December 15, 2017
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Prescription for a radical marriage

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

The relationship between a husband and wife is designed by God. There are any number of ways He could have created beings in His likeness, so the design He chose teaches us about His character.

He created Adam and Eve as separate persons to share a merged identity, becoming one flesh. This model of marriage helps us understand the Trinity, the covenantal plan of salvation, and how the church should exist.

We began to pray and study God’s Word to discover the keys to His model of marriage. We found that most marriages are a poor representation of His character. In fact, we describe this material as a “prescription for a radical marriage” even though God designed it to be normal.

A marriage that adopts these truths will conform to God’s likeness, and that is a radical concept here on earth.

The Trinity Model

How do you explain the Trinity? God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; each individual persons yet One God. Famous illustrations over the years have included the clover leaf with its three leaves on one stem, or water, ice and steam. These fall short in one aspect or another.

God is love. Before time began, and before creation as we know it, God existed. He loved, but love can not exist unless there is both lover and loved. In order to be love, God had to exist in multiple persons. For something to be true there must be a witness, and with two or more witnesses a matter is made known. This lays out the need for the Trinity. God the Father loves God the Son while God the Holy Spirit witnesses: it takes three. The Holy Spirit loves the Father while the Son witnesses, and the Son loves the Spirit while the Father witnesses, and the cycle continues ad infinitum.

The Trinity is replicated by the creation of mankind in God’s image.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother …

It takes three: father, mother and man (son). The father loves the mother while the son witnesses, the mother loves the son while the father witnesses, and so on. God chose a method of multiplication that replicates His image. Certainly, He could have had humans reproduce and multiply through mitosis or meiosis or some other means, but He designed cooperation (love) as a key component to match His character.

…and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

The replication of the Trinity continues. Here the man loves his wife while God witnesses, and the wife loves God while the man witnesses, and so on. It takes three. In this union of three, with true love being the active ingredient, man and wife become one just as God is.

God blessed the man and woman to be fruitful and multiply, conferring on them His expanding character. The replication of the Trinity continues. The love between the man and woman yields a child, and again we have three. The father loves the son and the mother witnesses, the son loves the mother and the father witnesses, and so on.

The best illustration we have of the Trinity is modeled in this replication. A husband and wife that have become one flesh has at least a frame of reference for the truth that God the Father and God the Son are One (John 17). A child that witnesses true love between father and mother has at least a frame of reference for the truth that the Holy Spirit is One with the Father and Son.

The Bride of Christ

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

These words are a Messianic prophecy, and the plot to the world’s greatest love story.

Who wouldn’t marry a prince? Just say “I do” and gain instant wealth, power and authority, fame and social standing. There are a million (billion?) reasons to say yes, and become royalty. But the prince does not want to marry a gold digger, someone that marries for money or power. How can he be sure that it is true love? The prince decides to leave the palace and all its finery to mingle among the people as a commoner. If anyone falls in love with him then, it will be true love.

This love story is true. Jesus (Son) left his father (Father) and mother (Spirit) to become a man and hold fast to His wife (every believer). Like any great love story, this one has a happy ending: “and they shall become one flesh.” Anyone that falls in love with Jesus, just because of who He is, becomes a true-love bride.

We have to understand what it means to be a true-love bride to get the full meaning of this analogy. God’s model of marriage accommodates this.

The bride experiences unconditional love and acceptance from her husband, and places all of her trust in him. She loves him just for who he is. She willingly loses herself (old identity) to become partners in something new. Her desires, passions, traits and values merge with his and they become inseparable. This wife has a frame of reference for what it is like to be the bride of Christ. Her husband knows how to be the bride of Christ by her example.

The husband experiences unconditional love and acceptance from his wife, and has complete confidence in her. He loves her just for who she is. He willingly surrenders himself (old identity) to become partners in something new. His desires, passions, traits and values merge with hers and they become inseparable. This husband has a frame of reference for what it is like to be like Christ. His wife knows what Christ’s love is like by his example.

God has replicated the Trinity by joining these two with Himself. They have complementing gifts and abilities, and when they work together they are unstoppable. God merges His desires, passions, values and power with them and supernatural things begin to happen. A team ministry becomes a strand of three that is not easily broken.

The Body of Christ

But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. – 1 Corinthians 6:17

The church is the body of Christ. It is made up of many parts and exists in the physical realm to accomplish the ministry (work) of the Lord.

The building block of the church is the individual believer, operating as one with the Lord. He has surrendered his desires, passions, gifts and abilities to the work of God. The basic unit of the church is the married couple in team ministry. They bring a greater variety of gifts along with desires and passions for the work of God. The next level is that of the family, similar in traits and bound together with common values and experiences, they are able to bring greater gifts and abilities into the service of the Lord. A group of families make up a congregation, and congregations form communities, and communities become the Kingdom.

The church is the body of Christ, replicating the Trinity at every level, and acting in one-flesh and one-spirit unity. We see it at work through marriages and families that have followed God’s design. It is a testimony to His character.

A Radical Marriage

Take a look around your community and realize how many people need to experience this frame of reference. Consider your congregation to see what picture of God is being portrayed as the body of Christ. Think about your family and the influence it has been, and is being.

How does your marriage measure up? Is it a good representation of Christ and the church? Does it accurately reflect the glory of the Trinity? Is it compelling to others as a true-love story? Are you moved into a one-spirit relationship with the Lord because of it?

I bless you to be a testimony.

If anyone asks you what God is like, may you answer: “Look at me. Look at my marriage. Look at my family. Look at my church. Look at the body of Christ. They show what God is like.”

Note: we will be teaching Marriage Rx at Montavilla Baptist Church beginning September 2011. Contact us for more information if you would like to attend.

 
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