Monday, 29 November 2010

Who in the BIble had the Best Marriage?

In his latest book The Me I Want to Be, John Ortberg poses a most interesting question, i.e. “Who in the Bible had the best marriage?” Then in typical Ortbergian style he writes, “Adam and Eve had their honeymoon in paradise, and it all went downhill from there. Abraham lied that Sarah was his sister – twice- and impregnated her servant, Hagar. Isaac and Rebekah spent their marriage battling because he favored Esau and she favored Jacob. Jacob had children by two wives and the wives’ servants. About all we know of Moses’ wife, Zipporah, is that they had an argument over circumcising their son and she called Moses a ‘bridegroom of blood.’ David was a disaster as a husband; Solomon was worse. When Job’s life got hard, Mrs. Job told him to ‘curse God and die!’ I am not making this up; someone online said they thought the best marriage in the Bible was between Noah and Joan of Arc.”

He goes on to say that in fairy tales life is difficult until you get married and then you live happily ever after. But nowhere in the Bible do a couple get married and then live ‘”happily ever after.” Marriage doesn’t save anyone. Only Jesus does that.

So what is John’s point? The Bible is remarkably transparent about the flaws and brokenness of the marriages of practically every character. Yet in the church we feel that we cannot let others know that as a couple we are struggling; that we haven’t slept together in months or years; that we cannot hold a civil conversation; that we are constantly angry, etc. We arrive on Sunday morning with an airbrushed persona hoping those sitting next to us won’t detect that all is not well in paradise. John’s point is that we should find a church where we can be real, a church where you are encouraged to draw upon the experiences of others who have walked in your shoes and been victorious. Find a church where you would not be treated like a leper but like a child of God, saved by grace. Seek a Christian counselor IF you are willing to be changed by the Word. There is no room for pretense in a church community that is gathered around the cross.

John concludes this section by saying, “In the Bible, marriage is not the fulfillment of our dreams; it is a place where we learn.”

1 comment:

  1. It is tough that the marriages in the Bible are so difficult. One good one that stands out seems to be Aquila and Priscilla. We don't know a ton about them, but they do great ministry together and are always mentioned as a duo. I wish we knew more about what they did and how.

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