The Beauty of Marriage – Part 2
Big Idea: Marriage was designed by God as a strong unified force to establish and maintain the Kingdom of God in our world.
Scripture: Genesis 2 NLT
Genesis 2:19. So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. 20 He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.
21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and He brought her to the man. 23 “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman, ‘because she was taken from ‘man.’” Genesis 2:21-23 NLT
Before our parents, Adam and Eve, faced their first test together, Jesus officiated at their marriage. His intention was not that we should expect our spouse to fulfill us; rather, we should each be fulfilled in our relationship with Jesus. Then marriage is so that each partner will have a distinct responsibility in fulfilling the purposes of our Creator.
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. Genesis 2:24-25 ESV
Three steps to the process. Leave our parents, hold fast to our spouse through the passages of marriage and become one.
Think of it as a three-legged stool: husband, wife, marriage. If any one of the three legs fail to fulfill its purpose the stool falls.
Leg #1 Husband (house band) Adam’s primary responsibilities, and thus the source of fulfillment, were to produce and protect his “garden”.
Leg #2 Wife (Weaver) Eve’s primary responsibilities, and thus the source of fulfillment, were to strengthen her husband and nurture the next generation.
(Note: When Adam and Eve were disciplined after their failure, God disciplined them each in the areas of their greatest fulfillment. Adam in his production of his garden, and Eve in her relationship with her husband and in the bearing of children).
Leg #3 Marriage, they were to add fortitude and power to the other, so that together they could establish and maintain Kingdom order in their family and their assigned garden.
While Husband and Wife are constants, the Marriage relation constantly shifts through the five passages.
The Five Passages of Marriage
Passages are predictable and necessary stages involving the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions. Each passage has its own winter and summer seasons. If we fail to complete any one passage, inadvertently or on purpose, dire problems take root.
1. Young Love (first and second year)
Task. To mold into one family (we leave home, but home doesn’t leave us)
Formula: “1 person + 1 person = conflict”
2. Realistic Love (third to tenth years)
Task: Hang on to Love after reality strikes.
Marriage is no longer new. Maintaining requires time and effort, which are both in short supply.
Formula: “1 person + 1 person + 1 person = multiplied combinations of conflict”
3. Comfortable Love (11th to 25th years)
Task: Can we maintain our individual identity and learn interdependence
Goodbye youth. Goodbye to the illusion of a perfect mate.
Teenagers invade the home.
4. Renewing Love (26th to 35th years)
Task: combat the crisis of this task. Accept imperfection.
Re-establish companionship and unity
Grieving our losses (parents and children)
5. Transcendent Love (36th and beyond)
Task: Prepare for retirement
Retirement creates control and boundary issues. Adjustment to finances.
Adapting to physical ailments and death.
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