THE MEANING OF MARRIAGE PDF
Editorial Reviews. Review. "This is a book Christians need to read." —The Christian Post "The rare marriage book I would heartily recommend to any single, . The Meaning of Marriage. Marriage is a unique relationship different from all others. A Pastoral Statement of the. Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference. O. Renowned pastor of New York's Redeemer Presbyterian Church and author of the forthcoming Every Good Endeavor, Timothy Keller with his wife of 36 years.
|Language:||English, Spanish, French|
|ePub File Size:||24.35 MB|
|PDF File Size:||20.60 MB|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Regsitration Required]|
The Meaning of Marriage Timothy Keller. for Marriage (PDF); Chapter 3: The Essence of Marriage (PDF); Chapter 4: The Mission of Marriage. under the title: The Meaning of Marriage Herbert Doms, Vom Sinn und Zweck der Ehe (Breslau: Ostdeutsche Verlagsanstalt,. 5); Du sens et de la fin . The Meaning of Marriage: Modern culture would have you believe that everyone has a soul mate, that romance is the most important part of a successful.
After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
This has incredibly important implications for the nature of Christian marriage.
The Covenant of Marriage Christians approach marriage as a covenant, a relationship based on promises and commitment, not just feelings—though love is most certainly involved. The endeavor to live into those promises—remaining faithful to their covenant—will shape their characters over the years. Christ-Centered Marriage Perhaps the most distinct characteristic of Christian marriage—which makes the other two possible—is that it is intentionally centered on Jesus Christ.
Each spouse continuously works to know, love, and obey Jesus, and to follow his example. As they practice the Christian faith together, they move toward each other, growing together in love and unity. But what about a marriage in which only one spouse is a follower of Jesus?
Paul actually writes about such a case in 1 Corinthians — Constant Pursuit Christian or not, marriage is difficult for any couple to sustain over a lifetime. But Christian marriage offers hope. The marriage rate the number of marriages per 1, people remained stable from until But by it had decreased more than 23 percent. In married couples made up almost three-fourths of all households.
By married couples were just more than one-half of all households. In only 48 percent of American households were married. The percentage of adults who have never married increased by 16 percent between and The number of couples living together without marrying increased from , in to 4. Currently 7. Between and , the number of births out of wedlock increased by percent. Births to unmarried women accounted for about one-third of all births in the s.
By the number of births to unmarried women had increased from , in to 1,,, an increase of percent. I agree with the noted Orthodox theologian, Paul Evdokimov, who writes, "Both the preservation of the species and selfish sexual pleasure reduce the partner to a mere tool and destroy his dignity. Love alone bestows a spiritual meaning upon marriage, and justifies it by elevating it to perceive the countenance of the beloved in God, to the level of the one and only icon While both procreation and sexual enjoyment are of course present in most marriages, they do not define what it means to become "one flesh.
This is the mystery of marriage within the context of the Orthodox Church. Other perspectives, such as marriage as a convenient contractual arrangement, are socially constructed and derived. The Church takes the vehicle of the social construct, such as marriage in this instance , retains its value and elevates it to a higher purpose.
The Purpose of Marriage is Not Procreation
To confuse the sacrament with the vehicle is like confusing the Eucharistic gift with bread sold on the shelf at the local supermarket. Evdokimov continues: "Man and woman move toward one another by 'mutually getting to know each other,' by revealing themselves to each other for a shared ascent; nothing comes to ennoble or legitimize, still less to 'pardon' this meaning that royally imposes itself before, or even independent of, procreation It is from this overflowing fullness that the child can come as fruit, but it is not procreation that determines and establishes the value of marriage.
John Chrysostom says: 'When there is no child, will they not be two?
Most certainly, for their coming together has this effect, it diffuses and commingles the bodies of both. As I have sought to demonstrate at some length in my book God, Marriage, and the Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation, marriage and the family are institutions under siege today, and only a return to the biblical foundation of these God-given institutions will reverse the decline of marriage and the family in our culture today.
Who are you?
What Is the Family? The Bible defines "family" in a narrow sense as the union of one man and one woman in matrimony which is normally blessed with one or several natural or adopted children. In a broad sense, this family also includes any other persons related by blood the extended family.
In the book of Genesis, we read that God in the beginning created first a man Adam to exercise dominion over his creation and subsequently a woman Eve as the man's "suitable helper" Genesis , Then, the inspired writer remarks, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" Genesis ESV.
This verse sets forth the biblical pattern as it was instituted by God at the beginning: one man is united to one woman in matrimony, and the two form one new natural family. In this regard, "become one flesh" not only refers to the establishment of one new family but also to the husband and wife's sexual union leading to the procreation of offspring.
This, in turn, is in keeping with God's original command to the first human couple to "be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion" over all of creation Genesis These aspects of marriage--the complementarity of male and female, and the irreplaceable role of male-female relations in reproducing the human race--are part of the original order of creation, and are evident to all human beings from the enduring order of nature. These common elements of marriage are at the heart of our civil laws defining and regulating marriage.
Therefore, people of all cultures and religions--including those who lack faith in God, Christ, or the Bible--are capable of participating in the institution of marriage.
However, we who are Christians believe that the fullest understanding of God's will for marriage can be derived from a careful examination of scriptural teachings. It is incumbent upon the church to educate both itself and the larger culture regarding the full breadth and depth of God's intentions for marriage. Marriage: Contract or Covenant?
Today, marriage and the family are regularly viewed as social conventions that can be entered into and severed by the marital partners at will. As long as a given marriage relationship meets the needs of both individuals involved and is considered advantageous by both sides, the marriage is worth sustaining.
If one or both partners decide that they will be better off by breaking up the marriage and entering into a new, better marital union, nothing can legitimately keep them from pursuing their self-interest, self-realization, and self-fulfillment. To be sure, there is talk about the cost of divorce and the toll exerted on the children caught up in the marital separation of their parents, but even such a toll is considered to be worth paying in order to safeguard the most cherished principles of our independent-minded, freedom-worshipping, individual rights-exalting culture.
If one or both marriage partners want to get out of the marriage, nothing should hold them back, or else the culture's supreme values--individual choice and libertarian freedom--are not given their due. By contrast, the Bible makes clear that, at the root, marriage and the family are not human conventions based merely on a temporary consensus and time-honored tradition. Instead, Scripture teaches that family was God's idea and that marriage is a divine, not merely human, institution. The implication of this truth is significant indeed, for this means that humans are not free to renegotiate or redefine marriage and the family in any way they choose but that they are called to preserve and respect what has been divinely instituted.
This is in keeping with Jesus' words, uttered when his contemporaries asked him about the permissibility of divorce: "What therefore God has joined together let not man separate" Matthew For this reason, marriage is far more than a human social contract; it is a divinely instituted covenant.
But what is a "covenant"? In essence, a covenant is a contract between two parties that is established before God as a witness, a contract whose permanence is ultimately safeguarded by none other than God himself.
In this sense, marriage is a covenant: it is entered into by the husband and the wife before God as a witness. Because it is ultimately God who has joined the marriage partners together, the husband and the wife vow to each other abiding loyalty and fidelity "till death do us part.
For this reason, it is not self-interest, human advantage, or an unfettered commitment to personal freedom that governs the marriage relationship, but the husband and wife's joint commitment to conduct their marriage based on God's design and sovereign plan. What Is Marriage?
Marriage is a covenant, a sacred bond between a man and a woman instituted by and publicly entered into before God and normally consummated by sexual intercourse. God's plan for the marriage covenant involves at least the following five vital principles: 1 The permanence of marriage: Marriage is intended to be permanent, since it was established by God Matthew ; Mark Marriage represents a serious commitment that should not be entered into lightly or unadvisedly. It involves a solemn promise or pledge, not merely to one's marriage partner, but before God.
Divorce is not permitted except in a very limited number of biblically prescribed circumstances see Divorce below. Hence, a "same-sex marriage" is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. Since Scripture universally condemns homosexual relationships see further under Homosexuality below God will never sanction a marital bond between two members of the same sex. Marriage involves "leaving" one's family of origin and "being united" to one's spouse, which signifies the establishment of a new family unit distinct from the two originating families.
While "one flesh" suggests sexual intercourse and normally procreation, at its very heart the concept entails the establishment of a new kinship relationship between two previously unrelated individuals and families by the most intimate of human bonds. The marriage partners are to be first and foremost concerned about the wellbeing of the other person and to be committed to each other in steadfast love and devotion.
This involves the need for forgiveness and restoration of the relationship in the case of sin.
Mutuality, however, does not mean sameness in role. Scripture is clear that wives are to submit to their husbands and to serve as their "suitable helpers," while husbands are to bear the ultimate responsibility for the marriage before God Ephesians ; Colossians ; see also Genesis , This means that no other human relationship must interfere with the marriage commitment between husband and wife.
For this reason, Jesus treated sexual immorality of a married person, including even a husband's lustful thoughts, with utmost seriousness Matthew ; For the same reason, premarital sex is also illegitimate, since it violates the exclusive claims of one's future spouse.
As the Song of Solomon makes clear, only in the secure context of an exclusive marital bond can free and complete giving of oneself in marriage take place. Knowing the divine ideal for marriage, and aware that marriage and the family are divine institutions, we are now able to move from God's creation of man and woman and his institution of marriage to the Fall of humanity and its negative consequences on the marriage relationship.
As a study of biblical history shows, humanity's rebellion against the Creator's purposes led to at least the following six negative consequences: 1 polygamy; 2 divorce; 3 adultery; 4 homosexuality; 5 sterility; and 6 gender role confusion.Homosexuality falls short in several critical ways. In this warfare, believers' struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the evil supernatural Ephesians Addressing this kind of situation, Paul stipulates, "But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so.
God's plan for the marriage covenant involves at least the following five vital principles: 1 The permanence of marriage: Marriage is intended to be permanent, since it was established by God Matthew ; Mark In this regard, "become one flesh" not only refers to the establishment of one new family but also to the husband and wife's sexual union leading to the procreation of offspring.