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 will ponder our lives as we seek to understand the spiritual meaning of marriage.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife, and they
shall become one flesh." Genesis, Chapter 2, Verse 24.
The Spiritual Meaning of Marriage
As males and females develop from infancy to relative maturity, they are inevitably drawn like a
magnet to each other emotionally and physically. Through the ages, society has determined the ideal path these attractions should take: indeed society encourages this attraction by promoting the benefits of marriage. Men and women may temporarily deviate from this standard of course. As we see so often, many couples live together without marrying. Eventually, most men and women will choose to satisfy their emotional and physical desires through marriage.
So there they are, male and female, two people who may be aware of the emotional and physical reasons for their union. But are they aware of the spiritual significance of it? Each will have his or her own reason for wanting to be married. Most often, fantasies of what marriage will be like threatens to hide the reality of what it really means to live and work together with a chosen mate.
Emotional needs and desires usually block out our ability to reason. There is usually only one overriding thought: I have finally found someone who will make me happy. For certain, minor problems are to be expected, but the couple expects these problems to occur primarily outside of the marriage. The idea never dawns on them that their biggest problems will be in learning how to adjust to one another.
Having come from diverse family backgrounds, the partners scarcely realize how their environment have shaped them. They are dimly aware that there is a vast difference between the parent-child relationship and the husband-wife relationship. Each is familiar with the parent-child relationship, having once been a child. That relationship is largely one of being dependent on another and is focused on receiving. The new and unfamiliar husband-wife relationship is one in which both partners are dependent on the other. Both partners need to learn how to not only receive but give.
The blind couple, in seeking for their individual needs to be met, is uninformed about the primary purpose of marriage: providing shelter for the family and caring for the children, while enjoying occasional self gratification. Self gratification is not the primary purpose of marital partnership and parenting. Providing for the needs of the family and rearing the children is. Most children are seldom aware that their parents have had to submerge their own personal desires to meet the compelling needs of the family.
The great emotional and physical attraction that most couples experience drives them to gratify their emotional and physical needs, the usual consequence of which is children who need care and nurturing. Thus, the struggle for the family's survival is set. The roles are cast, man and woman are the actors, and if they play they must pay--they must struggle.
Soon men and women come to realize the vast difference between being in a parent-child relationship and being in a husband-wife relationship. Adjusting to this realization often results in agony and anguish of the spirit and mind. Intense effort and prolonged struggle is required. And herein lies the origin of divorce, separation, or maladjustment: when one or both partners refuse to make the adjustment from the parent-child relationship to the husband-wife relationship because of the pursuit of selfish individual happiness, unhappiness is the result. Feelings of disappointment, resentment, anger, bitterness, depression, and even despair signal that the self has become unhappy. This is the lot for all who refuse to grow up and accept the realities of life.
Having an attitude of cooperation gradually replaces antagonisms, as the couple arrives at a place where they are truly interested in gaining insight into married life. They come to recognize that it is easier for two people to run the race of life by cooperating with one another than to sink into antagonism, which happens when two people are bent on selfish pursuits to the detriment of each other. As they struggle to gain victory over the problems of life, man and woman come to know, like,respect, and finally truly love each other.
Thus begins true spiritual insight into the spiritual meaning of married life. In bestowing love upon each other unselfishly, each is bestowing God, for God is love. They are demonstrating that they are God seeking, God finding, and God revealing. In bestowing God's love upon each other, they are most certainly becoming like God. All that remains for such a couple is to discover in mind what they have discovered in spirit: that God is their Father and they are his son and daughter.
Couples, love one another. This concludes today's message on the spiritual meaning 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.