Marriage is for Eternal Life

Certainly, and most obviously “Marriage is for Life” means – God intends that we have a marriage that lasts, “Till death do us part.”  But there is a deeper meaning in that, marriage is important to our eternal life.

Sharon and I had the opportunity to go to the Feast of Tabernacles in Nassau, Bahamas before I was in the ministry.  It was a gorgeous Feast site – the brethren were wonderful.  It was a Caribbean Sea island paradise.

The ocean was incredibly crystal clear – emerald green water – with 200 feet of visibility.  We went out 30 miles off shore where the ocean was still only 32 feet deep.

I was amazed – it was beyond description, incredibly beautiful.  I wondered why God would take a most gorgeous piece of His creation – and place it in an area so inaccessible to 99% of mankind.  There were fish, ferns, Coral and life forms I’d never seen before.  Plant or animal? – I could not tell!  There were no words to describe it.  Both fish and fauna glowed bright with iridescent, opalescent hues – color photos do not do them justice.

Then I thought God has hidden MOST of His Creation from mankind.  There is the microscopic world – that modern man has only scratched the surface on.  Same thing in deep space—the discoveries we find there show the Mind of God – in that no matter how powerful the space telescope – there is revealed an unexplored new universe beyond our sight…

We find in deepest space – only more nebulas, galaxies and more inexplicable compositions too large and too far to number…  Paul adds a whole host of spiritual beings God the Father created by and through Jesus.  Hands on, all things were Created by Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:16  For through Jesus Christ, God created everything in the heavenly realms and on the earth.  Jesus made the things we can see and the invisible things we cannot see— such as Angels, royal offices, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unobserved world.  All things were created by and through God’s Son, and everything was made for Him.

This vast and intricate creation belongs to Jesus Christ throughout the millennium – and until the adjudication and resolution of the Great White Throne Judgment.  God the Father will have a New Heaven and a New Earth ~ but that will be about a thousand years from now.

But we are told that we have already been given everything we may know to perceive and appreciate the things of God – visible and invisible – if we would only consider what God has already shown to us.  Paul was allowed to travel to the third heaven where the lines between the physical and the spiritual become blurred…  Paul wrote:

Romans 1:19  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

Romans 1:20  For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, Divinity or Divine Nature; so that they are without excuse:

Most people do not believe that – but, non the less – it is true.  When God created Adam, it was evident that he was an incomplete person – he was lacking in a number of ways.  We see in Genesis 2:20  … for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.  “Help meet” may be defined as a counterpart to complete Adam.  Adam was not fully created with all of God’s characteristics, qualities and spiritual attributes.

Only God possess all the attributes that would make a person whole.  Women possess traits that do not come naturally to men.  And, for Adam that adjunct he was given was his wife, Eve.  Where Adam was tough – Eve was tender and loving… Where Adam’s skull was thick, Eve was patient and kind… Where Adam was hard, Eve was soft.  Where Adam was awkward, Eve was Supportive and Caring…

God knew that men and women were to complement and balance one another…  Men lack God given qualities and attributes that women naturally possess.  Those attributes are needed to make men more like God is – and vice versa for women.

Marriage is a gift God has given to man to make him whole and complete.  Adam and Eve would have paired off for life – but then sin came along, and God’s Spirit was rejected.  From the very beginning, God intended that marriage would last for a lifetime.  Jesus, Himself, stated that tenet – as we will see in just a moment in Matthew 19:8.

Adam and Eve, and then their children would have characteristically, instinctively, inherently and innately paired off for life, because it would have been ingrained in them to do so.  That is why, from the beginning, men and women paired off in marriage for a lifetime.

Matthew 19:8  [Jesus] said unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

How was it in the beginning of creation?  In the Garden of Eden, Lions and Tigers ate grass – not men and animals.  Bears and wolves were tame.  Snakes were not dangerous.  Men, women and animals were paired for life.

In the beginning, God intended for marriage to be for life.

Even in the animal kingdom!  The nature of most animals is wild – incredibly wild.  Even domesticated animals are not monogamous – meaning that they have only one mate for life.  A Bull in a herd… is reckless and indiscreet… A rooster in a chicken yard has no scruples … That intrinsic trait is typical for many men and most animals…

When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – sin entered the picture – and God’s Spirit was rejected.  Because of that sin, the very nature of man, animals, and indeed, that of all creation was altered for the worse.  When sin entered the world – Man’s heart was hardened, and they began to take them wives of all which they chose (Genesis 6:2).

Genesis 6:5  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Divorce represented a move away from God’s spiritual creation.  When the very nature of most animals changed, God allowed a few animals with their original Garden of Eden natural characteristics.  God gave the animals and insects traits, instincts and abilities that He did not give to men – at least we do not have them anymore.  Little things like in homing pigeons – the ability to return home – I get lost in the mall!!!

After the fall of man- some animals strangely remained monogamous, having only one mate for life.  For instance, some geese – pair-off for life!  They never separate very far from one another.  Through the ordeals they encountered; through storms, through snow – through the dark of night – they do not lose track of one another—it must be the sound of their honking and the beat of the wings!

Canada Geese mate for life and pairs remain together throughout the year.  When a Canada Goose loses its mate, they have been observed to mourn.  They may remove themselves from the flock and stay by themselves and swim around in despair honking mournfully.  When a Canada Goose’s mate is injured or dying, its partner will stay with them, even if the flock is moving on.  If their partner dies, they could in fact die of heartbreak.  We think. “You see one goose – you’ve seen them all.”  Their brain is smaller than a golf ball.  Using Paul principle of viewing nature (Romans 1:19-20) to perceive and understand what may be known of God, we would do well to consider geese.  What was God thinking?

Question:  What remains instinctively in a goose’s brain since creation that is MISSING in the human brain?

Answer:  It is that part of God’s creation – which from the beginning says, “Marriage is for Life.”  As Jesus Himself stated in Matthew 19:8.

Even Humans do not naturally – not instinctive – have the sense a goose has.  How is it that so much of mankind is no more faithful than a rooster or a bull?

Within God’s Church, God has made it possible for that breach to be healed.  He gave us this pronouncement:

Mark 10:9  What therefore God hath joined together [in marriage], let not man put asunder.

That means that for converted Christians, a spiritual marriage is for life – though marriage is no longer a humanly intrinsic trait as it was before the fall of man.

Marriage within the Church of God represents a realignment toward God’s original spiritual creation.  Isn’t it wonderful to know that within God’s Church, we can get back to where God originally intended for mankind to be!  The entire Gospel is the answer to that question – how we can be reunited and realigned with the Lord.  Man was kicked out (Genesis 3:23) of the Garden of Eden because of sin.  Since then, man has sought a way to return.

Without going too much into the topography and orientation of the Garden of Eden, we know that it was not a swampy area.  There was probably a mountain surrounded by hills from which the Two Trees could be easily seen.  The Mountain represents the Kingdom of God.  We find that concept throughout the Scriptures.  The Garden of Eden was near-by in the beautiful rolling hills just below.  There was only one entrance into the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24).  There was probably a steep ravine where God placed the Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the Tree of Life.  King David rhetorically asked the question:

Psalm 24:3  Who shall ascend the mountain of the LORD? or who shall stand in His Holy Place?

“Ascend the mountain of the LORD” is a well-documented theme throughout the Bible.  I’ll try to give a sermon on that subject this year:

Who shall ascend the mountain of the LORD means, to be realigned with God’s original spiritual creation—the way God intended it in the beginning.  The entire Gospel is the answer to that question – how we can be reunited with the Lord from whom mankind was separated.

Marriage – a gift God – has been given to man to make him whole and entire – possessing the qualities and traits that make us more like God is.  A Godly marriage is a gift to make us whole – well beyond the marriages of this world.

A Christian marriage is able to help us develop the characteristics of God like lovingkindness, justice, mercy, forgiveness and faithfulness.  The marriages of this world are unable to meet that criteria.

Good marriages will be needed by God as examples to those in the Millennium.  Interestingly, the Bible is almost void of examples of good Godly marriages.  Try and find more than a very few.

Jesus will marry the Church

Hosea 2:19  And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.

Love, with Judgment, Mercy and Faith are the weightier matters of the law (Matthew 23:23).

Hosea 2:20  I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.

Marriage was designed by God to help each partner grow in compassion, mercy, understanding and Godly love.  We are so blessed to have close, loving marriages where mates forgive one another and sacrifice for one another.  The reason that we do not find many Biblical examples of Good Godly marriages – because the Tree of Life was rejected at the beginning.

This spiritual development we gain today will be used by God in the World Tomorrow to teach the young people of the Millennium to have Godly marriages.  “This is the way – walk ye in it,” (Isaiah 30:21).  Remember, those young people – the remnant – will be the product of the ravages of the Tribulation—a world torn apart by the rejection of God’s perfect way.  These young people will be the product of war, divorce, missing parents, all the baggage of broken and torn homes,

They will not know what constitutes a good marriage.  Healing in forgiveness and baptism – brings a new hope.  The better we have learned forgiveness of shortcomings in marriage – the better we will be able to help those young people to learn.

After the restoration and restitution of all things has begun in the world tomorrow, couples will again naturally pair off for life like it was before the fall of man.

Acts 3:19-21  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing [reviving] shall come from the presence of the Lord;  And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:  Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution [reconstitution] of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

Their marriages will not be perfect and complete at the first.  Just like good marriages in God’s Church today, good marriages are not found—they are made.  And, just like Godly character must be forged in the fires of hardship and adversity, good marriages are built on life’s experiences and choices.  It is given to us by God to see that the lessons of marriage are what we make of them.

God makes this restoration of His original intent—Marriage being for Life—possible by bestowing two gifts to us:

First, He endows His Holy Spirit which enables man to be able to keep and perform his marriage covenant.  God instills in those He gives His Spirit to, not to violate their marriage.

Secondly, God gave us His Bible Scriptures – a veritable marriage manual for our counseling.

Unlike marriages in the world, marriages in God’s Church are holy—sanctified and set apart for Godly purposes.  Each partner helps the other become Godly  – they work together to become recipients of eternal life.  In a Godly marriage, life’s experiences are designed by God to bring a husband and a wife—closer— closer—together.

God instills in those He gives His Spirit to, to keep His Ten Commandments – and walk in His Way.  God gives of His Spirit enabling a person to be able to Obey His Covenant.

The Prophet and the Bird

Let me tell you a story, brethren:  There was once a well-known prophet who was a wise old man.  Like a Guru or hermit, he lived on a mountain.  Periodically, he ventured down into the local village to get supplies.

As foolish young men will sometimes do, a few young boys from the village decided to play a joke on the wise old man just to discredit him.  One boy came up with the idea to capture a bird and hide it in his hands.  He knew of course, the wise old man would know the object in his hands was a bird.

The boy devised a plan.  Knowing the wise old man would correctly state the object in his hands was a bird, the boy would ask the old man if the bird was dead or alive.

If the wise man said the bird was alive, the boy would crush the little bird in his hands, so that when he opened his hands the bird would be dead.

But, If the wise man said the bird was dead, the boy would open his hands and let the bird fly away free.

So no matter what the old man said, the boy would prove the old man a fool and fraud.  The Pharisees were always trying to trick Jesus in similar ways.  Soon, the wise old man came down from the mountain into the village.

The boy quickly took a bird and cupping it out of sight in his hands, walked up to the wise old man and asked, “Old man, old man, what is it that I have in my hands?”  The wise old man said, “You have a bird, my son.” And he was right.

The boy then asked, “Old man, old man, tell me: Is the bird alive or is it dead?”  The wise old man looked the boy in the eye, thought for a moment and said, “The bird is as you choose it to be.”

It is as you choose it to be!   Remember those fateful words.  And, brethren, this is the point I wish to make:  Your Marriage is as you choose it to be.  The power is in your hands.  Within marriage, God has given us a great gift.  What will we do with this great gift?

In any sermon on Marriage it is appropriate to site a Biblical example.  Let’s look at an example of a marriage in the Bible that is hardly, if ever, used as an example:

It is not used as an example of a bad marriage, but then again, it is not used as an example of a good marriage.  I believe it is given to us by God to see that the lessons of marriage are what we make of them.

It is a truism that God does not measure or evaluate situations the same way men see them.  (1Samuel 16:7)  For example, let’s take Anna the Prophetess:

Anna did not happen on the scene of Jesus’ dedication and circumcision in the Temple by accident.  No… It had been orchestrated by God for at least a hundred years or MORE:

I’ll let you brethren ponder just how long God’s intervention was in the making for a prophetess like Anna to be at just the right place and time.  Like Simeon, who was just and devout with God’s Spirit, waiting for the consolation of Israel: (Luke 2:25), Anna prayed for the Messiah to come.

Luke 2:36  And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;

For only seven years she served her husband in marriage before he died.  Although Anna had become acquainted with heartache and loss, she thought to herself – whom will I serve now that my husband is no more?

She chose to serve the Lord in every way.  The secret to a good spiritual marriage is to serve your spouse in every way – just as you would the Lord if you were His servant—which we are.  And after that, she gave her life to prayer and fasting in service to the Lord for approximately another eighty-four years!

Luke 2:37  And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

She had no external activities outside the environs of the Temple, and yet far more spiritual life than all the young people in the prime of physical vitality in an unconverted Jerusalem.  I’m sure that Anna’s life in the Temple seemed quite dull and monotonous to young people on the outside looking in.  During the reign of Herod, there was much corruption among the Temple priesthood.  That only provided an opportunity for Anna – that of doing jobs that no one else would touch.  Little, would others relish the efficacy of 60,000 fervent daily and nightly prayers Anna offered over the years as she busied herself sweeping out corners and scrubbing the untouchable containers thought too lowly to be handled by the Temple priesthood.  But, because of the thoughts of her heart, her Temple maintenance was highly regarded by God (1Samuel 16:7).  Until Jesus established the Church three decades after Anna died – there was mostly the only the way of the world – and very little by way of spiritual activity in Jerusalem.  By the time Anna was ninety, she may not have seen or heard very well, but she remembered every Scripture. She had walked with God for decades, and knew His faithfulness and mercy and His justice, and had seen His interventions and answers more times than she could recollect.  She was fully persuaded of how much superior God’s way of life was than that which the world indorses, because she had repeatedly seen people ignore truth and stumble, thinking they know a better way.  Even though Anna had trials, she also had the peace of God, and hope, because she personally knew the Source of those things, and continually implored Him.  Inspired by God, Anna preached the Redeemer to all who would hear her:  Luke dedicated three verses to Anna:

Luke 2:38  And [Anna] coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spoke of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

“Anna gave thanks unto the Lord.”  That took spiritual Wisdom that comes only from God.  What a blessing it was to Anna to be brought into the life of the infant Jesus at the end of His first week!  I’m sure that Mary, Joseph and family members “thanked God,” but Anna came up and gave thanks unto the Lord Himself!!!  Anna knew what it means that Jesus the Messiah IS our Life and Redeemer.

Anna’s Temple presence may not have seemed important to anyone, but her works were the right works, and they glorified God.  Her spiritual life flourished because she chose to follow the words of the Creator who says, “Seek Me . . . and live!” (Amos 5:4)

God instills in those He gives His Spirit to, not to violate their marriage covenant.  In world tomorrow – we will naturally pair off for life.  In Noah’s time men were like bulls and roosters.  We see here that Marriage is for life:

Mark 10:4  And they said, Moses allowed [you] to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.

Mark 10:5  And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.

“Hardness of your heart” means that they were not converted – they did not have God’s Spirit to lead them in the way of righteousness.

Mark 10:6  But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. {Genesis 2}

That is when the Tree of life was available.

Mark 10:7  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;

Mark 10:8  And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.  [Marriage covenant]

Mark 10:9  What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Marriage is for life – though no longer a humanly intrinsic trait.  Herbert W. Armstrong finally came to realize that God does not bind all marriages, but he did not understand until many good marriages were wrecked and destroyed.  That misunderstanding was probably the greatest sin of the Worldwide Church of God – and that sin was difficult to eradicate.

“What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”  That verse alone shows that there is “binding and loosing.”  God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).

On a personal note:  My mother was a divorcee before she met my dad.  We have children who are divorced.  God hates divorce because the scars of divorce are so detrimental.

Mark 10:10  And in the house His disciples asked Him again of the same matter.

Mark 10:11  And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away [divorce] his wife, and marry another, commits adultery against her.

Mark 10:12  And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she commits adultery.

When first converted, we do not possess complete spiritual discernment.  We find an example of Abraham’s development.  God was able to say of Abraham, “Now I know…” because of Abraham’s spiritual growth.

Genesis 22:12 … for now I know that thou fearest God.

Herbert W. Armstrong learned about fraud in a marriage, and that it could be more of a problem than a converted person could handle.  For most of his life, he had believed ‘porneia’ to pertain solely to pre-marital fraud.  In Herbert W. Armstrong’s 2nd marriage – after his first wife had died – he learned differently from his earlier misguided understanding.  He came to understand that porneia also comprised sexual transgressions within marriage; including, but not narrowly limited to, adultery, sexual immorality, homosexuality, perversion, prostitution, incest, or any sexually deviant behavior.  Herbert W. Armstrong realized that sexual transgression violated the marriage covenant, and was cause for scriptural divorce.


An unmarried person in the Church is not allowed by God to marry an unconverted person in the world.  The Bible says very clearly:

2Corinthians 6:14  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.

But, it is certainly God’s prerogative to call to conversion only one of the spouses in a worldly marriage.  Only God knows who He can call in what will then become an unequally yoked marriage – one converted and one unconverted mate.  Because of the powerful workings of God’s Holy Spirit in the converted mate, that now unequally yoked marriage can become a successful marriage.

1Corinthians 7:14  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified [set apart and made holy] by the [converted] wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the [converted] husband:

At the beginning, the unconverted person has no spiritual discernment.  Only the converted person is able to guide their marriage into sanctified state.  If the unconverted person is pleased to dwell with a converted person – and is not violating their vow between them – “Let him [converted person] not depart the marriage.

The converted spouse is wise to continually serve the unconverted spouse as though He is serving the Lord Himself!  Jesus says that is the case! (Matthew 25:40)

It may take many sacrifices and be immensely difficult at times – but God’s word says the unbelieving spouse is sanctified, set apart and made holy, by the converted spouse.

Marriage is for Eternal Life

The aspect of marriage being important to our eternal life arises in the fact that we lay our lives down, as Jesus gave us example in sacrificing His life for us.  Jesus gave and gave until He gave His all – that is our example.

In marriage – we too, are to give everything.  We are so blessed to have close, loving marriages where spouses forgive one another and sacrifice for one another.  A Christian serves his mate as though he is serving the Lord Himself!  It takes many sacrifices and at times it may be immensely difficult – but the reward will be that we are heirs together of eternal life:

Romans 8:17  …[We are] heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.

Within Christian marriages, each of us has the power and the choice to make our marriage all it can be.  Or like the young boy with the bird in his hand – we have the power to defeat the purpose of marriage—or, to make our marriage Godly.  In many times and in many ways we can almost instantly heal a misunderstanding or grievance if we chose to do so.  It is a sacrifice with life giving effect!  Your marriage is as you choose it to be.

1Peter 3:7  Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life.

At our baptism – we vowed with God to be a slave of Jesus Christ.  It is “Doulos” in the Greek – bond slaves with Christ’s will being our will.  In Marriage we are preparing to marry Jesus Christ.  Serving God teaches us to serve our mate.  We learn from God’s way.  And, serving our mate, teaches us to serve God.  We will see that Marriage is a spiritual union.  Paul gave us this:

Wives and Husbands

Ephesians 5:21  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

One wrong minister in the Worldwide Church of God taught women were to submit to all men!!! That too was a sin.

Ephesians 5:22  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

“I want steak and potatoes for my supper – submit woman!”  She brought him weenies and beanies for his supper – because that is what the budget that he gave her provided for.

It is God who has designed the marriage structure:  The husband is have the responsibility of leadership – giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel (1Peter 3:7).

Ephesians 5:23  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church: and He is the Savior of the body.

Ephesians 5:24  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Ephesians 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Ephesians 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Ephesians 5:27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Ephesians 5:28  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

Some men do not develop their wives, as a result they hurt themselves…

Ephesians 5:29  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes  and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

Ephesians 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Ephesians 5:31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined [cleave] unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

Ephesians 5:32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.

In a converted marriage relationship, it is more than, “they two shall be one flesh,”  because they two shall be joined in one spirit – there is only one spirit (Ephesians 4:4).

In Philippians 1:27  Paul says “Striving together to be one spirit, with one mind.

Ephesians 5:33  Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence [deeply respects] her husband.

Good guidelines there…  No matter how long you are married – there is more to learn – more spiritual truth.  That is because the Bible is the living word of God.  Life’s experiences – birth, growth, accidents, fraud… terrible things happen…  But life’s experiences are designed by God to bring married couples closer and closer together.  People grow and learn from their experiences …  They are not all joy.

Trails are tough teachers – you do not say, “O joy” when you hit your thumb with a hammer.  You find other words to use…!  People can grow apart – that is something each partner must always be vigilant of.

Ephesians 4:26  …let not the sun go down upon your anger:

Honest communication within a marriage is a must – for the marriage bond to always be growing stronger.  Why do some wives follow their husband away from God’s truth?  It is an enigma.  Pray and fast to save your mate from deep heresy.  Husbands and wives are able to forgive each other, and they forgive their mate more easily than they do those in the world.

In a Godly sense – we grow to forgive others.  Paul wrote to the Philippians describing Christian Relationships.  Let’s apply these principles to a Christian Marriage where they apply all the more.

Philippians 2:1  If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, [Like in a beautiful marriage,]

We’ve seen marriages where they say “we’ve never had a fight or disagreement.”  That sounds like a dull marriage where no one has ever had to take a stand for righteousness sake.

Philippians 2:2  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

There are  “good” people in the world who will bring soup to the sick – serving, generous, – not called by God – and yet somehow possessing a “good nature.”  That is because Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Some people in the world demonstrate a great deal of the Knowledge of Good.  Some have a natural affinity for doing it right – better than those at church!!!

In marriage there should be unity, with patience, forgiveness, honor, respect and of one accord…  A beautiful picture… Marriage is difficult – it takes a lot of work…

Philippians 2:3  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Not out of meanness, but loving service – as serving Jesus Christ Himself.

“In lowliness of mind let each esteem” means to look out for your spouse more than self.  Jesus esteemed us when He came to serve us.  He laid aside His Glory, and became a servant to us… (Philippians 2:7)

Philippians  2:4  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Philippians  2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Do not be double minded – having one face at home – and another for church services.  Some have an at home face (reality) – and it is different from their at Church face, only smiling and hugging.

John 14:23  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we [Jesus Christ and Father] will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

“…We [Jesus Christ and Father] will come unto him,” and lead us in their way by and through the Holy Spirit.  This is why a converted marriage is different from those in the world.  We govern ourselves, we check our attitude.

Marriage is a spiritual journey…

God the Father acts first – and calls us…  He does all the giving…  He promotes the relationship when we are nothing but big Zeros.

Marriage is for Eternal Life

Isaiah 54:5  For thy Maker [Jesus Christ] is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name [Jesus Christ]; and thy Redeemer [from our sins] the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall He be called.

Isaiah 54:6  For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.

Revelation 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

She has prepared her wedding trousseau [a bride’s clothes, accessories, and household linens and wares] and dowry [estate that a woman brings to her husband].  That means that She [the Church brethren] are spiritually mature in every way.

Paul says, 2Corinthians 11:2  For I am jealous over you with Godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

In our earthly marriage, Christians are learning how to be spiritually married to Jesus Christ.  Giving, serving with every virtue – even unto the laying down of our life itself.  We are getting ready now.

Revelation 19:8  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

The righteousness of saints is the righteousness of Jesus Christ that has been imputed to us.  When we learn what it means to follow after righteousness – then the righteousness of Jesus Christ will graciously be imputed [attributed, counted, credited] to us.  In the same way, righteousness shall be imputed to us, if we believe on Him [God the Father] that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.  (Romans 4:22-25)

That transference of Christ’s righteousness to us only takes place in God-centered lives.  We were separated from God when Adan and Eve were separated and put out of the Garden of Eden.  We have been redeemed by Jesus Christ so that we can be reunited and realigned with the Lord.  Marriage within the Church of God represents a realignment toward God’s original spiritual creation.

Revelation 19:9  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Our marriages are to reflect the marriage we will have with Jesus Christ.  Godly marriages at this time help us prepare to be the Bride of Jesus Christ.