I will be doing my best to not get political! In fact, I am going to declare up front that this is a message from God on modern marriage and it will not contain a stance on what government should or shouldn’t do about marriage, civil union, or pro wrestling. To quote Jesus, “render unto Caesar that which is Caesars”.
Marriage today is going through a shakeup of definition. Much of this is really about the legal definition of who can and cannot get married.
You might be surprised to find that this has ever been the case…
(LIKE BEFORE: I warn you this is much better in video. These is really just the outline of what was laid on my heart.)
Marriage first appears in the Bible:
Two ways of thinking of this.
1 – If there had been a hunting dog in that first group of animals woman may have never been created.
2 – This is proof that evolution did exist as man evolved into the greatest creation ever known. WoMan.
OK, maybe we need to think of another…
After the origin of marriage in the Old Testament marriage becomes something very different.
It is all about the man
- Genesis 4, you have Cain’s son Lamech taking two wives
- Jacob is tricked into marrying the sister of the woman he loves (business deal)
- Patriarchs had multiple wives and concubines (Genesis 16:3 and Genesis 29:16-30)
- Men in war took women back like cattle, sheep, silver and gold (booty Numbers 31:22)
- David has 30 wives and many concubines, Solomon 700 wives and 300 concubines
- We really only hear about these wives if they are trouble or the man causes trouble over them
- Even when women are the main character in these stories it is about the men. Esther one of many in a cattle drive to find a wife.
- Moses tells them that they can get divorced by simply giving a certificate of divorce
Then comes Jesus
Jesus is a trouble maker (Matt 5): Killing, Adultery, Divorce, Revenge, Dealing with your enemies
All of this is in the Old Testament.
Then in toward the end of the book of Matthew Jesus is asked a question about one of these comments and His response seems to lay the whole Bible on its head. It happens over marriage.
Jesus message: That was not the plan from the start
What is Jesus saying that is so different to these men? What was marriage and what had marriage become?
According to Jesus Marriage was:
- Humanity was God’s creation that reflected His image (Gen 1:26-27)
- Reimagined in two parts male and female then reunited as one in marriage (Gen 2:24)
- Never to be broken apart (Matt 19:6)
Jesus is saying that man had already corrupted marriage and this was the problem.
- Woman was never meant to be piece of property gained or lost like cattle or a new fishing boat (NOT Booty)
- This includes Men by the way
- Man and woman together become the reunited image of God. You do not separate that.
I would argue that when we look at the problems in marriage over time they all come back to the corruption of these original ideas.
Paul furthers this story to give us a complete image again
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”