Friday, 5 April 2013

Marriage and the Purposes of God

Over the years I have taken several Spiritual Gifts inventories.  The gift of “discernment” has never made my top five.  So it is with that in mind that I am less likely to take issue with an article written by a fairly reliable source. 

The article in question bore the name of the title of this blog.  To be fair, I already have a very strong opinion about what I think would be God’s purpose for marriage.  You may have guessed the article didn’t select my answer and now I will attempt to convince you why I’m right.

The article used Genesis 1:26-28 and Genesis 2:18-24 as the basis for its position.  According to these two passages there are three possible reasons for marriage.

1.    Having children

2.    Protecting us from sexual temptation

3.    Providing for loneliness

The literature dismisses the notion that procreation is the primary reason for marriage (Genesis 1:28) on the basis that childless couples would have lesser marriages and that once the last child was born they would be, as a couple, unnecessary.

The literature eliminated protection from sexual temptation as the primary purpose for marriage since the concept of marriage was conceived (forgive the play on words) prior to sin entering the picture.  Perhaps more importantly if sex is the primary reason for marriage, then our partners are just a means to an end, to satisfy a need that we have. 

The text landed on companionship as the primary purpose for marriage. (Genesis 2:18)  This suggests that again it is all about me, my emotional desires and my need to not feel alone.  Unfortunately I know of married individuals who feel very alone.

What I find particularly ironic is that in this same lesson the authors say, “But the task of humanity is more than procreation (and protection and companionship). The task is to reflect God’s glory in His world as His image.”  The italics are my words.  I strongly believe the purpose for marriage is in fact to bring glory to God.  We are told that the marriage relationship is a reflection of the relationship between Christ and His bride the church. (Eph. 5: 25-29)

Christ was and is “other-centered”. His ministry was all about loving people and giving glory to the Father.  This should be our motivation for whatever we do.  If our primary reason for marrying someone is for what we can get out of the relationship then we have adopted the world’s view of marriage, one satisfied by a contract, not a covenant. 


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