So What’s the Point of Marriage? (Part 3)
The last line in the story is, “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”
Two young, amorous, naked people in a garden. Sounds like reality TV gone bad, but it’s actually the first love story in the Scriptures. They were friends, yes, and they were partners as well, but they were also lovers.
God created the human body. All of the human body. And not one part is by accident. I doubt God saw Adam and Eve messing around in the garden and thought, “What the heck! That’s not what those are for!”
Your sexuality is a part of your humanity. Know that for most people, the body is one-half of an equation. It’s incomplete.
It’s a band without a drummer.
A sentence without a . . .
That’s by design. God made you that way on purpose. To share your sexuality with another human being.
God created marriage as the context for your sexuality. And the inverse is also true. He created sexuality as the glue to hold marriage together.
Know that if you want to get married in order to have sex, that’s not bad or shallow or selfish. As long as it’s not the only reason you want to get married. Because sex is one of the reasons God thought up this adventure called marriage.
Now, Adam and Eve lived a long time ago. Long before condoms and birth control. Which means it wasn’t long before Adam and Eve became Adam and Eve and Cain . . . and Abel . . . and Seth . . . and “other sons and daughters.” (On a side note, how would you like to be the “other sons and daughters”? Lame.)
This was by design. In fact, God said, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth . . .”
Did you know that’s actually the first command in the entire Bible? God commands the original humans to make babies.
I like this God.
He’s a God who is really into the family. In Genesis, family is the building block of society as a whole. Throughout the Scriptures, God is called “Father,” and we are called “sons and daughters” and “brothers and sisters.” Family is at the heart of God’s vision for the world.
We live in a culture that can err on one of two sides.
One camp doesn’t want kids at all. Sex, sure. Marriage, maybe. Family? No way. The cycle for millions of relationships is “hook up, shack up, break up.” And children are collateral damage.
More than one-fifth of all pregnancies in the United States end in abortion.
One out of three kids goes to bed without a dad.
The number of children born out of wedlock to women under 30 is more than 50 percent in most of the country.
In this way of thinking, children are seen as a nuisance, and family as a hindrance to “freedom.” This is so very far from God’s heart.
Another camp idolizes children. I see this in the church all the time. We emphasize family so much that it becomes a weird kind of idol. Young couples can’t walk three feet without somebody asking them, “When are you going to have kids?” The subliminal message is if you don’t have kids, you’re not in the club.
This isn’t just a problem in the church. It’s all over the place. When people don’t find life in God, they start to look for it elsewhere, and family is a natural place to start. Kids become gods. Parenting becomes tantamount to a religion. The parents exist to make the children happy. And all too often the marriage is sacrificed on the altar of child-centered parenting. We’ve all seen it — the family falling out of the minivan; the haggard mom; the detached, frustrated father; the kids running wild. You think to yourself, “That will never happen to me.”
That’s not what God had in mind.
Rather, family exists to spread God’s rule out over the earth. If we’re going to “fill the earth and subdue it,” it’s going to take more than one man, more than one marriage, and more than one family. It’s going to take all of the human race.
That doesn’t mean everyone needs to get married or all married couples need to have kids. Some can’t. And there are other ways to live out that calling. But it does mean family is one of the reasons God created marriage.
There you have it. That’s the why. The point of it all. The reason you walk down the aisle, stand up in front of your family and friends, and give your life away to another human being, “as long as you both shall live.” Are you getting the picture? Is it coming into focus? Can you pick up the tone and depth and color? Marriage is about so much more than marriage. Adam and Eve weren’t made to just it around and chat. They were made to do life together, to work and sweat and bleed for a better world, to make love whenever they wanted, and in the end to “be fruitful and increase in number” so this experience can go on and on and on. At least, that’s what we see in the beginning.
But there’s a problem. We don’t live in the garden anymore . . .
From Loveology by Jon Mark Comer
Read part 1: posted on February 27, 2014
Read part 2: posted on March 6, 2014
Watch for part 4 next Thursday