It Is Very Mysterious
Last Saturday I had the privilege of performing a wedding at the Paul Anderson Youth Home. The bride grew up on our 50 acre campus, the youngest daughter of life-long PAYH staff whose home is on the grounds. The ceremony was outside on a round brick patio encompassing one of the most majestic pecan trees you have ever seen. Aside from the heat, humidity, and gnats the wedding was spectacularly beautiful. It was an occasion to again be reminded of the profound mystery of marriage.
Mike Mason, who has written in my opinion one of the best books on marriage (The Mystery of Marriage), recounts his conversation with a friend when he told him he intended to write a book on marriage based on a phrase from a verse in Proverbs, “as iron sharpens iron. The friend wanted to know what he planned to say about the verses which immediately precede this phrase: “A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand. (Proverbs 27:15-16). Before men or husbands blurt out, “how true, how true! remember the Bible requires of its readers knowledge of its complete context, which includes, a few chapters later, the strikingly beautiful passage of Proverbs 31:10-31 beginning with, “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
Mason points out the tactlessness of the Bible in its confronting of reality; telling it like it is. He writes, “Marriage is also a tactless affair, full of awkwardness and indelicacy, as unromantic at times as a sinkful of dirty dishes. This is an intriguing part of the profound mystery in marriage; God declaring His truth through two sinful, self-centered individuals actually becoming one flesh. In the practice of marriage we almost always fail to grasp what this means, much less live out marriage as one flesh. In so doing we also fail to reap the reward of this union as God has made it possible.
There is no doubt God sees and declares the marriage union of two as one flesh, yet their individuality remains. Therein lays the mystery. But we emphasize our distinctness and maintain our “rights as individuals above celebrating or “fleshing-out the nature of being one. The sexual physical union is an expression of this one flesh mystery, but God’s purpose extends far beyond the physical, for we are more complex beings than merely physical. Do you see and treat marriage differently than God’s declaration and design?
Two individuals are capable of being in two separate locations, and in this mobile society frequently are. Do you live as though your spouse is with you when they are not? You may often be with one of the spouses of a one flesh union when the other is not present. Do you speak to that husband or wife as though the other is there? Do you treat them as though their spouse is present with you? How many marriages would be more protected if this were the case? Do you teach your children about this one flesh relationship by living it before them? If you did there would be little possibility of a child manipulating one parent against the other to get a different answer. They would come to know that speaking to Mom is consistent with speaking to Dad. It is how marriages ought to be, because this is the way God intends it. Marriage would be seen in an entirely different perspective were you to truly believe two become one flesh in marriage and that your union with Christ your Savior is comprehended in living out your union with your spouse. The implications are numerous; the application of God’s truth in marriage is yours by faith.
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