We’re starting a new series on marriage! In the first of our series, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake shares God’s vision of marriage, and the importance of marriage in building a strong community and a strong nation.
In the early days of the church, many false and heretical teachers arose. They taught false doctrines, among them the assertion that marriage was adverse to the life of the spirit, the work of the church, and the will of God. These heretics said that if you want to do the will and the work of God, and to have the power of the Spirit at work in your life, then don’t get married. Even today, there are many who would depreciate the importance and value of marriage.
The traditional wedding ceremony says that marriage is an honorable estate instituted of God. It was at the wedding at Cana where Jesus performed the first of His miracles. Marriage is not to be entered into lightly, but reverently; discreetly, advisedly, soberly and in the fear of God.
IN THE BEGINNING
23 And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh – Genesis 2:23-24
Out of the ground, God formed Adam, and every beast of the field, but nothing in creation was sufficient for Adam, except for Eve.
God could have brought woman into existence out of nothing, or He could have formed her from any substance that already existed on the face of the earth. But in taking woman out of man, God implied that woman is a part of man. Woman was made out of man that man could esteem her and seek her welfare. Woman was given as man’s helper, to assist him in the challenges he would face:
Men have sight; women have insight.
Men have an understanding of the head; women have an understanding of the heart.
Where men fear, women enter freely.
Men supply structure; women provide adornment.
Men supply force; women supply the conscience.
Men provide nourishment; women make it good to the taste.
Men think in great generalities; women deal with minute details.
When men struggle to progress and to excel; women provide the encouragement they need.
God devised and ordained marriage as a loving, lifelong, committed relationship between a man and a woman. Anatomically, men and women are made for each other. Their bodies are not the same, but comparable. One fulfills and completes the other. Male and female bodies join together to constitute the reproductive unit, and that unit continues to be needed even after the birth of the children, for their protection, nurture and training. The parental unit models life for them.
Marriage not only involves two individuals, but also their families. When families are brought together, meaning two individuals backed by two sets of parents and four sets of grandparents, marry for life and bear children only within those marriages, all kinds of strengths begin to develop. They provide a heritage and legacy of wisdom for their children, wealth begins to accumulate, and the likelihood of economic well-being and generational wealth skyrockets.
It is undeniable and indisputable that human progress would have been radically hindered and retarded if God had not instituted marriage. The Biblical pattern of loving husbands and wives reverencing God, living faithfully together, loving, guiding, and protecting their children together, can constitute a basic building block for a renewed and transformed society. The integrity of the family is essential for economic well-being. Multiple families and divorce are among the factors which can devastate any wealth that a couple has accumulated. There’s no way a man can do as much for two or three families as he can for one family. Our society will never get it together until we get the family together, and we’ll never get the family together until we get our behavior together and make a renewed commitment to the institution of marriage.
LOVE, AS CHRIST LOVES US
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself – Ephesians 5:25-28
Marriage signifies unto us the mystical union between Christ and His church. And a husband and wife ought to love one another the same way Christ loved the church. They must commit to one another for better and for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer, until death do they part. Marriage requires both the husband and the wife to submit to one another and pledge their faithfulness unto one another, so that they may live successfully, gracefully, and peacefully. Mutual love, faith in God, and commitment to Jesus Christ, is the key area of compatibility in your marriage.
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – John 2, Genesis 2:7-24, Hebrews 13:4 Proverbs 3:5-6, Ephesians 5:25-28, 1 Peter 5:5.
Adapted from the sermons, “Invite Jesus to Your Wedding and Into Your Marriage,” “The Importance of Marriage,” and “A Believer’s Agenda,” by Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, at West Angeles Church of God In Christ. Hear the sermons in their entirety HERE, on The Legacy Broadcast.
The Importance of Marriage: Bishop Blake says, “Invite Jesus to your Wedding” – at West Angeles Church of God In Christ.