Big Idea: What do we mean when we say, “I do”?

Answer:  We mean to say that biblical marriage is a PROVISION given to us by God, a PATTERN for us to follow, and a PORTRAIT for us to enjoy.

I.  Marriage is a PROVISION given to people by God.  18-23

A.  The problem—Without a companion who corresponded to him, the man was incomplete in bearing the image of God. 18-20

18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; ” 19 Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. 

B.  The solution—Woman, a companion that corresponded to man. 21-23

21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22 The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”

1.  Note the independence from man—women have a direct, personal relationship with God, exclusive of men.

2.  Note the unity with man—the marriage relationship is to retain a clear commitment to the unity between mates.

Application: Since marriage is a divine provision to address human incompleteness it must be received with humble gratitude and joy—like the gift that it was meant to be.

II.  A God-given PATTERN for marriage: Heterosexual, Independent, Permanent, Physically Intimate 24

24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

A.  Heterosexual = …a man…his wife

B.  Independent = …shall leave his father and mother

C.  Permanent = …shall be joined (cleave)

D.  Intimate sexually = the shall become one flesh

These attributes of biblical marriage exclude…

Polygamy = multiple wives

Polyandry = multiple husbands

Homosexuality= of the same gender

Application: Since marriage is a divine pattern given to man, it must be followed with precise obedience.

III.  The divine PORTRAIT of marriage is one of healthy, emotional intimacy between husbands and wives, and of the relationship between the Lord and His Bride, the Church. 25

A.  A healthy marriage is an experience of intimacy between a husband and wife

25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Application: Since marriage is a divine portrait of joyful intimacy, it is meant to be gratefully enjoyed as a blessing from God.

B.  A healthy marriage provides a matchless portrait of the love that exists between Jesus and the church.

Eph 5: 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

Conclusion: How are we at Grace Bible Church to respond to this truth?

1.  Gratitude for the provision of marriage.  We did not create marriage—it was given to us, by a loving Creator.

2.  Obedience to the pattern given to us for marriage.  Like Jesus, and the Apostles Paul and Peter, we must glean principles from the account of this first, historical marriage celebrated by human beings.

3.  Rejoicing that when we have Christ, we have the Groom, and need never despair of our failings, and our disappointments in this life, and in our marriages.