God created the heavens and the earth; and it was good God said. It was good, perfect and sustained itself because a perfect God created it all. His Son, Jesus was there looking on, along with God’s Spirit. Imagine the Three-in-One creating our world from just words. “Let there be light” …and there was light.
When nature was created, it was designed to sustain itself with waters that flowed from underground streams. No rain fell. No storm clouds formed with angry claps of thunder. It wasn’t needed in God’s original design. The newly formed creation was now ready for mankind. God created a man and named him Adam. “…the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.” Genesis 2:7
God created a beautiful home for his newly created human. “Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made.” Genesis 2:8. What a beautiful place it must have been! Imagine every flower, tree, bush, vine growing in a forever-watered garden! No weeds or thorns, only soft, brilliant beauty all around as far as the eye can see. Fruits of God’s labor were growing, ripe to eat for the new man. God created man’s body to function meticulously and perfectly. This new body was created with a constant flow of life-giving blood that sustained life with each beat of his created heart. Imagine it! God is so amazing with his creation!
“Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. 9 The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden, he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Genesis 2:8-9
“The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. 16 But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— 17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” Genesis 2:15-17
God gave Adam purpose—watch over the Garden. God gave Adam two choices; to live or die. Then God gave Adam a helper, friend, coworker in the Garden and joined them together as one united with Him as His created. “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Genesis 2:18
Don’t you love the words, “just right for him”? Adam didn’t get to choose his helper. But who God created just for him was perfect and right!
God’s original plan for two becoming one began with Adam and Eve. He created them for each other. “It is not good for man to be alone…” God joined them together spiritually, emotionally, mentally, intelligently, with a free will to choose good or evil. They chose evil and the rest is history. Evil entered the Garden of perfection and because Adam and Eve chose the enticement and will of the serpent over the will of God. Their lives were thrown into turmoil. God’s created man and woman were thrown out of His perfect Garden and placed in an imperfect world where humans would continue choose good or evil. Mankind would forever have two choices: God’s best life on a narrow path but with power to overcome all obstacles and then live with Him forever versus Evil worst life that leads to eventual death. Many follow evil.
Those who follow the wide, easy road to evil’s temptations will suffer broken relationships with God and with each other. Those who follow God’s path will have His help in a troubled world to restore relationships, grow in His love, live with an unexplainable joy in the middle of storms in our imperfect world. Followers of God are given super strength beyond themselves to cope with what makes us weak. We are told and shown often real love, the ultimate, unconditional love of God for each one who believes, accepts His salvation from His Son, Jesus, with a desire to trust and obey Him. We learn quickly that what God, our Father, wants is always the BEST for us!
Jesus expresses all of this plainly in the passage below. I just had to go back to the beginning as He did with the manipulating, trap-setting Pharisees and realize once more the depth of His love for us along with His perfect plan for us who choose to marry.
I chose to marry, but I chose Jesus first. I prayed for who God thought was “just right for me.” This prayer received an answer when I was just 16 years of age. Randy apparently prayed the same prayer. We have been “united as one” for over 50 years, now if you include “dating”. We will celebrate 50 years of marriage at the end of August. We are often asked, “What’s your secret?”, as most do in this world who think it is unrealistic to be attached to the same person for that long when we could have tasted the fruit of other trees.
Forever marriages, being united for the “long haul”, begin with major life investments in each other that “pay off” when reserves are low or one of us was weak. These life investments included:
- Time with God alone and together asking what God wants from us as His purpose for us. Adam and Eve were given purpose from the beginning, “tend and watch over the Garden.”
- Knowing and believing each day, through good times and bad, that “what God has joined together, allow no one to separate.” God gave me to Randy. God gave Randy to me. We are one with God. This bond is spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual as we seek God’s best life. Randy is “just right” for me and me for him.
- Tenacious trust and obsessive obedience to God in this union keeps us together. Common trust keeps in common with each other!
- We disagree on approach but we agree on the outcome of common goals. We often disagree as we approach how to accomplish most anything. We are as different as night and day in thinking processes and strategy! How God must smile when we come to a task and talk about how we are going to accomplish it! We discuss loudly at times then calm down after thinking it through. Yes, at first, “my way is the right way” we both think but then we discuss the options, pray over each challenge and then proceed relying on the gifts and talents God has placed in each of us. We approach everything as a “team” led by our Coach to be and do what is God’s best will and plan.
- We fail but that’s okay. We fail as a couple and as individuals. It is then that we have learned to draw closer to each other still as we come to the aid of the other when we fail. We figure out what went wrong, asking God to recalculate and correct our steps on the journey.
- The word divorce is not an option. Divorce was never an “out” for us. It wasn’t at the beginning or over the years in challenging times. We were resolute in keeping this promise to each other before we said, “I do.”
- “Love, love will keep us together” is a song of the seventies playing in my mind. For me love has a different meaning that the superficial love the writer penned in this soft, feel good, song. Love seriously goes deeper than mankind can imagine or wrap our minds around. This love of God along with the growing realization of the depth of love God has for us is a well that never runs dry! The more I realize the depth of love God has for me the more I love my husband, our children, our grandchildren, and everyone else God puts in our lives on this brief journey on earth. God’s love in us is the ultimate goal.
You can probably add to this quick list that I have made this morning, but you get the picture. Marriage is hard and must not be taken lightly or irreverently.
So, why talk about divorce, concessions with a man-made way out, says Jesus. Let’s talk about God original best plan from the beginning. It’s about God. It’s will always be about God and His love for us.
Matthew—God’s Law Fulfilled
Matthew 19:1-12, NLT
When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went down to the region of Judea east of the Jordan River. 2 Large crowds followed him there, and he healed their sick.
3 Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
4 “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’” 5 And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ 6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
7 “Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?” they asked.
8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. 9 And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.”
10 Jesus’ disciples then said to him, “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!”
11 “Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps. 12 Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”
Ask God what He wants, He never fails to answer this sincere, honest question.
Abba, Father in Heaven,
You are my Shepherd. You are all I need. You let me rest in green meadows. You lead me beside peaceful streams. You renew my strength. You guide me along right paths, bringing honor to your Name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.
In Jesus Name, Amen