As I listened to Thaxter Dickey perform your wedding, thoughts came together that have been forming over years of study. Someone recently asked, “Why male and female: God could have done reproduction some other way. Is there a significance?” Maybe this is part of the answer that has been revealed.
God said, “Let us make man in our image...and he created man [mankind, not male] in his own image...male and female created he them.” (Gen 1:26-27). I have often used this passage to establish that from the beginning God is spoken of as the plurality we find revealed as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in the N.T. Also, it is clear that since both male and female are in his image, all that is good about the feminine nature and motherhood is as much a part of God’s character as the best of masculinity and fatherhood.
These are old thoughts, often shared and heard. But as I considered the union being formed before us all, I connected another old truth; the word for “one” in the phrase “and they shall be one flesh” is the same as in “Jehovah thy God is one” (Gen 2:23; Deut 6:4) revealing a purpose of marriage I had previously not discerned. First, let’s digress to note that “one flesh” does not refer primarily to sexual union since we can’t go around that way all the time. A husband and wife are “one flesh” all the time, it is a state of being that exists so long as they live. For this reason, the divorce decrees of men cannot undo the union forged by God (Mt 19:9). A husband and wife are one all the time, all day, every day, just as God is one. Three are one in the Godhood; two are one in a marriage. God intended that a marriage approximate as much as possible the unity found between Father, Son and Spirit. Men comprehend the unity of the Godhood by participating in and observing the unity of a good marriage.
Such a marriage will be filled with love, as God loved the Son, and submission, as Jesus obeyed the Father, and help and nurture, as the Spirit comforted, completed and revealed.
Considering marriage as a window to the unity of the Godhood makes divorce the more unthinkable. Since sexual union is not merely for reproduction or physical release, but is designed to teach us unity as one loving being, sexual sins become more abominable whether they occur before or after the vows. “Know ye not that he that is joined to a harlot is one body, for the twain, saith he, shall become one flesh” (1Cor 6:16). In other words, How can you degrade this that represents the beautiful unity of the Godhood by casually uniting with others than your spouse? How can you do this to your marriage (whether the wedding has taken place yet in time or not)?? It would be the same as though the Father, the Son, or the Spirit formed an outside relationship with an idol...UNSPEAKABLE!! And, the discords that plague all marriages are seen as the blots on the purity of “one” that they really are. How can we argue angrily, go our own way, seek the dominion, nag, play control games with sex, lay down the law, resent, etc. ad nauseum, when we understand this purpose of marriage?? Is this the way of Christ and the church (Eph 5:22-23)??
We sing, “O To Be Like Thee” and the way we can come closest is to make our marriages all He wants them to be. God’s purpose from before the fall was that marriage lead man to an understanding of Him that the relationship between man and God could grow and mature. Even in a sin-sick world we can press toward that goal. Truly, “this mystery is great” and we will never comprehend it short of heaven. Yet, the more love and unity of heart, soul, and mind we develop in our marriages, the more we will be fitted to “see him as he is.”