I was driving to church with my wife Charmayne when I mentioned that my watch looked a little blurry. She said, “Oh no, did you save the box?”
“The box?” I said puzzled, “Why would I save the box?”
“Because we can take it back to the store where I bought it and have them fix it.”
She had bought this watch for me as a gift. Don’t get me wrong it is a nice watch but, I assumed she got it from Target, so I asked, “How much did you pay for the watch?”
She said, “$170!” I was floored because for us that is a lot of money for a watch.
She had to squirrel money away for months in small increments in order to buy the watch. I wanted a watch, ever since my last watch broke. I like a certain style, simple, black leather band. She bought exactly what I would have picked for myself. She was very thoughtful. That and the price she paid for the watch gave me a new sense of its value. Ever since I learned how much she paid for the watch, literally and figuratively, I valued it. No longer did I come in the house and just drop it on the dresser or the desk, but I gingerly take it off, and carefully place it on a nightstand beside the bed. Knowing the value changed my behavior toward the watch. Now it’s one of my favorite things.
Our perceived value of a thing will affect our behavior toward it. Our relationships are no different. In my last post, I spoke about Ruth and the covenant she made with Naomi. Entering into covenant with Naomi, Ruth displayed how much she valued the relationship. Today, the most common covenant that we will make is the marriage covenant.
Although marriage is the most common covenant, through my conversations I’ve discovered that most believers do not understand God’s purpose for marriage. If I may be honest, I did not know the purpose either. I didn’t have revelation about the subject until this year. No one taught me, but the Holy Spirit is our ultimate teacher. By reading through scripture, it becomes apparent that the Father has a purpose for marriage and it, like everything else He does, is glorious.
Like my watch, knowing the value of marriage will change our behavior toward it. Once we understand God’s perspective of marriage, we will cherish and protect it.
In my opinion, there are four Biblical purposes of marriage. I’m sure there may be more reasons, but I feel these four are the preeminent purposes as seen in scripture. Over the next couple of weeks, I would like to write about the marriage covenant. I plan to do my best in unpacking them one by one. Further, I will rank them in order from #4 to #1. Now, before you tune me out, stop reading my blog, unfriend me on facebook, or stop following me on twitter, remember this is just my opinion not doctrine. So, let’s get started with number 4 – children.
Raising godly children is a purpose of marriage. Having children gives parents an opportunity to expand the Kingdom of God right from home.
Psalms 127:4 says, “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.” I love that. This verse shows us that our children are a weapon against the kingdom of darkness. One of my favorite movies is 300. There is a scene in the movie where the captain of the Persian army says to his enemies that their arrows will block out the sun. A couple of scenes later you see hundreds and thousands of arrows coming down on the Spartan heroes, literally blocking out the sun and turning midday into midnight. What would the world look like if we treated our children as the Bible describes, offensive weapons raining down upon the forces of darkness? By the grace of God, we can shape them, point them in the right direction, and then release them in the world for maximum impact. We do that by teaching them to fear, love, and serve the Lord.
Deuteronomy 6 tells parents to teach the commands of God to their children. It says, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (7).
Teaching our children about the King is the most important responsibility of Christian parents. We not only do that from intentional instruction, but maybe more so through our life example. I read an interesting article from the Gospel Coalition, which stated that the faith of children is heavily reliant to their father’s involvement. You can check it out here: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2010/12/16/a-fathers-role-in-his-children-going-to-church-when-they-are-adults/. In context to the Elisha Principle, men need to know how important their involvement in their children’s faith really is. Nothing can replace a father. This is not to take away from a mother’s role, but the statistics of children’s faithfulness is undeniably reliant on the father. These statistics only reinforces what the Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov 22:6)
When children are brought under the covering of a marriage covenant generational Kingdom momentum is created. Psalms 78:4-7 says, “We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children; that the generation to come might know them, the children who would be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children, that they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments”.
United under the marriage covenant, dads and moms have enormous impact on the generational faithfulness of their children and many generations to come. The word of God promises that there will be no end to the increase of His Kingdom (Is 9:7). I believe that releasing Kingdom sons and daughters like arrows into the world is one of those ways that we do our part in forever expanding God’s governance of the earth, which is why children is my number 4 purpose of marriage.