Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Marriage is Bound by God’s Love

Marriage is God’s idea and cannot change its components no matter what. Its idea must be preserved and given the highest priority as far as any human relationship is concerned. In Fashioned for Intimacy, Jane Hansen says, "The union between the man and woman was to be inseparable; it was not to be divided.” God created marriage to benefit humanity and to provide partnership based on God’s love and godly principles. Biblical marriage is a testimony of God’s miraculous power and the manifestation of His love that binds two people as one.

Genesis 1-2 provided the backdrop of God’s creation, including the first man placed in a Garden. Pat Joyce explained, “ The word "man" is Adam in Hebrew meaning mankind or human being.  It is used here as a common noun not the name of a man nor a reference to males only.” Adam received God’s charge over the Garden and all of God’s creation by naming all animals in it. While doing so, God saw Adam’s need for another being just like him: Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him (2:18 ESV).
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God created another being like Adam: So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribsAnd the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man” (2:21-22 ESV). Pat Joyce shared, “The word woman in Hebrew is the feminine form of man (ish = man, ishshah = woman), and Adam called her woman recognizing in her the female version of himself--a human being--his perfect counterpart.” Here are some words to confirm connection: Woman; Madam; and Female.

The next scenario becomes the most important event in human history, i.e., God’s institution of marriage: “…made into a woman and brought her to the man.” God officiated the first marriage at the Garden of Eden after presenting the woman to him. God’s design for marriage never changed ever since.

In our modern setting, allow me to share some principles of making a marriage stronger under God’s love as God intended. First, for marriage to stand out above others, it must be partnered with God’s blessing unwaveringly. When God become fully involved in the process between two people, the result can only be a marriage made in heaven with God’s hand upon it. Single people must stand on God’s word and that God knows every need and desire to release the blessing of a right and a good partner.

Next, for marriage to withstand instabilities, it must be instituted by God’s love unconditionally. Every marriage is a miracle that God provided, so let God cover with His agape love- “the love that keeps on loving even if the other person become unlovable.”

Finally, for marriage to exceed expectations, it must be supported by God’s power unceasingly. “Let no man put you asunder, as God supports it” must become the guiding principle of every Christian marriage. Michael Ventura shared, “Marriage is a journey toward an unknown destination -- the discovery that people must share not only what they don't know about each other, but what they don't know about themselves.” Therefore, keeping marriage bound in God’s love requires intentional attention. It begins by praying for one another. Here’s a beautiful prayer by Bishop Slattery, soon after his marriage, to be used each day in their family devotions at home in Boston, Massachusetts.

A Prayer for a Married Couple
O God, our Heavenly Father, protect and bless us.
Deepen and strengthen our love for each other day by day.
Grant that by Thy mercy neither of us ever say one unkind word to the other.
Forgive and correct our faults, and make us constantly to forgive
one another should one of us unconsciously hurt the other.
Make us and keep us sound and well in body, alert in mind, tender in heart, devout in spirit.
O Lord, grant us each to rise to the other's best.
Then we pray Thee add to our common life such virtues as only Thou canst give.
And so, O Father, consecrate our life and our love completely to Thy worship,
and to the service of all about us, especially those whom Thou has appointed us to serve,
that we may always stand before Thee in happiness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let’s talk again!