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.
10 thoughts on “God’s Original Design for Marriage”
Reblogged this on Instrument of Mercy.
Thanks for the reblog.
I absolutely agree! I am a Christian and I have been married a little over a year. Up until just recently, I was unhappy mainly because of my own selfishness, and I began to believe that it was better for me to be single. I started to believe that I would be stronger on my own. This is obviously a lie and something that I have since rejected and continue to pray about. So I know that if I, a seasoned Christian can fall prey to the perpetuation of lies, then those without a foundation in Christ almost have no chance. I believe that the solution to this is two parts: 2 Chron 7:14 and John 12:32. It is our responsibility to pray and lead by example so that Christ can then draw them. Until we acknowledge our role and see true confession and deliverance in the church the world will continue to suffer.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I agree that we need to serve as an example to the watching world. Good thoughts. Thanks for commenting.
As someone who’s marriage did not survive the attack, I certainly have a perspective on the topic. I now understand the devastation divorce causes and see the ripples of it’s nasty attack as it moves through children, extended family and friends of the couple. It is horrific to say the least.
I would add another place that marriage is under attack. Right in the middle of church (I use this term not as a place where people meet but as the community of believers). The church has to make it known that it is a place for struggling and failing marriages. The church has to make it known that “toughing it out” and “staying together because it’s the right thing to do” is not acceptable.
After my divorce and one other couple in our church, the leadership did a series on strong marriages. Great information was shared…4 years ago. What since? What about the people who are struggling today? It’s one thing to condemn divorce, another to proactively help marriages.
Since my divorce I have spoken with at least 4 couples who have started working on their marriage instead of divorcing as I shared the horrors of where they were headed with them. It’s a ministry I don’t like but I want to be proactive in helping others to the point where I will ask people if I see signs and I will ask people if I think they are doing great in their marriage. They may not tell me the truth but at least they know I know trouble is out there.
I encourage you to see ways to constantly build up marriages in your community. I know you have a heart for helping people see the good in marriage, the marriage that is described in Ephesians where real love and Christ-likeness abound.
Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I agree. There are things we as a church need to do to consistently serve and educate those who are married. There should be more teaching than “tough it out” or “stay together because it is the right thing to do”. More counsel needs to be offered for why it is important and necessary. Why it is something God demands.
My intent wasn’t to condemn divorce, but to educate on God’s design for marriage, which was just one portion of my most recent sermon (This post is developed from the sermon. The link is at the bottom of the page if you want to listen).
I am giving thought to how to help people as you suggested. Thanks again for the thoughtful comment.
Casey, you are asking the right questions. Keep it up!
I speak from the standpoint that divorce is horrible. People are people and we all make mistakes. I certainly own my share of mistakes in my divorce. Even though it wasn’t what I wanted, I see many area where my lack of leadership as a Christian husband contributed to the end. Some of my issues were really understanding what a Christian husband should be and should do. Other issues were plain old sin.
So, I lash out at divorce wherever I can. I see what it does to children and to families and friends and I condemn it. Not the people, never the people. We are all children of God under attack and that is one place satan attacked me.
So keep doing what you are doing. Give voice to the need to be proactive in marriages. Give voice to the need to study one place where more effort, more teaching, more hope, more prayer and more grace can be showered to make a huge difference in how the world sees Christ and how the world experiences love. Keep it up!
Thanks a lot. I will do what I can to teach and help others. You have given me a lot of categories to think about and include in my teaching. Thanks again for your comments. I appreciate the thoughts you shared.
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