Valentine's Day is a good reminder of all things love and romance, steamy and passion. It is great to remember these things in our marriages. It is great to remember them more than once a year. But, these things are only one facet in the marriage union.
Marriage is much more than roses and chocolate, romance and sex. Marriage is a God established institution. God created the world, the star and galaxies, and man in Genesis 1. It didn't take long for the need of a woman to be apparent. In Genesis 2 God created Eve from Adam's rib.
God had several reasons for creating marriage. Here are 5 reasons I have found in the Bible, and they all begin with a P...
1. Pairing-Genesis 2:18-And the Lord God said, "it is not good that man should be alone; I will make a help meet for him. Meet is the idea of fitting. The perfect match. It brought to mind the role of a sommelier-a person who matches food and wine. A sommelier has an extensive knowledge of both food and wine so they can make matches that work in harmony.
God created each person in His image, and created each person unique. And knowing best our strengths and weaknesses, He pairs us with the one who makes us whole. One flesh. The Divine Sommelier.
2. Partnership-also from Genesis 2:18, the help part of help meet. The term "partner " has fallen on rough times in our permissive culture. It usually either implies a couple not married, but cohabitating, or equality of the genders. A partnership doesn't automatically assume equality. I feel there are definite roles in a marriage, man being the head, and woman submitting. By definition, a partnership is associates in an activity, endeavor or sphere of common interest. Marriage is a partnership. Our endeavor is to glorify God together. Our endeavor is to raise a family together if given children. Our endeavor is to serve the Lord together, best using the gifts He has given us individually and as then a couple. Together...
3. Picture-Ephesians 5:22-33, highlighting verses 32-33-This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife, see that she reverence her husband.
Marriage is a picture of Jesus Christ and His relationship with the church. Jesus Christ loved the church so much, that He died for it. The church sees that sacrifice, and desires to submit to Him. Our marriages are to picture this mystery-the wives in submitting to their husbands, and husbands in loving their wives. Observers should be able to look at our marriages, and think, "aha, I get it."
But, just like with normal pictures, sometimes we are more photogenic than others. Sometimes we have a bad hair day. Sometimes we really look like so and so. How can our marriages look most photogenic?
Follow Ephesians 4:25-32. Speak truth with each other. Be angry-sin not. Don't let the sun go down on your anger. Don't steal. Don't give place to the devil. No corrupt communication, but what is good to the use of edifying (building up). Put away all bitterness, anger, wrath, clamor, evil speaking. Be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving. Just like God, for Christ's sake, forgave you. (that picture again.) This is a high calling. Maybe even the highest calling.
4. Passion-the passage for this is Song of Solomon. Passion is something that is desired intensely. Our "passions" are things we put time, effort, and resources into. We are passionate about food, fitness, fishing, scrapbooking....We need to be passionate about our marriage, and about our partner.
Song of Solomon isn't a laid back book. Solomon and his beloved are passionate about each other. The girls ask her, "what is your guy more than any other guy?" (Barefoot Hippie Girl translation) And she gives quite the answer. And it isn't, "oh, he's a godly guy." No, I don't want to know your details, but you should be able to fill in the blank.
Song of Solomon mentions coming away. Marriage takes time-just the two of you, by yourselves. No kids, no technology, no distractions. I love the verses in chapter 8:6,7-Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is as strong as death; jealousy is as cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man were to give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned. That is passion!
5. Purity. Purity is preached before marriage, but it is just as pertinent after marriage. Our marriages are constantly under a barrage of temptation from outside sources. From magazines in the checkout lane, to readily accessible porn online, to VS displays in the mall, to scantily dressed figures everywhere you look. Talk about inundation! It is a fight to keep our minds pure-both men and women. But, it is a necessary fight. Fight to keep your marriage bed holy. Fight to keep it pure and undefiled.
The fight starts, and is often won, in the mind-in our thoughts...
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true
whatsoever things are honest
whatsoever things are just
whatsoever things are pure
whatsoever things are lovely
whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
Can you think of any other P's for marriage?