Everyone looks forward to the day they would be joined (wed) with the love of their life. It is a special day, but it is also the beginning of those special moments you’d come to share while married – the children, the romance, the challenges – they are things that become part of the marriage as you keep growing old together, but the reason it becomes a successful marriage is because of the resolve to always love and to bring the best out of each other. What does this have to do with God?
Adam – the Man – sat contemplating on the names of the animals, with each name he realised that there was no other name that would best describe such an animal. He had a perfect knowledge of what they were supposed to be, that is, if God was to name them himself he would have given them the same names. He wondered in his mind, “Did God know about this?”
Few meters away, God observed the man as he gave names to the animals God had created. Then He concluded, it’s time to give the man a helper. He then caused the man to fall into a deep sleep and taking a rib from him he made a new creature who looked just like the man. She was a variation of the man, something was different about her.
The man awoke from his sleep, someone was standing in front of him. It was a new creation he had not named, but he recognised her. “This now,” he said, “is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” Walking around her in admiration, “She was taken out of me! She shall be called Woman.” God was pleased that the Man recognised her and understood the purpose of her creation.
God has always left beautiful clues for us to understand him better. Recently, I was teaching my kids in school and I began to draw. They became very interested and impatient, and instead of waiting for me to finish so they could see, they began to ask – “What are you drawing? Is it a pot? Is it a car? Can you draw a human being?” Sometimes we get like that with God, but what’s amazing about it is the way he never wants us to be unaware of his plans. He knows we’ll be thrilled, he knows it might take a while for us to understand so he just leaves a sketch all over the place. A very common scripture about this is Isaiah 42:9, “Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.”
Marriage is an example of a clue God has left us to knowing and understanding him better, unfortunately, we always find alternative purposes for these things; like using a kettle lid to cover a small pot. Simply because they are both small or might even fit does not mean that they belong with each other. God stood to bless the first marriage between a Man and his Woman. There is a reason I termed it his Woman, it’s something God had said in Genesis 2:24, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Did you see that? – his wife, inferring that they belonged to each other. (Keep in mind that the words wife and woman are the same. They share the same Hebrew word and meaning – Isha). The implication of this is understood by asking, “What reason is God referring to?” He was referring to the purpose of her creation. Let’s do a word replay. She was called Woman because she was taken out of Man. For this reason – that she was taken out of Man – shall a man leave his father and mother, and cling to his woman: and they shall become one flesh. Great right? There’s more, Jesus made a statement about this in Matthew 19:6, (AMP) “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” It makes you see your marriage in a new light when you understand that it was ordained by God for you and the love of your life to become one flesh.
The Bigger Picture
Take your mind off your love life for a moment. Marriage was ordained by God, but for what reason? Remember that marriage wasn’t possible (for the man) until the woman came into the picture. She was created to be the helper of the man. The man had named all the animals, while doing so he had realised that there existed for each male animal, a female – the purpose of the animals were simple; reproduce after your kind (Genesis 1:21-25). But for the case of Man (mankind) it becomes more complicated, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28, KJV).
God had made the entire world, but he then made man so that man could be in charge of all of his creations – this was man’s purpose, to be an extension of God on earth. While other animals had a helper to carry out their purposes, none was found for the man until the woman was made. The woman’s purpose is greater than reproduction – if the woman’s purpose was just for the sake of childbearing then so would be the man’s purpose because she was created to be a helper in fulfilling his divine purpose. There would then be no difference between mankind and animals since they had both received the same blessings (abilities to carry out a divine expectation) from God. They shared a purpose, they had to; that was the reason she was taken out of him.
So God had ordained marriage to fulfil a divine duty and for a mutual understanding and enjoyment of both the man and the woman who are now one flesh. Taking away the pleasures of marriage for the sake of magnifying a divine purpose would in fact diminish its meaning. Companionship, fellowship, intimacy; these are all words that make sense in the context of marriage and they become useless if marriage was created only for fulfilling a divine duty or for replication. Scripture speaks of understanding, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3, KJV). Having understood this, the question then becomes “What does this have to do with God?” and I tell you, EVERYTHING.
An Even Bigger Picture
Marriage was ordained by God, but what if it was also ordained for God? After all Revelation 4:11 says, “…for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are created.” When we began, I told you of how marriage is one of the clues God has given to us to understand him better, so to understand how this has to do with God we must first understand the sign and then relate it to what God did to establish the first marriage.
Marriage was not possible until God made the woman. He did this by taking a rib from the man. The man recognised the woman as a part of himself that had become an individual with whom he could enjoy companionship and share a purpose with – “…for she was taken out of man.” This is the first thing I want you to note. It means that for purpose and companionship or partnership to be possible, there must be a similarity in the two creations, or rather, one must have been taken from the other. This is the sign, let’s talk about God.
Just the same way the woman was taken out of the man, and her purpose was to be a helper to him, the same thing applies to God and Man (both male and female). Scripture tells us that man was made by the breath (Spirit) of God which made him a living soul. Job 34:14-15, “If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again to dust.” If Man was taken of God then it means that Man must share in God’s purpose. If the woman was made a helper meet for the man, then Man was made to be a helper meet for God. This is where the beauty of marriage lies, that mankind should share in God’s divination. Man was made to be God’s companion for communion and fellowship, and intimacy, and purpose. Why else would God expect man to be a creator like him? Or to have the ability to replenish the earth? Or to subdue and have dominion over every creation made by God? It was (and is) because man shares in God’s purpose and divinity. The purpose of a king is to rule and subdue, the purpose of a creator is to create, these are the things we understand God to be.
The second thing to note is that it is God who cleaves to you, he is the bridegroom! So in Genesis 1:26, when we see God deciding to create man in his image, he was simply saying “It is time I make a bride for myself, that can share my purpose and dominion. That I can relate with on an intellectual level, that I can love for the rest of eternity.” It’s glorious!
1 Corinthians 6:17, “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” (KJV)
Why else would we be called the bride of Christ? God from the very beginning had made his intentions known, to purchase you with a costly price that cannot be beaten, that he could share in your joys and sorrow as you share in his. We are told, and we hear it in every marriage; two shall become one. God’s intention has never been to be apart from mankind, but to be wed with man(kind). This is God’s resolve – that he should and would dwell in man, for intimacy and shared partnership.
But If there remains individuality between them, how can they be one? The vision, dream, purpose, enjoyments; if they remain his vision and her vision then they are two, not one. Remember, the woman was taken from the man to be a helper and companion in his divine duty. This is the problem of many marriages around the world today, individuality. Marriage wasn’t created for privacy, it was created for intimacy – two shall become one. And truthfully, there’s a need to see God as the reason for your marriage if you want to experience the full joy of marriage. You are both married to God and must share in his purpose as you both share in one another’s dreams and callings, pleasures and sufferings. He ordained marriage, marrying without understanding why is similar to using the wrong lid on a pot.
If two must then become one, it means that just as you have your dreams and purpose, they can become God’s dreams too but only if you are wed to him. You must become one with him, your burdens become his burdens, and his desire becomes your desires – that is what marriage is about. God has called you to share in the beauty of his holiness, his love, his mercy, his wisdom, think of every fountain of glorious wealth that can be found in God. He has proposed, and he awaits your response.
The world has made out Christians to be people who don’t have dreams or have wasted their lives. It may be true, but that’s usually the beginning of the story. Useless? Yes. Wasted? Yes. Frustrated? Maybe. Depressed? Yes. Finished? Nah! Big fat and bold NO! We have been called to share in God’s dreams, be sure that he would share in yours “…to give you an expected end.” One of the gifts of the dispensation of grace through Christ is to have visions and dreams even in old age, to redeem the time that has been lost. (See Joel 2:25, 27 – 29 and Ephesians 5:14-18).
When you say yes to God, and take up his burdens as your own, he does the same for you. Why would God want to be joined with you? Because there is no independence in marriage. He wants to share his feelings with you and me, and he wants us to share ours with him. That’s what prayer is; telling God how you feel, and him telling you how he feels, and what he can do about the things that bother you. It is a lovers relationship and as Christ said, there’d be no separation – it’s indeed forever after.
No true lover will be unbothered about their worried or unhappy partner. This is the only catch, you were created for more. You have to believe that God needs you, he wants to share his burdens with you, he will take all of yours. What is his burden? To multiply his Spirit in every man, to replenish the earth, that no soul be lost, to bring healing to a broken world, to give life in abundance. God is the only one who can give these things, guess what? You are the extension of God here on earth, this is his purpose that we must partake in.
One More Reason
While we never feel qualified to bear Gods desires and carry out his purpose because of our inadequacies, I think it is most crucial that I mention the most beautiful picture yet painted by God in marriage; SANCTIFICATION.
Just as you are proud to show off your spouse to the world, and are careful to correct them where you feel they are wrong or need to do better, and sometimes you cover up for them so others see a perfect man or woman, God is eager to do the same with you. He wants you to be Holy, purified, spotless and so he takes upon himself the responsibility of making you exactly that. Every one of us wants to be faultless, wearing our white garments without stains or blemish, not even wrinkles. Yeah, that’s our husband’s job. He knows how to bring the best out of us.
Ephesians 5:25-27 KJV, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
Ephesians 5:29-31 KJV, “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”
You are God’s greatest miracle to the world, but if you do not become joined with him, how can you share in his gloriousness for which you were made? How can you be healed and sanctified? And how can the world be healed? God needs you to say “Yes”. In saying yes, just like all the pleasures you enjoy with your spouse, he will keep you satisfied and make you better.