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Why Marriage Matters

Posted by Mike Mccauley
Mike Mccauley
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on Monday, 30 June 2014
in Pastors' Corner

Why Marriage Matters Scripture: Genesis 2:24 Series: Elevating Marriage and it Sanctity, Pt. 1 of 6

Sermon Summary

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Introduction. Dr. Myles Munroe in his book, In Pursuit of Purpose (1992), he said, "If you want to know the purpose of a thing, never ask the thing, for purpose can only be found in the mind of the creator of the thing." Thus, when it comes to marriage and the family we must consult the Creator, God. The purpose of marriage and family is revealed in God's book, the Holy Bible. In hermeneutics, which is the art and science of biblical interpretation we are taught one of its essential principles, the Law of First Mention. "The Law of First Mention basically says that if you want to see what God says about a matter, look at the first time He brings it up. You do this because the first time He brings it up will typically tell you how He thinks about it" (Evans 2014). In applying this principle we will begin in the Book of Genesis where God establishes marriage and the family. In Genesis 2:22-25, we read about the first marriage between the first human beings, Adam and Eve—God officiated the wedding. Furthermore, He would reveal His purpose for the family in Genesis 1:26-28. Careful reading of Genesis 1:26-28 discloses the purpose for marriage in history and why it matters to God. Starting with the latter, marriage matters to God because it is a reflection of the Triune Godhead and the former reveals that the husband and wife are to reign over creation and reproduce. Hence, the threefold purpose of marriage is to (1) Reflect God's image (2) Reign over the earth, and (3) Reproduce (or procreate). Let us look at each of these purposes separately. 1. To REFLECT God's image (Genesis 1:26-27). Marriage and Family are an illustration of the Trinity. The Trinity is comprised of three distinct persons that are one in essence. Enns writes, "In suggesting God is three with respect to His persons it is emphasized that (1) each has the same essence as God and (2) each possess the fullness of God" (Enns 1989). Berkhof adds, "In God there are no three individuals alongside of, and separate from, one another, but only personal self-distinctions within the Divine essence" (Berkhof 1941). Likewise, Husbands, wives and children share the same essence and are distinct in personhood and yet within the family unit fulfill different roles. This observation is also true within the economy (operation) of the Godhead. One final note concerning humanity's unique relationship to their Creator according to John MacArthur, "Man is a living being capable of embodying God's communicable attributes. In his rational life, he was like God in that he could reason and had intellect, will and emotion. In a moral sense, he is like God because he is good and sinless" (cf. Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10, 11) (MacArthur Jr. 2006). Accordingly, as believers our lives and families are to reflect these truths before the world as a testimony of God's nature and character lived out through marriage and the family (Matthew 5:16). 2. To REIGN over God's creation (Genesis 1:26b, 28b). God gave Adam and Eve (or humankind) delegated authority to exercise dominion over the earth. Please take note of Psalm 115:16, which says,

"The heavens are the heavens of the Lord; but the earth He has given to the sons of men."

This delegated authority applies to marriage and family operations too, for it is a part of the immediate context of Genesis 2:24, which include Genesis 1:26-28. "What this means is that God has decided to respect your decisions, and that much of His action will be determined by your action. Most people are sitting around waiting on God to act, but God is often waiting on man to act. While He has maintained a base of sovereign boundaries, a sphere He will not allow men to trespass on, He has simultaneously opened up a field where we get to call the plays, leaving Him to respond accordingly" (Evans 2014). Therefore, we should not sit idly by and not address marital or family challenges. Hence, take action and solicit God's help in the process, exercise your God given authority over the matter and give the devil no place! If not, you can succumb to the wiles of Satan and he will attempt to wreak havoc in your marriage and family (Genesis 3:1-7).

3. To REPRODUCE God's image through offspring (Genesis 1:28). Procreation is a product of history, for in heaven the need for sexual intimacy is not necessary (Mark 12:24, 25). In history, God desires godly offspring that would populate the earth and spread His image and influence (Malachi 2:15d). For when believers produce children and raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord, the hope is that their progeny will replicate the process and propagate the image and presence of God wherever they go too. After Adam and Eve's Fall, God judged all involved, and He would give a prophecy of hope. This prophecy is called the protoevangelium, i.e., the "first good news." God promised a deliverer that would come from ". . . the seed of the women" (Genesis 3:15). This explains the joy in Eve's celebrative voice over giving birth to her firstborn, a man child— Cain (Genesis 4:1). The nuance here is that "Cain could be the Promised Seed." MacDonald writes, "When Cain was born, she [Eve] acknowledged that this birth was only by the Lord's enablement. In naming him Cain ("acquisition"), Eve may have thought that she had given birth to the Promised Seed" (MacDonald, William; Farstad, Art 1995). Such hope is quickly put to rest by the author of Genesis, for Cain would slay his brother Abel (Genesis 4:8). Moreover, Cain's progeny would become the ungodly line. Seth, another son of Adam and Eve would produce the godly line that would eventually produce the Messiah (Genesis 4:25). Conclusion. In sum, the primary purpose for marriage in history is threefold: (1) for humankind to Reflect God's image (2) Reign over the earth, and (3) Reproduce godly offspring. Moreover, there are secondary benefits from marriage that humanity enjoys as a result of the union between one man and woman for lifetime in history. The Creator, in His infinite wisdom instituted marriage and family. As Christians, we must work diligently to preserve our families by following God's blueprint for its proper function. Someone has rightly said, "As the family goes, so does a nation" because the remaining two institutions, church and civil government, which are also established by God sit upon its [the family] foundation!
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