Sunnuntai 20.1.2019
Jeesus sanoi palvelijoille: "Täyttäkää astiat vedellä", ja he täyttivät ne reunoja myöten. Sitten hän sanoi: "Ottakaa nyt siitä ja viekää pitojen valvojalle", ja he veivät. Joh. 2:7-8

Lifelong marriage

in English 16.11.2016 11:07 | Siionin Lähetyslehti
Jesus said: “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Mat 19:4–6)
Married with God’s blessing

Marriage is God’s holy arrangement of creation; a natural and beautiful thing. God instituted marriage so that a woman and a man would be happy. Marriage is also important from the standpoint of organized communal life, as married families are the basic cells of society.

Because it is a question of an important matter, marriage should be established and blessed with God’s word and prayer. God married Eve and Adam, and it is still his will to join spouses in marriage.

Marriage is a voluntary union between a man and a woman. In their marriage vows they promise to be faithful and love their spouse on good days and bad until they are parted by death. Marital love is not—contrary to what many think—only feelings; it is holistic willing and endeavoring, even when there are no special feelings.

Not two, but one

That is why He taught emphatically: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This means both spiritual growing together and sexual relations.

God does not join anyone into a temporary union, but rather a lifelong one. What God has joined together, let no man separate. The inseparableness and lifelongness of the union is depicted by the wedding ring, which has no beginning or end. In the original Bible language the word that depicts marital union today means to “glue tightly together”.

Faithful to one another

Marital faithfulness means more than sexual loyalty. It also includes care and responsibility for one another’s life. Such commitment creates a feeling of security where one does not need to fear being rejected. It is a great privilege to share one’s entire life with another and possess a partner to whom one can relate both good things and bad things and fears, and before whom one can also be weak. According to Jesus, divorce, remarriage by a divorced person, and marrying a rejected person are all sins of adultery (Mat 19:9; Mar 10:11–12; Luk 16:18). Divorces bring with them much suffering, and not least of all into the lives of the children.

Mutual responsibility

Marriage is both a gift and a task. According to the original Bible language, “God joins together” is “God yokes together”. In Biblical times fields were cultivated with oxen walking side by side, pulling the same plow. A yoke was a wooden implement placed across the shoulders of the oxen, tying them together. The shaft of the plow was attached to the yoke. Spouses are yoked together to pull the mutual plow of responsibility. The apostle places Christ, who cared for the congregation and gave his life in its behalf, as an example of a man that takes care of his family (Eph 5:25). In the joy and trouble of marriage, man is able to carry out his calling and the deep meaning of life and that God gives a spouse as a helpmate. Marriage can be entered with a secure mind.

God’s work of creation and the human race are continued in marriage. Children bring to the home not only responsibility, but also joy and blessing. By bringing up children, the spouses are able to join the chain of generations as a mother and a father and build a good future for their country. Their life has a purpose.

Preserving unity with the congregation

Marital union does not mean that the man and woman lose their uniqueness as human beings created by God. They need to find common ground in matters of faith and basic questions. They may have different understandings in many conditional matters. A couple who respect the uniqueness of their spouses have been compared to two trees standing side by side that sway in different directions in the wind.

The oneness of marriage does not mean isolation from others. It is necessary for both to preserve their connections to their home, relatives, and friends. These connections just take on a new form. Unity with the congregation is also important. A married couple should go to listen to the word often and otherwise keep in contact with their travel friends. This way God is able to care for their life of faith and their marriage with his instructions of grace.

Cared for by the gospel

Because man’s nature has been corrupted by sin, there are also difficult days in marriage. The first family argument may be a shock: is this the end of our marriage? Many professionals are specialized in helping couples that have run into trouble. But spouses can also learn from someone closer, for examplet, older couples.

When a spouse dies and the marriage thereby ends, it then becomes apparent how the two people had grown together during their marriage. With God’s help and the support of friends it is possible to recover even from this loss. The promise of love and faithfulness that was given at the wedding endured to the end. A believer is comforted by the beautiful hope of meeting once again.

Text: Leo Väyrynen
Source: Vuosikirja 2006, Oikea ja väärä (Yearbook 2006, Right and wrong)
Translation: K. K.

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