God’s Institution, Design for Marriage

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“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him … And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto 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 shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:18, 21-24

The beginnings of marriage go all the way back to the sixth day of creation when God said it’s not good for the man to be alone and He fashioned woman from the rib of Adam and brought her to the man to be his wife. It is for this reason that even yet today a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife and the two form a new family unit.

When asked about the permissibility of divorce, Jesus reminded His hearers of this truth, saying, “Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:4-6). Thus, Jesus Himself tells us that it was never God’s intent for a marriage to end in divorce; and God’s commandment against adultery forbids breaking the vows and commitment of marriage between a man and a woman (cf. Matthew 19:9: Exodus 20:14).

How far short we have come in regard to God’s intent and design for marriage! Husbands and wives divorce, and couples live together without the life-long commitment of marriage. Instead of regarding God’s will and design for marriage between a man and a woman, we abuse our sexuality, lust after one another, and even pervert God’s design in creating woman for the man by tolerating and promoting unnatural acts. While society (and even many churches) winks at our unfaithfulness and disobedience to God’s will and commandments regarding marriage, God does not.

God’s Word says, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers [literally: fornicators or those having sexual relations outside of marriage] and adulterers [those being unfaithful to their marriage vows] God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).

The Apostle Paul warned the churches: “Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10). God’s judgment against those who sin against His purpose and design for marriage between a man and a woman is exclusion from His kingdom and a place in the everlasting torments of hell (cf. Revelation 21:8).

But there is yet one hope for all who have come short of God’s perfect will; and that is in Jesus Christ, God’s Son! He upheld and fulfilled the righteous demands of God’s law for all mankind, and He took upon Himself the guilt and punishment for all our sins when He suffered and died upon the cross.

His resurrection on the third day proves that God accepted His death as full payment for the sins of the world. God has made us sinners “accepted” through faith in the sacrifice of His own beloved Son. In Him “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:6, 7).

God calls us sinners to look to Him for mercy and forgiveness; and in Christ Jesus He reaches out to us with open arms, offering us life instead of death, the eternal joys of heaven instead of the never-ending torments of hell. Yes, in Jesus there is hope for lost and condemned sinners. In Jesus, there is unfailing hope for you and for me!

Dear Father in heaven, I have sinned and done evil in Your sight. Thank You for sending Your Son to pay in full for my sins and the sins of the whole world. Grant me Your forgiveness and a place in Your everlasting kingdom for the sake of Your beloved Son and His holy life and innocent sufferings and death in my stead. Amen.

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