I recently have taken on the position of online Chaplin for a Facebook group of christian women trying to encourage each other in their love lives and marriages. This has lead to so many questions about God’s guidelines in marriage and how to fix a broken or damaged marriage that I have decided to do a series of blogs based on the Pre-Marital counseling I used to require before conducting a wedding. I hope that in doing so both Husband’s and Wives can learn a bit about how to have a loving and godly marriage that is fulfilling to both partners.
Let’s start with this question: What is Marriage? The definition now considered obsolete that I found in an older Websters dictionary is this: ““Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”19 So the LORD God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one.20 He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening.22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.23‘At last!’ the man exclaimed. ‘This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called woman, because she was taken from man.’24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.”
In these verses we find out several things about marriage according to God. I want us to look at them carefully because if we don’t we will miss what God says marriage is and that leads, in today’s world, to a lot of the marital problems that Christians end up dealing with.
- Marriage is the end of a persons close committed relationship with their parents and the start of their close committed relationship with the person God has created to help them through life.
Do you see that scripture tells us that a man leaves his parents and is joined to his wife. In other words his (and her) relationship with parents changes. As children our parents are supposed to be the most important relationship we have with people. They are the ones who help us learn to be adults, to be godly people. They help protect us and nurture us. They love us with Christ like love and model what the love of God is supposed to look like. (I know that not all parents do so but that is a topic for a different day.) Then we find the person God created just for us. The one who fulfills #2 for us and we have a wedding. After that wedding we are to cut the emotional ties that make our parents the most important humans in our lives and transfer that emotion to our spouses.
This is where a lot of Marriages encounter problems. One spouse of the other doesn’t put their marriage ahead of their parents. It leads to parents that meddle in the marriage and children who instead of turning to their spouse for love, comfort, protection and nurturing turn to the people they’ve always turned to. We even say that we won’t do that in the marriage vows but I’m not sure we even realize that is what is meant by “forsaking all others”. Oh we realize that it means no other partners but it means no other person is to meet those needs in our life. When one spouse or both allow their parents to remain the most important human relationship in their life they are breaking God’s plan for marriage. Often I’ve had to show these verses and other we will look at later to a couple or one side of a couple and say “you need to cut the close ties with your parents and start living life cleaved or joined emotionally, spiritually and physically to your spouse.” We have to be intentional about this. We must guard the marital relationship as the most important one of our lives at the expense of all other relationships. Are you doing that in your own marriage? IF not who is your most important human relationship with and how can you change that to God’s plan?
2. Marriage is finding the person God created to walk with you and help you through life.
This whole passage starts with God saying it isn’t good for the man to be alone. He states he will create a Help-meet or Helper for the man. A companion who will walk and work alongside of man. The word literally translated is a helper who supports. God realized that man need to not be alone in the world that he needed someone like himself but vastly different to walk and live with him and support him. This is still what God wants for each of us. Just like with Adam he has created for you the perfect helper, the perfect companion. While not scripture what always comes to my mind when I think of this passage is the line from the movie Jerry McGuire “You complete me!” That’s what marriage is supposed to be finding the one who completes you. The person who is strong where you are weak and weak where you are strong. Then you cleave to them as KJV says. You join your life with theirs and together you become what neither one of you can be separately.
This is crucial in today’s world. Your focus is should be on helping your spouse be the best version of themselves that they can be. How different is that thought than what we are taught in the world today, even in the church. It seems like now days we have decided that the partnership should be a 50/50 split of everything. I’ll meet you in the middle thing. But that isn’t God’s plan. He created for Adam a partner who came 100% to fill the holes in Adam’s life. In return Adam was to go 100% to fill the holes in Eve’s life. Together they would be stronger, better, more themselves. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that any one spouse should lose who they are to support and help the other spouse. But if both parties of a marriage are living and acting as God created us to act in marriage we are both doing everything in our power to make our spouse better. Are you strong in areas where your spouse is weak? Have the two of you talked about how you can assist each other and become the help God designed you to be for each other? What one thing can you do to show your spouse that you want to be the companion God created for them?
3. Sex is a key component in becoming connected to each other.
The passage ends with “the two are united into one. Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.” Like me, you were probably taught that the last part of this goes to show that without sin in the world Adam and Eve didn’t know they needed to be ashamed. But if we look at this verse in context it is actually about the intimacy that the couple had with each other. They were “joined” together and because they had joined their bodies physically they had no need to hide anything from each other. They were not ashamed to be seen by their spouse because they were truly as the KJV says “become one flesh.” Sex in a marriage is not just for procreation something else I was taught in my early years. No, in fact, sex in a marriage is to help the couple become closer than they have ever been with any other person. Closer than any other relationship. It is a key way that the severing of ties to other relationships emotionally and spiritually happen.
Isn’t it an amazing thing when God knows exactly what we need to not just live but thrive and become our best us? God uses sex to help us connect at a deeper level to another human. This connection is also called a soul tie. It is the reason for God to say that sex outside of marriage isn’t good. Now having said that I don’t want you to feel guilty if you have had more sexual partners than you spouse. There is a way to cut all other soul ties. It’s simple just ask God to remove them. Ask for forgiveness for not living according to his plan and then ask him to remove any and all soul ties not part of your marital relationship. Then connect with your spouse and create or strengthen the soul tie you already have. Does it surprise you that sex inside of marriage has more than a baby making function? Discuss with your partner what you’ve learned in this section and see what more you can do to become “one flesh”.
That’s it for this first part of this series on Love and Marriage. Next week we will begin to look at the individual roles in marriage as God defines them. I hope that you learned something today and will come back next week as we look at the husbands role in marriage. If you read this alone share it with your spouse and then have a conversation with them about what you both have read. If you need clarity or have a question you can leave them in the comments below or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Till next week.