What’s the Real Purpose of Marriage?
Genesis 2:18 “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” NIV
I will make…..
…a helper who is just right for him. NLT
…a helper fit for him. ESV
…a suitable helper. BSB
…a helper suitable for him. NAS
…a help meet for him. KJV
…a helper corresponding to him. CSB
…a suitable partner for him. CEV
…a suitable companion for him. GNT
…a helper as his complement. HCSB
…an authority corresponding to him. ISV
…a help like unto himself. Douay-Rheims
…a helpmate, his like. DBT
…a helper – as his counterpart. YLT
Our spouse is God’s divine instrument to make us like Jesus.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He completed His creation with man on the sixth day. Chapter 2 begins with God creating Eve from Adam’s rib, and ends the chapter by instituting marriage. Before governments existed, there was marriage. Before the Law existed, there was marriage. Before the church existed, there was marriage. Before the Fall, there was marriage. Before the cross, there was marriage. Marriage, by divine inspiration, is God’s original resource for navigating our walk towards greater faith. First creation, then man, then woman, then marriage. that’s how instrumental marriage is for our sanctity. God knew what lay ahead for Adam after the fall and gave him a partner for the daily struggles.
“To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish ‘til death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance.”
Marriage provides confidentiality; it’s a place of privacy to process the battles and victories of our day. Marriage provides accountability. We should confess to our spouses our shortcomings. Marriage provides companionship. We experience life together. Marriage provides fellowship for weariness, celebration for successes, mourning for the valleys. More importantly, marriage provides the weapon for success against our great Enemy.
We battle a mighty foe. An unrelenting enemy. He attacks our minds and our wills: our thoughts, words and actions. He tempts us with worldliness: peer pressure, political correctness, secularism, atheism. He attacks our flesh: illness, death, joblessness. The attack is constant, different every day and focused on our destruction. It’s a warfare beyond our ability to overcome apart from Christ. God knew this. God said “…it is not good for man to be alone” against this constant barrage. God’s design from the very beginning was for our spouses to stand alongside us and to strengthen us.
We are born of the flesh. We have no natural defenses against our flesh. God instituted parents/family to be the first line of protection while we are mere children. God instituted moral laws and with it we have knowledge of good and evil and are taught moral behavior. God instituted government to protect us from moral corruption, hatred and injustice. Lastly, God instituted the church; a place of refuge and fellowship to share in our struggles and successes. These institutions were created for the physical. However, the first institution created was for the spiritual.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5 ESV
Marriage begins with shedding of simple selfish, individualistic habits. What we used to do when single, we no longer do married. Marriage quickly grows with providing for another person’s needs and putting our needs second. Both spouses begin to put each other first. Both spouses try to please each other by striving to meet the needs and wants of the other. By outside influence, we stay focused on the worldly issues: wealth, health, appearance, tangible objects, but the design of marriage has a more spiritual reason. Marriage strengthens faith in the soul, our soulmate, so we can grow in trust and rest for our Heavenly Father.
Separated by our innate flesh from our holy and righteous God, faith in Jesus justifies us. At that moment, we become reconciled to God through the blood of Jesus. Our purpose is to be formed into the image of Jesus. By divine decree God gave us a helper for the battle.
Put to death the deeds of the body, our sin nature.
John describes the characteristics of spiritual children, young men and fathers to illustrate our progression of growth. An infant drinking milk compared to eating solid food is another metaphor used for progression. And Jesus simply gets to the point when He calls out the disciples for being of little faith. The walk of the believer is to grow in faith. Marriage provides the basic tool for the progression of strengthening faith: a helper, a help meet, a helpmate, and my favorite – a companion.
Women deal with great pain. Child birth is not an enjoyable event. Bones literally move inside the body as the birth canal readies for delivery. Our wives can handle painful issues. Women excel at emotional issues. They are experts at talking and relating and corresponding. Women contain great moral compasses; they know right from wrong. Women often handle failure better; they cry to process their pain. Husbands, we need to use our wives’ strengths and release the burdens we carry from our day. Confession and humility before God and your spouse is essential to spiritual power in a marriage.
Men have attributes that are needed for the unity of marriage. Men can defend the front line, stand amidst the flying bullets and stay on task. Men have great potential for wisdom, perseverance and focus. Husbands are to be steadfast, devoted to their spouses. Godly men should cherish their divine part of God’s first institution.
“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 splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Eph. 5:25-27 ESV
Our greatest battlefield in becoming Christlike is our pride. If we become secretive, hiding our sins and deceiving our husbands or wives, we miss God’s blessing. Be transparent, guileless, devoted. Love God. Love your spouse. Let’s surrender our pride and truly repent.
Marriage is God’s perfect design! Let’s release its full potential in our walk towards greater faith.