Greetings and good morning brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series
where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years,
the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them
with you. This morning we seek to understand the spiritual purpose of marriage.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Spiritual Purpose of Marriage
"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and
they shall be one flesh." Genesis, Chapter 2, Verse 24.
Brothers and sisters, today we continue with our treatment of marriage by reflecting on its spiritual
purpose. It is usually romantic feelings that inspire men and women to marry. These romantic
feelings serve as windows of goodwill for the couple who must go on to transcend these feelings into
the more deeper and maturer feelings of acceptance and cooperation--unconditional love. The desire
for intimacy is still there, but the raging passion associated with newly mating slowly dissipates.
Since these feelings dissipate, they must not be the primary function of mating but a vehicle to
ensure mating will take place.
The primary function of mating is procreation despite the pleasure and other emotions associated
with it. The attempt to build a marriage upon romantic feelings solely leads to the erroneous idea that
something is wrong and the marriage must be dissolved so that this feeling can be recaptured with
a new partner. One of the tasks of life is to identify purpose with function. Only the correct
alignment of the intended purpose with the intended function can bring about harmony in
relationships or life, for that matter. We all know the dangers of using improper functions to fulfill
other needs. Couples who are to marry should be educated about the facts of marriage and the
But now let us look at another important function of marriage--its economic function. One of the
problems that self conscious beings have is the task of providing for themselves and their offspring--
the self maintenance function. Two people functioning as a partnership transcend the function of two
people functioning separately. The sharing of resources and the sharing of work associated with
maintaining an existence is best done in cooperation.
The rapid liberation of women who in the past were tied to the marriage because of economic
reasons has also tended to weaken the marriage state. More women are unwilling to remain in
traditional roles. This economic liberation has led many women out of the marriage union when
unresolved and protracted conflicts arise. Because of women's economic liberation, intolerable
conflicts are resolved by leaving the relationship. Lack of commitment to the relationship (infidelity),
an unwillingness to compromise, and the failure to negotiate everything except the relationship itself
all play a role in disrupting the marriage bond.
Society must make adjustments to the new reality of women's liberation, and these adjustments must
allow for the fact that women reproduce and are handicapped child rearing, at least during the early
years. Jobs that employ women must be flexible to allow for child rearing responsibilities to be
addressed. While day-care facilities can provide physical care for children, they cannot provide
motherly love and display family values. Children today spend too little time with parents during the
formative years. No real opportunity is afforded for children to acquire their parents' values.
Husbands must become more cooperative, more willing to share the duties of homemaking. It is only
fair that if women are to work outside the home for economic reasons, then men must compensate
by sharing in the economic rewards made possible by external employment.
But how shall we bring about these changes in attitudes that are essential to reconstruct society and
marriage? We must look to the moral and spiritual arena for insight and enlightenment. It is within
the moral and spiritual arena that the solution lies to the breakdown of marriage and consequently
the family. Men and women are different; their whole viewpoint of life is essentially different. The
saying that men are from Mars and women are from Venus contains much truth. But far from
causing alarm as one partner attempts to remake the other in his own image, this should occasion
much joy and satisfaction, for it is the one guarantee that boredom may not settle into a relationship.
How would you like to discover something new about your partner every day? Well, the opportunity
is there. Never can one exhaust completely the knowledge of one's partner. Everyday, you will
discover something intriguing about your partner as you confront the various problems of life. But
the most rewarding thing about the union of a couple is the acquisition of a complete view of reality.
It requires the synthesis of both points of view in order to arrive at the correct interpretation of
Normal minded individuals have a sense of what is right, moral, and dutiful in a given situation. This
sense is further developed by education and experience. But the moral sense must keep pace with
the changing roles of individuals. Moral enlightenment can be had by the reflective exercise of
seeking the highest understanding in any given situation, rather than relying on doing things they way
they've always been done. Moral enlightenment occurs when reason rules over our emotions. It is
through the reasoning process that we arrive at the right moral judgment. But if the reasoning process
is to be valid our assumptions upon which it is based must be accurate. The whole process of
relationships should lead to self actualization, but never can self actualization take place without the
expense of someone else unless the supreme purpose of life is spiritual.
Material goals cannot lead to self actualization because they invariably require someone to lose in
the process. This is not to say that we should not have material goals in our lives. We are material
beings and must of necessity function in a material environment. Rather, material goals must not
become an end in themselves but a means to an end. Selfish regard must give way to unselfish
service, and service should be the aim of all efforts. And this desire to serve is a suitable stimulus
for human development without the soul destroying consequences of greed and the spiritual
blindness of avarice (materialism).
The continuing inescapable intimacy that marriage entails creates a refinement of character. Moral
and spiritual challenges, when responded to in a positive manner, brings out the best moral qualities
of each person when they are committed to marital partnership. Unremitting moral challenges result
in moral growth that is not always observed in those who go through life without a mate. But the
supreme satisfaction results when there are children. When there is family life, the joy and
satisfaction of watching offspring grow and develop can be found in no other arena of life. The
constant watchcare and continuous compromises eventually carry the couple to the threshold of
spiritual reality. Realizing that they are children of God, they begin to appreciate the divine point of
view concerning family life. They begin to view each other and their children as God views them.
And as God is a parent to his earthly children, the parents portray God to their children. Constantly
living in the presence of God and the consciousness that in serving each other, they are in effect
serving God creates real joy and peace and a happiness that is indestructible. Now having a goal that
transcends everything, the couple never become board and are constantly intrigued by the unfolding
panorama of the relationship. Marriage then becomes the supreme source of earthly satisfaction, a
So we acknowledge that whereas legal, religious sanctions, and weak moral standards may fail,
spiritual sanctions are always successful. The recognition that God has created male and female to
function harmoniously leads the couple to seek His help in creating the harmony, insights, and divine
meanings and values that make the union satisfactory, meaningful, and enjoyable. The best way to
gain insight into the other partner is to get into the habit of praying for your partner every single day
of your life and to acquire the habit of praying together everyday. When this is done, the union is
elevated to the spiritual level where it acquires divine significance. It becomes the tool where by each
partner is to acquire perfection.
It is on this level where partners learn to truly love one another because they come to understand
each other's true motive and recognize the righteousness of that motive. There are no serious
competitors for the bestowal of divine love and mercy upon us. There is nothing in the universe that
can compare to the state of being divinely loved by another human being. And when the
righteousness of the motive is recognized, efforts shift away from self to the other self, and are
applied towards helping the other partner grow and develop and achieve self actualization under the
ennobling and inspiring influence of divine love. Every experience, every disappointment, every
success, every hope, and every circumstance are to be used as rungs upon a ladder that reach the
heights of self-actualization. The power to climb this ladder can only come from intelligent prayer
and wholehearted worship and dedication to doing the Father's will. After all, "You are to be perfect
even as your Heavenly Father is perfect."
This concludes today's message on reflection on the spiritual purpose of marriage. We hope you find
something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day. Until next time, this
is Dr. James Perry.