Category Archives: Christian

Marriage Blueprint: The Purpose of Marriage

 Marriage Blueprint: Origin of Marriage

Our site is about helping people recover their marriage after an affair.  But how can we talk about adultery without first knowing what marriage IS?

This series will focus on erroneous views of marriage that lead to wrong expectations, attitudes, and practices.  Many bible-believing Christians go wrong because their concept of marriage is an illusion.  So we’re going to spending the month of September studying the blueprint of marriage: 1) the origin of marriage, 2) the purpose of marriage, 3) the obligation of marriage, and 4) the commitment of marriage.

We talked last week about the Origin of Marriage–it began with God, who instituted it even before businesses and churches, as a foundation of society.

This week we talk about another common misunderstanding: the PURPOSE of marriage.

Common Misconceptions

Many people think it is for procreation–or to raise godly offspring–and still others believe it is a moral sanction for sex–in other words, the purpose of marriage is so we can have sex in a way that is acceptable to God! But both of these purposes are too narrow. Sex doesn’t start a marriage and sex doesn’t end a marriage–so marriage is not “for sex”! Likewise, people can and do procreate inside, outside, along side and upside down of marriage! Mating and making babies does not equal “marriage”!

So what IS the purpose of marriage? Let’s look in a couple verses!

It is Not Good to be Alone

Genesis 2: 18

“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

God made Eve, not only as Adam’s HELPER, although help is one dimension of companionship, but also as his COMPANION.

The reason God instituted marriage was to meet the need for intimate companionship. Marriage was designed to defeat loneliness. The essence of marriage is a COVENANT of companionship–and both parts are important: the COVENANT part…and the COMPANIONSHIP part. This same emphasis on companionship is stressed elsewhere.

A Companion Who Was Formerly WILD-Now Willing to be Close!

Proverbs 2: 16-17

“So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words,
who forsakes the companion of her youth
and forgets the covenant of her God;”

Hebrew word for “companion” here is אַלּ֣וּף  transliterated: ‘al-lūp̄ from the root word alluwph. This word means a friend, an intimate, someone who is familiar and gentle from the knowing. The funny thing about this word is that it also has an aspect that has to do with wild animals. The concept is “one who is turned” and it means a wild animal that has been tamed and is not familiar and gentle. So this so someone who had WILD attitudes and actions, who is now tamed–warm and willing to be close.

A Companion of Like Character, Rank and Calling.

Malachi 2:13-16

“You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “covers his garment with violence,” says the Lord of hosts. “So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”

Hebrew word for “companion” here is חֲבֶרְתְּךָ֖ transliterated  ḥă-ḇer-tə-ḵā from the root word chabereth. That is a word that means your fellows–your associates who are of like character. These are the people of your society who are of like rank and like calling. In other words–YOUR BUDDIES. The guys you grew up with and went to school with. The girl across the street. Someone CLOSE.

Marriage is a Covenant of Companionship

In both of these verses we are being warned about adultery and being faithless, and both verses indicate that abandoning the Covenant of Companionship is infidelity! Together the two Hebrew words speak of a relationship in which there is constant commitment (the covenant part) and intimacy (the companionship part). The two passages make it clear that entrance into marriage should mean the desire to meet each other’s need for companionship. Love, in marriage, focuses on GIVING one’s spouse the companionship s/he needs to eliminate loneliness! In practical terms that means finding out what makes your spouse feel lonely and giving them what they need so they don’t feel lonely!!

Intimacy apart from commitment is not adequate; commitment to remain together apart from intimacy is equally deficient. BOTH elements are necessary!

Now we’re not saying that raising godly offspring is wrong–it’s just not the purpose of marriage. It is PART of the purpose. It is an aspect of marriage, as is mating. The intimacy of biblical companionship extends beyond the physical (sex), to every aspect of human nature.

“One Flesh” Is Not All About Sex!

Finally, let’s discuss one phrase that is very commonly misunderstood as it relates to marriage: “One flesh” (as found in Gen. 2:24, Matt. 19:6, Mark 10:8, etc.) Almost everyone thinks that is referring to sex! The words used are closer to the word we use in English when we say “everybody.” Do we mean “each physical body”? No–we mean “everyone” or “each person”–and the Hebrew and Greek words here are similar.

The marriage union is meant to be the closest, mose intimate of all human relationships. Two persons may begin to think, feel, and act as one. They function as one unit. So when God speaks of “one flesh” He’s talking about union:

  1. one body — sexual union, a close physical union
  2. one flesh — the marriage union, an even closer union of companionship
  3. one spirit — the union with Christ, the closest union of all!

God’s revealed goal is for a husband and wife to become one in all areas of their relationship–intellectually, emotionally, physically. The Covenant of Companionship fills this need.

People who enter marriage with the idea that marriage is pretty much legalized sex also have a grossly unbiblical idea of the next important concept about marriage that we’ll discuss next week: The OBLIGATION of marriage.

AFFAIRCARE RESOURCES:

Bible Verses to Save Your Marriage After an Affair

 

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Marriage Blueprint: The Origin of Marriage

 Marriage Blueprint: Origin of Marriage

Our site is about helping people recover their marriage after an affair.  But how can we talk about adultery without first knowing the origin of marriage?

This series will focus on erroneous views of marriage that lead to wrong expectations, attitudes, and practices.  Many bible-believing Christians go wrong because their concept of marriage is an illusion.  So we’re going to spend the next four weeks studying the blueprint of marriage: 1) the origin of marriage, 2) the purpose of marriage, 3) the obligation of marriage, and 4) the commitment of marriage.

Most Christians have a simple understanding of the origin of marriage. “Adam and Eve–Garden of Eden” is a typical response. But many are unaware of the significance of that origin. So here is one of the basic concepts in the blueprint of marriage: MARRIAGE IS OF DIVINE ORIGIN!  The practical relevance of this basic concept must be considered!

1) God designed marriage as the foundational element of all human society.

God formally instituted marriage before there was a church, a school, or a business.  If marriage were of human origin, then humans could change or alter the terms for whatever reason they wish!  However, if marriage is of divine origin, then marriage should last until God ordains otherwise.  The rules and ideals of marriage are to be those which HE sets forth.  Marriage must not be redesigned by political correctness.  Individuals may marry, divorce, and remarry without sin only if, when and how God says.

2) Marriage is a foundational institution.

It was first to be instituted formally as a sphere of human society (before schools, business, even religion). Society in all its forms depends on marriage. Marriage is the foundation upon which the Church, as God’s family, rests. The covenant community is weakened as marriages are weakened. It is a group of individuals living under one roof, under one human head, and is a separate decision-making unit.

3) Marriage is not “for the propagation of the species”

Humans (like gerbils, rabbits, monkeys and other mammals) can propogate outside the bounds of marriage by mating. While it is true that God ordained that righteous procreation must be one duty of marriage, it is not the FUNDAMENTAL feature of marriage. Marriage is not “mating.”

4) Marriage must not be equated with sexual relations.

People can and do have sinful sex before marriage, but their sex does not translate into a marriage! Furthermore, the first sexual act of the honeymoon does not solemnize the marriage. Marriage AUTHORIZES moral sexual relations. Thus, adultery, while exerting tremendous strain on the marriage, does not DISSOLVE it. Marriage is bigger than and inclusive of sexual union. Sex doesn’t CREATE a marriage and sex doesn’t dissolve a marriage. Divorce, following adultery as a consequence, is not merely an outward formalization of an inward reality, but a new and further step beyond the adultery.

So if marriage is not sexual union, and if marriage is bigger than and distinct from “sex”–we have to ask: “What IS marriage?”  Tune in next week as we examine the PURPOSE of marriage!

 

AFFAIRCARE RESOURCES:

Bible Verses to Save Your Marriage After an Affair

 

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Refresh Series: What to Do If You Just Found Out

What to do if you just found out -renovations
 

Affaircare is REFRESHING the website this month with a new look and updated info!  We thought it would be a good month to have a Refresh Series to refresh everyone on our fundamental concepts.  We are going to refresh YOU with our straightforward, Christian guidance!

This week we continue our Refresh Series by talking about “What to Do If You Just Found Out.” Next week we will conclude the series with “The Steps You Can Take to Save Your Marriage.”

A Parable about finding out

You have known that something is wrong in your marriage, and now you have in your hands the proof you don’t want: your spouse is having an affair.  You instinct is to do something FAST, and most likely your gut reaction will not be helpful toward saving your marriage and reconciling.  So this podcast refreshes you with what to do if you just found out.

Usually when people just find out, their reaction is one of two things: 1) revenge or 2) pleading.  If your inclination is toward revenge, you may have an overwhelming urge to rage, scream or “hurt them back.”  If your tendency is less self-assured, you may beg them to love you, plead with them to stay, ask for another chance, and promise them you’ll change!

Both of these compulsions are counter-productive, and both of these reactions are sinful.  Since biblically saving your marriage IS so counter-intuitive, and since our Christian worldview is even more counter-intuitive to the world view, we want to give you four things you CAN do that will help immensely.

First, in the podcast we shared a parable about what it feels like to discover that your spouse is cheating.  We shared this parable because language is usually insufficient to convey the full depth of the emotions.  Until we heard this example, nothing had really come close to describing it–and yet this parable does come close. Therefore, this parable is shared with hope: hope that Loyal Spouses will now have a tool to “describe” it in word pictures…and hope that Disloyal Spouses will have an image that will reveal the crisis of just finding out.  If you’d like to read the parable more fully, click on our blog “How it Feels to Discover Your Spouse is Cheating.”
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Four Things You Can Do If You Just Found Out

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1) Don’t be in a rush

The first thing you need to do calm down and don’t do anything rash. There will be plenty of time for making decisions, deciding what to do, when and how.  Unless you are in the right state of mind, you will experience even more confusion and pain.

  • Schedule an appointment with your doctor.–You are going to need an STD test and  it is a wise idea to have your personal physician informed on the things that could be affecting your health.  If your doctor tries to prescribe anti-depressants, don’t use pills as a crutch.
  • Open your Bible –You have a Source of undending strength, compassion, and healing at your fingertips. God promises to be there, and what God promises, He does. Right now you need comfort, in the upcoming days you will need support and truth. This is all found in God’s word. Start with the Psalms.

2) Take responsibility for your part of what has occurred

Taking responsibility is not accepting Disloyal excuses or blame!  But it is saying “I could have chosen this or that, and I made this choice.” Just be honest with yourself about any areas in which you need to repent and change! What things did you stop doing that were kindling the fire of love?  What things did you start doing that were purring out the fire?

3) Do a U-turn from what you’ve been doing

Your marriage is in a crisis.  Your family is in a crisis.  What you’ve been doing is NOT WORKING; thus it would be foolishness to return to “the way things were.” We recommend that you do a complete “about face” in the way you view marriage, in the way you think about your spouse, and in the way you ACT.

4) Get advice from an expert

Get some help and support, privately and confidentially, from someone you trust who is wise and who will give you wise counsel in getting through this. Your expert could be a pastor, parent or grandparent, sibling, coach or counselor. But the idea is to find someone who will encourage and support you in doing the right thing (even when it’s hard) and who will tell you the truth to your face.

 

AFFAIRCARE RESOURCES:

The “Just Found Out” tab to receive our newsletter

The article for those who “Just Fount Out”

Search for the terms “Just Found Out” on the Affaircare website

 

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