#RelationshipGoals: Marriage

This Sunday, we continued with our series, #RelationshipGoals, where we aim to shift your perspective on friendship, family & romance as we learn from God about all things relationships. This week, we continued with marriage and we’re here to catch you up!

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The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 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.” Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 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. 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. 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. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 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.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. [Genesis 2:15-25]

As we look at the verses above we see that Adam was created from the dust of the ground and Eve was then birthed from the rib of Adam. We see God create them and as Adam lays eyes on Eve, he declares that she is the one for him. We also see that marriage was designed by God for man and wife to become one flesh. I love that marriage was always the intention of God.

It is important to understand why women were created from the rib; God has a purposeful intention for everything that He does. The rib cage has three important functions: protection, support and respiration. It encloses and protects the heart and lungs. It provides a strong framework onto which the muscles of the shoulder girdle, chest, upper abdomen and back can attach. It is flexible and can expand and contract by the action of the muscles of respiration. Wow! It is hard to disagree that women function for their people, especially their husbands, as does the rib for the skeletal body.

We, C3 Church Wellington, believe that there is a significance that God created marriage before ‘The Fall’ and before sin entered this world. We believe that the significance shows that it was always within God’s intention to the design of man, woman, and relationship. It is undeniable that God is a relational being therefore we are also called to be relational creation.

Covenant

“...and hold fast to his wife” [Genesis 2:24]

I think that Rabbai Jonathan Sacks explains contract vs. covenant, the best;

“In a contract, two or more people come together, each pursuing their self-interest, to make a mutually advantageous exchange. In a covenant, two or more people, each respecting the dignity and integrity of the other, come together in a bond of loyalty and trust to do together what neither can achieve alone. It isn’t an exchange; it’s a moral commitment. It is more like a marriage than a commercial transaction. Contracts are about interests; covenants are about identity. Contracts benefit; covenants transform. Contracts are about “me” and “you”; covenants are about “us”.

Covenant means ‘a coming together, bond, to be bound by a promise’. Marriage is a covenant, it is a choice to come together, to be bound to one another and to hold fast to one another. Marriage is a commitment to each other and the day we are wedded to another, we get to declare that covenant publicly. Marriage is God’s design to reflect the nature of God. God designed relationship in humanity to help us understand and grasp His nature, character, and love.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. [Ephesians 5:25-27]

The church is often referred to as the bride of Christ. For example, the second coming of Jesus is described as Jesus coming back for His bride, for His people. Like I stated earlier, the covenant of marriage displays the nature and character of God. Marriage is designed to point to God, reflect and display Him. We, C3 Church Wellington, believe and know to be true that the covenant God made to us through Jesus is sacred just as is the covenant of marriage between man and woman. We believe that a covenant is all in, a commitment that says “I choose to give you 100%.  We believe the goal of marriage is to glorify God in your relationship and to exemplify Christ to the world.

Oneness

“...and they shall become one flesh’. [Genesis 2:24]

Another attribute of God that marriage reflects is oneness. When trying to wrap your mind around the Trinity, it can be hard. As we think about the Trinity and try to break it down, it can be hard to comprehend and process that God is one in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The best part of the Trinity is that all three persons come together and work together in perfect harmony, unity, and submission. The covenant of marriage is the coming together of two people, two lives become one, two people become one.

At C3 Church Wellington, we believe in oneness. We believe that after marriage two separate individuals become one flesh in every aspect of their lives. We believe in taking the same name, moving in and making a home together, sharing the marital bed, and shared finances. The Hebrew word ‘dode’ means ‘the mingling of souls’. When a covenant is made and two people become one flesh, there is a mingling of souls that takes place throughout their lives together. We, C3 Wellington are passionate about oneness, fighting for oneness, and pursuing oneness. We believe that when there is twoness in relationship, we want to encourage you towards the covenant of oneness - and vice versa, when there is oneness before covenant, we want to encourage twoness.

The more we are in our marriages, committed and covenant keeping, the more we reflect the nature if God, His character, and His love. We, C3 Church Wellington, believe the goal of marriage is to glorify God in your relationship and to exemplify Christ to the world through a commitment to covenant and pursuit of oneness.

By Shekinah Rapata