Marriage – A Gift From God
with Comments Closed
Wayne D. Leeper
We hear a lot these days about marriage, what it consist of and even if the definition should be changed in our “more enlightened world.” After all, we are told, times have changed and what has been true for thousands of years is not necessarily true today. This premise seems reasonable at the first reading but before we consider changing the definition of marriage we need to take a look at exactly what marriage is suppose to accomplish.
The purpose of marriage is two-fold. The first purpose is to provide a level of companionship unlike and unequaled by any other.
And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him. (Genesis 2:18)
So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. (Geneses 2:20)
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and he brought her to the man.
And Adam said: “This is now 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 mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:21-24)
In these verses God describes and command both the composition and the first purpose for marriage. The purpose is stated in Genesis 2:18, while the composition is described in verse 24.
In addition to companionship God also gives the second purpose of marriage.
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and every other living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:27-28)
It is impossible for a child to be created without the seed of the woman being united with the sperm of the man. No matter what “scientific” methods may be used these two things, one from the woman and one from the man are indispensable. Whether one chooses to believe the Bible or not, there is no denying the accuracy of this fact.
There is no other relationship in the world that is capable of fulfilling the above requirements and purposes for marriage. There is no denying that almost any relationship between two human beings can satisfy some of these, but nothing except traditional marriage can fulfill all of them. Furthermore, this union is to be permanent. Notice what Jesus said about the marriage vows.
Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” So then they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. (Matthew 19:4-6)
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The night was as dark as any night had ever been as he lay in the hospital. Yes, she was there too, just as she always had been for over 50 years. Three days had passed since they brought him in and the doctor had told her that tonight would probably be his last. The children had gathered to give their support. They talked among themselves and mentally made plans and promises for the difficult days they knew lay ahead. They would be there for their mother, just as she had always been there for them.
She was silent as she held the hand that had held hers for so many years. She felt no need to speak. Everything that needed to be said had already been said a thousand times during the years spent together. Now her mind was far away, having drifted back over the years and over the miles they had traveled together. She remember their first date, their first kiss and “their” song. What was that particular refrain that she loved so much? Oh yes, “Long ago and far away, I dreamed a dream one day.” She had lived her dream for over 50 years. Yes, there had been bad times in between the good but all in all she could truthfully say, “The good outweighed the bad.”
She remembered the day she had become his bride and the smile on his face as she came down the aisle on her father’s arm. She remembered the fear on his face as she left him in the waiting room to go in to have their first child. She remembered the pride they felt as they held that child in their arms for the first time. She remembered the old run down house where they lived as they worked together to get him through college. She remembered the first home of their own they were able to buy after he graduated and got a real job.
She remembered the difficult times that they had gone through together. The Christmas they only had six dollars to spend for presents and the nights they had sat up with sick children. She remembered a lifetime of making memories, spending time together, and growing closer as the years passed. It would be those memories that would sustain her in the dark days that lay ahead. Now was a time for silence and for prayer. Once again she would turn to, and depend on, the God that had served her so well throughout her life. She knew He would not desert her now.
He also had remembrances that night as he drifted in and out of awareness. He felt the hand and knew that it was hers and that it was there for him, just has it always had been. In his mind’s eye he could see her face and the soft smile that he had learned to love and cherish through the years. He remembered their first meeting, and how broke they both were and how they sacrificed as they worked their way through college. He remembered how they would walk downtown for cups of coffee late at night, the night he proposed, and their first little apartment.
He remembered the laughter of children that had made their home such a wonderful place to be, the many times when their best plans had not worked out, and their undying support for each other’s dreams. He remembered the days when their children had graduated from high school and later from college. He remembered the pride they had felt as each of them had found their place in life and succeeded at their various jobs. He remembered the weddings that had taken place and the pride they had felt at their children’s selection of spouses. He remembered the last home they had built after the children were gone and all the planning that had gone into it. He remembered the golden years that had been enjoyed together.
As he drifted into unconsciousness he remember the sound of his children crying in the background. But most of all, he felt an inner peace. There was no fear, no dread, no apprehension. He heard soft music as he saw a vision of angels coming down from heaven and lifting him up. Silently and almost without noticing he drifted from one world into another.
It was suddenly daylight as he found himself in a place so beautiful that it defied description. He was surrounded by angels as well as old friends from years past. He recognized family and loved ones who had departed the earth long before. He heard the music, felt the warmth, and basked in a sunlight such as he had never seen before. He remembered the words from the Bible, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him (I Cor. 2:9).” He could not remember if he had been here for minutes, days or years, when he saw something else coming out of a mist.
Across a meadow he saw a form coming out of a cloud. The body was different, as was his, but there was not a doubt in his mind who she was. He began running as she began running toward him. Once again they faced each other and their embrace was just as warm and just as wonderful as it had been in the days of their youth. Yes, the body was different but it was the spirit which they had learned to love and cherish through a lifetime together. God had joined them at the altar that day so long ago, and nothing, not even death, would ever keep them apart.
So just as they had done so many years ago they once again walked off hand in hand and heart in heart to begin a new life together; a life that would never end.
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May God bless America and give us the wisdom to never change His definition of marriage.