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MARRIED: Designed by God to Display God



This is an excerpt from Ben Stuart’s book Single, Dating, Engaged, Married.

We first see God’s design for marriage in Genesis 2. As God fashioned all of creation, he declared seven times that “it is good.” But, then, in verse 18 we get our first “not good.” God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone.” The animals were already there with Adam, but let’s be honest, there is a big difference between watching a sunset with a beautiful woman and watching it with a cocker spaniel. More than that, God did not intend for man to simply be a cul-de-sac for God’s love and grace. Man is meant to be a conduit of love and grace flowing into relationships.

God fashioned from the side of Adam what Genesis calls “a helper suitable for him” (2:18 NASB). One that was a good fit. What 1 Peter calls “a fellow heir of the grace of life” (3:7 NASB). Different from each other, yet made to fit together. Physically (obviously), but also spiritually and emotionally. God designs husbands and wives to complement each other—to fit together in a way that brings joy to them both. God designed marriage for our delight. As God walked Eve to Adam, the man spontaneously broke out in rhyme. And the curtain closes on Genesis 2 with a man and woman completely vulnerable with each other and completely at peace. This is the design of marriage. It is a good gift from God. When we engage marriage in accordance with God’s design, there is safety and delight, and we flourish.

Some may ask, “Wait, don’t Christians get divorced as often as non-Christians do? Why would I take the ‘Christian’ way of marrying seriously if it does not seem to work?” W. Bradford Wilcox, a leading sociologist at the University of Virginia and the director of the National Marriage Project, created a separate category in his research for those he refers to as “Active Conservative Protestants.” Active meaning that they are involved in a local church. Conservative does not mean politically, but theologically. In short, they believe the Bible is the Word of God. Protestants meaning that they believe we are saved from our sin by the grace of God available in Jesus Christ. His research indicates that Active Conservative Protestants are 35 percent less likely to divorce than their counterparts.

In short, those who depend upon the grace of God and take his Word seriously have considerably stronger marriages. It is wise to listen to the Creator’s intent for marriage. People who walk through marriage in accordance with God’s design find that his ways work.

What is even more exciting is that God designed this institution with a great end goal in mind. Marriage is not just designed by God; it is meant to display something about God.

When Paul quoted the passage in Genesis 2 about God taking the two, male and female, and making them into one flesh, he called it a mystery. By this, he did not mean it was something confusing or hard to understand. He meant that something was previously hidden and it has now been revealed. What is revealed is that this unity of diversity of male and female is meant to be a testimony to the world about God. It is showing people the nature of how Jesus Christ, the Son of God, wants to unite with his people, the church. Marriage is not just for our joy but it is also a metaphor, parable, or symbol of something great and universal and eternal—the union of Christ with his bride. As we step into this marriage bond we become a living picture of God’s wonderful union with his people. Our unity tells a bigger story. God is saying something to the world about his love for humanity in the way a husband and wife relate to each other. The love of a husband for his wife displays to the world the love Christ has for his church. The love of a wife for her husband communicates to the world how the people of God respond to Jesus.

This is an excerpt from Ben Stuart’s book, Single, Dating, Engaged, Married. Click here to grab a copy of this special resource.


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Scripture References

  • Genesis 2:18
Ben Stuart Ben Stuart is the pastor of Passion City Church D.C. Prior to joining Passion City Church, Ben served as the executive director of Breakaway Ministries on the campus of Texas A&M. He also earned a master’s degree in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Donna, live to inspire and equip people to walk with God for a lifetime.