Sunday, January 4, 2009

We Were Made for Companionship and Marriage

We can always bank on learning a thing or two from being at a wedding. They’re events that inevitably turn up a stack of love, laughter and lasting memories. And we get such a window into others' lives--and this is real life treat.

A wedding of true Christian believers--a true Christian wedding--is generally not too dissimilar to that of a typical church meeting, adding of course, maritally-related readings, vows, and a message styled to marriage to get the wedded couple on their way, and serve as a reminder to other members of the ‘married’ club who might be listening.

One point made during the message at a recent wedding I had the fortune of attending was particularly salient.

Looking at the process of divine Creation in Genesis 1 and 2, we find the ongoing refrain after each day, ‘God saw [what he’d created and] that it was good,’ culminating on the sixth day with, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31 NIV)

God was clearly very content with his first 144 hours of creation, so he rested for the next twenty-four hours, carrying forth an important biblical principle: rest. Everything so far was ‘good,’ even ‘very good.’ He could afford to rest. It was appropriate to rest.

When we continue on into Genesis 2 we realise quite starkly the contrast in Creation stories (between Genesis chapters one and two), but the main point here is we find the first thing that’s “not good.” In verse 18 something concerns God. God says, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” (TNIV)

Using some gender inclusive licence we could say that it’s generally not good for women or men to be alone. And this is why we have marriage.

I believe there are many singles out there (particularly Christian singles) that have experienced shame for seeking a mate, a life companion. When I was single I sure did from time to time.

It is not good for people to remain single if they innately desire the companionship of a life partner, or in God’s terms “a helper suitable for him” (v. 18) or her. Some can’t help it, however. No matter how much they try they cannot find that partner.

Qoheleth says in Ecclesiastes 4:7-12, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If they fall down, they can help each other up. But pity those who fall and have no one to help them up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (TNIV) This has eternal relevance; it wasn’t just relevant in the Teacher’s day.

Having a well-selected life companion is generally a great blessing. If we feel the need for this companionship we should take steps to seek to fill the void, but we need to do that in appropriate ways. Married life, for any of its woes of compromise and grace, is better than the single life for the majority of people.

“Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife [or husband] is from the LORD.” –Proverbs 19:14 (NIV modified).

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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