2019 | Week of January 28 | #1293
Do you celebrate God’s plan for marriage? Does your family? Does your church? I certainly hope the answer to all three of those questions is a resounding, enthusiastic, “Yes!” because every marriage that reflects God’s design of one man and one woman should be celebrated because God’s plan for marriage is universally good and well worth celebrating.
Because we have so much biblical illiteracy both outside our churches and sadly within, I’m going to rehearse what the Word of God says about marriage. The opening chapter of the first book of the Bible, the book of beginnings, Genesis, tells us, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it….” In Genesis 2, God gives more details about the creation of woman in particular and in verse 24 of this chapter we have the first use of the word wife: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
Clearly God created marriage when He created Adam and then saw the need for Adam to have a helper exactly suited to him, and made woman using a rib from Adam.
In the New Testament, Matthew 19:4-5, Jesus reiterates these truths of a binary creation and of one-man and one-woman marriage, “4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?”
I believe one of the most important biblical teachings on marriage is the New Testament analogy we have of Christ being the bridegroom and His Church being the bride, a holy union to be sure, and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, where of course the Lamb is the bridegroom Christ. Both human marriage, an earthly picture of this spiritual marriage, and the spiritual marriage itself are God’s plan and design. I believe God will not allow His divine plan to be sullied and blasphemed without ultimate judgment. God’s Word allows for no deviation from one man and one woman uniting in a monogamous, lifelong relationship. Any other relationship configuration called marriage is wrong and outside of God’s plan and blessing.
Importantly, God’s institution of marriage, designed for mankind’s good and God’s glory, comes with unparalleled blessings—and blessings that are not exclusively for those who acknowledge, love, and worship the great Creator God. God in His unfathomable goodness, allows the blessings of marriage to extend to those who do not believe in Him and even to those who blaspheme Him. That’s God’s common grace.
The blessings of marriage include, typically, natural procreation—the bringing of new life into this world through the unique contributions of both the male husband and female wife. Children born to or adopted men and women in a God-designed marriage are, on average, better off in every way than children in any other kind of family structure—including being considerably more likely to avoid poverty, poor health, abuse of all sorts, educational difficulties, crime, substance addictions, and more.
Men and women in one-man, one-woman marriages also enjoy great—again, on average—benefits, such as better health, especially for men, higher income (even when only one spouse is working), more savings, avoidance of poverty, in particular for women, and more.
All of these benefits have been verified thousands of times by social science research not just in the United States but around the world. And we should not be surprised by that. God’s plan for marriage and family works. When we deviate from that plan is when the problems begin—and not only continue but expand. When individual God-designed marriages are numerous and are strong and healthy, then the entire society is better off.
February 7 through the 14th is designated as National Marriage Week. It’s a great time for families and churches in particular to rehearse God’s teaching on marriage and to champion this divinely ordained institution that is good for all people, at all times, in all places.
For more information and to learn how you can support the work of Wisconsin Family Council, please visit wifamilycouncil.org or call 888-378-7395.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”