What is Marriage? (Part 1: Creation of Marriage)
What is Marriage? Marriage is a covenant instituted by God, whereby he joins one man and one woman together in a lifelong Union.
· God sovereignly administers the covenant between a husband and a wife.
· A man is constituted/ declared to be a Husband (One Man- becomes Husband)
· A woman is constituted/declared to be a Wife (One Woman- Becomes Wife)
Gen 2:21-24 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
1. God gives the Woman to the Man. A wife is God’s gift to the Husband. (Objection: You are objectifying women! Response: Is God not the owner of his creatures, both of man and woman? Clarification: Does God then transfer ownership of the woman to the man in marriage? Response: No, the man is called to a Stewardship. (Marriage is a covenant between Husband and Wife, with the terms and conditions set up by God.)
2. In response to God’s gift the man must give himself to the Wife. (The Man must take the responsibility of Husband. Assume responsibility for the stewardship.)
2.1 We see the glory of this gift: “This is Bone of my Bone and Flesh of my Flesh!” The Wife is the glory of the Husband and not his possession:
1Cor 11:7 For a man… is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.
2.2 We see how a man may receive such a gift: The gift of a wife is to be received by a man in assuming the covenantal responsibility of Marriage. A man must leave the safety and care of his parents, IE he must not be a child anymore. Men are expected to grow up and assume responsibility. Marriage is one of the great responsibilities that young men need to embrace.
Objection: The woman is so passive in all this… What about her rights, feelings and freedoms? The real question is: Do you want your desires to be met by yourself or God? Do you pray for a Husband of your own choosing or God’s? Do you trust that God will work in the heart of a godly young man to assume the responsibility for a you? The challenge for you is to be a godly woman. That is something you can do as you wait upon the Lord. A godly woman will look for a godly husband from the Lord. Who do you want to protect your rights, feelings and freedoms? You are either going to trust God or rely on yourself.
Another Objection to this definition of Marriage is: What if it is a marriage between non-Christians? Why define marriage as God joining them together? Answer: Look at Jesus’ view of marriage:
Matt 19:4-6 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Mark 10:6-9)
Jesus words reveal that marriage was instituted at creation, the God who made man and woman, also made marriage. Therefore, marriage is a universal human institution.
The Standard marriage ceremony opening acknowledges: We are gathered together here in the presence of God and before this congregation to witness the joining together of …(husband) and …. (wife).
Because marriage is a universal human institution it is therefore regulated by the state. The state does not grant rights (freedoms), but is called to protect rights.
Rom 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,
Marriage is not instituted by the state, neither can it be defined by the state. The state does have the responsibility under God to regulate and protect marital rights. The state must protect good husbands and good wives.