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THE MEANING OF MARRIAGE PDF

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Editorial Reviews. Review. "This is a book Christians need to read." —The Christian Post "The rare marriage book I would heartily recommend to any single, . The Meaning of Marriage. Marriage is a unique relationship different from all others. A Pastoral Statement of the. Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference. O. Renowned pastor of New York's Redeemer Presbyterian Church and author of the forthcoming Every Good Endeavor, Timothy Keller with his wife of 36 years.


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The Meaning of Marriage Timothy Keller. for Marriage (PDF); Chapter 3: The Essence of Marriage (PDF); Chapter 4: The Mission of Marriage. under the title: The Meaning of Marriage Herbert Doms, Vom Sinn und Zweck der Ehe (Breslau: Ostdeutsche Verlagsanstalt,. 5); Du sens et de la fin . The Meaning of Marriage: Modern culture would have you believe that everyone has a soul mate, that romance is the most important part of a successful.

This verse sets forth the biblical pattern as it was instituted by God at the beginning: one man is united to one woman in matrimony, and the two form one new natural family. In this regard, "become one flesh" not only refers to the establishment of one new family but also to the husband and wife's sexual union leading to the procreation of offspring.

This, in turn, is in keeping with God's original command to the first human couple to "be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion" over all of creation Genesis These aspects of marriage--the complementarity of male and female, and the irreplaceable role of male-female relations in reproducing the human race--are part of the original order of creation, and are evident to all human beings from the enduring order of nature.

These common elements of marriage are at the heart of our civil laws defining and regulating marriage. Therefore, people of all cultures and religions--including those who lack faith in God, Christ, or the Bible--are capable of participating in the institution of marriage.

However, we who are Christians believe that the fullest understanding of God's will for marriage can be derived from a careful examination of scriptural teachings. It is incumbent upon the church to educate both itself and the larger culture regarding the full breadth and depth of God's intentions for marriage. Marriage: Contract or Covenant? Today, marriage and the family are regularly viewed as social conventions that can be entered into and severed by the marital partners at will.

As long as a given marriage relationship meets the needs of both individuals involved and is considered advantageous by both sides, the marriage is worth sustaining. If one or both partners decide that they will be better off by breaking up the marriage and entering into a new, better marital union, nothing can legitimately keep them from pursuing their self-interest, self-realization, and self-fulfillment.

To be sure, there is talk about the cost of divorce and the toll exerted on the children caught up in the marital separation of their parents, but even such a toll is considered to be worth paying in order to safeguard the most cherished principles of our independent-minded, freedom-worshipping, individual rights-exalting culture. If one or both marriage partners want to get out of the marriage, nothing should hold them back, or else the culture's supreme values--individual choice and libertarian freedom--are not given their due.

By contrast, the Bible makes clear that, at the root, marriage and the family are not human conventions based merely on a temporary consensus and time-honored tradition. Instead, Scripture teaches that family was God's idea and that marriage is a divine, not merely human, institution. The implication of this truth is significant indeed, for this means that humans are not free to renegotiate or redefine marriage and the family in any way they choose but that they are called to preserve and respect what has been divinely instituted.

This is in keeping with Jesus' words, uttered when his contemporaries asked him about the permissibility of divorce: "What therefore God has joined together let not man separate" Matthew For this reason, marriage is far more than a human social contract; it is a divinely instituted covenant.

But what is a "covenant"? In essence, a covenant is a contract between two parties that is established before God as a witness, a contract whose permanence is ultimately safeguarded by none other than God himself. In this sense, marriage is a covenant: it is entered into by the husband and the wife before God as a witness.

Because it is ultimately God who has joined the marriage partners together, the husband and the wife vow to each other abiding loyalty and fidelity "till death do us part. For this reason, it is not self-interest, human advantage, or an unfettered commitment to personal freedom that governs the marriage relationship, but the husband and wife's joint commitment to conduct their marriage based on God's design and sovereign plan. What Is Marriage? Marriage is a covenant, a sacred bond between a man and a woman instituted by and publicly entered into before God and normally consummated by sexual intercourse.

God's plan for the marriage covenant involves at least the following five vital principles: 1 The permanence of marriage: Marriage is intended to be permanent, since it was established by God Matthew ; Mark Marriage represents a serious commitment that should not be entered into lightly or unadvisedly.

It involves a solemn promise or pledge, not merely to one's marriage partner, but before God. Divorce is not permitted except in a very limited number of biblically prescribed circumstances see Divorce below.

Hence, a "same-sex marriage" is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. Since Scripture universally condemns homosexual relationships see further under Homosexuality below God will never sanction a marital bond between two members of the same sex. Marriage involves "leaving" one's family of origin and "being united" to one's spouse, which signifies the establishment of a new family unit distinct from the two originating families. While "one flesh" suggests sexual intercourse and normally procreation, at its very heart the concept entails the establishment of a new kinship relationship between two previously unrelated individuals and families by the most intimate of human bonds.

The marriage partners are to be first and foremost concerned about the wellbeing of the other person and to be committed to each other in steadfast love and devotion.

This involves the need for forgiveness and restoration of the relationship in the case of sin. Mutuality, however, does not mean sameness in role. Scripture is clear that wives are to submit to their husbands and to serve as their "suitable helpers," while husbands are to bear the ultimate responsibility for the marriage before God Ephesians ; Colossians ; see also Genesis , This means that no other human relationship must interfere with the marriage commitment between husband and wife.

For this reason, Jesus treated sexual immorality of a married person, including even a husband's lustful thoughts, with utmost seriousness Matthew ; For the same reason, premarital sex is also illegitimate, since it violates the exclusive claims of one's future spouse. As the Song of Solomon makes clear, only in the secure context of an exclusive marital bond can free and complete giving of oneself in marriage take place.

Knowing the divine ideal for marriage, and aware that marriage and the family are divine institutions, we are now able to move from God's creation of man and woman and his institution of marriage to the Fall of humanity and its negative consequences on the marriage relationship. As a study of biblical history shows, humanity's rebellion against the Creator's purposes led to at least the following six negative consequences: 1 polygamy; 2 divorce; 3 adultery; 4 homosexuality; 5 sterility; and 6 gender role confusion.

The first shortcoming, polygamy--more specifically, polygyny, marrying multiple wives--violates God's instituted pattern of marital monogamy. While it was certainly within God's prerogative and power to make more than one wife for the man, God only made Eve. Yet within six generations after the fall of humanity, barely after Adam had died, Lamech took two wives Genesis However, not only did polygamous marriage fall short of God's original design, it regularly resulted in disruptive favoritism, jealousy between competing wives, and decline into idolatry.

8 Insights from Tim Keller’s “The Meaning of Marriage”

The second compromise of God's ideal for marriage was divorce, which disrupted the permanence of marriage. While divorce became so common that it had to be regulated in the Mosaic code Deuteronomy , the Bible makes clear that God hates divorce Malachi Divorce is also used repeatedly as an analogy for spiritual apostasy Isaiah ; Jeremiah A third shortcoming was adultery, the breaking of one's marriage vows.

The Decalogue stipulates explicitly, "You shall not commit adultery" Exodus ; Deuteronomy An egregious case of adultery was David's sin with Bathsheba 2 Samuel In cases such as these, the principle of marital fidelity to one's marriage partner was compromised. The Book of Proverbs calls adultery both foolish and dangerous e. Proverbs ; ; ; ; In the Old Testament, adultery is frequently used as an analogy to depict the spiritual unfaithfulness of God's people Israel Jeremiah ; Ezekiel , 38; Hosea Homosexuality , fourth, marks another falling away from God's creation purposes in that it violates the divine will for marriage to be between one man and one woman.

As Genesis stipulates, "A man [masculine] shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife [feminine], and the two shall become one flesh. Since homosexuality involves same-sex intercourse that cannot lead to procreation, it is unnatural and cannot logically entail the possibility of marriage.

A fifth shortcoming of God's ideal for marriage is sterility, which falls short of the fertility desired by the Creator. Fertility is implicit in the biblical reference to the "one flesh" union. At times, lack of fertility is said in the Old Testament to be the result of personal sin Genesis ; 2 Samuel , while on other occasions sterility is presented as a simple fact of fallen nature Genesis ; ; ; 1 Samuel However, God is often shown to answer prayers for fertility offered by his people in faith e.

Gender role confusion is a sixth and final result of humanity's rebellion against the Creator. Where God's design for man and woman to be distinct yet complementary partners in procreation and stewardship of God's earth is diluted, people will inexorably be confused about what it means to be masculine or feminine, and the lines between the two sexes made by God will increasingly be blurred.

Despite the above-mentioned ways in which God's original design for marriage and the family was compromised, however, the Bible in the Old Testament continues to extol the virtues of the excellent wife Proverbs and to celebrate the beauty of sex in marriage Song of Solomon.

The Restoration of God's Original Design for Marriage and the Family in Christ The New Testament teaches that the restoration of God's original design for marriage in Christ is part of God's realignment of all things under Christ's authority and lordship.

8 Insights from Tim Keller’s “The Meaning of Marriage”

In the book of Ephesians, we read that it is God's purpose "to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ" Ephesians , NIV. Thus marriage is not an end in itself but part of God's end-time restoration of all things in the person of Jesus Christ. Part of this restoration is that all evil powers are brought under control and are submitted to the supreme authority of Christ Ephesians Later on in the same letter, Paul addresses the subject of marriage in general, and marital roles in particular, within the larger context of believers needing to be filled with the Holy Spirit Ephesians What is the biblical pattern for marriage?

This is best seen in a close study of the pre-eminent passage on marital roles in the New Testament, Ephesians This has incredibly important implications for the nature of Christian marriage. The Covenant of Marriage Christians approach marriage as a covenant, a relationship based on promises and commitment, not just feelings—though love is most certainly involved. The endeavor to live into those promises—remaining faithful to their covenant—will shape their characters over the years.

Christ-Centered Marriage Perhaps the most distinct characteristic of Christian marriage—which makes the other two possible—is that it is intentionally centered on Jesus Christ.

Each spouse continuously works to know, love, and obey Jesus, and to follow his example. As they practice the Christian faith together, they move toward each other, growing together in love and unity. But what about a marriage in which only one spouse is a follower of Jesus? Paul actually writes about such a case in 1 Corinthians — Constant Pursuit Christian or not, marriage is difficult for any couple to sustain over a lifetime.

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But Christian marriage offers hope. The marriage rate the number of marriages per 1, people remained stable from until But by it had decreased more than 23 percent. In married couples made up almost three-fourths of all households. By married couples were just more than one-half of all households. In only 48 percent of American households were married. The percentage of adults who have never married increased by 16 percent between and The number of couples living together without marrying increased from , in to 4.

Currently 7. Between and , the number of births out of wedlock increased by percent.

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Births to unmarried women accounted for about one-third of all births in the s. By the number of births to unmarried women had increased from , in to 1,,, an increase of percent. Since the US has experienced a percent increase in the percentage of children living in single-parent homes.

The percentage of children living in a two-parent home has held constant from until at about 6 percent.

Moreover, Christian people are not the only ones who can learn to do marriage well. The Holy Bible, Malachi — You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.

You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all.

Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself.

It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it. The Holy Bible, 1 Corinthians —7. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. This is best seen in a close study of the pre-eminent passage on marital roles in the New Testament, Ephesians As we have seen, the Bible clearly teaches that God instituted marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman, a lifelong union of two partners created in God's image to govern and manage the earth for him.

Thus there are only two or possibly three biblically sanctioned instances of divorce: 1 sexual marital unfaithfulness i. In the Old Testament, Deuteronomy regulates divorce in ancient Israel. This is followed by a long list of vices Romans These aspects of marriage--the complementarity of male and female, and the irreplaceable role of male-female relations in reproducing the human race--are part of the original order of creation, and are evident to all human beings from the enduring order of nature.

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