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The Essence of Biblical Marriage

Only if you have learned to serve others by the power of the Holy Spirit will you have the power to face the challenges of marriage.

Because Christ humbled himself and became a servant and met our needs even at the cost of his own life, now we are like servants but to one another.

Husbands and wives must serve each other, must “give themselves up“ for one another.

WE FAIL AT THIS BECAUSE OF OUR PRIDE.

The Christian principle that needs to be at work is Spirit generated selflessness–not thinking less of yourself or more of yourself but thinking of yourself less.

Only out of the fear of the Lord Jesus will we be liberated to serve one another.

Ephesians 5:31(and Genesis 2:24) “for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

a cultural definition of “love” based on the assumption that love is, in its essence, a particular kind of feeling.

When the Bible speaks of love, it measures it primarily not by how much you want to receive but by how much you’re willing to give of yourself to someone.

To say, “I don’t need a piece of paper to love you“ is basically to say, “my love for you has not reached the marriage level.“

One of the most widely held beliefs in our culture today is that romantic love is all important in order to have a full life but that almost never lasts.

A second, related belief is that marriage should be based on romantic love.

The biblical understanding of love does not rule out deep emotion.

In marriage, sex is being vulnerable to each other, to give each other the gift of unashamed rejoicing in one another, and to know the pleasure of giving one another pleasure.

The Bible teaches the essence of marriage is a sacrificial commitment to the good of the other.

That means that love is more fundamentally action then emotion.

This traditional view makes the family the ultimate value in life

Contemporary Western societies, like here in America, make the individuals happiness the ultimate value.

The Bible sees God as the supreme good—not the individual or the family

The heart of the biblical idea of marriage is a covenant.

In a covenant, the good of the relationship takes precedence over the immediate needs of the individual.

Today we stay connected to people only as long as they are meeting our particular needs at an acceptable cost to us.

“Horizontal” covenants were made between human beings.

1 Samuel 18:3 Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul.

1 Samuel 20:16a And Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David….

The most prominent covenants in the Bible or “vertical,” covenants made by God with individuals

Genesis 17:2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.”

Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples.

Ephesians 5:31, (Genesis 2:24) “for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

“Cleave” means to unite to someone through a covenant, a binding promise, or oath.

Malachi 2:14, a man is told that his wife “is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant“.

Proverbs 2:17 describes a wayward wife who has “left the partner of her youth, and ignored the covenant she made before God.”

The covenant made between a husband and a wife is done “before God” and therefore with God as well as the spouse.

Marriage is the deepest of human covenants.

A covenant relationship is that not just intimate despite being legal. It is a relationship that is more intimate because it is legal.

A wedding promise is proof that your love is actually at marriage level as well as a radical act of self giving all by itself.

Real love, the Bible says, instinctively desires permanence.

Song of Solomon 8:6–7a (ESV) Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. 7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.

Wedding vowels are not a declaration of present love but a mutually binding promise of future love.

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