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Sep 05, 2013

The Essential Joy of Marriage

This week I have been with four couples in Skopje, Macedonia, three whom I married and the other whom I pastored along with them. I asked them what they had discovered in 25-30 years plus of being married to one another about marriage that was so important to their well-being as individuals. Obviously, Adam’s being alone was not a good thing. Of course, God could have made a replicate Adam, say a Steve, to erase the loneliness. But we know what God did, He made an Eve. She was quite different than Adam, and yet the same. Adam said, “At last this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. I imagine there were apes and gorillas in the Garden or about on the earth, and Adam never said this of them. Animals have been close “friends of man throughout history. There is a love between certain animals and man. But this did not satisfy Adam’s aloneness.
Marriage we have observed has been God’s design to populate the earth; “Be fruitful and multiply. Thus marriage is intended for procreation and providing a secure “incubator environment for the nurturing of infant human beings into maturity with all that is required to bring such to fruition. Marriage is for mutual aid of one another in the vicissitudes of life; “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work…But pity the man that falls and has no one to help him up. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10) God created Eve to be a “suitable helper. Ephesians 5 makes it quite clear that marriage is designed by God to be a reflection of His Son’s marriage to His church, all of those in the faith, male and female. Marriage is intended to teach us about the intimacy of our relationship to Christ. We know from personal experience or observation of other marriages that this teaching point is eschewed to our detriment.
But going back to God’s first words about marriage, He said it was to satisfy Adam’s aloneness that He made Eve. The joy of marriage is essentially “companionship; a companionship not known in any other relationship outside of marriage between a man and a woman, an Adam and an Eve. There are many benefits that come with such a companionship, one being a family with children. And another being the opportunity to declare the gospel, Christ becoming the bridegroom and husband of the church.
However, marriage is essentially a wonderfully blessed companionship, where aloneness is vanquished. Being together as the closest of friends and mutual helpers of each other far exceeds the companionship of other friends of same or opposite sex, or even with your children. For God uniquely describes this companionship, this marriage, as a mysterious “one flesh union. No other human relationship can top that! This relationship is where your home on earth is. You are not “home until you are together again, and home is not as much a single geographical location as it is wherever husband and wife are together, with all the heart felt emotions and sense of well-being this togetherness brings. Those who have known the three braided cord of Ecclesiastes 2 know of what I am talking. There is ultimate joy in such a companionship that little else can compare on earth.
If your marriage is not this, you have promises from God that it can be so. Call out for the fulfillment of His promise, and work righteously to this end! The fervent prayer of a righteous man or woman is powerful and effective. (James 5:10).


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