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Mark 10. These are the words of Jesus, verses 8 & 9. Jesus quotes Genesis 2:24. For Jesus, this verse was the most fundamental verse about marriage in all of the Bible. This was Jesus’s foundation stone for the beginning of all of His teachings about marriage.
“The two shall become one flesh”; so… Jesus says, “They are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let no man separate.”
That’s huge. Do you feel the weight of that? Engaged couples, married couples… When a couple speaks their vows and consummates their vows with sexual union, it is not man, woman, pastor, parent, who’s the main actor. God is. God joins a husband and a wife in one flesh. God does that. God does that! From which, Jesus draws the awesome conclusion:
“What God has joined,
no man may separate.”
God will bring you into a relationship with someone, most of the time, who is not only not compatible with you… but is weak… tremendously weak in the areas where you would most want them to be strong. Now, why does He do that. I’ll tell you why. Remember our texts, Romans 8:28-29. What is the goal of everything God does in His providence for His children? To conform them to the image of Christ. Now, when you think of the image of Christ, what are some characteristics that just automatically spring to the forefront? Well for me; 3:
- Unconditional love
If I could pick out three things in which they told me you can imitate Christ in these, that’s what I think about: Unconditional love, mercy and grace. Now, I have some things that I just want to go ahead and read, that I have written out, so I can get them out, so I can get them right. Let me ask you a few questions:
- How would you ever learn unconditional love if you were married to someone who met all the conditions?
- How would you ever learn mercy, patience, longsuffering, heartfelt compassion, if you were married to someone who never failed you? Who is never difficult with you? Who never sinned against you? Who is never slow to acknowledge their sin or ask for forgiveness?
- How would you ever learn grace , to pour out your favor on someone who did not deserve it, if you were married to someone who was always deserving of all good things?
Do you see that? Listen to me: The main purpose of marriage is that through your marriage, you become conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Marriage, I believe, is the greatest instrument of sanctification. You are married to a person who does not meet all the conditions, so that you might learn unconditional love. You are married to a person who needs mercy so that you learn to give it. You are married to a person who does not deserve, so that you learn to pour lavishly, yourself, out on a person who does not respond appropriately, and thus, you become like the God you worship!
You see, you worship God for these things, but you don’t want to give them to others! You worship God for grace, but you demand that your wife live in such a way that she not be in need of it. You worship God for unconditional love, but you get mad at your own wife when she doesn’t meet the conditions. Do you see?
God joins individuals together in marriage Man cannot unjoin what God has joined. The one-flesh union created in marriage is permanent, until death.
Now, instead of one, broken, sinful individual, who is walking out this Christian life with the power that raised Christ from the dead in me, there is another broken, sinful individual with the power that raised Christ from the dead, in them as well. And God has made the 2 into 1. And He’s given us the unbelievable privilege of representing before a lost, and hurting, and dying world, this relationship between Jesus Christ and His church, and it is awesome, in the true sense of the word.
We are absolutely not up to the job, but praise God, He is able. Now, here’s what I want you to see: Am I most like Christ when my bride is meeting all of my needs and satisfying all of my desires, and I am really not having to do much sacrificing or enduring at all? Or am I more like Christ on the hard days, when I’m having to dig deep? Those are the days when I realize how utterly dependent I am on the power of Christ to do and be what He has called me to do and be, especially when I realize that the overwhelming majority of the times, what I am having difficulty with? My own failures bearing fruit
Hang in there! By the power of Christ: Hang in there!
VIDEO by identity313