Monday, August 11, 2014

And the Two Shall Become One Flesh

What about individuals that commit adultery, abuse his/her spouse, or are unbelievers? What then for the devout partner…for the Sarah (whose husband has committed adultery), Leah (whose husband does not love or want her), Hosea (who has an unfaithful, constantly cheating wife), and/or Abigail (who has a “harsh, badly behaved” husband)? Those are not biblical marriages. (Nor are they the "norm", average, or "par for the course".) Further, they are unsafe, harmful, dangerous, unhealthy.
6But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Mark 10:6-9. ESV.)

John Piper states the following,
When a couple speaks their vows and consummates their vows with sexual union, it is not man or woman or pastor or parent who is the main actor. God is. God joins a husband and a wife into a one-flesh union. God does that. God does that! The world does not know this. Which is one of the reasons why marriage is treated so casually. And Christians often act like they don’t know it, which is one of the reasons marriage in the church is not seen as the wonder it is. Marriage is God’s doing because it is a one-flesh union that God himself performs….

The words “
hold fast to his wife” and the words “they shall become one flesh” point to something far deeper and more permanent than serial marriages and occasional adultery. What these words point to is marriage as a sacred covenant rooted in covenant commitments that stand against every storm of “as long as we both shall live.” But that is only implicit here. It becomes explicit when the mystery of marriage is more fully revealed in Ephesians 5:31-32.

Paul quotes Genesis 2:24 in verse 31, “‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’” And then he gives it this all-important interpretation in verse 32: “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” In other words, marriage is patterned after Christ’s covenant commitment to his church. Christ thought of himself as the bridegroom coming for his bride, the true people of God (Matthew 9:15; 25:1ff; John 3:29). Paul knew his ministry was to gather the bride—the true people of God who would trust Christ—and betroth us to him. He says in 2 Corinthians 11:2, “I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.”…

I had a man walk up to me, last week, and with the most quizzical look on his face said, “You mean, God might want me to be unhappy?” I said, “Number one, God wants you to be faithful. And then, in faithfulness, measures of happiness that you never dreamed, Gethsemane like, will be found.”…

[Regarding Genesis 2:25, “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”] First, no matter how beautiful or handsome you are it takes more than that to feel safe and free from any shaming. You not only have to be that way but that other person has to be morally upright and gracious. Because, you know well that no matter how good you are, no matter how beautiful you are, a shaming kind of person, a blaming kind of person will kick you verbally. They will get at you another way. It is not enough for you to present yourself flawlessly. That will not make you free from being shamed.
(By John Piper. ©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org.)

So here I ask again, what about the cases of hazardous, potentially fatal relationships…abusive or continuously adulterous? I say, there are times in the bible when God’s people stayed and other situations when they fled (separated for a time). I look to David on this one when Saul was out to kill him. David, trusting of God, hid from Saul until God delivered Saul into David’s hands. And David spared him. In contrast, before that, David met up with Goliath, stood his ground, and (by the grace and will of God) won the battle. I say, it is okay to flee when absolutely necessary! Marriage is supposed to be a certain way!
33However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:33. ESV.)
It is not to be scary, perilous, or life threatening. Seek help when needed and if someone comes to you for assistance, please do your best to not make things worse. Love, encourage, embrace with grace. Do not assume, pass judgment, or cause an already shamed person to feel even more shameful. Lastly, for those who are not yet married. Take it slow and consider it with great weight. Depend wholly on God and do not lean on your own understanding! God's creation of true marriage is a beautiful thing.

(Photo Information.)


(The sign she is holding at the end says, "Help me, I don't know if I'll make it till tomorrow.")
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