MARRIAGE AS GOD INTENDED
Marriage is a sacred ordinance, a union for life, a symbol of the union between Christ and His Church. One writer who seems to have captured this mystery of marriage is Mike Mason. In his classic book The Mystery of Marriage, he defines marriage as the contemplation of the love of God in and through the form of another human being. Marriage is a voluntary sexual and public social union of one man and one woman from different families. This union is patterned upon the union of God with His people, the Church. Intrinsic to this union is Gods calling to lifelong exclusive sexual faithfulness.
Marriage is an amazing, unbelievable thing,a profound mystery, as Paul says: A man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh . . . and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:3132).Marriage refers to Christ and the church, every marriage, no matter how pendulum-like because of our sin; every marriage, even if the couple does not care a bit about Jesus. Marriage was instituted by God at the creation of mankind in these words, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." This marriage between one man and one woman was initiated because God saw that it was not good for a man to be alone (Genesis 2:18), therefore He created for him a helpmate out of his flesh (Genesis 2:22). The marriage relationship is so much a part of life that success in life often depends upon success in marriage.
If marriage is successful, life is full and complete: if marriage fails, life is dwarfed and crippled. Success and happiness in love and marriage do not come by happenstance.They do not depend on whether Cupid chooses to bestow a full measure of his approval at the time the couple falls in love. Too many people look forward to marriage with innocent expectations, assuming that marriage will solve all problems and perplexities. Even though sweethearts are aware that sometimes marriages fail, the optimism of youth is so great that they harbour no other thought but that their marriage will be successful and that happiness forever will naturally ensue. Success and happiness in marriage depend on whether the sweethearts, the bride and groom, the husband and wife, give heed to the simple principles that ensure the realization of their fond expectations in this, the most intimate of all human relationships. Marriage is what the marital persons make it. A successful marriage is one in which two people have intelligently committed themselves to a lifetime together, in which each seeks to enrich the life of the other as well as his own. In a successful marriage each partner, because of the marriage, stands as a more integrated person, better able to meet and cope with the vicissitudes of life. Such a marriage is based upon cooperation and includes the most rewarding comradeship based on love. Both persons are conscious that an inter-dependence exists by which the two stand together, so that pleasures are enhanced through the sharing, and blows which life may offer are cushioned.