Volume. XXX, No. 9
Sunday, 30 August 2015


A Christian Marriage IV: The Institution of Marriage Part B


In God’s Word, a marriage is between a man and a woman. Marriage is an Institution started by God with the first marriage between Adam and Eve.

1. As an Institution, Marriage is a Necessity.
a. God gives instruction.

i.  Not good to remain unmarried.
In the Word of God, there is instruction to the necessity of marrying. God created Adam to be incomplete, and at the same time God created in Adam (and in man) the realisation that it is not good for him to be alone and to remain unmarried. This applies to Eve and woman.

ii. Woman to be “help meet”.
God created the woman, Eve, out of Adam. The woman was not created to be on her own, but to be the “help meet” for the man. Hence, it is not improper, but rather practical wisdom for the pastor, elders and church leaders to advise young men and young women of the church to marry.

iii. Condition for marriage of believers.
Bible-believing young people must keep this in mind - that there is a condition for marriage - they must marry as the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:39 “only in the Lord”. This means, for a Bible believer, marriage involves a believing man and a believing woman; a Christian marriage is between a believing man and a believing woman. A believing brother or sister must not marry a non-believer! It is disobedience to do so, and it is a sin.
b. God gives an exception.
Of course, there are exceptions. Not everyone will marry. There are believers who prefer and want to be unmarried. That is fine. No one should push them to marry if they want to be single.
I refer you to Matthew 19:12 “12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.”
According to this verse, there will be men and women who will never marry. This is because some must be alone for the sake of God’s Kingdom. God will take care of them by giving them grace so that they are able to live in this unmarried, single and incomplete state, and not be tempted by the sin of fornication or other sexual sins.
There are examples in the Word of God of God’s people who lived in such a state. I will give two examples.
One distinct example was the Apostle Paul. He remained single because he wanted to dedicate himself to Christ’s work.
Luke, the physician and inspired author of the Gospel bearing his name, and the Book of Acts, is another example.
c. The Word of God admonishes God’s people to marry.
The Word of God does admonish God’s people to marry. 1 Corinthians 7:2 “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” To stop us from committing fornication, which is a sexual sin, God wants believers to marry.
Further, Paul states in 1 Timothy 5:14 “14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” Marriage protects the woman from false accusations and unreasonable criticisms. The integrity and purity of an unmarried and single woman could be permanently destroyed by unkind rumours and gossip even if untrue.
d. The consequence of man-made rule not to marry.
Paul says in 1 Timothy 4: 1-3 that “forbidding to marry” is one of the “doctrines of devils”.
There is a denomination that requires her priests, monks, brothers and nuns not to marry, but God has already said, “It is not good”. The Roman Catholic Church hierarchy of pope, cardinals, archbishops, bishops and priests says, “It is good”. This rule is man-made. Such regulation has led too many priests, monks and brothers to the corruptions of concubinage, fornication, homosexuality, paedophilia, and lust in the past and in the present time as we now know. In recent times many people have come forward to reveal how they were sodomised by these church officials. In many countries, there is litigation against this denomination.
2. The Glorious Woman in The Institution of Marriage.
God created the woman, Eve, by putting Adam into a deep sleep. Then God took a rib from Adam’s side and made a woman.
a. God gives high honour to the woman.
For men who treat their wives as second-class citizens or even worse, as slaves, I would like you to beware!
God conferred the same high honour on the woman in His creation of her as He did to the man. Note that before God created the woman, He spoke in Genesis 2:18 “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
Let us go back before the creation of man and read Genesis 1:26. Here God says: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”. The words spoken by God showed the special importance of the creature to be created, man.
The word ‘man’ is a generic term. When the word “mankind” is used it is supposed to cover both man and woman. Unfortunately, to appease certain sections of the world, and to be politically correct, “humankind” is used instead. When “man” is used as a generic word, it applies to both male and female, as indicated in the next verse in Genesis 1:27 “27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” God created man, and this “man” is both male and female, in “his own image”. It is important to realize that! Let us remember that the woman is also created in God’s image!
b. God created the woman differently.
i. God worked with His hands to create the woman.
God did not call her into existence by His Word. He actually worked on her with His own hands. As Adam was formed from the dust of the ground, God worked with care with His hands by taking a rib from Adam’s side and built a woman from it. Isn’t that wonderful?
God did not create the woman out of dust like Adam, but from him!
ii. God used a rib for a purpose.
God could have taken a piece of bone from Adam’s head or foot to create Eve. God did not! Instead, God used a rib from Adam’s side.
Why is this so?
If Eve was created from Adam’s head that would mean Eve would have dominance over Adam, and if she was created from his foot, she would be subservient to him.
No, God created the woman from the side so that she could be a “help meet,” standing next to Adam, not above or below him. Therefore, the woman should be standing next to her man.
c. God’s expectations.
God created the woman with a lofty, glorious, and honoured status. He created her in “his own image.”  Therefore, He expects husbands to treat their wives with such status. Therefore, husbands should treat their wives well, with respect and with a lofty, glorious and honored status, and not as a slave or a toy!
d. Man does not treat the woman well.
However, the woman in the long history of this planet has not been treated well as she should. Sin has caused many husbands to despise their wives, and vice versa.
In Islamic societies and pagan cultures, women are a commodity and treated no better than the cattle. In many countries, even in Australia, women get less pay than men who do the same job.
In many churches, women are considered as inferior creatures, and many men disdain their wives just because the man is the head of his wife. Some men even think that by treating their wives in a lowly state they are showing true piety. This is wrong!
But, if one looks at the whole creation of the man and the woman, the woman has a special status and honour! Almost the whole chapter of Proverbs 31 is dedicated to the woman and there is no equivalent chapter for man!
                                         
…...to be continued.
Elder Michael D Lee
(Reference: “Marriage - The Mystery of Christ & The Church” by David J Engelsma, 1998 edition).

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