The Epistle – July 2023

From the Word

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother, and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

Weddings have increasingly become monumental events. The planning alone consumes those doing it for at least a year. The logistical details, at times, rival little else that happens in our day to day lives. There is great temptation to pay more attention to the upcoming wedding than to the upcoming marriage. Perspective is always a healthy thing to consider in any endeavor, much less a major one. It has been my privilege to plan many wedding ceremonies with excited couples. Whatever agenda they have, mine is twofold. I first remind them that their wedding is a worship service at which a marriage ceremony is taking place, not the other way around. With all the details, it is easy to lose sight of that fact. The second thing I remind them of is that the focus of the worship service must always be, not on what the couple is doing, but on what God is doing. God unites us in one flesh. Or, better said, God reunites us into one flesh. God took the rib of Adam and formed Eve, then reunited them in the marriage covenant He forged between them. He made them one flesh, and does the same in every Christian wedding. Couples need to be reminded, throughout their lives together, that they have been made one flesh by God.

Married couples are participants in the only surviving institution from Paradise. Marriage isn’t something that came along to help God deal with sin. God instituted marriage in the perfection of Eden. Though tainted by sin, marriage is still a wondrous gift from God. Thus the focus of all weddings must be God who is doing this miraculous thing. With so much to attend to, couples must take great care to keep their focus on the life God is granting them together. Faithfulness to one another is faithfulness to God. God calls us to His love, demonstrated by Christ’s love for His Bride the Church. He grants the grace to reunite them into one flesh, and the grace to sustain the two sinners He has joined, despite their sins against Him and each other. He defines love at the cross, then enables couples to live in that love for life. Satan will seek to distract. Let us do everything we can to help couples focus on the gracious God who is doing this wondrous thing.