Monday, March 5, 2012

Marriage Monday: Purpose of Marriage, part 2

Welcome back to Marriage Monday for the exciting conclusion of The 4 Purposes of Marriage!  If you missed Part 1, or just want a refresher, click here.





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3.  Protection from Se*ual Sin

A third reason that is given for marriage is to protect against immorality.  The apostle Paul states it this way in 1 Corinthians 7:2-5:

It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of se*ual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does.And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.  (New King James Version)

We live in a society abounding with sensuality and shameless immorality.  It is no longer taboo -- every type of se*ual sin is now socially acceptable.  Even perversions that were covered up in times past are now proudly proclaimed as perfectly acceptable practices. I can't help but think of Ephesians 5:12 -- "for it is shameful to even speak of those things which are done by them in secret."   Temptations abound, but God's clearly revealed will is for us to "abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul . . ."  (1 Peter 2:11)  

God's divine design is for a husband and wife to find satisfaction in each other alone, which leads us to the final purpose of marriage.


4.  Illustration of Spiritual Truth

God wants us to find our satisfaction in Him!  When we hunger and thirst after righteousness, then He will fill (satisfy) our emptiness with Himself.  God designed marriage to illustrate the relationship of Christ and His bride, the church.  Ephesians chapter 5 explains this mysterious aspect of marriage.  Notice especially verses 30-32:


22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives beto their own husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.


As Christians, we can examine marriage between a man and woman to help us understand the mystery of our spiritual relationship to Christ as His bride.  Conversely, we can study the relationship between Christ and his church to help us understand the mystery of marriage and the two becoming one.  The more we understand the relationship of Christ to His church, the more we will comprehend what our earthly marriages should look like.

Douglas Wilson in Reforming Marriage, sheds light on this passage:

"Paul tells us that husbands, in their role as head, provide a picture of Christ and the church. Every marriage, everywhere in the world, is a picture of Christ and the church.  Because of sin and rebellion, many of these pictures are slanderous lies concerning Christ.  but a husband can never stop talking about Christ and church.  If he is obedient to God, he is preaching the truth; if he does not love his wife, he is speaking apostasy and lies -- but he is always talking.  If he deserts his wife, he is saying that this is the way Christ deserts His bride -- a lie.  If he is harsh with his wife and strikes her, he is saying that Christ is harsh with the church -- another lie.  If he sleeps with another woman, he is an adulterer, and blasphemer as well.  How could Christ love someone other than His own Bride? It is astonishing how, for a few moments of pleasure, faithless men can bring themselves to slander the faithfulness of Christ in such a way."


Wow!  That quote takes a bit of pondering, doesn't it?  It shows how little importance we assign to the fact that the Bible says that our marriages are a picture of Christ and the church!  Not that they should be, but that they are!  


So, now that we know the four purposes for marriage, what difference does it make?  First of all, it helps us to evaluate whether our own marriages are fulfilling the purposes for which God designed this covenant relationship.  It also helps us to teach the next generation about the true significance and purpose of marriage.  Furthermore, it enables us to honestly evaluate the changes to society's view of marriage from a biblical perspective.  Hopefully, we will also be persuaded of the need to stand up and speak out for a a biblical view of marriage . . .  before it is too late! 



Your Turn to Share 

Every Monday, I plan to explore some aspect of marriage here on my blog.  I invite you to share your marriage-related blog posts, as well.  Please link up with me by entering the URL of your specific blog post in the Mr. Linky below, and make sure you grab my blog button and add it to your post!  (Just copy the HTML code under my button and paste it into your blog post.)  It's that simple!

I also welcome your comments!  My blog has been awfully quiet lately, so be sure to speak up and share!



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