“For Couples who want to make a difference“
MARRIAGE THAT WORKS Part 4
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
Notice that the scripture says two are better than one, not two heads are better than one. You cannot have two heads in marriage.
“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.” (Ephesians 5:23)
However, although the man is the head, the woman is the neck upon which it sits and turns. Just as the head needs the neck to turn it, so does the husband need the wife to make him flexible. What Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 is telling us is, it’s easier for two people who help each other to solve a problem than one person to solve a problem alone— that is God’s definition of marriage. A marriage that works is more wonderful than it is thought possible and harder than imagined, but it's worth the work. Marriage is work, it is God’s work!
God speaks to us in patterns of truth
MARRIAGE IS GOD’S DESIGN
“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)
In Exodus 25:9, God commanded Moses thus; “According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.”
Every pattern has pairs of parts: two sleeves, salt and pepper, bread and butter, shoes and socks, a rock and a hard place, etc. A marriage is very similar. God has designed a master pattern for husbands and wives that, when followed, will create a whole, usable, stable, beautiful marriage. Every pattern has three essential elements, which are: a context, a problem, and a solution— Marriage is like that.
Every pattern describes a problem which occurs over and over again in our environment, and then describes the core of the solution to that problem, in such a way that you can use this solution a million times over, without ever doing it the same way twice. The human covenant of marriage, as revealed in scripture, expresses a deeper spiritual pattern. It has roots in heaven just as other profound realities in the Bible. It is truly made in heaven to be applied here on earth. Marriage is God’s solution to many problems that one would have been hard-pressed to solve alone.
Marriage is the overarching metaphor for God’s relationship with His covenantal people, Israel. The prototypical Old Testament describes this as marriage. The archetypal New Testament describes marriage as the relationship between Christ and His bride—the Church, culminating in the glorious marriage supper celebration in heaven in Revelation 19:7. The New Testament instructs husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. Marriage is undoubtedly a heavenly phenomenon. It is temporarily, God’s plan to manifest heaven on earth.
The mystery of marriage is the mystery of Christ and His church:
“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.” (Ephesians 5:31-32).
That doesn’t mean that marriages are perfect; it just means that the pattern is perfect, displaying heaven’s reality upon earth. The earthly relationship of marriage is a reflection of a divine pattern, for unity, fruitfulness, fulfillment, responsibility, and a divine covenant— all creation and redemption— God’s redemptive love through CHRIST is reflected in the covenantal marriage relationship. God’s plans, purposes and pursuits are woven together in the mosaic of marriage. Our God is a Master-Designer and a Masterbuilder!