God's Purpose for Marriage
The Bible says, "When the Lord God made the earth and the heavens - and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the Lord had not yet sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground - the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground - trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.....
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and to take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.’ The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’
Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man’" (Genesis 2:4-23).
MARRIAGE WAS CREATED PRIMARILY TO MEET GOD'S NEED
As we study the issue of divorce and remarriage, it is important for us to come to grips with God's purpose for marriage.
The Bible tells us that God planted a garden, then he put the man he had made into the garden "to work it and to take care of it" (Genesis 2:15).
God had the task of working at the garden and taking care of the garden. God gave that work to the man He had made. Adam was thus God's servant, working in the garden of God.
As Adam worked for God, God saw that he was alone. He was alone in the task of serving the Lord by working and keeping the garden. He was doing the work alone. He was lonely in doing the work. It was then that God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him" (Genesis 2:18).
God was saying, "It is not good that the man should be alone in working and keeping the garden. l will make a helper suitable for him in the task of working and keeping the garden.
So, the woman was created for the purpose of helping the man to accomplish the call of God on his life. The woman was created so that she might be a helper to the man in the task of doing that to which God had called the man. She was a partner fit to help the man to do that to which God had called him. Her fitness to be his helper was to be measured primarily in her suitability to help him to accomplish the call of God.
- The woman was not created for her own pleasure.
- The woman was not created for the pleasure of the man.
- The woman was created for God's purpose.
- The woman was created to help the man to accomplish God's call on his life.
If one were to put aside the call of God on the man's life, then the creation of a woman as a helper for him would immediately become meaningless.
That was God's purpose at the beginning. It remains God's purpose today. In marriage, God gives a man a woman to help him to accomplish the call of God on his life.
So, in the choice of a wife, a man chooses that woman who would best help him to accomplish the call of God on his life. Normally, a man should ask and receive from the Lord, the one purpose, the one thing that God wants him to do with his life. Having received it, he should find out from the Lord if he can accomplish that task alone. If the Lord shows him that he is meant to accomplish that task alone, then he should not seek to be married; because a woman has no place in the accomplishment of the call of God on him. A woman has no place in his life.
If, on the other hand, the Lord shows him that he needs the partnership of a wife in the accomplishment of God's will for him, then he should ask and receive from the Lord the woman who will best help him to accomplish the given call of God on the man's life.
We insist that the original purpose of God was that marriage should contribute to "solve His problem." It was for God. It originated with God. It had God for its goal.
Unfortunately, man has overthrown God from the centre of his life and overthrown God from the centre of marriage. Man has enthroned himself at the centre of his life and enthroned himself at the centre of marriage. With this dethronement of God and enthronement of man, marriages can no longer accomplish their God-given purpose and they are falling to bits.
I talked to a group of men some time ago, asking them why they wanted to be married. They said things that included:
- Because I want a sex-partner.
- Because I want someone to cook for me.
- Because I want someone to bear children for me.
- Because I want someone to take care of the house.
- Because I want someone to help me in the business.
- Because I want someone to go home to.
- Because I want to put an end to being lonely.
- Because I want to pay lower taxes.
- Because I do not want people to keep on asking me why I am not yet married.
I also talked to a group of young women, asking them why they wanted to be married. They said things that included:
- Because I want to feel secure.
- Because I want to have children who are legitimate.
- Because I want to put an end to being lonely.
- Because I want one man to daily appreciate my beauty.
- Because I want someone who will provide my needs.
- Because l want to put an end to sexual temptations.
- Because I want to put an end to men making passes at me.
- Because an unmarried woman is not accepted in society.
- Because I want someone to lead me in life.
You can see from the above reasons that man is at the centre of life and, consequently, at the centre of marriage. You can also see that God is not at the centre of their lives. Unless something happens to the people above, they will enter into self-centred marriages, and no self-centred marriage can satisfy its God-given purpose.
(From the book Divorce and Remarriage Chp one pg 9)
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