In my last post, I explained that my #4 Biblical purpose of marriage is to raise Godly children. We mold them and unleash them against the kingdom of darkness as weapons of mass destruction. However, all marriages do not result in children, which tells me that although raising children is a blessing it is not the highest purpose of marriage. In my opinion, the higher functions of marriage can be seen in any marriage where Christ is at the center. My #3 purpose of marriage is oneness.
In marriage, we have the ability to be one with another person on multiple levels. We can unite with our spouse physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We become one through physical intimacy.
Sex is the physical manifestation of the covenant made between a man and a woman symbolizing their union with each other. All of us have a sexual need. Some more so than others, but we all have one. However, our appetite should be satisfied within the marriage covenant. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Let the marriage bed be undefiled.” Sex is holy, but only in marriage. Outside of covenant, sex is sin.
1 Cor 6:9-10 tells us that adulterers and fornicators will not inherit the Kingdom of God. God is so zealous about the sanctity of the institution that He established that He will not tolerate those sins that defile it. God does not create law without reason. He is not an angry petty God that sits in heaven and dictates do’s and don’t’s. He is, however, a loving Father who wants the best for His kids. If we look at His laws with the understanding that He is the embodiment of love then we know there is a deeper reason for His laws. He would not give us a sex drive and then a bunch of rules so that we couldn’t enjoy it. There is a greater purpose.
To see why men and women are attracted to each other let’s take a look at the creation of man and woman. To create woman, God took a rib out of man’s side. Then, Adam named what he saw Eve because “she was taken out of man.” Eve was taken from man’s side and not his feet that he should trample her, nor his head that she should rule over him, but from his side so that she could come alongside him under his arm to receive his protection and covering. Woman was always a part of man and in a way, neither is complete without the other. Therefore the Bible declares, “A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined with his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen 2:23-24) because they began as one flesh and shall become one again. This is the source of our sex drive. Our sex drive leads us to oneness with another.
Jesus’ stance on divorce further alludes to His feelings on the unity of marriage. In Matthew 19 when asked if it is lawful for a man to divorce his wife Jesus says, “What God has joined together let no man separate.” (v.6) God joins man and woman together. I used to think it was my charm that attracted my wife to me. That may have some truth, you’d have to ask her, but God is the one who really brought us together.
God is deeply involved in bringing us together. There can be no wonder why “He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence” (Malachi 2:16). Divorce is violent. The Lord took His time knitting man and woman together in every way possible and divorce tears at the fabric of the heart and shreds the very thread of the soul. It is violent; it is painful. Ask anyone who has ever been through a divorce or walked someone through a divorce.
Now, not all of us will marry and that’s OK. In fact, Paul says that he wished all men were like himself, single and celibate, in order to remain focused on God, but for the majority of us we need the satisfaction that comes with being in unity with another person.
The only reason that Moses allowed for divorce according to Jesus was because of the hardness of our hearts. (Matt 19:8) Divorce is the destruction oneness and was never God’s perfect will. What is His will is that we keep the covenant that we have made with our spouse. He hates divorce because it destroys unity.
We can further see Christ’s heart for oneness in His prayer before being crucified. John 17:20-21 reads, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they may be one, as you, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they may also be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent me.” These two verses really demonstrate Christ’s passion for oneness. Although He is not speaking about marriage, I believe His heart for marriage is the same. God’s heart for marriage is so that we would be one and the world would know by looking at us that there is a God in heaven.
On this side of heaven, our marriage is the closest thing representing the Godhead (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and the union they share. The loving union of man and woman is an eternal example to the world.
Marriage is a high calling and should be held in honor by all (Heb 13:4). However, whether the world esteems marriage or not we the church should walk worthy of our calling “endeavoring to keep the UNITY of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph 4:1-3).