God’s Design for Marriage

Genesis 2.18-25, Ephesians 5.22-33

The Bible begins and ends with a wedding…Jesus’ first miracle is at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. God takes marriage seriously. So should we.

Our culture would have us believe that the goal of marriage is happily ever after. If your spouse isn’t doing that for you, then by all means, find someone who will. If the frog doesn’t turn into a prince, try another frog. If the princess stops looking like a princess, then find someone else who does. It’s about my needs and what I want. Self is king. No marriage can survive that…Christian or otherwise.

But the goal of marriage isn’t happily ever after. The goal of marriage is what the Bible calls oneness…a husband and wife who are pursuing their lives together in Jesus as one. Marriage is not an agreement or a contract. Marriage is a covenant. A sacred covenant that we make before God that is to remain unbroken. That’s why we make our vows publicly…to be loyal in adversity, patient in sickness, encouraging in affliction, comforting in sorrow, and forsaking all others, keeping ourselves only unto our spouse, so long as we both shall live. That’s why we say things like…“I take you to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others to cleave only to you till death do us part. This is my solemn vow.” That’s why we exchange rings. It’s why we say, “Those whom God has joined together, let no one put asunder.”

The only hope we have for a successful marriage is Jesus…only He can transform us through the Spirit to live and love like Him. Only He can give us an eternal perspective on life and a compelling reason to invest everything in the kingdom. It’s only when I’m pursuing Him in earnest, that I will even have the desire to love my wife well. It’s only when she is pursuing Him the same way that she will have the desire to submit to me. If each of us is committed to being a godly spouse, we will have a godly marriage. Doesn’t mean we won’t have challenges…that’s part of life outside the garden, but it means that we are committed to seeing it through for the glory of God until death do us part.

If you are married today, I want to ask you to do something this week. Think about your marriage. Would you say that you are on track, pursuing oneness with each other as you pursue your relationship with Jesus? Wives, are you submitting to your husband? Husbands are you loving and leading your wife well? Is Jesus your first love? Once you’ve had time to think about it, why not talk to your spouse about it.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on a sermon from our Central Marriages Series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @ccclancaster

Thoughts About What We’re Reading…

Is the Tabernacle Boring?

Here in our reading, in Exodus 25, God declares His desire to dwell in the midst of His people and gives them instructions on how to build His sanctuary – the Tabernacle.

The dwelling of God in the midst of His people is a significant biblical theme.

Way back in the garden of Eden, we are told God walked through the garden in the “cool of the day”. Creation was the sanctuary in which God dwelt with Adam and Eve.

The tabernacle, like the garden of Eden, here in Exodus is where God dwells, and various details of the tabernacle suggest it is a mini-Eden. These parallels include the east-facing entrance guarded by cherubim, the tree of life (lampstand), and the tree of knowledge (the law).

The tabernacle is a tented, mobile palace, so to speak, for Israel’s divine King.

Solomon in 1 Kings 6 builds the Temple as a more permanent structure for God’s dwelling.  But when the people forsake God He forsakes the Temple and it is destroyed by the Babylonians.

Although rebuilt by King Herod, the Temple system in the days of Jesus was far from glorifying God. We read about this in the Gospels as Jesus speaks out against the Temple system and its leaders.

All seems lost… until…

We read in John 1:14 that with the coming of Jesus, God had come to dwell – to “tabernacle” among us.

We learn later in John that Jesus’ own body was the temple that would be destroyed and raised.

Thus, Jesus is the resurrected temple, He is the foundation and cornerstone of a new temple – us, the New Testament people of God.  We serve as the dwelling place for God through the Holy Spirit.

This same biblical theme is carried even further in Revelation 21-22, the new earth, the new Jerusalem.  God will be the temple, and we, His people, will have our dwelling in Him.

Thus God’s dwelling in the tabernacle was a step toward the restoration of paradise, (think Eden but better) which is to be completed in the new heaven and earth.

How cool is that?  Maybe reading about the Tabernacle is not so boring after all!

Until next time…keep reading…
Jim