God's plan for marriage is given and repeated in the Gospels and in the Epistles. (Gen 2:24, Matt 19:5, Eph 5:31.) As we all know, God's plan is not always our plan. Marriage, as God's plan, is perfect in its organization; one man and one woman in a lifetime commitment. Frankly, that's asking alot. That's a big commitment for life, to spend life with just one husband in all our flaws and flesh.
The marriage covenant has 3 parts according to Gen 2:24.
Adam and Eve...God introduced these two himself and then established a bond. He wanted to ensure they stayed together, forever and always. A tight bond that would hold them together through good times and bad. He established this for your marriage as well. Although in many marriages this 3 prong approach is not 3 pongs. Some are just 2 or maybe even 1. Knowing these things to be true, as scripture is true, it gives us something specific to work on and pray for.
As a mother of boys, it breaks my heart to say, but one day each of my sons, as they marry, will leave our care and join their wives. We will always and forever, God willing, be here for them but were are not called to provide or make decisions concerning their new life together. We are to simply to equip, set an example, and pray. We are to be here for them if needed but expect them to consult their wives and not us with matters concerning their marriage. Our sons will leave and we will honor us to do so. They will always know where to find us.
We are to be united as I talked about in yesterdays devotion and become one flesh. We will discuss this soon. If any of these three truths are out of place in your marriage, it is time to pray for rectification. John 14:13-14 says that "I will do whatever you ask in My name that the Father may be glorified in the SOn. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." That is a powerful promise.
I remember when my husband and I were first engaged, that my future mother-in-law told me that she was sad, she'd be losing her son. Of course I said "don't be ridiculous" but she said, the son is supposed to leave his mother and cleave to his wife. Now, after 15 years I understand what she meant. It wasn't that he was "leaving" her for good but that he would come to need and respect what I could provide as his wife. I might not make my carrot cake like his Momma did, but he still loves my carrot cake. He wouldn't dare compare. He doesn't call his Mom if we have a fight or a difference of opinion, he calls me. We work it out with each other or we work it out in our prayer closets. When we first got married we built a house not far from my parents. My Mom told me that when they built their house, not far from my grandparents (Dad's parents) that my Granny and Papaw never bothered them and stayed out of their business. They were there if they were needed. It was out of respect that they did and out of love that they let them be, but they were there for them if needed. So, after seeing this passed down through the generations, I have to say, I see why it is important for husband and wife to cleave to each other. It builds a stronger relationship when you work on your own marriage It allows you to fully cling to one another.
To be joined and become one flesh seem like the same statement. Joining however involves the joining of life, responsibilities, finances, etc. One flesh involves intimacy not related to the other. Different couples have different opinions on what should be shared and what should be kept separate. They may share bills but not bank accounts or bank accounts and bills. The point is, that there is a joining of life and responsibilities. My husband and I believe in the what's his is mine and what's mine is his. That's what works for us. We share everything. We don't have the "it's my car, house, money, etc" outlook. Everything is "it's ours", no matter whose name is signed on the dotted line. It works for us and what works for us may look different for your marriage.
Intimacy generally isn't as hard for most. It's usually the one thing we get right in the beginning but sometimes, not. Some couples struggle with this. Some struggle with the commitment of monogamy and staying faithful. However, it is usually the prong that makes or breaks the marriage. Remaining intimate and loving towards each other can become hard. We all go through times when we don't feel like we did towards each other in the beginning. These times just need a reset button. You go back to focusing on why you loved a person to begin with, what changed, why it's different, and what can you do now to light a new spark in your marriage.
One unit, working together. This is the unit that Satan works the hardest at tearing apart. The bonds should seem impossible for him to break but he uses a carefully planned strategy to break the unit. God never intended for man to be alone. The very bone which He made woman came from man himself. There were no parents in Eden but God was not speaking to the present, He was speaking to the future. We are to lay aside our old loyalties and lifestyles for a new plan. One that goes from separate dreams and goals to joined dreams and goals with unconditional commitment and love. This combined unit will be strong and lasting. No other relationship, even that of mother and child, is to surpass that of a husband and wife. Marriage is a threefold miracle.
I remember a time when my husband and I struggled with a prong or two. However, through prayer and open hearts we persevered and on the other side, when we looked up, we saw we really do have the marriage we dreamed of. Pray and pray for open hearts. Pray for healing and give God praise for what He is about to do. Praise Him.
I am married to my high school sweetheart. We've been pressing ahead together for over 24 years. We have 5 beautiful children; 3 by my own body and 2 through foster to adopt. I wrote this Bible study in 2009, years ago, for myself and shared it on my blog. It is very dear to my heart. It's been tweaked and edited many times and I'm proud to be bringing it back to you. Over the years I received countless emails from women who credited this study with changing their marriage for the better. Since removing it from my old blog I have received just as many emails asking when it would return. I hope you enjoy spending your time in God's Word with me.