Upon completion of this module you will be able to:
- Know the Biblical perspective of Marriage
- Understand the Origins of Marriage and how the Wedding Ceremony came to be
- Understand why God made Eve
- Understand that Marriage isn't for everyone
What is Marriage?
Marriage is a gift of God. When God brought to Adam the woman who was specially created for him, he cried out joyfully: “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.
Marriage is a gift of God.
And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
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 2:20-25
Who Established Marriage?
Marriage is something that has been established by God. Man has not devised the institution of Marriage. It existed right from the beginning, from the creation of the first man and woman.
Jesus makes it very clear in Matthew 19:4-6:
And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”God gave us a commandment to protect marriage.
Though shalt not commit adultery
With this commandment God protects Marriage. This allows sexual intercourse only within this blessed union. Anything before or outside of a marriage is considered fornication.
How did the Wedding Ceremony come to be?
Most Christian authorities view Holy Matrimony as ordained by God, a covenant between three, the man, the woman, and God. It is the lifelong relationship between and man and a woman as husband and wife. It is the most intimate of all human relationships and it is a gift from God. It is a sacred institution and is to be held high in honor among all people.
Jesus stressed the importance of the sacredness of maintaining a lifelong marriage. In not only Genesis 1 and 2, but also Matthew 19:3-6 states that He created mankind as male and female, and the male and female - the two, shall become one flesh. ONE flesh. So they are no longer 2 separate entities. They have become ONE flesh. THEREFORE... what God has joined together, let no one separate.
The teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul support Christian Marriage. Presently, many Christian denominations recognize marriage as a sacrament, a covenant, a sacred institution. But this wasn't always so. Prior to the 1184 Council of Verona recognizing marriage as a sacrament, there were no specific rules or rituals for celebrating a marriage. The marriage didn't have vows that had to be exchanged in a church. A priest was not required to witness the union. The couple could actually exchange consent anywhere at anytime. The male could be herding goats and say to the female "I would like you to be my wife" and her agreement would seal the union (along with due diligence to the parents).
At one of the Roman Catholics most important councils held in 1563, the validity of marriage was dependent on the wedding taking place in the presence of a priest with 2 witnesses present. Parental consent was no longer necessary.
The Church performed marriages in a partially enclosed area between the interior of the house and the street. In a vestibule prior to the 16th century. This is when the emphasis was on the marriage contract and the engagement. Later, the ceremony moved inside a room connected with a church or a religious building.
What was Eve's Role?
We know that Adam was overjoyed at having a real companion. This is the clear will of God:
Many different Bible translations state that in Genesis 2:18 God said “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (Gen. 2:18). The King James translation uses the word 'help meet' rather than 'helper'. A helper is seen as a subordinate, one who was worthy and obliged to serve his needs.
HELP - The Word Ezer
The word ezer in Hebrew. The letters, reading from right to left, are ayin, zayin, and resh.
Ezer is pronounced “ay-zer”.
The biblical scholar, David Freedman, determined that the Hebrew word 'ezer' meaning 'help' in English is a combination of two roots. One root meaning is to rescue or to save. The other root meaning is to be strong. So the word 'help' and the word 'meet' have traditionally been combined to mean 'helpmate'. A wife may often be referred to as a helpmate, taken to mean the husband is the boss and his wife is his domestic. But the word 'help meet' has a much deeper meaning. The word 'ezer' has been used 21 times in the Old Testament. Twice in the context of Eve, three times to reference other people and in 16 of those times it meant 'Savior' another word for God or Jehovah.. our help. In all of these cases there is no reference to anyone in a subordinate position such as a maid or a servant.
- Psalm 33:20 says "the Lord…is our help ('ezer) and shield"
- Psalm 121:1-2 reads "I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help ('ezer) come from? My help ('ezer) comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."
Ezer describes the aspects of God’s character. He can be our strength, he can be our rescuer, he is our protector ... HE IS OUR HELP! And this word 'ezer ' was our God's choice of word to describe Eve, the the first woman. Why? Because she would be someone who would provide valuable and vital strength and vital assistance to Adam.
Is Marriage For Everyone?
Marriage is honored and condoned among Christians and throughout the Bible however, there is no suggestion that it is necessary or mandatory for everyone.
Some singles may choose to remain single, or perhaps one has lost their spouse and not willing to remarry. These individuals have not failed as Christians or are not incomplete in Christ.
So why get married?
- First, there's the matter of close companionship and mutual support (Gen 2:18: where God himself says, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.").
- Second, God has gifted most to desire sexual intimacy and children, for he desires godly offspring (Mal 2:15). Should one have these desires, one should marry, "for it is better to marry than to burn with passion" (1 Cor 7:8).
As for Jesus, there is no evidence that He ever married, but there is considerable evidence that he was single, unmarried. Jesus taught that there is a place for those who are voluntarily single in Christian service. He believed that marriage could be a viable distraction from the ministry or an urgent mission. He made it clear that the Kingdom of God would be established where there would be no marriage or giving in marriage as in Matthew 22:30;
For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.Look at Luke 18:29-30
And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.
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