But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (NIV).
I’m going to start today’s post with a disclaimer: this is a topic that gets me fired up. There are so many opinions that I hear on marriage all of the time that honestly just make me sad. There was a time that it outright frustrated me, but I realize how much it must hurt to live through life and marriage with a worldview like that. When you do, you are missing out on the richness, the fullness, and the significance of our most important human relationship.
The mindset I am speaking of is, “marriage is just a piece of paper.” Ever hear that one? There has been so much pain, and so many trials people have endured through conflict in marriage that it has cultivated this kind of attitude in us. I long to make a step towards instilling different feelings towards marriage, because God has shown me something immeasurably beautiful. It’s something that I believe God desires for everyone who experiences marriage in this life to take part in. “Why Marriages Matters” will be a series on this blog, starting with this installment.
In Mark 10, Jesus is teaching about marriage. He starts by saying, “But at the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’” This shows that God’s original intent, from the very beginning of human history, was that His image would be reflected through humanity in both masculine and feminine aspects. The complexities of both sexes in their very own ways would reflect the image of God. They would come together, through relationship blessed by their creator, in order to fill the world with new life by the power which God gave them in having children.
Here we find a foundational truth about humanity, one that forms the very basis of all of our lives. Think about it: we all come from the same place. No matter how broken, how fragmented the relationship of our parents, two people coming together in relationship brought us into this world. A lot of us have survived the crushing pain of being a child of divorce, or coming from a broken relationship. For many, it has skewed our perception of marriage and stolen all of the value out of it in our eyes.
But I can’t express this strongly enough: we need to look at it the completely opposite way. Just because people mess up marriage doesn’t mean that marriage itself is the problem. Marriage isn’t broken: people break marriage. I firmly believe one big reason for that is because we’ve completely forgotten, or maybe never knew in the first place, what it really is.
To close out our first discussion of why marriage matters, I challenge you to consider this mindset: marriage, and everything that we do within it, is an act of worship to God. Yes, spending time with your spouse is an act of worship to God. Having sex with your spouse is an act of worship to God. Raising your children is an act of worship to God. Striving to become one with your spouse in body and mind is an act of worship to God. We will go further into this next Wednesday, but until then, ask God through prayer to show you how this view of marriage could change our world.