• Making Sense of Marriage - D

    27 September, 2012

    Making Sense of Marriage - D

    Introduction

    The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family. ~ Lee Iacocca
    The family is the nucleus of civilization. ~ Will Durant
    Family is not an important thing, it's everything. ~ Michael J. Fox

    Both the redeemed and unredeemed alike still know the highest value of family - Adam didn't!

    A lonely Adam was favored by a wonderful companion Eve. Their union would reproduce and families would be born. But, a deceptive and evil distraction (satan) had entered the pre-history peace of Eden and fractured the only three relationships within it. Adam and Eve then hid from God, shame and blame arrived and they lost Eden. In a Divine instant the first family were propelled outside of paradise; the disobedience of this pioneer generation rapidly multiplied to a far greater sin - murder, in the second generation. The first man born on earth - Cain, killed the second (his brother) - Abel; and so the first family was shattered - satan was victor.

    Adam had no idea that marriage is about the generational transmission of righteousness.

    Assaults upon the family unit continue with a violent unrelenting to this very day. As everyone breaths so everyone has lived through family fractures. Even if Cain's particular sin is not repeated within the family, active tongues and malevolent hearts cause constant assassinations through families.

    Adam had no idea that marriage is about the generational transmission of righteousness. He would never have needed to know this if he had only eaten from The Tree of Life.

     

    Marriage is for the generational transmission of righteousness

    Marriage is about the generational transmission of righteousness or sin - God is seeking godly offspring!

    Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. (Mal 2:15)

    In this brief and rarely discussed verse upon unfaithfulness the Father of righteousness explained His intention for marriage.

    The Divine plan of a marriage covenant is God's scaffold to secure the next generation well. Fracture within the marriage is to tear this scaffold down and injure the subsequent generations (see Ex 20:5-6).

    Through the family God has acted to protect the future by firmly securing the present.

    Jonadab was a dad who demonstrated rare moral courage in a world that lacked a moral compass...

    There is mind-numbing narrative (at least for any dad) in Jeremiah 35 which tells of the Rechabites and a father's skill at securing righteousness through his family for centuries. Almost 300 years prior to this story Jonadab (see 2 Kings 10:15) had charged his progeny never to drink wine. The ensuing generations had strictly and faithfully adhered to their forefather's instruction. In Jeremiah 35 God holds the Rechabites aloft as a model of faithfulness to the faithless generations that Jeremiah prophesied to.  A wise father still had righteous impact twelve generations after he dwelt with his fathers.

    Jonadab had sown a righteous seed of faithfulness for three centuries and the term Rechabites to this very day remains a metaphor of abstinence. Jonadab had secured his future-unknown family very well.

    Jonadab was a dad who demonstrated rare moral courage in a world that lacked a moral compass - nothing has changed. Husbands and fathers need to exercise moral muscles. The call is to raise the strength of moral courage within families, so that righteousness and not wickedness is learned by the next generation.

     

    Marriage remains under attack

    You can choose your friends but not your family remains the stale but ever-present evidence of satan's efforts to destroy the family and promote sin.

    It is satan's ancient and well-worn practice to secure the next generation as his own by fracturing the current generation. Satan met extravagant success in Eden and won't cease his winning streak. God has established each contemporary generation to transmit righteousness to the ensuing one, so satan attacks it to transmit sin instead.

    Satan met extravagant success in Eden...

    Satan completely understands Malachi 2:15 and the righteous divine flow through the Rechabites. As both ours and God's adversary he continually acts to pollute, indeed poison the succession between generations.

    Conclusion

    Families are to deposit a spiritual inheritance above the deposits of a financial inheritance. Families should pursue generational influence before they seek contemporary affluence.

    Many years ago I heard a speaker express his life goal in one arrogant and fatal sentence - life is about the creation of wealth in perpetuity. He sought physical affluence for his family but knew not of spiritual influence.

    Marriage isn't just about today - it is literally also about the next decade, century or even the next millennia.

    Marriage is the combined sowing of influence and not the combined pursuit of affluence.

    The family is the first essential cell of human society. ~ Pope John XXIII