Foundational Truth: God has a Plan for Marriage
Bible Text: Genesis 1:26-2:24 | Pastor: Daniel Stertz | Series: Genesis: A Study of Origins
Unfortunately, marriages are built in some whacky ways because people either follow their own plan or don’t have a plan to follow.
Theme: That God has a plan for marriage is seen in the very creation of marriage by God in the Book of Genesis. This morning we sought to exegete the text to show what God did. Tonight our goal is to give some principles coming out of that text.
Again, we must defend and teach the truth about Biblical marriage because God created it as a foundational part of our society. Marriage is one of pillars of society. At every level there are huge benefits when there is a Biblical marriage (one man married to one woman):
• Family – Children are more likely to have their own family stability when they grow up and have children.
• Economy – At all levels married people tend to have greater stability & wealth, and are less likely to be needing public support.
• Health & Life – Married people tend to live longer (especially men) and family members tend to be more healthy overall.
• Mental Well-being – Children and adults have less depression and tendencies toward suicide.
• Crime & Violence – for children there is less likelihood of delinquency and less likelihood of domestic violence where there is Biblical marriage.
As the family is, so is the state and the nation.
Note the same cannot be said even if a man and a woman cohabitate, unmarried; living together. It’s not just the right gender, but the right order.
Solid marriages are also the strength to the church. A strong church is characterized by the involvement of spiritually-healthy families. We know this by experience, however we note how many places Paul’s epistles emphasize families & the roles of family members.
When we do not know what God intended for marriage, we miss God’s “best.” Just as we saw in the pictures, when we don’t follow the plan or follow the wrong plan, we end up with something less that God’s best. And, unlike we saw in the pictures, it’s not funny. In fact, it’s often painful…, stressful…, and even unbearable.
What is God’s Plan for Marriage? We want to help you so you can move your marriage in the direction God desires which will bring the greatest blessing.
What was God’s Plan?
Marriage Should Reflect God’s Image (Gen 1:26-27)
When God created Man, He created Man in His own image.
The term “Man” refers to humanity or the human race in this context. The word here is the general term for man. The completed creation of Man was not just males. “Male & Female He created them.” While individually we bear the image of God (when we create, lead, etc.), collectively God’s image is reflected even more. Male & Female points to marriage & marriage is another important way God’s image is reflected.
How can marriage reflect that image of God?
⇒ In marriage the Two become One (2:24). We are not saying this is exactly the same but in the Trinity there are individual Persons – the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Yet there is One God. So also in marriage there is individuality, yet the two are to be “one” for the rest of their lives.
⇒ We also see in the Trinity that there are relationship roles. While each Person of the Trinity is co-equal, the Son submits in all things to the Father and the Spirit to the Father and Son.
Joh 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
Joh 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
There is perfect submission and perfect harmony in the Godhead.
In marriage, God designed an order as well.
1Co 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
This is even stated in the example of the Godhead. Husbands and wives are to mirror God’s order of authority in their marriage.
Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
⇒ Furthermore, the love of Husbands for their wives is to reflect the way Christ loves the church.
Eph 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
(Note in v.32 he calls the bond in Genesis 2:24 a “mystery.” And points to the relation of the church to Christ.)
The love of God is a purifying love which has a goal of a radiant church, with no stain of sin, holy, and blameless.
So love in marriage, especially addressed to husbands, should be for the betterment and exaltation of their wives. In doing so, it should reflect the Sacrifice of Christ Who gave His life for the church. In all married couples should reflect the truth that “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
App. A good marriage is more than just marital bliss, but a representation of the love and order of God. This is obviously mostly emphasized in a Christian home where we should be seeking to glorify God.
Through Marriage Godly Children Are Raised (Gen 1:28)
“Be fruitful & multiply”. This was a command given in the context of marriage. It was through the marriage union God intended for children to be born that the earth should be filled and subdued. There is a sense in which the bearing of children is another reflection of God. When God created Man he had the ability to “procreate” while God has the ability to “create.”
Children used to be thought of as a great blessing. They were the “fruit of the womb” and one of the ultimate joys of two people being joined in marriage. Today, however, children are often viewed as a burden and even harmful to the world. Children limit careers & hobbies, and “freedom.” Children are also viewed as dangerously adding to the exploding population of the world.
But note what God’s intent was. In Malachi 2, God is chiding Israel for their callousness in considering the sanctity and solemnity of the marriage covenant. What He says appears to reflect what His goal was in Gen 1:28:
Mal 2:15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
App. God did not just want children. He didn’t just want the earth filled with people. If so we could have been like animals (which often just about amounts to what society is like). But God wanted “godly children.” That means that one of our highest purposes as parents is not to just have children, to educate them, and feed & clothe them. It is to teach them the Word of God. It is to help them to understand how to be saved. It is to help them grow in character. It is to develop them to advance the purpose and Kingdom of God.
I can tell you by the authority of the Word of God, by personal experience, and by 30+ years of ministry observation, it will not happen if you don’t bring your family to church. And that is not enough either. That’s not the only answer. It’s one huge beginning, though.
God’s Plan for marriage….To Reflect His Image; To Raise Godly Children; and….
Biblical Marriage is Part of Advancing His Kingdom (Gen 1:28)
…and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
God’s creation of Man as “male and female” which implies the marriage unit, had the purpose of subduing and ruling over the earth. It was God’s intent that Man co-ruled God’s creation. Obviously God intended man to rule it according to His will.
1 Corinthians 7:7 indicates that God has gifted people differently.
1Co 7:7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
In v.8 Paul explain what he meant by “as I myself”. He said:
1Co 7:8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
But he said in v.7, “Every man has his proper gift of God” – some single, some married.
So whether single or married, we advance God’s Kingdom. There are unique ways each kind of person can do that. There are some things a married person would have a whole lot harder time doing than a single person. Singleness is a gift.
1Co 7:32-33 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: (33) But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.
Paul’s point is that a single person has more opportunity for deeper devotion to God and His work.
Ill. Myron Houghton. Many of you may never have heard of him but Dr. Houghton is part of the faculty of Faith Baptist Bible College and Seminary in Ankeny, IA. Besides a Bible institute degree, he holds two bachelor’s degrees, three Masters Degrees, and Two Doctorates. He is a brilliant teacher and writer. He is also not married. His singleness enabled him to accomplish this.
Paul was also single and used to write much of the NT and start numerous churches in Europe and Asia. Jesus also was not married and had a unique ministry that required nowhere to call home at night.
As well, Married couples have opportunities to advance God’s Kingdom that singles don’t have.
• Some couples can exalt the Lord in worship in the music.
• Some through teaching.
• Some through outreach.
• Some through showing hospitality.
App. The point is that part of God’s plan for your marriage is to advance His Kingdom. Having children and training them to believe and follow Christ is one big part. But there’s more and unique things to each couple that should be done. Is your marriage being used as God planned it?
God’s Plan for Marriage…Reflect His Image; Raise Godly Children; Advance His Kingdom, and…
Marriage Is For Spiritual Companionship (2:18)
God created marriage as the answer to loneliness.
Here again, there is a reflection of God’s image. God is very Social. You cannot love without having an object of love. God doesn’t need anyone or anything to love because He is a Trinity. Love is expressed between the Father, Son, and Spirit.
(Note: God didn’t create the world because He was lonely.)
We have an innate desire for deeper companionship. Even though some are gifted with singleness, single people often still desire that deeper companionship. They often have bouts of loneliness.
It was God’s intent that most people have a mate—one with whom they fellowship with, dream with, serve with, and be heirs together of the grace of life.
1Pe 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
Companionship is a good thing:
Ecc 4:9-12 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. (10) For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. (11) Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? (12) And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
This kind of companionship is best applied to marriage.
• They can be more productive together. (9)
• They are there to lift each other up when the inevitable discouragements of life happen (10).
• They provide practical help to each other (like “heat”; sharing in the work v.11).
• They provide each other protection (12).
Ill. There have been several times in our marriage when I was ready to quit the ministry. I’m thankful for a good wife who helped me get things in perspective—to push me on to keep on being faithful. I honestly believe without her I would not be in the ministry today.
“A threefold cord” – that’s a good illustration for how a marriage should be. God should be at the center of our lives. Husbands and wives striving together with God at the center will not be quickly broken.
App. Folks, Satan knows the tremendous potential there is in a Biblical Marriage that is following God’s Plan. It only makes sense that one of the greatest attacks of the enemy is on marriage and the home. For that reason we can expect enemy attacks on our marriages:
• He will try to keep you from the Word of God and prayer.
• He will pull you away from your commitment to church.
• He will create division and fighting between you.
• He will try to allure one of you away from the other by someone other than your mate.
He does this because a married couple on fire for the Kingdom of God is a mighty force. Satan hates God and will take down your marriage to get to Him!
That’s why we are told in Scripture to use spiritual weapons to fight this battle and to protect one another.
Eph 6:1 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Those things are:
• Truth – honesty, integrity, & accountability with each other.
• Righteousness – Do right. Encourage & help each other do right.
• The Gospel – Letting the power of the Gospel transform each other.
• Faith – Believing & obeying God.
• Sanctification – God’s plan of lining up our moral life with the legal status we have before Him as being justified in Christ.
• The Word of God
• Prayer – all of the above begging God for His Divine help.
Our marriages are being overpowered because we fail to understand the nature of the warfare we face. Don’t put off any of these weapons because you will only give the enemy the edge he wants.
God’s Plan is for your marriage to be strong bond of companionship with His will at the center.
Trans: God’s Plan for Marriage…Reflect His Image; Raise Godly Children; Advance His Kingdom, Spiritual Companionship, and finally….
Marriage is A New Family Unit (Gen 2:24)
Even though Adam & Eve didn’t have parents, God’s statement of putting the two together was “for this reason a man will leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” They leave parents and cleave to each other.
We still remain our parents’ children. We are always to honor our parents and care for them in their old age.
1Ti 5:4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.
(8) But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
For us to not care for our parents, especially our widowed mothers or even our widowed aunts, is behaving worse than an unbeliever. It is practical denial of the faith.
Nevertheless in a marriage the priorities of this new family changes. The priority is on their marriage. When husbands and wives battle over submitting to their parents’ expectations they are violating God’s Plan. When what each other says is really what each other’s parent would say, we have not left father and mother.
Sometimes couples can’t decide what to do or how to do it because they fear offending someone’s parent. They are not following God’s Plan. Every couple needs to make their own decisions.
Ill. When our children were young and we visited my parents, they usually did not attend Sunday night and Midweek. We told them we were going anyway. Our concern was our children would think we were “faithful” just because I was a pastor. We wanted to teach them being faithful is just what we do. I know my parents didn’t like it. But teaching our children was more important. (It wasn’t easy. There were times they would plan things so we “couldn’t” go.)
Sometimes things get complicated when his or her parents are helping support the couple. There is a sense of “you owe it to us” when that happens. This only creates more tension. Couples should determine before they get married to be able leave father and mother financially. If you’re in that situation and it’s causing problems, then you need to get out of it. Figure out a way to be independent as a couple.
A house without a proper foundation will shift at best; worse, have huge structural failure; and worse yet, collapse.
A house built without a good plan is destined for problems.
God’s Plan for our marriages includes:
• Reflecting His image
• Raising Godly Children
• Advancing His Kingdom
• Providing Spiritual Companionship
• Following the Lord as our own family unit independent of our parents
⇒ Are there things new to you or that stood out to you? Go home and talk about them to your mate. If we at least provoked a needed conversation here, it’s worthwhile.
⇒ If you have children, are you training them to be a part of God’s work of advancing the Gospel and His righteousness? Or are you adding to the billions of biblically illiterate in the world already?
⇒ Evaluate yours and your mate’s spiritual gifts. How has God gifted you to build up His church? How can you together advance God’s work?
⇒ How are each of you doing in your “spiritual disciplines” like Bible reading, prayer, church attendance, ministry, etc?
⇒ What kind of a companion are you? How is your relationship to your spouse building them up? How does it help them?
There’s a lot to “chew on” here. May the Lord help us to do just that.