The Meaning of Marriage – Part 2
Marriage is instituted by God for multiple purposes. In the book of Hebrews 13:4 it is said that “marriage is honorable in all”. It is honorable in all irrespective of caste, creed, and religion because God has instituted marriage as a part of creation order. Moreover, it is instituted before sin entered. Bible gives a lot of importance to the institution of Marriage. It is also closely linked with other two institutions of God that are Human Government and Church. Only a God fearing family can create a healthy society and a peaceful nation (Ps.128:6 b).Most of the inmates of our prisons are from broken families. Similarly, blessed churches are indicators of God fearing families.
Look at the following and note how important marriage is: FIRST divine institution is Marriage:
FIRST human relationship mentioned in the Bible is marriage relationship.
FIRST blessing in the Bible is God’s blessing to the newly married couple.
FIRST miracle LORD did perform at the time of Marriage.
FIRST written book of the Bible, the book of Job starts with the story of a Family.
FIRST…show piety at Home, Paul instructs in 1Timothy.
FIRST event to take place in Heaven after the arrival of Church is the Marriage.
Study on the word meaning of marriage will reveal why it is so important to God. Even though marriage is described in Genesis Chapter one and two the word ‘marriage’ appears first time in Chapter 19. When a word used first time in the Bible, there we see the basic concept on that subject is explained. This is called as ‘principle of first mention’ in Biblical interpretation.
First three reference of the word ‘marriage’ in the scripture explains its purpose. In all these places three different words are used having various meanings.
- Marriage means to receive
Marriage means to give away
Marriage means to dwell together
The first reference on marriage is in Gen.19:14, the word is married (laqach), means to get, to receive, to accept etc.(Indian version-Panigrahan – receiving by extending hand) Marriage is a public declaration or a covenant made between a man and a woman that they receive one another. It is the most important aspect of marriage. This process of receiving is otherwise called as cleaving. Here two individuals are glued together and is an emotional state. The cleaving process is initiated after betrothal. The success of marriage depends upon the intensity of this unity.
How and why we need to receive is answered in Rom. 15:7 “Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.” Christ is our role model in this matter. To receive us he had to leave all the glories of heaven. He “thought it not robbery to be equal with God. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Phi 2:6-8 “Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus” A sacrificial mind. You may have to give up many of your personal interest to receive one another. More over you needs a loving mind to accept another one into your life. “Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it” Eph.5:25
Receive to the Glory of God
Lord Jesus Christ received the Church to the glory of God. God expect husband and wife to receive one another to the glory of God. Both of them together should build a Christian Home where God’s glory dwells. Husband and wife should never fail to pray together before going to bed every day. Should worship the LORD every Sunday as a family and neglect not the gathering of the saints together. Our homes should be opened to saints; show hospitality. We should separate a part of our income for the Lord’s work. May the God’s Glory dwell in the midst of our home. Let His Glory guide, lead and instruct us. Let it be like a pillar of cloud to protect from the unbearable heat of the family life and also let it be a pillar of fire when we pass through dark days of our life.
The second mention of ‘marriage'(chathan) is in Gen.34:9, here another word is used which means ‘to give away’. The Married couple is given away to each other by their parents. This is the second important aspect of marriage. All these years’ parents took care of their needs and influenced in various matters of their life. Now they are allowing them to set up a home independent of their parents. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother…” Gen.2:24.Children leaving the parents and parents giving away the children are painful and is comparable to cutting the umbilical code. Probably this process of leaving is more difficult for girls so Scripture instructs them more emphatically to do so. “Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord. Ps. 45:11 Women are emotional so it is difficult for them to forget their dear ones and surroundings of their up bring including pets.
It is very important that parents should limit their interference in the affairs of their children’s family life. Many families are broken because of excessive interference of parents. Parents are naturally concerned about their welfare and also can give wise advices but make sure not to cross the boundaries.
Here we see the third reference on the word ‘marriage'(ownah) it means to dwell together(Exo.21:10) Marriage is designed to allow two people of the opposite sex to live together in harmony. Peter exhorts husbands to dwell with their wives according to the knowledge. 1Pet.3:7 Dwell together means house together, cohabit, make a house together, and pitch a tent. In short, practice intimacy that includes physical union and denotes the consummation of marriage. In Gen 2:24 we read “and they shall be one flesh”
Three things are the most essential ingredients of a healthy successful marriage:1.cleaving 2.leaving and 3.becoming one flesh.
In marriage both man and woman are inseparably united together by God. May God bless our Home