Marriage as almost everyone thinks about and defines it is a manmade institution.
From a Christian standpoint God made man and then declared, “it is not good for man to be alone” so God created woman to be “a helper who is like him”. I am not going to discuss marital roles, positions, etc. now (and maybe not later unless something comes up). God did not create marriage. God created a relationship. “This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.” All of this is taken out of Genesis 2. There is no extra ceremony or right of passage issued to the couple before the author of Genesis uses a marital term to describe Eve as “wife”. What is interesting is that in just a few passages a man is recorded as taking for himself two wives. It is not condoned or condemned, just stated as a matter of fact. I am unaware of any Biblical passage that supports or goes against polygamy but I do know that polygamy is shown throughout the Old Testament.
Going back to the original thought (the purpose/creation of marriage) it is crucial to note that in Genesis the reason for man being created is not for relationship with God but as a worker for God’s creation and to produce babies (Genesis 1:26-31). God made man to rule the fish, the birds, the animals, and all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth (Gen. 1:26). In Chapter 2, after it is recorded in further detail about the creation of man, God places Adam in the Garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. It is at this point that God realizes that man needs a helper because there was not anything among the rest of the creation that was suitable for him.
So what is my point? I have no idea. I have more stuff in my head and this is almost a pointless blog. People are going to believe what they want to about marriage and whether it is sacred or not. I think the main point that I am trying to get across is that Christians (or at least those who attend churches across the 50 states) have fallen into cultural marriage instead of covenant marriage. Cultural marriage is what you have in the first two links that I provided and it is what has been taking place in America since its inception. Covenant marriage is governed by something beyond ourselves and our manmade institutions that tells us what to do even when we don’t want to do it. Covenant marriage says things like, “I love you, but I don’t like you right now,” and “I know things are looking cold in our relationship at the moment but I believe we can work it out and will give it my best effort to do so.” (No, my wife and I are not having marital difficulty, these are just examples of what covenant marriage looks like).
So when you find yourself not liking your spouse or even loathing them then consider what you signed up for, a covenant marriage and go to the source of that covenant to find answers for how to deal with your situation. There are great resources to use as well:
Power of a Praying Wife or Power of a Praying Husband by Stormie Omartian
Making Love Last Forever by Gary Smalley (small group study, absolutely amazing)
Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs
and many, many, more.
Typically you will find that it is your attitude that needs to be adjusted before seeing how to apply yourself in a respectful and loving way to the marital relationship. Marriage is to be enjoyed and to be fulfilling (but not abusively fulfilling). Gotta go for now. I hope you guys enjoyed thinking with me. Not sure what the next post is going to look like. It might possibly deal with my idea of the perfect church (ha, that should be amusing)!
Boris the Illusionist (still trying to find time to develop the routine)