Love & Marriage: God’s Plan For Husband and Wife

Love & Marriage: God’s Plan For Husband and Wife



Introduction:
Over the next several weeks we will be examining marriage.  Marriage defined by God.  I say defined by God because it was God who made marriage.  

Genesis 1:26-28 ESV
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Friends, marriages and families are in trouble today.  Whether you are Republican or Democrat you would agree that something is wrong with the family.  The problem is not hat we all agree that marriage is broken, the problem is that we think we can fix marriage.  

How do we fix marriage? A program.
How do we fix marriage? We need to redefine marriage to include homosexuals.  

You see, we have taken something that was broken, tried to fix it ourselves, break it more and we are left scratching our heads as to why everything in the family is still so mixed up.  

We think…right now…that marriage is a social institution that can be adjusted and contorted to fit our thoughts on what modern society should look like.  

The only problem is that marriage is not a social institution, it is a spiritual institution that we have socially hijacked.  

If God is the maker, the owner and the designer of marriage, the only way to fix it is to take it back to the manufacturer.  Instead we have tried to adjust it ourselves and we have just broken it further, we have made it worse.  

How do I know that God made marriage?  Marriage is modeled by God’s hands.  His fingerprints are all over marriage.  

Point:
We have a triune God. God the Father.  God the Son.  God the Holy Spirit.  Three distinct persons living in harmonious unity.  

The family.  We have a man, a woman, and children designed to live in harmonious unity with one another.  The family is designed to be a picture of God.  

Remember, God said “Let us”, meaning that each part of the reality of God was responsible for designing something that reflected Him.

Speaking of reflection, Genesis even says that we were made in His image.  An image is a reflection.  Men and women were created mind, body and soul.  Three parts living in harmonious unity.  

You see what I am saying?  God is the maker of marriage and marriage is define by Him not us.  If God is the maker, He is the manufacturer and thus warrantees the product.  If our marriages are messed up, we must take them back to the manufacturer in order to be restored.  

Friends, family is not a social institution rather a spiritual institution.  

Family Is Not A Social Institution Rather A Spiritual Institution! 

Scripture:
So, let’s take a moment and read from Genesis 2 about the creation of the first marriage between a man, Adam, and a woman, Eve.  Then we will look at the purpose of marriage and God’s plan for the husband and wife.  

Genesis 2: 15-25 ESV
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

I. So, What Is The Purpose of Marriage?

A. Pleasure (And God blessed them)

Point:
You heard it here first.  Marriage is meant to be pleasurable.  It is meant to be pleasurable in every sense.  Pleasurable physically.  You bet.  Under the guidelines and boundaries of marriage, man and woman can enjoy guilt free physical intimacy.  There is no shame, no leftover feelings of a one night stand.  There is only comfort. You also have pleasure mentally.  A husband and wife team are to encourage and love one another.  Men, our wives should be our number one source of friendship.  The same goes for you women.  We are to find pleasure physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually.  

B. Procreation (Be fruitful and multiply)

Point:

A direct byproduct of marriage is children.  Marriage was meant to be the conduit for child bearing and child rearing.  

C. Production (I have given you ever plant yielding seed…tree with seed in it’s fruit…every beast of the earth and bird of the heavens and everything that creeps)

Point:
When God put man here, he put him here to work.  We will discuss that truth in just a moment.  He wanted man to be productive.  However, man could not be as productive as God planned without a partner.  Adam and Eve were to work together so that their production would increase.  

II. So, What Was God’s Plan For Adam and Eve

Illustration:
Sam was invited to his friend John's home for dinner. John had been married to his wife for nearly fifty years, so Sam was pleasantly surprised that John preceded every request to his wife by endearing terms, calling her Honey, My Love, Darling, Sweetheart, Pumpkin, etc.
John hung his head and whispered, "To tell the truth, I forgot her name three years ago."

A. Work Together vs. 15
Genesis 2:15 ESV
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

Point:
The Hebrew word for “work it and keep it” is עָבַד, it is translated aw-bad. It literally means to work or serve.  It also means to cultivate, to labor to plow or manufacture.  

Isn’t that interesting.  When God put Adam and Even in the garden, they were to work together. They were to labor together. They were to cultivate and grow something with and between one another.  Quite literally, they were to produce something or manufacture something from the garden.  

Friends, I believe that the husband and wife that work or serve together stays together.  Think about it, Adam and Even shared common interests and common goals.  They desired to build something and that work gave them joy and fulfillment in their marriage.  

Point:
So, what does it mean to work together in today’s sense. After all, my wife does not follow me to work.  Nor I do I travel across the bay to physically work with her.  However, we serve together here at church.  We have a common interest in serving God’s people and longing to serve in the ministries of this church.  

When we serve together we find joy and fulfillment.  Generally the couples that have gotten out of the habit of working together on projects either at the house or here at church struggle.  They lose their sense of companionship and common ground.  

Point:
Friends, isn’t it funny that God intended from the very beginning that marriage would be work.  It is isn’t it.  Work.  Marriage is the conscience choice to get up everyday and work together to grow something.  To build something.  To make something.  

Point: 
What is your marriage producing today?  What is your marriage manufacturing?  How are you and your spouse working together.  Perhaps that is something that we should all pray about.

Proverbs 18:22 ESV
He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.

II. So, What Was God’s Plan For Adam and Eve
A. Work Together
B. Pull Together vs. 16
Genesis 2:16-17 ESV
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Point:
So, God made husband and wife to work together.  He also made them pull together.  When God put them in the garden, he set up boundaries.  

“Hey you two, you can eat this but you cannot eat that.”

Now some people miss the point.  They think “why in the world did God do that.”  Well there are lots of answers to that question.  I don’t want to get lost in the weeds of why God didn’t want Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  One answer has to do with free will.  Adam and Eve were not robots.  They had the choice to obey God.  They had the choice to love God and the tree offered them the free will choice to love and obey.  Another answer is that it’s God’s garden and he can make up the rules.  He is God and in planting the tree He is displaying His authority over Adam and Eve.  

Saying this, Adam and Eve were meant to hold each other accountable.  God put them together so that if one started to get out of line, the other might pull them back on course.  If one was tempted to disobey God, the other would say “no”.  They were meant to share the responsibility of accountability.  

Friends, our spouse should be our primary accountability partner.  Our spouses should know us best and should best be able to see if we are off course.  Because of their unique position in our lives, God expects them to hold on on track and to pull us back to the center of the road when we have taken a detour.  

Illustration:
Case in point, I graduated from seminary last December with my doctorate.  I am going to tell you right now that if it were not for my wife, I would not have completed what was a long time goal of mine.  At one point, my studies had stalled out.  I was stuck.  I had completed all of my course work but the thought of sitting down to write a dissertation terrified me.  So, I did nothing for about 5 months.  I knew what I needed to do but chose to run and hide from the responsibility of finishing my formal education.  

I can vividly remember Angela sitting me down at our dinner table and discussing with me my work.  She told me that I had to finish it. She told me that I would regret getting this far only to quit.  She told me that she knew this was a goal of mine and that she wanted to help me succeed.  

Angela pulled me back on course.  She has done that time and time again.  

Illustration:
I have a friend of mine who is a member of the church who is a recovering alcoholic.  God has really done some amazing things in his life.  I asked him to write me an email about how God has used his wife to pull him out of alcoholism.  I asked him to describe her support and the part she continues to play in his sobriety.  
I Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

II. So, What Was God’s Plan For Adam and Eve
A. Work Together
B. Pull Together 
C. Stay Together vs. 24-25

Illustration: 16 Husbands
First girl: "My pastor said we could have 16 husbands."

Second girl: "Are you sure?"

First girl: "Yes. At the last wedding at the church I heard him say, four better, four worse, four richer and four poorer."

Genesis 2:24-25
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Point:
So God knows that Adam needs a helper.  A partner.  The only problem is that Adam doesn’t realize it.  Notice that Adam is totally oblivious that he needs a helpmate.  Typical man.  He thinks he has it all together.  

Well God knew better but still had to help the man realize it for himself.  So, what does God do?  He parades every beast of the field, every bird, all the livestock, every beast of the field and Adam realizes that there is no suitable helper for him.  

For the first time, we see that Adam needs something that he does not have.  Adam needs a woman. Adam needs a wife.

Point:
Now friends, I want you to understand this key truth, God trotted out every potential partner for Adam but Adam, in his perfect state, knew that not just any partner would do.  It had to be a specially made, particular partner.  

We now live in a day and time where the partnership of man and woman has come under lots of scrutiny.  Friends, let me say here and now that it was God’s plan, it is still God’s plan for marriage to exist between a man and a woman.  

It was also God’s plan for that man and woman to stay together for a lifetime.  

Point:
So, God puts Adam into a deep sleep and God performs surgery.  When Adam awakes its “Whoah Mamma” time. There she is EVE!  Adam was hooked.  Scripture says that Adam and Eve came together and they became one flesh.  

This idea of one freshness is meant to be a life time bond.  Just like it would be difficult and painful to cut off a piece of your flesh, it is difficult and painful when couples choose to divorce.  The reason for the pain is that they have become one flesh.  God never intended HIs children to divorce.  He wanted the bond between man and woman to be special and to last for a lifetime.  

Jesus even remarks on the bond of marriage saying…

Mark 10:9 ESV
What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.

Point:
So, what kind of marriage do you have?  Are you and your spouse working together, pulling together, and staying together?  

Husband and wives, circle where your marriage is today.

1. Roommates (Ships Passing In The Night)
2. Checkmates (Nagging, Bickering, Arguing)
3. Cell Mates (You Are Just Stuck Together)
4. Helpmates (You Love Your Spouse They Are Your Partner)

Now if you didn’t circle 4, that’s ok.  Marriages sometimes run through each number but my goal for the next several weeks is to guide you through a conversation on how to improve your marriage by getting your marriage closer to God.  

Closing Illustration:
A few weeks ago I performed a vow renewal ceremony for Pat and Ed Counselman.  Pat and Ed have been married now for over 50 years.  That’s a long time to stay together.  It was interesting to hear their story.  It was not all sunshine and roses.  They struggled.  When they got married, Ed was not a believer and it did not take long for the marriage to become fractured.  Ed and Pat even spent a short time separated.  It looked as if they were heading towards divorce.  





Then something happened.  Ed got saved.  Ed gave his heart and his life to Jesus Christ.  They took their marriage back to God who made it, guaranteed it, and God restored what was once broken.  Now, three children and 4 grandchildren later, Ed and Pat are still going strong.  

Their marriage has given them joy, fulfillment and has seen them through hardship and difficulty.  Ed and Pat have kept each other going…pulling together all the way.  They made the choice to stay together when things got tough.  

I am sharing this story with you not because Ed and Pat are special.  They are not.  Im am telling you this story because if they can make it, so can you.  Take your marriage back to the manufacturer.  It’s not to late.  

Remember, God rejoices over marriage.  

Isaiah 62:5 ESV
For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.


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