Why Marry?

The world can give you lots of reasons why you should not marry. Or you should try it out first before you do it.

Joey was asked to present the talk at my son's wedding.
He explains why marriage was instituted.
Here it is:

W.     I. What’s so important about weddings?
A.       A.There’s a lot to a Wedding
1.             1. Being father of the groom is easy. Put on a suit and show up.
                2. Jacob and Inna though had many important details to plan.
                    Inna probably did more planning than Jacob, I would guess.
                But what completes the wedding?
            B. When you walk away together today, what makes you married?
                 Not merely the legal documents.
                 1. The ceremony?  
                 2.The pastor?     
                 3. The church?
                 4. All these are important, but they don’t make you married.
          II. What makes you married? Your Vows to each other.
               The word wedding/wed means to pledge, to guarantee.
               A. Vows do not to express your feelings
                    Often couples write their own vows. 
                    They express how much they love each other and why. 
                    “Just write what you feel” is how one wedding planner advises her couples
                    But these are not vows.
                B. Vows are a covenant or promise of your intent to be steadfast and faithful.
                     1. Your wedding is one day, “Your vows are for a lifetime” ‘Until death do you part’
                          Jacob and Inna, you will promise each other how you will treat each other 
                              for the rest of your lives.
                                Through everything.
                            Sickness. Health. Wealth. Poverty.

                          Even through feeling grumpy/crabby/tired.
                       2. Your vows are proclaimed before God and witnesses as a covenant.
                  C. Your vows have God as the foundation.
                       1. Ecclesiastes 4:12 speaks of a three-strand cord.
                           Jacob, Inna and God.
                          You two are interwoven with God to become a cord so strong it can’t be broken.
                          With God as your foundation, He will bind and make secure your promise. 
                          Because this is how you were created, God’s commands work for how you should act and react.
                          God’s foundation is rock solid, not built on sand. Mt 7:24-27
                          Otherwise, you stand on the sand of the world…and that changes everyday
                          Aren’t you thankful your marriage will be built on the Rock of Ages?
                       2. And to family and friends here today, I would ask, “Why are you here?”
                          Not simply to eat great food, and see Inna’ dress and colors,
                              not even to celebrate their union—although we do that,
                              and celebrating their marriage is important
                          However, we are here to witness their marriage vows.    
                          Jacob and Inna will make their vows public.
                         Why?    So we can help keep them accountable to their promise. 
         III. Today you will give your vows to each other.
               How will you work them out? 
               By your God-given Roles
                  1. Roles in marriage are essential.
                      Marriage is not a partnership 
                         The world tells us marriage is a 50-50 partnership.
                         And your roles are interchangeable. Share the duties. 
                         “You take out the trash today and I’ll do it tomorrow.”
                     What happens when you both forget who took out the trash yesterday?
                     Do you draw straws? Or Fight?
                     What happens when the decision is more than trash, who makes the final decision? 

                      Do you base it on how you feel about it? 
                      Or ability? Or who’s smarter? You’re better with finances, so you be in charge of that.
                      That’s why we see many marriages failing.
                      They look to themselves for their roles.
                      The world ignores that third cord—that cord of God’s—with Him directing.
                   You see, God not only tells us what to promise, but how we fulfill that promise.
                   That cord of His is not strangling you with restrictions;
                        it’s strengthening you to make the best choices
                        that will open the pathway to greater love for each other.
                2. These roles come from God
                     God instituted marriage from the beginning.
                     In Gen 2:18, God said, “It’s not good for man to be alone.” 
                     Remember, this was on day 6 of creation, before there was sin.
                     Adam was perfect, sinless, but he…still…had…a need.
                     He needed a “helper fit for him.”
                     It’s the only time during creation God says, “It is not good” 
                     -What was ‘not good’ in this sinless, perfect world
                     -‘That the man should be alone’ Gen 2:18
                     Which gives us some insight into the significance of wives.
                     We could dwell on that for quite a while
                     Prov 12: 4 Husbands, your wife is your crown, your queen, the one who completes you
                        —God put the importance on our wives.
                     As soon as God made woman, immediately He gave her to man
                        to be man’s “helpmeet” or “a helper fit for him” Gen 2:18

         Helpmeet is similar to ‘saving assistance.’
        This same ‘saving assistance’ is used of God in Ex 18:4; Deut 33:26
        Christ repeats the instruction in Matt 19:6
        And Paul elaborates on it in Eph 5:22ff.
C. What are the roles?  They are pretty straightforward.
     Remember, these roles are not about ability. They are about God’s order.
     1. Ephesians 5 says:
       “Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord”
       “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church”
        The commands are very clear, simply stated, but can be—oh so hard—to live out.
        Remember though, the fulfillment of these roles focuses on God

          The world will give plenty of reasons not to fulfill your God roles.
            -They’ll tell you your vows don’t mean anything. 
            -They are not practical
       Jacob, you’ll be working, providing for Inna, it’s easy to let the work dominate your time, priorities.
       Inna, Jacob’s a wonderful man, but he’ll still be wrong at times; 
          surely God doesn’t intend for you to submit then.
      The world will tell you your God-given roles are wrong.
      But that third cord will keep you both grounded on what is important and right.

    My wife tells other wives she is counseling, “submitting is hard, even to a perfect, good God,
        but submitting to an imperfect, not always good man is impossible
       —apart from God’s help.”|
    And Jacob, lest you think your job is any easier, you are to love Inna
       “as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her.”
    How do you do that? How CAN any husband love like that?
    Christ’s example as the Bridegroom involves death to self.
    A husband is called to die to self for the sake of his bride.
    Lest you think it’s not too important, Three times in Ephesians 5,
       Paul tells husbands to love their wives.
    God knows us men, doesn’t He?
    It would be convenient if Paul gave a list for Jacob to follow on how to love Inn
       as Christ loved the Church. 
    We could check, check, check and be done.
    Peter is very helpful here:
   “Husbands live with your wife in an understanding way” I Pt 3:7 
    (Not to be confused with trying to understand her)
    It would be convenient Inna if God gave 3 simple steps to submit and respect Jacob.
   But he didn’t.
   It’s ongoing, never stopping, always getting better as you two grow.

   Jacob, no matter how much you love Inna, your love won’t fix everything.
  That’s where that third cord is vital.
  You both must be seeking God for His daily guidance to know how to obey His Word,
     how your love and respect should be lived or “fleshed-out.”
   It is God working through you.
   It’s the only way this can be done.

  How can a husband love his wife as Christ loved the Church to sanctify her? 
  The husband must give himself up for the satisfaction of another—his bride.
  This love, Jacob, is self-sacrifice.
  It is the love Christ has for his Bride. And it is a joy to do so.
  Jacob everyday I ask God to teach me, to show me, how to love my bride
      as Christ loves the Church and I pray that Mom would know that’s how I love her.
  I encourage you Jacob to pray that prayer everyday for your bride.
  And God will answer.

Jacob as you learn to love Inna more, she responds. 
As you love Inna, she desires to please you; she looks for your direction
   and finds ways to help you.
She will figure out how you like your meals cooked and your laundry done.
More significantly, she becomes that helpmeet that you so desperately need.
She…will…complete you.

Inna, you may also ask God to teach you how to be Jacob’s helpmeet.
As you fulfill your role, Jacob’s confidence will soar; it will uphold him
   as he goes out into the world.
Others will see you, his crown we spoke about earlier, without ever meeting you.
I cannot tell you how many times, men and women, have told me I have an excellent wife
  without ever meeting her or me telling them about her.

D. Why bother? Why struggle to obey these roles?
     1. These are God’s commands.
         Seems like a lot of work! And it is. 
         Marriage is not to be self-absorbed. 
         That’s where the world leaves it. Just have fun together! 
         And you will have fun, but there is oh so much more.

What should marriage accomplish?
    A godly marriage shows to a watching world, what Christ did for us.
    Jacob and Inna, your marriage will remind the ‘spiritual forces of evil
       in the heavenly places’ of God’s wisdom. Eph 5:10
    You demonstrate to the world that two people can live together until death
        —without killing each other, but instead loving and yes, enjoying each other.
    There are many couples celebrating a long marriage, but they aren’t fulfilling
      God’s purpose to demonstrate the love Jesus has for His Bride.
    But with that third cord—listening and obeying God’s desires, the cord doesn’t
      become something that strangles you two, but it becomes a cord to withstand the strain
      when troubles come.
   That’s your security when the world wants to rip you apart,
    and that’s your cord that brings lasting love and completeness.
   Eph 5:22ff is not simply instructions on how to have a happy marriage.
   Marriage is a picture of Christ’s covenant love for His Church, His bride.
   Paul calls it a mystery, referring to Christ and the Church. Ephesians 5:32
   The world looks at a Godly, Christian marriage and asks,
   “What’s your secret to a long, happy, good marriage?”

     You see as you fulfill your vows, following the roles God has given, your marriage becomes a reflection of what God does with us, His bride, the Church.
     God is fashioning His people into a beautiful bride that will appear on that great day when all is brought together according to His eternal purpose.
     Eph 5:22-33 is not a passage just for married people.
     Paul is referring to Christ and His bride, the Church, those who have accepted and follow Him.
     God is designing men and women, married or single, to be the bride of Christ. 
     That’s what Paul is telling us. Eph 3:9.

       When you both, Jacob and Inna, follow these roles given by God,
         allowing God to work through you to accomplish His instructions
       —your marriage becomes a testimony to the world of what God did for us through His Son.
      Jesus loved His Bride so much that He died so that His Bride might be saved,
        “without spot or wrinkle…Eph 5:27
      It’s not that Jesus didn’t love us in our sinful state—the miracle is, that HE DID.
      But He wouldn’t allow us to remain there in our pitiful, hopeless, dirty condition. 
      He cleansed us of all the soot and decay of sin.
      But Jesus didn’t stop there.
      In fact, it may be easier to die once for someone, than it is to live for them every day.
      Jesus lives now, enabling His bride to do what pleases Him.
     You see, Jesus wants to present His bride pure.
     That’s a big change from all our sin to being pure, but Christ knows that’s what’s best.
     When we live our lives to please Him, because that’s what we were created to do,
       we are content.
     And we please Him.

     But we have our part. 
     It’s that submission that’s so hard for us to do.
    That giving up our own desires and accepting what God desires.
    But that’s how the bride makes herself ready.
    ‘The Marriage of the Lamb has come and his Bride has made herself ready’ Rev 19:7
    Are you ready?

This all seems impossible—and it is, apart from God’s help.
Christ never demands without enabling.
He gives His bride strength and direction and the will to obey. 
Paul says in Philippians, “both to will and to do of My good pleasure.”
God gives us the will to please Him.

The entire relationship hinges on one thing—the love of God.
God is reaching out to us.

But there is still our part. We must take His hand.
We submit to what He wants.
He loves us. He wants us to trust Him.
But He does not force Himself on us.
Then all will know those vows were promises that meant something.
He will claim His own.
Fulfilling your God-given roles meant something.
You see we asked at the beginning- what is so important about weddings?
The next question for you two, and this is for a lifetime,
     “Is our marriage pointing to the ultimate marriage between Christ and His Church, His Bride?”
Jacob, you are not merely to ensure Inna is physically and emotionally sustained. 
Your purpose is that your Inna will be prepared to meet Jesus.
Inna, by being Jacob’s helpmeet you will show a watching world the splendor of the Bride of Christ, ‘without spot or wrinkle…that she is holy and without blemish.’
And what a glorious day that will be when Jesus Christ’s Bride is complete,
   ready and waiting for Him.
What a marriage of pleasure awaits us!

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I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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