Jump Start # 2372
Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
I was at a wedding over the weekend. Actually, I was the one preforming the ceremony. The bride was beautiful. The place was gorgeous. The crowd was large. They even had a chocolate fountain, and no I didn’t stick my fingers in it. What made the evening special and magical was not the music or the lighting, but the fact that a Christian was marrying a Christian. Two believers from families of believers. Not only do they understand what God says about marriage, but they now become partners in the kingdom. They will be a blessing to others and their marriage an illustration to what God wants and expects in all of our marriages. It was a special evening.
The ceremony included me reading letters from the parents to their child who was getting married. That was touching and special. I handed the couple a decorative box during the ceremony. I told them it was a gift from me and had them open it before the audience. The box was empty. I used that to illustrate a point about marriage.
Many come to a marriage looking for romance, conversation, togetherness, and especially happiness. What they discover is that the box of marriage is empty. Some, disillusioned, leave the marriage. Some even blame the other person, declaring that they married the wrong person. Others, go into another marriage, still looking for those things. The box remains empty. For some, they enter a marriage wanting to take but they find nothing in the box to take. Some think marriage is about what I get. Thus, an empty box. What I said during the ceremony is that both the bride and the groom had to fill the box. Put in romance, conversation, joy, happiness and togetherness and your box will be filled. But put nothing into it and there won’t be anything to take out. And, the greatest thing that they could put in the box was their hearts. Love, as described and defined in the Bible, that is a choice and a decision and not a feeling nor a reaction, is what ought to be in the box.
Our verse today, taken from the first marriage, reminds us of three divine principles that God establishes in marriage. We must remember that marriage is God’s idea. He thought this up and invited us to it. Man didn’t evolve into that relationship. And, God has some things to say about marriage.
First, there is the maturity factor. God says to “leave mother and father.” Leave is more than location, but that helps. Old advice given to newlyweds was to move one mountain and three rivers from your parents. But more than location, is the grown up aspects. Marriage is for those who have grown up on in insides as well as the outsides. Some have grown up on the outside, but they never grew up on the inside. They still act like a child, pouting if they can’t get their way. Selfish and demanding, inconsiderate and spoiled, they ruin a marriage because they have never grown up on the insides. Some can’t leave their parents and some parents won’t let their grown child leave. This is a two way street. They must form their own home and be independent.
Second, there is the enduring factor. God says to be joined to one another. Cleave is the word older translations use. Be glued to one another, and make sure it’s superglue. Don’t enter this relationship thinking if this doesn’t work out, I’ll find a better one. We live in a Velcro society. Some trade mates more than they trade cars. God presented Eve to Adam. She was a suitable mate. She was his wife, not his mother and not his maid. And, Adam was to be Eve’s husband, not her daddy and not her slave. God intends for the marriage relationship to last until one of them is finished here on earth. Jesus said, “What God has joined together, let no man separate.”
Third, there is the intimate relationship. God said they shall become one flesh. This is one of the marvels of Biblical mathematics. One groom. One bride. One relationship. One and one, does not make two, but one. It’s like two rivers merging together. It’s like two notes blending together. It like two strands of yarn being woven together. Two becoming one. This is more than the physical act, this is how the couple conducts themselves. First, their language changes. I becomes we. Mine becomes ours. Me becomes us. Second, they understand that what one does impacts the other. Careless words spoken to each other wounds the relationship. So a couple becomes one in thinking, in plans, in finances, in hopes, and in walking with the Lord.
So powerful is the marriage relationship when it is right and honoring God, that the Lord uses it to illustrate the fellowship between Jesus and the church. God didn’t draw from business partners. He didn’t use the analogy of teammates from the game of sports. He didn’t pull from fellow actors on the stage. He didn’t use neighbors, or students in a classroom. There are so many relationships in life. But the one that He chose was from a marriage. As a husband thinks and honors his wife, so Jesus thinks and honors His followers. And, as a wife praises and appreciates her husband, so the church praises the Lord.
We refer to marriage as “holy matrimony,” not “happy matrimony.” Marriage must include God, not just at the ceremony, but throughout the many decades a couple travels together. Without God, the marriage turns sour. Influenced by a world without direction, marriage becomes a battle ground for who can grab what. And, before you know it, that box called marriage, is empty. And, without God and without a couple filling the box up, thoughts enter as to why we even stay in this relationship. I get nothing out of this, becomes a truth, because the box remains empty. Fill that box with your heart and all that you are and you’ll find a powerful, wonderful and blessed marriage. Only take from that box, and you’ll soon find it empty and without purpose.
Congrats to Brooke and Aaron. Our prayers and wishes are for a long journey together with the Lord and each other. An old Indian proverb says, “Marriage is many moons in the same canoe.”