This year, another first time gift was afforded me to be able to assist my daughter in her wedding planning. Her wedding is hours away, and time does not allow all the deep thoughts to drizzle down on paper just yet, but here I share a few snippets of serious musings.
The wedding day is a landmark of a beginning - a memorial for a man and woman of their marriage vows before God to not only stay faithfully married to each other, but to daily live faithfully as individual believers. Living in the spirit of Christ's love, in the benevolence of His goodness, in edification as brother and sister in Christ, and with purpose of glorifying God becomes a bright lighthouse.
Marriage IS "better together" (as the modern cliche repeats) when lived in accordance to Scripture. Any teachings about marriage that do not reflect the image of Christ Himself should be called into account, studied thoroughly in God's Word, discerned by the help of the Holy Spirit, and aligned with Truth.
A few verses in my reflections from passages of Scripture:
"And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed." - Genesis 2:21-25 KJV
God made man.
God caused a man to rest peacefully.
God built a woman from a man.
God gave the man a good thing - his woman.
The man recognized that she was now joined with him - a part of him - a companion with which to enjoy God's creation and abundant life.
The man and woman became one flesh physically - and spiritually - because they both knew God personally.
Being joined physically is a gift of marriage, and being joined spiritually is a necessity in God's original, beautiful design.
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 KJV
For believers, our bodies are the temple of God; the Holy Spirit dwells within us. We are creations and new creations of God. Not only are we given personal responsibility of our bodies, but also of our minds and spirits. Therefore, when a man and a woman are united in marriage, each person's personal stewardship includes body, mind, and spirit.
"Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth." - Malachi 2:14-15 KJV
Caution is given in Malachi regarding spirit and action in marriage as relating to the children of the union. The priority given to God's first institution affects children and generations to come.
"If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." -Philippians 2:1-8
Notes from the Life Application Study Bible explain:
"Selfishness can ruin a church, but genuine humility can build it. Being humble involves having a true perspective about ourselves (see Romans 12:3). It does not mean that we should put ourselves down. Before God, we are sinners, saved only by God’s grace, but we are saved and therefore have great worth in God’s Kingdom. We are to lay aside selfishness and treat others with respect and common courtesy. Considering others’ interests as more important than our own links us with Christ, who was a true example of humility."
Strong nations are built on strong communities.
Strong communities are built on strong churches.
Strong churches are built on strong families.
Strong families are built on strong marriages.
Strong marriages are built by strong Christians living with the mind of Christ.
A marriage will glorify God when the two individual bodies, minds, and spirits are in unity with Christ. Two bodies joined with the mind of Christ and with the spirit of Christ will be a landmark for the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Anything less or feigned leads people away from Him.
From Webster's Dictionary (1828):
LAND'MARK, noun [land and mark.]
1. A mark to designate the boundary of land; any mark or fixed object; as a marked tree, a stone, a ditch, or a heap of stones, by which the limits of a farm, a town or other portion of territory may be known and preserved.
Thou shalt not remove thy neighbor's landmark Deuteronomy 19:14.
2. In navigation, any elevated object on land that serves as a guide to seamen.
From the Oxford Languages Dictionary
an object or feature of a landscape or town that is easily seen and recognized from a distance, especially one that enables someone to establish their location.
an event, discovery, or change marking an important stage or turning point in something.
Marriage begins with a landmark - solemn vows before God and witnesses in the event called a wedding.
Marriage establishes a boundary - to be protected and prioritized.
Marriage becomes a lighthouse - a fixed beacon of hope radiating the love of Jesus Christ to offspring especially, and to all others who are within sight of the couple.
The wedding is a landmark. The God-honoring marriage is a lighthouse!
Back to wedding week, JL