There are many many more topics that could be mentioned when discussing marriage, but I believe that we have laid a decent foundation. Before I make some closing remarks about marriage, I would like to take some time and review what we have spoken about in the past few weeks.
Foundations in history
Marriage is firmly grounded in the human story. From the very beginning, our first parents were called to an early form of marriage. God made man and woman for each other. He intended marriage to be between men and women. But marriage was not an institution until the time of John Calvin, when a civil/religious ceremony was imposed on the people. Marriage has been in this form ever since.
Foundations in Scripture
As stated above, marriage began, in a sense, with Adam and Eve. God created them for each other, and they entered into a monogamous relationship. Little form for a marriage ceremony is found within the pages of the Christian Bible. Tradition and history are the primary dictators of how the marriage ceremony is conducted. But one thing is for sure: marriage is to be honored by all of humankind, and is intended to be a picture of Jesus and His relationship with the Church. It is also the place where people are called to best portray the image of God inherent within the human race.
One of the things that was messed up as a result of the fall was the harmony in the relationship between man and woman. Man would seek to dominate woman, and woman would seek to dominate man. Power sharing and equality were tossed out the window. But, this is not how God intends for us to stay. Within the marriage relationship people have the opportunity to, in a sense, reverse the curse of the fall. Men and women can, once again, live in harmony with one another. In fact, they are commanded to do so. Husbands and wives are called to mutual submission and service. Men are to give themselves up for women and women are to submit to men. There is nowhere prescribed in Scripture an idea that women stay home, barefoot and pregnant and in the kitchen.
A Christian philosophy of sex centers in the worship of God and in the gender equality mentioned above. As I stated in a response to one of my readers, As Christians, everything that we do should be done for God’s glory, to glorify Him. When we glorify God, we are worshiping Him. Worship does not happen only at church with our Bibles open hearing a sermon, or doing a Bible study, or singing songs, but all of life is worship, or should be.
We are commanded in the Bible to pray without ceasing. Prayer is our primary means of communicating with God. If we are communicating with God, we are worshiping Him. So, we should worship God without ceasing.
As we are to be constantly in communion with God, and we are doing everything to His glory, then even as we have sex, it should be done to His glory,to glorify Him. It should be done as worship…
Scripture calls a husband to “rejoice” in his wife and to be “exhilarated” with her love. Rejoice is an interesting word because it is the same word that Paul uses when he calls us to “rejoice in the Lord always”…Jesus told us that we serve God by serving others so also we “rejoice” in God by “rejoicing” in our spouses. We serve God by serving our spouse. We please God by pleasing our spouse.
Finances boil down to one word: communication. As long as husbands and wives are open and honest with each other in this, and all other areas for that matter, then there will be no problems. As long as all purchases are done with the consent of both partners, then there will be no surprises when the bills come due. And if you can keep out of debt, you will be even better off.
Marriage is supposed to be a beautiful thing. You are supposed to be happy with the one that you marry. You are supposed to love them with all of your heart and to stay with them in all times, good and bad. There very well may be rough patches in your relationship with your spouse, but these are no reason to just up and leave. If your relationship is grounded in love and mutual submission; if there remain open lines of communication; if each partner is seeking the pleasure of his or her beloved, then your marriage will last. The world may say your nuts, and other Christians may think your relationship is backwards (after all, men submitting to women, or even mutual submission for that matter, is not popular among Christians steeped in tradition rather than Scripture), but if you are doing what God has called you to do, then you will be blessed with the most beautiful relationship of your life.