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What is Marriage Then?

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"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh' ? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." —Matthew 19:4-6

The world focuses on marriage as an extension of the love a man and a woman feel for each other; a union based on feeling. Marriage is so much more. It is a binding covenant, contract, promise; a picture of the Gospel; a reflection of sacrificial love; an illustration of Christ and the Church.

"Marriage is more than your love for each other...so love comes from you, but marriage from above, from God. As high as God is above man, so high are the sanctity, the rights, and the promise of love. It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love."—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"The meaning of marriage is the display of the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his people”—John Piper

Two become one; a living, breathing, dynamic reflection of grace extended to us mercifully via spilled blood, nailed to the cross, in our place, debt cancelled. 

“...We must say to ourselves something like this: 'Well, when Jesus looked down from the cross, he didn't think "I am giving myself to you because you are so attractive to me." No, he was in agony, and he looked down at us - denying him, abandoning him, and betraying him - and in the greatest act of love in history, he STAYED. He said, "Father, forgive them, they don't know what they are doing." He loved us, not because we were lovely to him, but to make us lovely. That is why I am going to love my spouse.' Speak to your heart like that, and then fulfill the promises you made on your wedding day.”—Timothy Keller

"Your dream of the “perfect” man has to go, it is this man God has given you, another sinner (there isn’t anything else to marry!)...So forgive freely, utterly, joyfully, for that is how Christ has forgiven you."—Elisabeth Elliot

Marriage provides a look at the work of the Holy Spirit as couples move through life seasons—changing, growing, honing selflessness, blooming friendship, maturing spiritually, deepening their love for the Lord—in unified oneness, promise keepers glorifying God together. Marriage allows us to fully appreciate the enormity of God's love, mercy, and grace. 

The following article by Jared C. Wilson for The Gospel Coalition asks; What is Marriage, Then?

Read more on the subject at Mike Leake's blog, Borrowed Light, Marriage Defined

Explore the Marriage Metaphor in a previous Taft Avenue Community Church Women's Ministries post