In this lesson you will learn five biblical reasons for marriage. Once you understand the purposes of your marriage you will then have a foundation to build a strong and vibrant relationship with your spouse.
Today we start a new series of messages. From Mother’s Day to Father’s Day (7 weeks) we are going to look at what God has to say about marriage. Let me address some issues up front.
- If you are married, you need this. Whether your spouse comes to church with you or not, you need this to help your marriage grow, to be the spouse God’s wants you to be, and to glorify Him in loving the person you married.
- If you are single and never married, you need this. This will prepare you for marriage. You will have a better understanding of a strong marriage (the way God designed it) going into the relationship. Your personal foundation as a spouse will have less cracks in it and your future marriage has a greater opportunity to thrive.
- If you are divorced and still single, you need this. You were hurt in the divorce. You went into thinking “life-long commitment,” but things went wrong somewhere. Regardless of the reasons for your divorce, if you plan on getting married again this will help you hit the restart button, have a better understanding of the purpose of marriage, who you marry, or how you love your spouse.
- If you are a widow/widower and don’t plan on getting married again, you need this. Every follower of Jesus, every Christian needs to understand the doctrine and truth about marriage. In our cultural, there is an attack on biblical marriages and you need to be able to defend with God’s Word. It is a major subject in the Bible. God has specific instructions for the husband and the wife. God designed marriage and He knows how it is supposed to work.
If any of you know of someone who is planning on getting married, this series would be like pre-marital training. If you know someone who needs help in their marriage or just some fine-tuning, this series will be like a marriage retreat for them. God not only wants you to know what His Word says about salvation, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, heaven and hell, but God also wants us to know what He says about marriage. To get us started in this series, let’s begin with the purposes of marriage. Why did God create marriage to begin with?
God created marriage for a partnership (Gen. 2:18)
Number one, God created marriage for a partnership. God knew that you needed someone in your life to help you be more rounded out. He knew you would need help to be all you can be for God. God has a purpose for your life and if you are married it included your spouse in some way. Look at Genesis 2:18, “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’” (NLT). God knew that Adam needed a partner, companion, helper, and teammate for life.
The word “helper” does not mean a maid, cook, and back massager. If your wife does those things… great. The word “helper” means one who matches him, one who complements him. Marriage is so that you will have a partner for life that will assist you in being the best you can be for God. It is important to now that the word “helper” does not denigrate Eve or women; because God Himself is also referred to as our helper (Psalm 10:14; 118:6-7; Heb. 13:6).
Before you marry someone you need to ask yourself two questions, “Can this person help me be more like Christ?” and “Can I help them be more like Christ?” Can we help each other be followers of God and help each other honor God as a couple and as a family?
I want to address an issue at this point. Simply being “in love” with someone is not the best reason to get married. I am convinced that what some people call being “in love” is often little more than being attracted or infatuated with them on how they look or how they make them laugh. And as wonderful and delightful as attraction is, it is not enough to build a lasting marriage relationship on. If you don’t believe me then go to Disney Land; it is filled with all kinds of attractions. That’s what gets people to go there in the first place. There are many exciting things there, and we’re wowed by them… after a while even all those attractions become rather boring. Even Disney knows that, which is one of the reasons they are constantly adding new attractions to their parks. Attractions are good and enjoyable, but we can’t base our marriage on mere attractions.
When you get married you are not marrying a theme park, you are marrying someone you will spend the rest of your life with. Those “attractions” they may have at 20 will look a whole lot different when they are 50. Don’t marry someone because they are good looking, marry them because they are godly. Now if you find someone who is both godly and good looking then grab them in a hurry. The great scholars, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello once said, “Marriage is like going to a buffet, you pick what you want then you pay for it later.”
God created marriage for a partnership. So that you can help your spouse grow in their walk with God and they can help you grow in your walk with God.
God created marriage for pleasure (Eccl. 9:9; Prov. 5:18)
Number two, God created marriage for pleasure. God created the marriage and family for fun. Some families take the point about being a learning center so seriously that they turn their home into a boot camp. Some homes are like that guy in the “Sound of Music” where he would blow that whistle and the kids would come marching in and marching out. He ran his home like a military base.
God meant for your marriage and family to be a place where you can let down, kick back and enjoy life. Listen to what God’s Word has to say about this.
- Ecclesiastes 9:9 says, “Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love…” (NIV 84).
- Proverbs 5:18 says, “Be happy with your wife and find your joy with the girl you married” (GN).
After people get married they need to learn to date their mate. They need to continue the courtship after marriage. Listen, if there was more courting in marriage there would be fewer marriages in court. Husband, take your wife out, go do something together, or just sit on the front porch together. Find something you both enjoy and enjoy it together. Love her. Cherish her. Laugh with her. Appreciate her. Wife do the same for your husband
God created marriage for purity (1 Cor. 7:2, 9)
Number three, God created marriage for purity. Marriage is the answer for sexual immorality. Look at 1 Corinthians 7:2, “Because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband” (NLT). God says, “If you cannot control your sex drive, then get married.” [As a side note, notice carefully God told the man to get a wife and the woman to get a husband. God’s design for marriage is one man with one woman, not man to man or woman to woman or man to woman and woman or woman to man and man].
Sometimes a person’s sex drive can be very strong and can result in great temptation leading to sexual immorality, especially in a world where sexual freedom is practiced and glorified. Part of combating sexual temptation is marriage.
Marriage cannot be reduced simply to being God’s escape valve for the sex drive. Paul does not suggest that Christians go out and find another Christian to marry only to keep from getting into sin. He had a much higher view of marriage than that and so should we (Eph. 5:22-23). His purpose here is to stress the reality of the sexual temptations and to acknowledge that a legitimate outlet can be found in marriage. Therefore, “each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.” To reinforce this Paul says in verse 9, “But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust” (NLT).
I believe once a Christian couple decides to get married they should do it fairly soon. In a day of lowered standards, free expression, and constant suggestiveness, it is extremely difficult to stay sexually pure. God created marriage for purity.
God created marriage for procreation (Gen. 1:27-28)
Number four, God created marriage for procreation. One of the reasons for marriage is so that you can have children. In Genesis 1:28, God told Adam and Eve, the first married couple, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it” (NLT). God told them and tells us to have babies. It doesn’t matter if you give birth to one or one dozen. God says, “I want you to have children.”
Before we go any further I need to address a couple of things:
- If you are single, but you would love to be married or have children, but you don’t have kids. This does not mean you are disobeying God or that God is punishing you in some way. The Bible makes it very clear that not everyone is going to get married and not everyone will have children. You have a divine purpose that is unique to you.
- If you are married and have been trying to have children, but have been unsuccessful the same is true for you. Sometimes our bodies are not able to reproduce for one reason or another. It could be that God is waiting for the right time or that you should adopt.
Back to procreation and having babies. When God says go and multiply, this is NOT having children for the sake of having children. This is procreation with a purpose. This is having children for a cause. This is giving birth so they can be a blessing.
The purpose for having babies is not simply to make look-alikes of you. From God’s perspective, the reason is to bring Him glory and spread His image throughout the world. God makes people in His image and He wants His image spread throughout the world. God made Adam and Eve in His image so that wherever they walked on planet earth God’s image would be there. How do I know this? Because the Bible says so. Look at Genesis 1:27, “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (NLT).
God created man and woman in His image. God created people, like you, in His image. The very next thing God’s Word says in verse 28 is, “Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it” (NLT). Here is the idea. God wants us and enables us to have children because He wants the image of God to be transferred. If we have children and are not exercising our Biblical responsibilities to train up children in the Lord then we negate the whole purpose of having kids.
Let me explain it this way. Pam and I, we had four children. We were fruitful and multiplied. We decided to raise and train our children in the ways of God. They all became followers of Christ. As they grow spiritually and grow up. Here is what can happen.
- One of them moves to Huntsville, Alabama. They go to college there. In their classes they are the image of God there. They are a representative of Christ in that class.
- One of them moves to Louisiana. Gets a job there. They become the image of God and a representative of God with those employees.
- One of them moves to Utah. Gets a job there, gets married, has kids and they become the image and representative of God at work, with the parents at the school, and in their neighborhood.
You get the idea. One of the purposes for having children is to lead them to Christ, help them grow spiritually so they can bring glory to God. This is procreation with a divine purpose. God created marriage for the purpose of procreation with a divine purpose.
God created marriage for a picture (Eph. 5:23-32)
Number five, God created marriage for a picture. God intended for a Christian marriage to be an illustration/picture of the relationship that Christ has with the church. Let me show you this.
Look at Ephesians 5:22, “For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything” (vs. 22-24, NLT). The wife’s submission to the husband is to be an illustration or a picture of how the church is to submit to Christ. When someone sees how you respond to your husband they should be seeing how the church should respond to the Lord. Wives, you have the incredible and wonderful responsibility to show the world and other Christians how the church should yield to Christ.
Now look at Ephesians 5:25, “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself” (vs. 25-28, NLT). The husband’s love for his wife is to be an illustration or a picture of how Jesus sacrificed and loved the church. Husbands, when someone sees how you treat your spouse they should be seeing how Christ treats His church. Husbands you have the incredible and wonderful responsibility to show the world and other Christians how much Jesus loves the church through your love for your wife. As a husband, you are a living example of how much Christ loves the church. Your love for your wife is a sermon for the world to see how much Jesus loves His people.
As a spouse God may be saying something to you about how you have been treating your spouse. You may need to ask for forgiveness from him or her. God will honor that.
If you are dating, God may have said something to you about the purity of your relationship. Somethings are to be left for after you are married. If you want God to bless your relationship, you need to do what He says.
If your marriage is struggling or you are still struggling with your divorce and you feel like it would be helpful to have someone listen to you and speak into your life then we can do that or we know people who can do that. Don’t let the cracks get bigger, don’t let the hurt become more painful… take action, ask for help.