Marriage and the Gospel

As my wife and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary the thought of covenants entered my mind.   Covenants are very important in scripture.  God created man and woman giving special requirements as well as blessings.  Genesis 1 says

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27    So God created man in his own image,

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”[1]

Following this Abraham is given a covenant to show God’s unfolding plan for redemption.  Genesis 17 says:

When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” [2]

God creates covenants with humans, but humans likewise make covenants.  We covenant in marriage, we covenant with our government, i.e. The Bill of Rights.  Something interesting though is when a man and woman enter marriage and create a child this is also a covenant.  It can be argued that having a child is part of the marriage covenant, but I am going to explore the idea of it being a covenant between parents and their children.  Parents knowingly or unknowingly covenant with their child, they are expected to care for, nurture and give knowledge to the child.  The child, in turn, is expected to become disciplined and respectful even though the parents have to instill this in them.  Children are to grow into their roles in supporting the family in tasks and chores.  Finally, when the parents grow old and are less independent the children are to care for their parents just as the parents cared for them.

Why is this important?  You must understand the family so that you can better understand the gospel.  God creates mankind in His image.  Mankind is expected to give honor to its Creator.  Mankind rejects God the Father as family and falls into a vicious cycle of self-destruction.  God disciplines and guides humankind and works the only way for humankind’s redemption.  This redemption is that God sent His Son to live the perfect life as an example and in the end take the punishment and wrath on Himself.  Upon being resurrected three days later Jesus shows humanity that He was indeed sent by God.  Humanity is given a chance to be adopted back into the family of God.  We must once again become family by accepting the sacrifice made for us and acting like a family member, we must do what we were created for honoring God.  Eventually receiving the unfading crown of glory that is being part of the family of God.

Parents under this new covenant that God created through His Son Jesus Christ must show that to their own children.  This is done by a father sacrificing time and effort to do simple and little tasks with his kids.  A father must give attention to his child.  When a father fails to do this the child also sees God in this way, an absentee father.  A mother nurtures and loves her children sacrificing time and effort to be involved in their lives giving them attention even after a long hard day of work or activities.  If this is neglected children can see God as uncaring or too busy for them.  Most importantly children must see the self-sacrificing love that is marriage.  Parents have to work hard to counter attack the notion that love is just a feeling you get.  Love is much more it is the sacrificing for another even if they upset you.  It is the covenanting to spend this life together as they honor God.  God uses family language for a reason, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit three in one can only be understood by the family.

That is why marriage is under attack.  If Satan can diminish what marriage to a civil union or a joining together of people for the sole and temporary purpose of being together to satisfy feelings, he can try to tarnish who God is.  If Satan can damage the picture of marriage he attacks God’s glory.  Marriage is important, it shows the gospel.  We are incapable of showing the perfect marriage we can only rely on Jesus Christ and emulate His self-sacrifice.  I love my wife, but it is more than just a feeling.  It is a life-long commitment to keep God in the center and emulate His perfect

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ge 1:26–28). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ge 17:1–2). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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