MARRIAGE WAS ORDAINED IN HEAVEN
Preacher: Felix Ngunjiri
Reading: Genesis 2:21-24
After God created man He gave him power to name
After God and the His Son created man in Their image, in Their likeness, They delegated to him the power to name the animals that God had created so that he would name them on Their behalf. What a privilege. It can be likened to a president who highly esteems you giving you power to register all the people in the republic at the Civil Registration Office, name ambassadors on his behalf and even name his cabinet members on his behalf so that he appoints them into office.
“Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.’ So the LORD God formed out of the ground every wild animal and every bird of the sky, and brought each to the man to see what he would call it. And whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.” (Gen 2:18-19 [HCSB]) The above scripture says that God did not find it proper for man to be alone here on earth. God thought that man needed a helper, a companion and a complement so that he will have company so that he is not lonely. God decided to create animals and when He brought them to the man to be his helper, the man was still not happy with animals as his companions and helpers. Man needed a soul mate who he could converse with and share with. Furthermore the animals were as couples, male and female. Man wanted a female companion, not elephants or lions or any of the other animals who had their female companions. The power to give names was also aggravating his emotional anguish of desiring a female companion as he had to distinguish between the male animals and their female companions. Lions and lionesses, bulls and cows, dogs and bitches, cocks and hens, rams and sheep, he-goats and she-goats. The more he named the animals, the more his need for a female companion increased and the more his loneliness increased. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. Adam’s daily routine was very busy with the unending exercise of naming birds of the air which had to abandon the joy of soaring in the air so as to queue to be given a name by Adam. One can imagine birds and animals, big and small, struggling to catch the attention of Adam so as to be given a name to have an identity. Another challenge for Adam was to name the fish that were in the sea. One can maybe imagine Adam taking pains to go down to the sea to meet the fish that had swam to the shore from the high seas to be named by Adam. This underscores the importance of a name. A name gives you an identity that enables you to be enrolled in school, college, hospital, scholarship, employment, registration for ownership of property, or to be joined in holy matrimony in the church. Your name also helps you to claim for a gift, reward, appointment or promotion.
The first marriage
“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.” So the LORD God formed out of the ground every wild animal and every bird of the sky, and brought each to the man to see what he would call it. And whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the sky, and to every wild animal; but for the man no helper was found as his complement.” (Gen 2:18-20) [HCSB] Adam was wondering why animals were staying as couples while he had no companion. God saw the loneliness that was building in the heart of Adam and He had compassion for him and decided to create a companion and a helper for him. There was no animal that qualified to be named ‘my wife, my helper, my companion, my complement, my wife, my female companion, my mate, my darling, my sweetheart or my spouse.’ “So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to come over the man, and he slept. God took one of his ribs and closed the flesh at that place. Then the LORD God made the rib He had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man. And the man said: This one, at last, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called “woman,” for she was taken from man. This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.” (Gen 2:21-24 [HCSB])
This was the first marriage that was conducted in the leafy cool beautiful Garden of Eden by God Himself. Remember that the Garden of Eden is the one also recorded as paradise, the abode of God where God was dwelling with the man He had created. At the centre of the Garden of Eden was the tree of life that Adam had been offered to be eating to receive healing from God so as to have life and have it more abundantly. “The LORD God caused to grow out of the ground every tree pleasing in appearance and good for food, including the tree of life in the middle of the garden, as well as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Gen 2:9 [HCSB]) “Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. I will give the victor the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in God’s paradise.” (Rev 2:7 [HCSB]) From the above scripture, one can allude therefore that man was created and wedded in the paradise of God which is heaven. The first marriage was therefore conducted by God in heaven. Man was joined to his wife not by a bishop or pastor but by God Himself. And God saw that it was good. When a man and a woman are joined to each other so as to become one flesh during marriage and therefore inseparable. The gum that joins them is Godly and permanent. It is like joining two pieces of photo paper or newsprint paper together by applying office glue or wood glue between them. Once the glue dries, any attempt at trying to separate one from the other will end up tearing both papers because they are no longer two papers but one sheet of paper. Jesus Christ came down to earth and stressed the same point in Matthew 19:4-6 that the wisdom of God creating man and woman as a couple was good enough reason for man to “leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate.” “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” (Gen 3:20) [KJV] and the first marriage ceremony was completed between a man called Adam and a woman called Eve.
A wife complements her husband. She makes the husband complete. If weak, she makes him strong. If foolish, she makes him look wise and respected at the gate while chatting with other elders. “Who can find a wife of noble character? For her value is far more than rubies. Her husband’s heart has trusted her, and he does not lack the dividends. She has rewarded him with good and not harm all the days of her life. She sought out wool and flax, then worked happily with her hands. She was like the merchant ships; she would bring in her food from afar.” (Prov 31:10-14 [NET2]) “Her husband is well-known in the city gate when he sits with the elders of the land.” (Prov 31:23 [NET2]) A wife makes the husband to obtain favour and blessings from God. “[Whoso] findeth a wife findeth a good [thing], and obtaineth favour of the LORD.” (Prov 18:22 [KJV])
Men and women have different roles in marriage. Men are supposed to provide leadership by being providers of love, godliness, direction and mentorship. Providers of love. Husbands are required to love their wives while wives are required to submit to their husbands and not the other way round. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” (Colossians 3:18-23) Men should provide leadership by being the head of his family (Eph 5:23), provide godliness by being the high priest for his family (“For the law maketh men high priests…” Hebrew 7:28), provide mentorship to his children by “training the child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Prov 22:6) and work hard so as to provide food to his family (“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis3:19)
Men should also try to understand the nature of all women so that they live in peace with their wives. Women are naturally nurturers and multipliers. They have an inborn trait to care while men have an inborn trait to protect. Women have another inborn characteristic of being multipliers. People say that if you give your wife love, she will give it back to you. A wife is a multiplier. Whatever you give her, she multiplies. You give her a kilogramme of raw meat, maize flour and cabbage leaves and she makes a meal, a house and she makes a home. If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her hate, she will give you hell. Women are nurturers and multipliers. You give her a tiny seed, she nurtures it in her body for nine months and gives you a 3kgs baby. In the same way, you give her one thoughtless or unkind word, she will ruminate on it for days or weeks, nurture it, and by the time she is done, it will have multiplied to a ton of hell and she will serve it to you hot. You give her love and she gives you affection. You give her rudeness or harshness, she gives you a ton of anger and hatred. If you give her submission, she will lift you up so that she can submit herself to you instead.
Many newly couples expect marriage to work for them. They expect to be ushered from their lonely lives as singles into a perpetual blissful and exhilarating marriage life. They forget that marriage is like a romantic novel where the main character dies in the first chapter. Marriage is not heaven. You have to work at it very hard to make it look like the first marriage in the Garden of Eden which had no death or mourning or crying or pain. Marriage is not a box of goodies for you to pick and enjoy them but rather it is an empty box which requires each of the spouses to put deposits of love into it so as to be withdrawing huge deposits of love from that marriage. If you want happiness in your marriage, put it therein and you will be getting it from there in form of joy, pleasure and fulfillment. Whatever you deposit in that empty box is like your savings and yours to withdraw. Huge deposits of love in that box will give you huge withdrawals of love that will last you a long time. When you deposit forgiveness in the marriage box, you will obtain forgiveness from your spouse because the rule says that forgive and you shall be forgiven. When you deposit good gifts into the marriage box, you shall withdraw them any time you need them because the principle of giving says that ‘give and it shall be given back to you with earned interest.’ “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6:38 [KJV]) Women were created by God to be helpers and companions of men. God put a longing in the heart of a man for a helper and a companion and a desire for God. Men cannot do without women and vice versa nor can man do without God. The same longing for woman translates to marriage so that the mystery of marriage is revealed to man. Man is supposed to love his wife and the wife is supposed to respect her husband the same way Christ loves His bride the church.
Marriage is a mystery
What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:5-6) Marriage is a mystery and unnatural since it is not natural for two people to be joined into one. How can one + one = one? Unless maybe after marriage, they go for a honeymoon to discover which one they have become. You are supposed to be spiritually conjoined to your wife so that you are inseparable and be thinking the same, attending same church and serving the same God, and planning together. Your people become her people and your God her God. Ruth demonstrated that once a woman gets married to a family, that marriage is for a lifetime.“But Ruth replied: Do not persuade me to leave you or go back and not follow you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live; your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried.” (Ruth 1:16-17) [HCSB] Marriages are supposed to last forever so that the two of you desire to have the same God and you become the bride of the one who bought you at the cost of His own blood on the cross who is the Christ.
Wives are expected to submit themselves unto their own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So men ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord loved the church: For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you men in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” (Ephesians 5:22-33)
What a joyful day it will be when Christ will come for His bride the church to snatch her out of this world that is full of evil and take her to present her to His Father in heaven to consummate the most wonderful honey moon that none has ever enjoyed. The church of Christ will be raptured or taken out of this world before the great tribulation. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1Thess 4:16-17 [KJV]) The raptured church will then be taken to heaven for the Lamb of God to present His bride (the church) to the Father who will conduct the main marriage of the Lamb. Once the church gets married to the Lamb of God who is the Bridegroom, it is then referred to as Jerusalem the city of God, is shown to John in Revelation 21:2 coming down from heaven during the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ here on earth. “The holy city” is the Church of God (see on Revelation 11:2), now glorified and prepared for perfect communion with her Redeemer (cf. the promise in Revelation 3:12, which is now fulfilled; cf. also Galatians 4:26; Hebrews 11:10, 16). “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. (Rev 21:1-3)
The marriage initiated by God in the Garden of Eden during creation that was interrupted by the entry of sin in man will be resumed and consummated between God and man on earth when God will dwell in the midst of His people as a husband dwells with his wife so that they live together happily ever after. The dwelling place of God will be with man, and He will dwell with them. God will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev 21:3-4 [KJV])