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Marriage teaches us about God’s plan for man
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Category: Christ related
God created man and woman, and commanded them to fill the earth. A man was to leave his father and mother and become one flesh with his wife (Genesis 1:26; 2:18,21-25). This pattern is a visible reminder and figure of what we can expect in heaven. Heaven will resound with rejoicing when the wedding of the Lamb has come (Revelation 19:7,8). Jesus the Son of God will be united for ever with His Bride, the church. A wedding is a wonderful occasion that points us to the heavenly one. God also gave us marriage to teach us some aspects of His kingdom. The union of a man and a woman is supposed to last until it can’t continue, because death parts them. The union of Jesus with His Bride is eternal. There will be no divorce there. It is because of man’s hardness of heart that people end their marriages (Matthew 19:8).
The question of homosexuality is an important one for the church. Homosexuals insist that they were created by God like that, and are not sinners. From God’s pattern for marriage, we see that homosexuality is unfruitful and not part of God’s creation. No homosexual couple, however much they love each other, can ever fill the earth. It is a barren relationship, and this applies directly to the heavenly marriage, where the Bridegroom (male) will marry the Bride (female). God gave us the marriage institution as our guide so that we can understand what is permissible and what is not. It is true that in heaven there will be no male or female, and theoretically we can say that homosexuality is permissible. The problem is that God set a pattern for us now. This is part of the sifting process: who is willing to follow and obey God’s laws, which all have to do with a peaceful reign in future. As such, while we as believers can never judge sin (God has reserved that for Himself - Romans 12:19), we can’t sanction their lifestyle. Only the Word of God is the standard, and this will be the standard for all people of all times. God is not contemplating changing the Bible to give place for our ideas. If He does it for one, He has to do it for everyone.
In many instances, infidelity is accepted as normal, since it keeps the marriage ‘strong.’ For God it means that Jesus is not the loved one, and some other god or idol is loved more than Him. Therefore God will never allow infidelity, immorality, and other breaches of the marriage union, which includes the love of money. We find that it is specifically mentioned that immoral people or worshippers of idols or those who practice magic arts, will not be in heaven (Revelation 21:8; 22:15).
Feminists often insist that God should be a female. It is so that God is sometimes depicted in the role of a woman, but generally as the Father. As the head of a family is the man, so God is the head of the human family (Ephesians 3:14). As man and woman have specific roles in the marriage, so it is with God. He will remain the Father of the Bridegroom, and no amount of talking or writing will change it.
Does the Bible discriminate against women, as is often charged? By taking verses out of context, it is easy to misconstruct any teaching of God. As the church will be the bride of Christ, a figure taken directly from God’s design of Adam and Eve, it is malicious talk to accuse either Jesus, or Paul or any of the Scriptures of discriminating against women. God cannot discriminate against women who play such an important role in marriage, and thus in heaven. Men in sin might discriminate, God doesn’t.
Must women submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22)? That is a contentious issue. God admonishes us to submit to Jesus, to the authorities, to each other, the young men to the older (Ephesians 5:24; 1 Peter 2:13; 3:1,7;4:5). Submission has to do with order, with the smooth working of an organization or business. Jesus submitted to God (Hebrews 5:7). Where is Jesus now? At the right hand of God. Where will we be? At the right hand of the Bridegroom, the Messiah, the wonderful Jesus, for ever and ever. Is it difficult to submit to a husband? Not if he loves his wife, as he is commanded to (Ephesians 5:28,33). Submission in a loveless marriage is difficult, but not in one where each partner understands his role and duties. Like the husband who has to love his wife, and the wife who has to submit to her husband, the church, the Bride, has to submit to the Bridegroom, Jesus who loved us and gave Himself up for us.
By logic, we should be able to clear up the misunderstandings about God’s design for marriage and the roles of husbands and wives, that arise from time to time.