Marriage is honourable in all (Hebrews 13:4) and honoured by our Lord Jesus Christ (John 2:1-2), but often seen as faulty, failing, and futile in our day. Some marry in order to divorce, and divorce in order to marry. Others abandon the commitment and covenant of marriage altogether, and settle in to the abstract absence of vows often called “shacking up.” Still others defy marriage as a unique relationship between a man and a woman, making it anything, everything, and nothing.
In 2014 Pew Research asked about “Public Views on Marriage.” 50% of the respondents said “society is just as well off if people have priorities other than marriage and children.” Two-thirds of those in the 18 to 29 age range held that view. However, marriage problems are nothing new. They hark back to almost the beginning of the world. The early chapters of Genesis teach us at least three things about marriage.
God ordained and instituted marriage. It finds not its origin in the minds of men, but in the mind of God (Genesis 1:27). “Therefore” marriage is what God says it is – man and wife, one flesh (Genesis 2:21-25). What God has put together – both particular marriages and the institution itself – let not man put asunder (Mark 10:6-9).
Sin marred and wrecked marriage. By the man Adam sin entered into the world and therefore all that is in the world, including marriage, is touched and tainted by sin (Genesis 3; Romans 5:12). There are no perfect people; there are no perfect marriages. Once you enter it, you taint it. Immediately! Yet...
A promise encourages and relieves marriage. On the heels of sin and judgment, God declared a promise (Genesis 3:15). The seed of woman – our Lord Jesus Christ – deals sin and Satan a deadly crushing blow. Within that promise is hope for our marriages. When I married, someone gave us a “Marriage Takes Three” poem. Certainly, ’true, a marriage of two, happy then to be, must add God for three. The Christian couple have the Spirit of God indwelling them (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13-15), the word of God to guide them (Ephesians 5:22-33), and the church of God to support them (Romans 12:5).
May you, Lord, bless our marriages in these difficult times.