Embracing God’s Plan For Marriage
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”- Genesis 1:26-28
The Bible teaches Adam and Eve, as husband and wife, were created in the image of God and, therefore, were meant to bear God’s image to be in his likeness. Marriage was meant to model and display God’s glory to all of creation.
We see his image is in the plurality and unity of marriage. God said, “Let us make man in our image,” and then the text says, “male and female, he created them” (Genesis 1 vs 26, 27). When God made man, he made a plurality. He made man and woman, and later in the narrative, he said they would become “one flesh” (Gen 2:24).
The Trinity is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; they are one and yet still individual persons. When a couple gets married, they are meant to demonstrate this. Marriage demonstrates two individual people becoming “one” for the rest of their lives while maintaining their individuality.
In the Trinity, Jesus the Son submits in all things to God the Father and the Holy Spirit submits to both. There is perfect submission in the Godhead. In the same way, when God made man and woman in his image, there was meant to be order in the relationship. First Corinthians 11:3 says: “Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”
Raising children was considered the pinnacle of marriage and revered by all. However, many now see children as a burden and the ultimate kill-joy for a married couple and sometimes even for society. One of the key differences between angels and mankind is the fact that God made man to procreate, to create new beings as he did. When a couple relinquishes the prospect of having children for job, hobbies, freedom, etc., they are missing out on one of the grandest and most awesome desires of God for marriage.
This is further supported by what God said through the prophet Malachi: Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth- Malachi 2:15.
This passage clarifies God’s command for people to be fruitful and multiply in Genesis 1:28. It is not just children he wants but godly children. He wants children who are holy and driven to see the kingdom of God advance. One of the parents’ highest purposes is to teach their children the Bible, to help them grow in character, and to help them find their spiritual gifts and calling in serving the Lord.
Now, it must be noted that obviously it is not God’s will for everybody to have children. Physical issues keep some from having children. For others, God simply never called for them to marry. However, in general, it has been God’s will from the beginning for man to be fruitful and multiply (Gen 1:28). Having children should be considered as a way of obeying God and building his kingdom. Therefore, we should pray about it and plan for it as we do with any ministry.
God’s plan for marriage is also companionship in Genesis 2:28 God said, The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’
God has put an innate desire in mankind for intimate companionship. This is why so many single people, though they have family and friends, covet something more and often have bouts of loneliness. God made man to be married to a woman and woman to a man.
Certainly some in the world have the gift of singleness, a very special gift given to allow for a deeper devotion to God and his work. The gift of singleness is a gift that needs to be restored to the church, as singles have accomplished some of the greatest work for God’s kingdom (i.e. Jesus and Paul). But, with that said, this gift is not for everyone. God wants most people to have a mate: someone to fellowship with, to dream with, to serve with, and to be heirs of life together with. It is a beautiful experience and a great gift.
It is important to remember the reasons God created marriage, because if we forget them, the marriage relationship is destined for abuse. Instead of building God’s kingdom, raising godly children, or providing companionship, couples neglect these pursuits for other things which ultimately cripple their marriage. Let us always remember God’s plans for the marriage union so that we can honor them and fulfill God’s purposes.