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The Purpose of Marriage (2)

In our previous article, we looked at the purpose of marriage for the glory of God and his covenant. The second reason in the marriage form speaks of the calling to bringing forth covenant children. We do not minimize the struggles associated with child rearing and the responsibility of large families.
Again, we need to get at deeper questions. What are you and I here for? What is your calling on earth and your purpose before God? Are you here for pleasure? Are you on earth for your own entertainment? Hear the word of the preacher in Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Deuteronomy 10:12 states: “And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” Genesis 1:28 states, “Be fruitful and multiply.” “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully” (1 Tim. 5:14).
God may be not pleased to give you a spouse or children, or God may give you only a limited number of children. You are to use your time and talents for the benefit of others. God calls us to service. We need people in the church who are willing to help others. Give generously to the benevolent fund so that the deacons will have sufficient money to care for those who have heavy burdens.
The principle of God’s word is clear: Seek first God’s kingdom by marrying, living godly in marriage, and by bringing forth a godly seed.
“Third, that each of them avoiding all uncleanness and evil lusts, may live with a good and quiet conscience.”
We live in a fallen world, and as a consequence, we sinners struggle with temptation. The struggle against sexual sins is real, and God provides a practical help for Christians as they struggle with lust, fornication, and adultery. That help is sexual activity with a spouse.
As young people and young adults, you need to realize that God has given the gift of marriage as a way to satisfy those good desires that he created you with. You must keep yourselves pure until God is pleased to give you a husband or a wife. For you to pursue sexual relations outside of marriage is for you to violate the 7th commandment. There will be no joy or pleasure or delight but only guilt and shame as you use your body for something God did not intend it for. God intended the intimacy of the sexual relationship to serve your spouse.
Within the sexual relations the same principles apply that we’ve been noting. This is not primarily about you and your pleasure. You seek the pleasure of your wife or your husband. 1 Corinthians 7 speaks of the fact that your body is not your own, but belongs to your spouse. You therefore must seek their pleasure and their enjoyment through it. We are more blessed to give than to receive. You need to learn what lovemaking means to your spouse. God made men and women very different. When it provides only gratification for you, it will be followed by guilt and it makes mockery of what God intended it to be. Within the realm of marriage the innocence of the conscience is preserved and the relationship is used to God’s glory.
A tragic study was recently done demonstrating the effect of pornography on sexual relations within marriage. If you are struggling with intimacy, is it because you are addicted to the use of porn? Wives, ask your husbands if they are finding their sexual fulfillment in places other than with you. If you are making use of pornography, you need to confess that sin to God and your spouse and seek help from both to overcome. If you need to make use of pornography to get into the mood to have sexual relations with your wife, you have a serious problem. You need help! God calls you to look to him to give grace to overcome this sexual sin. God calls you to be satisfied with your wife! Drink of your own cistern. This is the way of blessing, and this is the way of marital bliss.
God calls some to live as spiritual eunuchs. He does not give a spouse, or he takes that spouse through death or divorce and requires that you live in chastity. The same God who preserved Jesus so that he never had an expression of his sexual urges, is the God who will preserve and give you grace to be faithful. Jesus was no less a man, and neither are you.
God intends the intimacy of the sexual union for marriage alone. In all of life’s experiences and activities, you as a couple are sharing one another. Those who work with your husband are sharing in his skills and abilities. Those who have the opportunity to see your wife and benefit from her hospitality share the enjoyment of her good looks and cooking skills. But, behind the closed bedroom door, a couple experiences covenant oneness uniting them in an intimacy not shared with anyone else on earth.
The glory of God is the purpose of your marriage. Seek God’s glory by serving one another, bringing forth and raising the children he is pleased to give you, and living faithfully in the intimacy of marriage.
May God grant us faithfulness as we seek to be faithful in our marriages to his glory.