God's Plan for Marriage

Because there is much conversation and debate about “scriptural marriage, divorce, and remarriage”, I thought it appropriate to write about it.  However, I soon discovered that if I write about what the Bible says on this subject, I would not need much room.  Matthew 19: 8-9 and Romans 7:3 cover this topic adequately.

Matthew 19: 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

Romans 7:3  So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

There are many other scriptures that support them; their message is the same: Matt 5:32 Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18.  So I decided to take a look at, not how to end a marriage, but what God says about how to keep a marriage together, strong, and rewarding.  This could be summed up quickly as well by taking a look at what has become known as “The Golden Rule.”

Matthew 7:12  Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.  {Very similar in theme to the 2nd commandment:  “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”}

The complication comes because men and women are different.  They are different in desires, talents, and expectations.  That could very well be the reason that God has assigned different roles for men and women.  They have different roles in the Church and in the family.  When a couple directs their lives according to God’s plan they will be filled with peace and happiness.  Any other plan is doomed to failure.

For evidence of this, take a look at the world’s most successful people.  The more that peace and happiness depends on their worldly success: fame, fortune, or power, the less likely they are to obtain it.  True peace and happiness can only come from God.  Accepting that, let’s take a look at God’s plan for marriage. 

The first thing we learn is that God thought marriage was good for man.  In the second chapter of Genesis we note four observations made by God.

  1. It is not good for man to be alone.
  2. Before woman, there was no fitting companion for man.
  3. God made woman to be a fitting companion.  Gen 2:18 describes her as:

        A help meet (King James), a suitable helper (World English Bible); a helper - counterpart (Young’s Literal Trans.)

    4. God intended the married couple to leave their parents and joint together, no longer two, but one flesh.

The second thing we see is how important it is to choose a Godly mate.  It was important enough for both Isaac and Jacob to get wives that knew God in order to establish the family and the nation that would deliver the Messiah to man.  By counter example, we see the folly of Esau, taking wives of the Canaanites and the Ishmaelites.  This led to greater separation between Esau’s descendants and the children of God.

The New Testament gives us the formula for maintaining the family. In Philippians 2:3 God puts forth a principle to guide us in all Christian relationships:  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”  This tells us that we should be the prime example of unselfishness. Truly that works in any relationship.  But Paul, in Ephesians 5, goes on to describe how to implement this unselfishness in marriage.  His instructions take into account the different needs of men and women; their different goals; and their different roles. 

Here Paul uses our ultimate example, our role model, our guide, Jesus Christ to explain the marriage relationship:

Ephesians 5:22-25   Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

The principles are easy to agree to in word, but much harder to live up to in deed.  Just like faith without works is dead, love without deeds is useless.  Jesus shows us this when he said, If ye love me, keep my commandments.John 14:15

How much effort do we put in to doingI love you’ instead of just saying it?  Do our actions back up our words?  Take time to think about the things you can do that will back up your claim of undying love.  Then, put these thoughts into action.

     Shout with action:  I love you and cherish you forever.