I have a headache…

distance

For those that are Christians and for those that profess Christianity this is a difficult topic but it’s a topic that affects us all. Let’s look to the Word of God as our source text to examine our lives and hold it up to the microscope of the Scriptures so we may honor God in His institution of marriage.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

This discussion begins with God’s design for marriage and married life. It’s really pretty simple. God designed marriage with three primary practical functions and a fourth function which is to mirror the relationship between Christ and the Church; I will not explore the relationship between Christ and the Church in this article, but we will briefly examine the other three purposes.

The first function of marriage is procreation. Genesis 1:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Being fruitful and multiplying beyond two is not very popular today, especially if you get a boy and a girl. In an extreme case if you have two of the same variety, then it’s acceptable to try for the other, but it’s not generally accepted beyond three in our modern society. Has God changed His mind on this subject?  To the contrary, just because pragmatism and worldly thinking has invaded the church does not mean God has not clearly spoken. Be fruitful and multiply… I once heard someone say “if God is going to give you a blessing, why would you refuse it?”

The second function of marriage is companionship. Genesis 1:18 And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

Wives, God designed you to be a helper to your husband. He should be setting the vision for the family and your role is to help him achieve his vision and carry it out, another unpopular view for marriage in today’s world but no less truthful than it was in the beginning. Wives this should be a joyful opportunity to live out your God given role as a wife and helper.

The third function is sexual union for enjoyment and prevention of immorality. Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

God made them male and female, they fit together, this is obvious, and this is obviously why and how God designed it. God also designed men and women to think differently. It was perfect in the beginning and then sin entered the picture and the whole perfect design was distorted, polluted and infected with sin.

This is what we have today, and that sin has causes struggles and issues inside of God’s design. We clearly see it all around us that sexuality is distorted. We have distortions in all kinds of sexual perversions and deviations. But this was not God’s plan for any of the three reasons above and if you call yourself a Believer you are to live a life that brings glory to God and look different than the rest of the world. Your marriage should reflect Christ and the Church, it should procreate, help, and enjoy.

1 Corinthians 7 gives us a much more microscopic view of the topic of sexual intimacy that is to occur within a marriage. Within this are some sub-categories of the purpose of marriage. It draws husband and wife closer to one another. It’s designed to be a preventative against sexual immorality. And most importantly it teaches us to deny ourselves. When we don’t always “feel” like it, what an opportunity to seek the good of your spouse.

1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife and let each woman have her own husband.

Wives this is a big reason God has ordained intimacy in a marriage. Men are just plain wired differently than you and when you, as a helper, can complete him in this area you have assisted him greatly. Not only are you fulfilling God’s commands but you are also helping to keep him from sin. Have you ever considered it that way? You can be the gate-keeper or the one holding the gate open. This does not relieve your husband of his responsibility to control himself, but you play a big role.

1 Corinthians 7:3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due to her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.

At this point things begin to be challenging, so let’s look at this verse carefully. The word render means to give away, to perform, to give (again), to deliver (again), it means it’s not a one-time deal, but to be consistently giving away. Husbands it’s your responsibility to give your wife affection consistently. Affection can mean to grab her hand during the day, or touch her shoulder, communicate with her, but at its root is conjugal.

yoo’-noy-ah – kindness; euphemistically conjugal duty: – benevolence, good will. Husbands you are to render to your wife sexual intimacy.

1 Corinthians 7:4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

Try selling this one in today’s society. You will be laughed out of town if you stood on a street corner preaching this verse. Can this really be what Paul meant? No wonder his teaching is so hated and avoided by most “churches”. This means what it says. It’s so plain and obvious, and so rejected by most, even those that call themselves Christians. I understand the unbelieving world will scoff at this verse, I understand it will be rejected by them, but if you are redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb are you going to reject clear biblical teachings? This is a big question and one we must answer. God will hold husbands and wives accountable to this standard.

1 Corinthians 7:5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self control.

Quoting from the MacArthur study bible on this verse: the word deprive, Lit. “stop depriving each other!” This command may indicate that this kind of deprivation was going on among believers, perhaps reacting to the gross sexual sins of their past and wanting to leave all that behind.”

In order to bring glory to God, His word tells us the marriage bed is undefiled, yet it’s often treated and understood as something dirty and defiled. We all have past sins that either Christ has forgiven you of or He hasn’t; if He hasn’t then repent and be forgiven.

Be saved!

If He has forgiven you then live like it. Live in His grace and live in His design for marriage. Enjoy what the Lord has offered as a blessing and be grateful for His gifts.

Song of Songs 1:2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—For your love is better than wine.

 

Soli Deo Gloria!

 

Kevin

 

“Be Fruitful…”

be fruitful and multiply

One of the things I enjoy about blogging is the opportunity to share some personal things going on in my life and Lord willing this week we will welcome our fourth child into the world.  We didn’t always have this attitude towards children.  Before salvation it was more of an obligation than a desire.  As a Believer I’m to have my mind changed and renewed by the Word of God (Romans 12:2) and as I look back now I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

I really enjoy the quizzical looks that I receive sometimes and it’s actually quite humorous for people to think that four kids is a huge family.  By today’s standards it’s almost double the average but by no means is it a big family.  I will be 48 years old in less than 2 months and Jen will be almost….  Well let’s just say she’s north of 40.

Someone told me when I announced Jen was pregnant with Lydia, “I hope you’re not going to have 12 more kids…”  I’m not sure that’s possible but if that is what God chose for us I would be all for it.  As I thought about writing this I had to consider why would I desire to have has many kids as God would provide?  This is surely foolishness to the world.

Recently I was picking up my daughter Grace from a dance class and I heard a woman going on and on about a family that has so many kids and they don’t use birth control.  That was so completely foreign to her thinking.  After all doesn’t God use these sorts of modern inventions to assist us in controlling the chaos?  For this woman absolutely “yes”…  For the unbelieving world the message of the cross (all God’s Word) is ridiculous.  She went on to say, “but at least the children are well behaved…” and “oh she home-schools them also…”  I wanted to walk over and ask the lady for their phone number.  Sounds like someone I need to meet.

So what’s the big deal about all of this?

Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

This is so full of the truth of God and so incredibly rich how could I begin to scratch the depth of what it all means?  God created all the animals and pronounced it “good”, but God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being (Genesis 2:7).

Man is the image bearer of God and with that the responsibility to glorify God in everything.  God also gave man an eternal soul.  God did not breathe life into the animals only into man.

Genesis 1:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Notice that it was God that blessed the marriage relationship and it was for the filling of the earth.  After sin entered the world everything about this has been distorted and debased.  As with the woman I heard at Grace’s dance class, she should not be filling the earth and it is better for her to limit the children in her home.

Believers should understand the purpose of raising children is all about the glory of God.  When I raise my children according to Biblical standards and I trust God’s promise from Exodus 20:6 that He will show mercy to those who love Him and keep His commandments, I then have an opportunity to subdue and take dominion over the earth.

Does this mean I conquer politically or wage war?  No, this means we execute what the Lord Jesus Christ told us in Matthew 28:18-19.  We go out into the world teaching those to observe everything Christ has commanded, and that He Himself has given us this authority.  When God blesses us with more children we have more opportunity to bless Him back by faithfulness to His Word and His commands.

We must believe that children are a blessing, and we must believe that these blessings are actually arrows in our hands (Psalm 127:4).  We must trust and believe God’s Word that His command to be fruitful and multiply extend over all of time, not just when the earth was first being populated and certainly not what a culture dictates.  If we are to truly have impact, we will look different from the world and they will wonder why.  They will make fun of us, they will revile us but some might be saved because we are faithful and trusting in God.

If God has blessed you with many children, few children, or no children at all, be faithful to Him in all circumstances.  If you don’t understand His plan, simply trust in Him (Proverbs 3:5-6).

I’ll leave with these two questions.

Are you willing to have your mind changed by God’s Word?

Do you desire to be obedient to God’s Word?

 

Kevin