The greatest relationship ever known to man is the relationship between Christ and His church. As we ponder the immensity of this relationship and its implications for time and eternity, we begin to realize the crucial importance of marriage, since Scripture clearly teaches that marriage is to be a picture of the relationship between Christ and His church (Eph. 5:31-32). After Christ, marriage is the most important earthly relationship. It is our primary ministry.
Marriage, like every good and beautiful thing (James 1:17) God has so graciously provided for mankind, has been corrupted and marred by sin. Since the garden, Satan (Gen. 3:1; John 10:10a; 2 Cor. 11:3), the world (1 John 2:15-17), and man’s sinful flesh (Rom. 7:18; Gal. 5:17) ceaselessly oppose God’s holy institution of marriage. Sadly and tragically, much of the church has been influenced by the world’s ideas and philosophy about marriage/family instead of the church elevating God’s holy standard to the world (Rom. 12:1-2) and being salt & light (Matt. 5:13-16).
Despite the increasing and intense hostility towards marriage/family, God’s unchanging nature/character, Word, and Spirit (power) have abundantly provided for every Christian marriage to thrive (Acts 1:8; Phil. 4:13; Eph. 6:10; 2 Peter 1:3), to testify of His power, and to bring Him glory (Matt 5:16; Col. 3:17). A godly, Christ-centered marriage is clearly the will of God, and is truly one of His greatest blessings. But, marriage must be done God’s way and in His power or there will be needless frustration, futility, and failure. Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it (Ps. 127:1).
Four Compelling Goals for Marriage/Family:
1) EXALT The Lord
Given the most foundational and vital purposes for marriage in Scripture, to model the relationship between Christ and His church, we are to do all we can to honor and glorify God in and through our marriage/family (1 Sam. 2:30; Eph. 5:31-32).
2) EXEMPLIFY Marriage to the Next Generation
We must know, embrace, and wholeheartedly obey God’s ordained purposes for marriage/family (Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5, 6:4; 1 Pet, 3:7), so that the word of God will not be dishonored (Titus 2:5). Our families, the church, and the world need to see God’s clear and distinct marital roles lived out in a world that is doing all it can to confuse, redefine, and oppose God’s holy institution of marriage (Mal. 2:14-16; Heb. 13:4).
3) ENCOURAGE/EXHORT – Disciple the Next Generation
To reach out to the next generation, to teach, model, and encourage (disciple) the next generation of the priority, purpose and privilege of marriage/family (Deut. 6:4-8; Ps. 78:1-7; Mal. 2:15; Matt. 28:20; Titus 2) according to the Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
A godly marriage/family is one of the greatest testimonies of the gospel and the power of the risen Christ to the world. As Voddie Baucham has said about marriage, it is a mechanism for the Gospel (Matt. 5:16, 28:19-20; 1 Pet. 3:15).
Like a beautiful and fruitful garden that is both attractive and beneficial, a godly marriage requires truth, devotion, commitment, vigilance, protection, tender care, and constant nourishment; it is not automatic. The Bible says, Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap (Gal. 6:7). Henry Morris aptly concludes, the blessings and joys of a true Christian home are worth all the study, prayers, and effort that can be expended to attain such a home. And Ps. 128:4 wonderfully summarizes the result of a God-honoring marriage/family, BEHOLD, for thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD.
Young Families Ministry – meets Sunday morning 9:00 a.m. in WW 102
Christian Living in the Home by Jay Adams
Family Shepherds: Calling & Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes by Voddie Baucham
Lasting Love: How to Avoid Marital Failure by Alistair Begg
Being a Dad Who Leads by John MacArthur
Different By Design by John MacArthur
The Fulfilled Family by John MacArthur
Strengthening You Marriage by Wayne Mack
Your Family God’s Way by Wayne Mack
God’s Hope For your Home by Lance Sparks
Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
Lifelong Love by Lance Sparks
God’s Hope for Your Home by Lance Sparks
Your Marriage Matters by Lance Sparks