I got up early this morning again. As I write this entry in our series called "31 Days to Healthier Relationships" I realize our time is drawing to a close and I've got a few final things to get out of my heart and onto a "page"...so to speak. I don't suppose it was a coincidence that one of my favorite Bible teachers, R.C. Sproul, was talking about "What is Christian Marriage?" on his broadcast this morning.
Very timely! As Christmas falls into the rear view mirror and the new year approaches, this topic has been heavy on my heart and mind. I guess watching "Divorce Court" on television yesterday is a factor, too! After watching people plead for divorce for among the stupidest reasons I've ever heard ("He lets the kids sleep too much, your honor!"), I've decided to come back to marriage again.
Marriage is under tremendous attack. Perhaps for the first time in the history of the world, the side of the ledger evaluating reasons not to marry are outweighing reasons to marry. There has never been a time like this. Even teachers and writers who are the biggest advocates for Christian marriage sometimes struggle to stand against the passionate arguments against jumping the broom that many people make these days
...including women who've had their hearts beaten to the point of bruises and permanent scarring and men who've been stripped of everything earthly and struggling to hang onto their very manhood. Add to it that so many married people are challenged to stay in the commitments they've made, millions of people are asking themselves "Why get married at all?"
I've written about this before, but I'm compelled to do it again...and again. My emotions often fuel my writing and that's the case this morning. I find myself tired and more than a little bit lonely as Christmas has passed and the New Year comes around the bend. I'm one of the millions of people who are both grateful for what I have yet longing to have someone special of my own to spend these sacred seasons with. (I know that's a dangling participle but give me a break.) I heard myself in my spirit vowing to not be alone next Christmas and I caught myself! It's time to reevaluate my motivations and drives. I'm not an old man, but I'm too old to spend a lot more time doing my relationships wrong.
Know what I'm saying?
In any regard, to the matter of "why get married?" I want to offer these reminders and encouragements as we head into a new season...
God gave mankind marriage after seeing Adam's condition. Adam was overwhelmed with the mission God had for him apparently and also lonely. Further, when Adam saw Eve, the first thing he noticed was how she was different from him. Let us not forget that God designed every difference! Accordingly, I believe there are at least four powerful clues as to why God gave us marriage right in that small section of the creation account...
1. We marry to accomplish something greater than we could accomplish on our own. Adam didn't look for or receive companionship until he had already been solidified in his purpose.
2. We marry because we are social creatures who thrive in companionship. After pronouncing everything He had created as "good" it was God who looked upon Adam and said it was "not good" for him to be alone.
3. We marry for spiritual and sexual intimacy. We were created as sexual creatures...not as the same, but as something like puzzle pieces that fit and interlock. Pairing is a part of our very design. Remember: it was not Adam who said "It's not good that I'm alone" but God Himself.
4. We marry to expand the family (and family of God). Just as Adam and Eve were commanded to be fruitful and multiply, likewise the kingdom of God thrives best when the people of God are in happy and healthy relationships. Wounded soldiers don't typically fight well.
Now...can we have the benefits of marriage without being married? Perhaps some of them. Read my previous blogs and call me a skeptic. I suppose many of us can have someone to spend time with, save on some bills, and keep our hormones in better balance. On the other hand, there is an intimacy and sense of purpose that "life partners" will never achieve because it only comes to husbands and wives.
Just as the Bible says "He who finds a wife finds a good thing..." I am convinced there are blessings set aside especially for those who choose to walk in the covenant of the marital bond! Those are my thoughts. You're welcomed to disagree. I talk to people who are wrong all the time!
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