I see so many variations of marriage these days besides the traditional old-fashioned kind. Can we choose whichever style suits us? How do we know which is the best choice?
When people think of marriage they usually think of themselves – what do I want, what does marriage do for me? But have you ever considered what God intends marriage to be? Marriage is God’s idea. He invented it.
Marriage didn’t start when some cavemen decided it was a good idea to invent something called ‘marriage’ to make one man and one woman responsible for the kids running wild because they were frustrated not knowing who belonged to who. God created Adam and said, “It is not good for man to be alone, I will make a suitable helper for him.” (Gen. 2:18) So Adam and Eve was the first married couple in the world and God said it was good. Marriage can be very bad but it can be good if we follow His instructions on how to make it good.
Two are better than one
Since God thought it was not good for the man to be alone, it means he needs a companion. Marriage fulfils needs by lessening loneliness, providing support, sharing, interaction, etc. Eve was also a helper, helping Adam work the garden, the assignment God entrusted to him. Since two are better than one, a couple can multiply their output and produce synergy.
God wants the couple to produce children and pass on the legacy of knowing God and worshipping Him. “Has the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring.” (Mal. 2:15,16) Tek and I consider our godly values our most precious legacy which we want to pass on so that the coming generations will be blessed. “Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.” (Is. 61:9)
Commitment for life
The best environment to bring up children is when parents provide a secure and happy home. Divorce splits families and is traumatic and destructive. “‘So guard yourself in your spirit and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. I hate divorce,’ says the Lord.” (Mal. 2:16)
My mother thought of leaving my father many times but she didn’t for the sake of us children. I am glad all five of us siblings enjoyed a stable environment during our growing up years and now have stable marriages ourselves.
A godly relationship between husband and wife reflects the relationship between God and us. “Marriage is a profound mystery – but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.” (Eph. 5:32) When others, whether they be Christians or not, see the beautiful relationship between husband and wife they will understand about the relationship between Christ and His people – a relationship of love, submission, respect, care, provision, leadership, sacrifice, support, etc.
God not only wants couples to be blessed themselves but also be channels of blessing to others. Apollos was taken into Aquila’s and Priscilla’s home and mentored (Acts 18:26), Paul lived with them and they hosted several churches in their home. (Rom. 16:3-5, 1 Cor. 16:19) A couple should be a team, working together serving God, serving others.
Iron sharpens iron
The close relationship between Tek and me over the years has refined our characters. By living in close quarters, we have learned how to be selfless, considerate, kind, patient, tolerant, and how to submit to each other, forgive, build up, etc.
So it is not so much of old-fashioned, new variations or contemporary interpretations that should guide us. Choose to follow our Creator’s model and follow His instructions and you will have the good marriage He intended.