Nearly all (if not all) marriages pale in comparison to what they were intended.
In fact, it is said, “There is not one marriage in one hundred that results happily, bearing the sanction of God and placing the parties in a position better to glorify him. The evil consequences of ill-marriages are numberless.”
Ideally, marriage is meant to reflect the most tender relationship that exists between the Savior and the saved—the Messiah and His missionaries. Beyond that, through marriage, we even more fully understand the Godhead (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit).
Under the divine direction of the Godhead, marriage in action promotes salvation. In this we see that marriage exists solely for the purpose of salvation. Yes. Marriage has only one mission, one sacred purpose. Everything else is dessert or extraordinarily delectable side dishes. But at its core the mission of marriage is salvation. No wonder that since Adam and Eve, it has been the target of opposition to the extent that it is absolutely detested by the many who have narrowly escaped or witnessed so-called marriages corrupted by evil.
“The marriage relation is holy, but in this degenerate age it covers vileness of every description. It is abused, and has become a crime which now constitutes one of the signs of the last days, even as marriages, managed as they were previous to the flood, were then a crime. Satan is constantly busy to hurry inexperienced youth into a marriage alliance. But the less we glory in the marriages which are now taking place, the better. When the sacred nature and claims of marriage are understood, it will even now be approved of Heaven, and the result will be happiness to both parties, and God will be glorified.”—Testimonies for the Church 2:252.
Marriages approved by appointment of Heaven are those that man should never put asunder, except in the instance of adultery or death or for the sake of the Gospel. When Jesus was pressed to discuss grounds for divorce, He took them back to the beginning (to primitive godliness) and defined what marriage is. He clarified that marriage (like it’s twin—the seventh-day Sabbath) is a divine establishment—not a temporal contract. Creation Week and Psalm 33:9 teach us that when God speaks, it is done; and what He commands stands.
If 2015, taught us anything, it is that a civil union is not an automatic marriage on the books of Heaven and in the sight of a holy God. Just as a marriage license is required as evidence of a marital contract validated by the law of the land, God’s appointment of a man and woman as husband and wife is Heaven’s evidence of a divine marriage. That is the marriage on the books of Heaven. Only God can appoint two human beings to be as one flesh and to continue as one mind, with one divine purpose until death.
What Jesus allows does not suggest His endorsement. Nor does His allowances indicate blessings must ensue. Obedience (pleasing God) is the one thing that ensures blessings. The condition met, blessings flow. That is the lesson He sought to impress upon the minds of His hearers in Mark 10. (Study Mark 10:1-12; Romans 7:1-6; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16, 25-40; Ezra 10; Nehemiah 13 [particularly verses 23-31]; Mark 10:28-30.)
”He [Satan] is busily engaged in influencing those who are wholly unsuited in each other, to unite their interests. He exults in this work, for by it he can produce more misery and hopeless woe to human family than by exercising his skill in any other direction.”—Testimonies for the Church 2:248.
The same God who created Eve for Adam is the only one who can unerringly appoint the spouse best suited for one’s salvation. Together they are to inspire those closest to them and even the world to be like Christ, our Lord and Savior. Much more than what can be imagined is tenderly enfolded within the privileges of marriage, when God has our full devotion.
Like Christ’s love for His church, the husband will exhibit a passionate sacrificial devotion to his wife, which will evoke within her the reverence due a king. It is a high calling. Yes! Individually, each must reflect to the other and to the world the love of Jesus Christ, who deserves our eternal worship and devoted friendship. Our Savior, our King of kings, He is also our Best Friend. Likewise to the wife, her husband is her priest, her king, and her best friend.
Such a delicate balance of worshipful reverence and (because of the cross) equal intimate interaction can be achieved only when selfishness has been annihilated within each heart and the fullness of the Godhead has taken resident dominion. Acknowledging that Jesus was crucified, not for any wrongdoing on His part but solely for every sin personally attributable to each spouse is foundational. In this alone He has earned the right to be worshiped. Yet, He calls us friend. As Creator, He did not need to further earn the right to be worshiped. But He did.
As Creator, God’s right to be worshiped was automatically established. But in an amazing twist, He shared dominion with His creation. Interestingly, Lucifer, whose name was changed to Satan, lost residence in Heaven because he wanted worship and sought to gain it by force. Yes. There was war in Heaven (Read Revelation 12:7-9). But wonder of wonders! In creating man and woman, God authorized a kingdom and a priesthood. Like the Godhead, the man and his woman shared dominion over the Earth (Genesis 1:26-28). And like the relationship between God the Son to God the Father, we see the relationship of the wife to the husband. Jesus, the only begotten of the Father, and Eve, the only begotten woman from man in such a manner (bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh), similarly bow to do only those things that please the Father and husband (1 Corinthians 7:34). The pleasing efforts of Eve equaled help that met Adam’s needs (Genesis 2:18-25).
As the husband assumes the Savior’s role to the wife, he will find a brother in Boaz, who wasted no time in stepping up to the plate once he understood his God-appointed role to Ruth. The responsibilities of priest and king of the home were immediately inspired in his heart. And Boaz promptly obeyed God to redeem, protect, employ, nourish, and fully reward Ruth. God’s love for Ruth became the love of Boaz for Ruth.
What amazing love! No wonder. Its origin was divine.
What God did for Boaz and Ruth, what He did for Adam and Eve, and His appointment of Rebekah for Isaac, He desires to do for us today. Everything that God does has the ultimate goal of blessing us that we might have access to worlds and pleasures beyond our greatest imagination. He wants to crown us and to give us the experience of reigning with Him. If we are faithful to His calling, our lives will far surpass that of royalty revered anywhere or ever witnessed in this world. But until then, His desire is that homes established here will be little heavens on Earth and a powerful witness for Him in these final days of Earth’s history.