Joyfully Stuck!

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Joyfully Stuck!

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24 ESV)

Krazy Glue Applied

Krazy Glue is ethyl cyanoacrylate – “a non-toxic, colorless, extremely fast-acting, strong adhesive. It can lift 2000 pounds per square inch” according to the company website. It is one of the fastest acting and strongest glues available. But it takes a “trigger” to activate its stickiness; that trigger is water which is found on nearly every surface in the world.

Marriage is the strongest and closest of all human relationships. And, like Krazy Glue, it requires a catalyst to activate the adhesive properties. The catalyst for a marriage is physical intimacy – the first time to consummate the marriage and each subsequent time to reinforce the bond.

(No Sex, No Marriage was our first post ever which talks about how the consummation makes the marriage not the wedding, vows, or witnesses. Check it out.)

The Hebrew word for “hold fast”, “cleave” in KJV, is a term used elsewhere in the Bible to describe the sticky quality of a covenant relationship. It means “being intertwined” or “stuck together”. It has the idea of two pieces of paper being glued together. If you try to separate the papers after the glue has dried, you just end up with a shredded mess.

God defines marriage as “stuck” together as in “one flesh”. These are the two principle elements of marriage after “leaving” parents.

Hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Emphasis added)

In other words, once married you are stuck to each other. This is more than a physical oneness, there is a spiritual oneness also, although God highlights the physical connection to illustrate the spiritual connection. (See 1 Corinthians 6:16-20)

Stuck for Life

Once we realize the “stuckness” of our relationship, we understand that this is for life as in “for better or worse, ’til death do us part”. We now have a choice to stay stuck joyfully or to stay stuck miserably or something in-between. The choice is ours.

God, through his definition of marriage, is telling us that the satisfaction in marriage is not necessarily tied to what we would normally think in our modern times. We think a satisfying marriage requires —— fill in the blank. God says a satisfying marriage is leaving, cleaving, and physical and spiritual intimacy.

The question then becomes: How can we stay stuck together joyfully? Well, here’s three ideas around God’s definition of marriage – leave, cleave, physical and spiritual intimacy.

  1. Consider your relationship with your spouse as your number one priority in life because the relationship between a husband and a wife is the closest human relationship on earth. Do not put any relationship above your spouse including your parents, children, or other family members.
  2. “Hold fast” to your spouse with all your might because you are stuck with each other for life. This is good thing. It’s an intentional God thing. He meant it for your joy and his glory so hang on and enjoy life together.
  3. Consider physical intimacy, as not only one element of God’s definition of marriage, but also God’s instruction to keep the relationship stuck together for life.

Marriage either thrives or dies or stays the same. God wants us to thrive in marriage, and in life, by agreeing with his Word and trusting him to help us through the rough patches.

Stay stuck – joyfully!

Bible Thought: God wants us to be joyfully stuck to our spouse.

Prayer: Father, help me to define marriage as you define marriage. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Just do it,

Rene & Gloria

The First Command of God to His Children

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The First Command of God to His Children

And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28a ESV)

The “Law of First Mention” is a hermeneutics term that refers to the importance of the first instance of a word, topic, idea, or doctrine in the Bible. The Law says that, more often than not, the first mention sets the foundation for the interpretation of all other mentions. It therefore tends to carry more weight in the interpretation of any passage about a particular word, topic, idea, or doctrine.

Genesis is a “book of beginnings” and introduces many topics and doctrines of the Bible. It holds a special place in the hermeneutical world of interpretation. Let’s look at a couple significant “first mentions” in Genesis.

  1. The First Institution Defined by God: Marriage

God didn’t waste any time to give us his first institution. He describes marriage as, “a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”. God’s definition of marriage emphasizes the physical nature of marriage – “one flesh”. (Genesis 2:24)

God created the world and everything in it and immediately instituted marriage and told Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply”. It seems even to the casual observer that God thinks marriage and married sex is important to his plan for mankind, before and after the Fall. Groucho Marx famously said, “Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?” Well, God thinks it’s good place for his children to find comfort, companionship, and fulfillment.

  1. The First Command of God to His Children: Have lots of sex and produce lots of children.

It’s interesting that God’s very first command to his children was to play in the Garden of Eden! In effect he says to get frisky, enjoy one another, and “fill the earth” with your offspring. He then says subdue the earth.

However, some say that it could mean have sex every 10 months or so and you could still fulfill the command “fill the earth”. This would not be keeping with the spirit of the passage but if we use our best hermeneutical practices, we come come to the conclusion that the whole of Scriptures makes it clear that married sex is to be frequent and reciprocal also.

  1. First Explanation of the Structure of Marriage from God: Complementarianism

God defines marriage as “one flesh” and he gives us the structure of marriage as complementarian when he says, “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

Nobody wants to be the “helper” because it sounds like you do all the work and get none of the credit! We get it but God’s way is the best way even when it doesn’t seem “fair” by our standards. His ways are higher than our ways and that’s a very good thing.

For all you egalitarians out there, God’s Word says that the bedroom is the most egalitarian place on the planet! But we will cover that in another post. Stay tuned.

In summary, God’s first institution highlights physical intimacy and his first command calls for lots of physical intimacy. This speaks volumes to the place of sex in marriage. When we try to push sex to the periphery of marriage, the Word always brings us back to God’s original message that sex is central, not peripheral, to a biblical marriage.

Bible Thought: The first institution God created was marriage. God’s first command to those in “The Institution” was to have lots of sex.

Prayer: Father, help me to understand why you think the centrality of sex in marriage is so important. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Just do it,

Rene & Gloria

The Royal Wedding

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The Royal Wedding

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”  (Revelation 19:9 ESV)

The world was captivated by the Royal wedding this past weekend. It was a dazzling event filled with fanfare and celebrities. We all love weddings, admit it. Weddings fill us with hope and joy.

God loves weddings too! How do we know?

God starts the Bible with a wedding. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

Jesus’ first miracle was at a wedding. “Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples.” (John 2:2) He attended and saved the day by turning water into wine.

God ends the Bible with a wedding, “The Marriage Supper of the Lamb” where the Bride, the church, will be united to Christ forever in Heaven. “These are the true words of God.” By the way, it’s nice to be invited to a Royal wedding but much better to be invited to this wedding!

What is a wedding? It is the public declaration of love and the beginning of a marriage. And what makes a marriage? As we learned in a previous post, it is the consummation.

A wedding is a vow before the world to love another “in good times and in bad”. The consummation after the wedding vows is the private declaration of love and loyalty. And sex each subsequent time in a marriage renews the wedding vows, the vows of love and loyalty.

Love is a verb. Love by definition requires action. We can say “I love you” but it means nothing until we put our words into action. Sex is the act of love in a marriage.

Taking out the garbage, mowing the lawn, taking the kids to soccer practice, doing the laundry, and going on a date are all acts of love however, nothing says, “I love you” louder than sex.

Sex in marriage proves you mean it when you say “I love you”. Love is not cheap. There is always a cost for love. The cost of love in marriage is setting priorities and sticking to them. Sex is the number one priority in marriage by God’s very definition of marriage, “one flesh”.

The public declaration of love in a wedding is made once. The private declaration of love is putting our initial vow of love into action – frequently. Sex is declaring our love over and over and over again.

God loves weddings, the ones on earth between a man and a woman, and the one in the future between Christ and his church. Everyone is invited to the one in Heaven. Have you accepted the invitation?

Bible Thought: A wedding is a public vow of love. Sex is the action behind the vow.

Prayer: Father, help me to remember my public declaration of love with a continual private declaration of love with my spouse. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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An Ice Cream Sundae Marriage

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This is Part 4 of a five part series based on the “5 False Assumptions about Married Sex”.

False Assumption #4: We say sex is one of many elements that make up a happy marriage. God says sex is the first priority of a happy marriage.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24 ESV)

It’s easy to get the impression from the culture and the church that marriage is like an ice cream sundae made up of lots of good things like friendship, shared interests, careers, and kids with sex as the cherry on top.

God says sex is not the cherry on top, it’s the dish that holds the ice cream sundae.

We talk about communication, selflessness, perseverance, spiritual maturity, and other lofty elements as the essentials of a biblical marriage. God defines marriage in terms of a physical union.

God’s definition of marriage is “one flesh”. He could have described marriage as “one soul” or “one mind” as in “they shall become one mind” but he didn’t. Some experts tell us the Hebrew word means more than a physical union.

However, Jesus says, “‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh.” (Matthew 19 5,6a ESV)

Jesus was having a discussion with the Pharisees about marriage and divorce. Jesus highlights the seriousness of divorce by revealing what God thinks about marriage. He seems to be saying, “How can you separate ‘one flesh’?”

He quotes Genesis 2:24 directly and then adds his own take, “So they are no longer two but one flesh” as if to remind the Pharisees of the essence of marriage. Whenever Jesus says the same thing twice in a row, he considers it important, very important. The Greek word “flesh” means “flesh, physical body, human nature”.

Is marriage more than a physical union? Of course, the mystery of “one flesh” extends beyond sexual union to leaving and cleaving and building a separate family. But “one flesh” is the picture of marriage God gives us and we ignore this divine emphasis to our own marital peril.

Bible Thought: Sex is the cup that holds the ice cream sundae. Drop the cup and you have a mess to clean up.

Prayer: Father, help me to make you my first priority with my spouse next. Help me to understand what makes up a biblical marriage for your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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