more teaching, listen to my latest sermon Jesus’ Teaching on Marriage, Divorce, and Singleness.