It seems we hear about marital failures far more often than we hear about marital success. While many people desperately want a marriage that works, fewer and fewer of them believe they really can have one.
Our country’s marriage problems cause a lot of fear and uncertainty in relationships. This means more people stay single, more couples try alternatives to marriage, and those who do get married do so with an abundance of caution.
People flinch when the subject of marriage comes up, because so many marriages fail. The impact is devastating. Broken marriages leave emotional agony, social stigma, financial loss, and pain for any children involved.
And all of these things—the failed marriages and their casualties—are completely unnecessary. You heard that right: every bad marriage and subsequent divorce could be eliminated if only each couple would follow God’s plan for marriage.
When God made the first couple, Adam and Eve, at the beginning of Creation, he had a perfect design for marriage. After creating Adam, God created Eve to become a suitable helper for him (Gen 2:18-20).
He created his most beautiful work—woman—from Adam’s rib. Don’t miss the fact that the rib is the part of Adam that is closest to his heart.
Then, in Genesis 2:24–25, we read God’s plan for marriage: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”
Like me, people have misunderstood these Scriptures throughout the ages. Couples have been groping for solid truth about marriage when that truth has been right under our noses—right there at the beginning of the Old Testament.
Yes, the text is short, but its content is monumental and lasting. Jesus quoted it to the Pharisees when they confronted him about divorce (Matt. 19:4–6). Paul referred to it in his instructions about marriage to the church at Ephesus (Eph. 5:31).
In 1979, I’d lost hope not only in my marriage, but in marriage as an institution. Only the problem wasn’t with God, because he designed marriage to be a fulfilling, pleasurable relationship, and in this passage, he gives us the instruction and wisdom for success. I’ve seen it change lives and save marriages, including my own.
Over the next several weeks of Marriage Builders, we’ll be examining this short passage and discovering the depths of God’s plan for marriage. Psalm 107:20 says God’s Word heals us, and delivers us from our destructions. I pray this is as true in your life and marriage as it has been in mine.