I was privileged recently to perform the wedding of my eldest son. As I gathered my thoughts together in preparation, it served to remind me of the wonderful purpose God has for every marriage. As a divine institution given by God to the human race, its real purpose and blessing can only be realised through living out the Biblical principles attached to it.
To understand more clearly God’s intention in this relationship, we need to go back to the record in Genesis. There we may find three primary reasons for marriage.
The first is companionship. The record says, God saw that it was “not good for the man to be alone”. Adam needed a companion, someone who would not control him as the head, nor be trampled under his feet as an inferior, but who would stand by his side as an equal, to be loved and protected by him. So in his infinite love and wisdom, God took a rib from the side of Adam and created Eve. In no more beautiful way could He have signified the wife’s place. Eve was not just a companion and help for Adam, but in a very real sense, she was a part of him, an enclosure for his heart. Whether in prosperity or adversity, this companionship is to be lifelong.
The second reason for marriage was to provide for the expression of the natural instincts and affections, implanted by God, that they might be sanctified and directed in the right channel. Those who are called of God to enter into holy wedlock are to continue in that estate with mutual love and pureness of living.
And the third reason for marriage is not only to provide for the peopling the earth and the perpetuating of the race, but to promote social order and human happiness, and, through well-ordered families, to transmit truth, purity, and holiness from age to age. It is God’s purpose for every family to be a representation of the purity, holiness and happiness of the family in heaven.
I’m sure back then when our Creator brought the first woman to the first man, the hearts of all no doubt thrilled with joy. That first pair was the most beautiful and noble of God’s creation, a perfect reflection of His image. Though sin has since marred the beauty of this divine institution, with many failing to experience the joy God intended for every marriage, the Lord’s undiminished blessing is still upon it. Entered into according to His plan, you can be assured that the purest joys of your home and life will be found in this relationship.
When God performed the first marriage, He made a simple declaration, yet full of deep meaning.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife and they two shall be one flesh.” That two lives become one can only be realised as both surrender to the purpose of marriage as God ordained it. It is possible in the modern controversies surrounding state-sanctioned marriage that we can sometimes lose sight of this purpose. The importance of understanding and upholding marriage as God designed it, is reflected in the words of inspired counsel. Regarding the blessed days of Eden, when God declared all things “very good”, the Lord’s messenger writes:
“Then marriage and the Sabbath had their origin, twin institutions for the glory of God in the benefit of humanity. Then, as the Creator joined the hands of the holy pair in wedlock, saying, A man shall ‘leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one,’ He enunciated the law of marriage for all the children of Adam to the close of time. That which the eternal Father Himself had pronounced good was the law of highest blessing and development for man.” Thoughts
from the Mount of Blessing, p. 63. As this institution is under attack especially in these last days, let us take to heart our work as true restorers. Realising that it is the purpose of the gospel to restore the purity and beauty of marriage, I encourage you to make it your purpose, through the power of Christ, to uphold and live the purpose of marriage as God intended. One man. One woman. United for life.