I encourage you to think of marriage as God does.
Most people get married with honourable intentions. They anticipate a life-long partnership in life, love, faithfulness, peace, harmony, and joy. However, as we all know, the statistics of marriage failure are alarmingly high. However, in God’s immutability, marriage is still His ultimate human relationship. He designed marriage as the supreme union of 2 people for life. His design is perfect, His intent and purpose are perfect, and His means of fulfilling the purpose is also perfect.
Unfortunately, the human participants are imperfect; flawed, even damaged and scarred. Sometimes spouses are wired wrong and programed incorrectly by worldly standards and painful history. Indeed, the human participants represent the greatest challenge to any marriage. In spite of the world’s best efforts to present alternative living arrangements as being equal to marriage, it’s failed miserably with devastating and far reaching consequences.
The Dream Marriage
No passage of Scripture offers such a clear definition of marriage as Malachi 2:10-16. Malachi presents five distinctives of marriage.
Marriage is a Sanctuary Relationship.
Mal 2:11 …the sanctuary of the Lord, which he loves. Marriage is a relationship set apart from all others as unique, distinctive, and pure. It’s an oasis relationship. A place of recovery and rest from the business and bruises of life. One where forgiveness, acceptance, and patience are mutually appreciated and practiced. Where trust does not bring to remembrance the pains from past relationships. Where the guilt of past abuses and failings are not transferred to your present spouse who is trust-worthy.
Marriage is a Faith Relationship.
Mal 2:10,11,14,15,16 … you have been faithless… (5 times in the negative form). Faithlessness is the violation faith. A faith relationship is one of belief in the other, of loyalty, support, benevolence, and love in action. It’s a relationship of interdependence, of emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy. One where living is done openly, without second or hidden agendas. Where there is no manipulation, no dictating of terms, no ultimatums, and no revenge. Where there is transparency in love, softness in passion, grace in strength, and mercy in generosity.
Marriage is a Companion Relationship.
Mal 2:14 …she is your companion (partner). God’s intention was that marriage benefits, compliments, and completes the individuals in the coming together of a man and woman in marriage. This is a relationship that recognises and lives in the commitment of a distinctive partnership that functions best with the absence of selfishness.
Marriage is a Covenant Relationship.
Mal 2:14 …your wife by covenant. God is a covenant making and keeping God (1Ki 8:23). A covenant is a morally and legally binding agreement – it’s entered into by the exchange of promises, vows, and commitments. Marriage is a 3 way covenant: 1 man, 1 woman, and God. This covenant relationship grows out of the clarity and certainty of the commitment made to each other. A love relationship that’s intertwined, mutually submissive, serving for the security, wellbeing, pleasure, and betterment of the other.
Marriage is a New Identity Relationship.
Mal 2:15 Did he (God) not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union… God makes two individuals into one – both physically and spiritually. This is a divine working of the Holy Spirit, even in the lives of unbelievers. The amalgamation of two lives into one new identity, a relationship that abandons strict individuality in preference of a “we” attitude. One where selfishness is surrendered for the betterment of the other.
Today, be encouraged to think of your marriage as God thinks of it, for His glory and your blessing.
Togther for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz