I thought of making this post very long and complicated, with a lot of Scripture references to back it all up, but I’ll go for simplicity. Although I wouldn’t mind sounding inspirational and wise, I’d rather have everyone just understand and fully grasp what I am about to share. It is that important!
Although we shall not discuss the body and soul of man again, I will start by reminding ourselves of the different elements man is made of.
Dr. Larkin, in his book Rightly Dividing The Word (p. 86), as quoted here, states:
In the outer circle the ‘Body’ is shown as touching the material world through the five senses of ‘Sight,’ ‘Smell,’ ‘Hearing,’ ‘Taste’ and ‘Touch.’
The Gates to the ‘Soul’ are ‘Imagination,’ ‘Conscience,’ ‘Memory,’ ‘Reason’ and the ‘Affections.’
The “Spirit” receives impressions of outward and material things through the soul. The spiritual faculties of the ‘Spirit’ are ‘Faith,’ ‘Hope,’ ‘Reverence,’ ‘Prayer’ and ‘Worship.’
What Marriage Is Really All About
The following words are probably my favourite:
I will attempt explaining the spirit-connection by using these four words.. only.
Relationships being”the relation connecting or binding participants; a state of affairs existing between those having dealings; or a passionate attachment”.
Balance can be explained as “the equipoise between contrasting, opposing, or interacting elements; an achieved stability; the equality between two totals; an equilibrium”.
Symbols by definition are “certain things that stand for or suggest something else by reason of relationship, association, convention, or accidental resemblance; especially : a visible sign of something invisible”.
Reflection defined as “an instance of reflecting; especially : the return of light or sound waves from a surface; the production of an image by or as if by a mirror.”
When God created Adam, He created him in His very own image; He created him male and female. Having established that, He then made sure Adam realized his need for a companion (you see, God is all about relationships: He needed an object of His affection, thus created Adam; and seeing as Adam was just like God Himself, He knew he too would desire one. However, because Adam was man and limited in his understanding, God decided to simplify matters), so brought animals before Adam to be named.
You see, it was a test! It was not about the animals.. it was about Adam realizing that they were all in pairs, while he was all-one (alone). Having named them, his longing for a mate were stirred and God could finally put him to sleep, bringing out “the her” in “him”. When Adam beheld his reflection, he knew she was “bones of my bones and flesh of my flesh”. Just as lion and lioness looked alike but nothing like him, or bitches resembled dogs but looked very different from him, he saw his (wo)man and realized she was his companion. Before God they were both man, it was Adam who added the “wo”, thus distinguishing her from him. Just as Eve (him in her) was a reflection of Adam (her in him), and Adam of God, Eve was to reflect God.
Now this is where I am heading: Woman, The Bride, The Body of Christ, The Church, is a reflection of God Himself; that is: the finished work! God sees the finished Church, we don’t. We are still being transformed; as can be clearly seen all over the Scriptures (and especially Ephesians 5: 21-33), marriage symbolizes just that! The relationship between God and His object of affection (The Church).
How is this relevant, you ask?
It is the Spirit of God, that connects us to God. The body and soul are how we relate to one another; while the Spirit is how we relate to God. You cannot relate to God without His Spirit living in you (1 Corinthians 2: 10-14). You might have a somewhat enjoyable marital relationship by working well on your physical and soul-connection, but you will not have a complete one. No, you won’t have the “real deal” at all.
Marriage is a holy union. It is more than that, it is a symbol. It is the prefect picture of love, grace, forgiveness and commenting It is a covenant only broken by death. Yes, that is how serious it is. It is “till death do us part”, not because God is a wicked God, but because of the seriousness of the covenant itself. Just as God is jealous for us, he has put it within man to be strongly (physically, as well as spiritually) attached to the person we enter into a blood-covenant with (the consummation of the marriage union is exactly that). That is the very reason He hates divorce! Just as the Israelites went a whoring (turning away from their First Love and serving other/false gods), thus breaking their covenant with God, so do men forsake their women (and vice versa), turning to others. It is a picture of pain, loss, grief, deep hurt. Yes, this too is a symbol! One that shows us just how much God is hurting when we turn out backs to Him and go after strange gods (the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life).
You are still wondering how this is relevant?
The Lord has given us a manual, His very own instructions, showing us just how to make our marriages work. The entire human race was summarized in the book of Genesis: man’s creation, his fall, and God’s work in returning man to Him. Everything from Exodus to the book of Revelation are lessons, teachings, warnings, instructions. It is God showing us a better, more excellent way; and concluded by “the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony”. It is a finished work. All we have been called to do it “work it out”.
I hope I am making my point very clear..
In marriage we are doing exactly that, working it out. We are constantly being transformed and changed.. into His image! A few men become like their wives (although that is less often the case, than), women becoming like their husband. This is not bad per-se, as they are (with time becoming) reflections of each other. It was meant to be that way! Haven’t you noticed how women start off by trying to change their husband, just to realize (after a long time) that they are becoming more and more like them? Even with facial, verbal, physical expressions.. women are more likely to take up characteristics and antics of their beloved men, than men are to take up behavioural traits of their wives. This too symbolizes something! Just as God never follows man but always leads man, expecting Him to obediently follow (obedience is the only thing God has ever expected of man), men are to lead their wives (in love)! All these things are symbols. As man plays his role as lined out in The Word of God, and woman hers, a spiritual balance is achieved that acts to give us a taste of God’s unconditional and pure love. Marriage on earth is but a taster of marriage in heaven, the meeting of Christ and His Bride.
Do you now see how marriage outside of Christ does not make sense? Do you now see how it is practically impossible to have a real marriage without having first received Christ as one’s personal Lord and Saviour? Do you now understand why it is impossible for a believer to be joined to one who has not accepted Christ as Lord; who does not have the Holy Spirit living in him, leading and directing him? Do you now see how important it is to constantly feed the Spirit (through the Word, fasting, and prayer) in order to maintain that God-connection that will enable you to relate to your spouse just as you should?
There is so much more to be said but I promised to keep it simple. It is beyond the bonds of possibility to have a successful marriage without this Spirit Connection. While the body and soul connections are extremely important, by neglecting the most important aspect, namely the Spirit, all your efforts of trying to make your marriage work will be futile. You will labour hard, while enjoying very little. You will sow plenty, while reaping close to nothing. But most sadly: it will lead you nowhere.
We have been told to “seek the Lord while He may be found”; in a marriage-union you do precisely this, but you do it together; strengthening and encouraging the one you entered into an unbreakable covenant with. Apart from Christ in you, here on earth, this really is the only taster you’ll get of heaven.