Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:24-25
Four Pillars of a Godly Marriage
Severance; Permanence; Unity; Intimacy
After we have established that God the Creator must be at the center of the marriage,
we will now move to the foundation stones of a Godly marriage. Also Read: The Redeemed Marriage
This teaching works like a miracle. When followed carefully, marital problems disappear. Couples who have been struggling daily for years may suddenly tell the counselor; “Thank you, but we don’t need any more counseling” That sounds dangerous, you might say. Well, it is dangerous … if the couple falls back into their old ways. But, as long as God’s Word and the Holy Spirit are at the center of the marriage, and the Four Pillars are firmly established, I am convinced a victorious marriage is certain.
All couples considering marriage should follow this teaching carefully. Also buy the book: Strike the Original Match by Charles Swindoll. The best investment you can make for your marriage.
For the pastor or counselor, here is how the Teaching is applied. Explain the importance of God as the head of the marriage as outlined in The Redeemed Marriage. Once you have a commitment from the couple, then walk through the explanation of the Four Pillars and then ask each person to grade their marriage in each area including trusting God’s Word in their marriage. You will quickly learn that in most cases, couples fail on three or more of the five principles. A commitment to make the necessary changes in each area will quickly place God in control of the marriage, and the problems will dissolve.
Let’s look at the verses carefully.
Severance: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother”
Here God has given us the first key to a happy and successful marriage. Leaving father and mother is the first big step a man or woman must take to maturity; but how many marriages do you know of where one or more parents are still applying undue influence over their married son or daughter. When my wife first became aware of this principle, she had a conversation with her mother that brought her mom to tears. But this isn’t just about our parents and their control and influence in our lives. And it is not about not honoring, or not respecting our parents. God’s word is quite clear on that issue. It is about establishing the priorities in our lives … God first; and our mate second. Anything, everything, and everybody else must fall in line behind God and your mate. When we consider marriage, we cannot allow our parents, siblings, religion, church, mentor, pastor, coach, education, mission, career, employer, hobby, habits, lusts, pride, sin, friends, best friend, goals, plans, beliefs, feelings, fears, finances, wants, needs, desires or anything or anybody to come between us and our spouse. Did I miss anything? If yes, include it.
Now consider your marriage in relation to each of those points. Is anything standing between you and your mate? If yes, and the truthful answer is most often yes … remove or neutralize it, by applying the Biblical instruction that speaks to the issue. Bring it out in the open and come to a resolution once and for all. Sever it. Does that mean you need to walk away from your hobby, goal, career, best friend or church? Maybe, but more likely an understanding is in order, by both you and your mate. After Jesus Christ, you and your mate need to be first to each other … end of story. Remember, be careful what you demand or ask for. Your mate is due 100% from you as well.
Permanence: “and shall cleave unto his wife”
A pastor friend once told me a story of a bride talking to her bridesmaid on her wedding day. “Aren’t you afraid; the friend asked?” The bride thought for a moment, and then replied; “no, if it doesn’t work out, I can always just get a divorce.” What kind of odds do you give that marriage? 0%. Permanence means until death, no matter what. Life is a series of ongoing challenges and problems. Marriage is a commitment to meet those problems together. Divorce is not an option. Marriage is a covenant. This is an agreement between God and the couple in which God makes certain promises and requires certain behavior from each person in return. If we are serious about putting God at the head of our marriage … this is where trusting God as the head of our marriage begins.
God’s Word is very clear with his answer about divorce. “Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth. For I hate divorce, says the LORD, the God of Israel” Malachi 2:13-16. “And Jesus said: some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all? And He answered and said, Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together; let no man separate.” Matthew 19:3-6.
What about in the case of adultery, a woman asked me. If my husband cheats on me, our marriage is over, she said. You have a covenant with God. He has direction for you both in His Word. He is the one you must answer to in the end. Has God forgiven you; and what about your husband, I asked? Yes, He has forgiven us both, she replied. Well then I would suggest you both pray to Jesus and ask Him; “what would He have both of you do?” His solutions will be clear to both of you.
Permanence is both confining and freeing at the same time. When we view our marriage as a finished act, it is similar to our relationship with Christ. Christ has forgiven our sins past, present and future and He will always be there for us, no matter what we do or don’t do. You are living a redeemed life. We have been justified as a result of what he did on the Cross. A redeemed marriage is also finished. When we see our mate as Christ sees us … forgiven and forever, in the past tense, it removes the insecurity, fears, and jealousies that hinder the peace and joy Christ promises. It is finished. My wife and I know our marriage is until death … no matter what. There is never ever someone else around the corner to take our place. When I understood that my commitment to her was a covenant with God, my marriage gained new power and authority that it never had previously.
Permanence means: forever and ever and ever, no matter what, no exceptions, everlasting covenant, eternally redeemed, justified,
God ordained … end of subject.
Unity: “and they shall be one flesh”
This verse explains who you and your mate are. What you believe. When you look back on your lives together … the hope is that this will define you as a couple. Unified means there is no room in a Redeemed Christian marriage for contrary beliefs and philosophies. It is our job and commitment to determine the truth and both stand upon the truth. I realize that this can cause problems with the politically correct and tolerance crowd, but they have the right to their beliefs and the Redeemed couple has the right to theirs. This is America. James Carville and Mary Matalin, I wish you all the best, and if your marriage plans work … more power to you. I didn’t say there is only one way. But I believe there is only one way, directed by God in His Word. Unity gives direction. It is empowering. It is critical that couples be sure they are unified on godly direction and then hold each other accountable. God’s Word is what gives our unity power. A couple that agrees to cheat on their taxes, or commit sexual immorality is not blessed simply because they are unified. We are talking here about a couple determining their beliefs, goals, plans, values and commitments … establishing these commitments with the support of God’s Word, writing them down, and agreeing to stop … and together, to think before they act. Christian Redeemed Marriages must be unified together with God … and His Word must guide their decisions and daily activities. A Christian couple considering marriage will easily identify most potential problems in advance when the unity test is applied.
Intimacy: “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”
This absolutely speaks to sexual intimacy. I plan to write much more about this in a future post, but let me just say that woman was created with a purpose in mind. “And the LORD God said; it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Genesis 2:18. Continuous, ongoing, intimate, relations is God’s plan for a married couple. Man and woman are to be one. You and your mate need to settle this question before marriage, so that temptation and sin will not come between you. God’s word is clear. “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” 1 Corinthians 7:1-5.
But the intimacy we talk about here is so much more as well. A big challenge for couples is that men and women are wired so differently. Those things that are typically important to women are not relevant to men and vice versa. In the redeemed marriage two are now one, and the other’s desires needs and opinions take on new importance. Honesty and trust bring new levels of intimacy in marital communication. A couple can now gain depth that only are released when the assurance of severance, permanence, and unity begin to guide and direct our thinking, priorities, and actions.
The love of Christ will control this redeemed marriage in ways never imagined possible.
Live the love of Christ … give Him control now and live The Redeemed Marriage.
For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
Grace and Peace to you my friends,
Bob West – Geezerdust©2020