God’s original design for marriage allows for godly fruit to multiply throughout the world. The Lord’s plan is to use marriage to assist couples to experience oneness with Him, each other, and others. His design for marriage leads to a wholeness, found only in Him.
We discover God’s original plan in the first book of the Bible, Genesis. In Genesis chapter one, we are given the creation account. Then, in chapter two, we read, “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper (one who balances him – a counterpart who is) fit for him’” (Gen 2:18). As we jump down a bit are told:
So, the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept, took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, ‘This, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen 2:21-24).
God’s original design for marriage is a committed partnership between a man and a woman.
Our Lord’s plan for marriage is three faceted. First, the man leaves his parents and, in a public act, promises himself to his wife. Second, the man and woman are joined together by taking responsibility for each other’s welfare by loving their spouse above all others. Third, the two become one flesh in the intimacy and commitment of sexual union that is reserved for marriage. Healthy marriages include all three facets of leaving, joining, and oneness.
Then we read this interesting verse, “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed” (Gen 2:25). God’s original design for marriage intends for there to be a relationship of growing and open oneness. Adam and Eve were not ashamed in their innocence. When sin enter’s the world (Gen 3), we discover that Adam and Eve feel shame and try to hide their nakedness behind fig leaves and hide from God. Since then, barriers between husbands and wives and God are present and need to be addressed through the Spirt’s leading.
People’s desire is to be in a relationship where their deepest need for security and significance can be met. This is ultimately only possible in the Lord. Jesus prayed to the Father, on our behalf, and asked, “That we all would be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (Jn 17:21). Oneness with another begins with oneness with God.
The necessity in building our oneness in marriage upon our oneness with Christ is clearly seen in the four courses married couples often take in meeting their needs in marriage. Some choose to ignore their needs and only experience shallowness in their marriage. Still, others attempt to find satisfaction in achievement. They try to cover their needs, but basking in worldly success at work and elsewhere. These marriages merely survive, but do so with a tremendous relational chasm existing between husband and wife. Others attempt to meet their needs in each other. This leads to exhaustion and frustration as it becomes clear that two imperfect people cannot meet the deepest needs (security and significance) of one another. Finally, some depend on the Lord to meet their needs. Such a couple discovers wholeness in Christ, which allows for their marriage to flourish since it’s built upon the Lord.
We ought not to expect our spouse to be or do what only God can do and be. God’s original design for marriage is only possible when both a husband and wife have a growing relationship with Him. Remember, God’s design for marriage provides a plan whereby He allows a couple to experience oneness with Him, each other, and others. God’s original design for marriage leads to a wholeness, found only in the Lord. As a couple experience oneness with Christ, they are empowered to experience oneness with each other and others that will produce godly fruit in the world.
Let’s be encouraged and encourage others, in their marriage, to do what is necessary to meet the challenge of committed partnership with one another. Let’s encourage those married to do the loving work of advancing a growing and open oneness in their marriage relationship. Let’s remember that the key to a healthy marriage is one built upon a husband and a wife having a growing relationship with God. Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!