Why You Say “I Do”
I DoPastor Jerry Gillis - July 30, 2017
God's people should know why they say "I Do."
Community Group Study Notes
- Based on what we heard in Sunday’s message, what were some of the “Whys” behind “Why you say I Do”?
- What differences are there between how we talked about marriage in this message and how we see marriage portrayed in the world’s value system?
- What is one action step you can take in response to Sunday’s message?
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
Alright. Yeah, you can clap. Although that just encourages them to keep doing this. So, we started last week a series called "I Do". We're talking about the idea of marriage. Last week we talked about before you say "I do". This week we're going to tackle a little bit of a different subject.
But I found that when I ask random people that are actually married, and by random I just mean wherever, it's not like I just you know, walk into Target and start interviewing people. I don't do that, but if you ask random people kind of why did you get married. Like if you posed that question to them, why did you get married? They usually have these blank stares, people thinking about it for a few moments. They're really not sure how to answer and then it's usually something like this comes out: "Well, for love I guess". That's usually how the response goes. By the way, not a terrible response. It's an incomplete response, but it's not a terrible one for sure.
In fact, it's better response than some of the responses that maybe you have heard before when you maybe posit the question "why did you get married?" And somebody says you know, "well, because we felt like it". Okay, alright. Thanks for your candid you know, response. Or they said because of the financial security. Okay, thank you for your honesty. Or, "because I want kids". Which usually means "I need someone to be able to do that with, and therefore I'm getting married and it's really not so much about you, it's about I want kids". Or maybe they respond when you ask them why did you get married, they say "well, it seemed right", or "it was just kind of the next thing for me in life", right? "You know, I went to school or I got a job and now it's just kind of the next thing in life and that's what we did".
Or, if people are being gut-level honest, maybe they would say "well, I've always wanted a really great wedding and the presents", right? Now I'm sure that no one in here has actually said that, except for you. I saw you and you said that and it was really embarrassing. Would you stand and just...no, I'm kidding, it's a joke. No one actually said that. They're kind of pointing and people are going what are you doing, what is happening right now? Do not do this to me in church. You're a Christian man.
So, how would you answer? You're not random people. How would you answer, because I'm assuming that by your desire to be here, whatever campus that you're on, or whether you're watching on television or watching on, you know, kind of on our internet, you know, tribe that's on the internet, then you're probably saying "this question matters to me". How would you, if you're married, how would answer that question in your own mind and in your own heart? Why did I get married? Now some of you may come up with the same answer, right? "Cause love and stuff". "Cause I love and junk." You know, that's what you're thinking to yourself, right?
By the way, if you're single in this place, you're not married. Let me ask you this question. What would your answer be to this question: "Why do you want to be married?" What would your answer be, maybe your answer is the same. "Cause' of love and stuff". Well, that's a good answer, by the way. It's an incomplete answer, but it's a good answer.
So, what I want to do is I want us to actually think about this because marriage is actually God's idea. It's not a human invention all by ourselves, it's actually God's idea. And because it's God's idea, God not only gets to define it, God gets to set the parameters for it. Because it's His. It's not yours, it's not mine, it's His. And if God, if it's God's idea, then God knows the why behind marriage. And that's what I want us to try and take a look at today if we can and understand it. Because if anyone should understand what marriage is and why we should be married, or why, if we want to be married, why, it should be the people of God since it's God's idea, right? Or maybe I could say it simply this way. That God's people should know why they say "I Do". God's people should know why they say "I Do".
Now, this message is going to be for everybody, by the way, so I want us to back up if we can, to understand this question by going all the way back to the beginning. If you want to track with me in a Bible, it's super-easy. Everybody can get there. It's called "page one". Alright? Page one or page two if you on a device and you want to be able to look that up, just look for Genesis chapter one and chapter two. That's where I'm going to be talking for a minute, because here's what the deal is.
God has a divine design when it comes to the idea of marriage because it's God's idea. And God is the One who has made everything. In fact, when we start reading Genesis chapter number one and chapter two here's what we find out. We find out that Genesis one and two reveals to us that God is the Creator. In His ways, in His time and for His purposes, God is the One who has initiated everything in terms of its creation. Now that's a beautiful concept because what God starts doing is He's making everything, and then He separates the light from the darkness, and then He separates kind of the water from the earth. And here's what He says when He does that: "That's good." That's exactly what He says. Separates the water so there's water and earth and says "man, that's good". And then He says you know, I'm going to put lights in the sky and there's going to be you know, sun and moon and stars and lights in the sky. And God does that and says "that's good". And then He says "you know what, I'm going to put like you know, plants and stuff on the earth and that's good". "I'm going to put birds in the air. That's good". "I'm going to put fish in the sea, that's good." "I'm doing all of this stuff, man this is all good. In fact, now I'm going to put animals on the land, that's good. And now I'm going to make human beings in my image, that's very good." And so everything that you see so far in Genesis 1 and 2 when you start seeing the revelation is this: "It's good, it's good, it's good, it's good, it's good, it's very good" until you get to "it's not good". And there is a not good.
And when you land at not good, what it starts to give us a hint at is the why for why He wants marriage. I'll take you to it. In fact, it's in Genesis chapter number 2 verses 18 and 20. Here's what God said: "It is not good for the man to be alone." After all of these "it's good, it's good, it's good, it's good, it's good and then He goes "it's not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. And He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each creature that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found."
So, the first picture that I want us to get in terms of understanding why, if we're answering the question from God's perspective, why should we be married? Why should we get married? What's the motivation behind that? Here's the first piece that I want to give you in that. The idea of oneness. The idea of oneness.
Let me explain what I mean by that. So the passage that we just read a moment ago said that God had created man and it wasn't good for man to be alone. After all of these good things, then he creates human beings, and it's very good, right? But it's not good for him to be alone. Now what does it mean when it says that it's not good for Adam to be alone? Because what it can't mean is that it can't mean that he's in isolation, because he's not in isolation. He's not without God, he has a relationship with God, right? He hears from God. He's not by himself in that regard. So him being alone can't mean that he's in isolation from God, and it can't mean that he's not surrounded by you know, there's no activity because he's in isolation because there's clearly activity. There's animals all over the place. In fact, he's naming them. Here, here, here, here hippopotamus. You know he's doing whatever he does, right? He's naming all of these animals in that context. Very unique.
So him being alone doesn't mean that he's without God. Him being alone doesn't mean that he's without activity all around him, he is. Him being alone means he's without another being like him. That's what it means. So for instance, single adults that are in this place or watching me at any of our campuses or on television or on the internet. If you're a single adult you're not alone in the same way Adam was. You're not because you have around you beings like you. Human beings. People who you can engage with and you can have rational conversations with, that you can share things with. You can have friendships with. You can be brothers and sisters in Christ with. So Adam was alone in the sense that he didn't have a being that was like him. He was just surrounded on earth by animals and in heaven by God. And so now God says that it's not good that Adam should be all alone, at least in that sense that we're talking about there.
Here's why. Because what God wanted to do is God wanted to, listen to this, God wanted to allow Adam to experience a little bit of what God already experienced. You see, God in His nature is Father, Son and Spirit. There is a community of oneness already in the nature of God. And God in saying it's not good for Adam to be alone is saying there needs to be another being like him so that he can begin in some kind of way to experience a taste of what it is to be in fellowship with me. He can experience some of what I am. And so He wants to create someone like him so that he can be, she can be with him.
Now, interestingly enough, this is not the only picture here that we're talking about in terms of oneness. There's actually more to this story that we need to see. And in fact, we'll see it when we kind of glance into Genesis chapter number 2 beginning in verse 18. We just read it a moment ago. It says "The Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a" what does this say? "helper suitable" good, we can read, "for him." And then let's try and read again. "But for Adam no" what? "suitable helper was found." So it's helper suitable and suitable helper.
Now sometimes when we hear that, right, we hear that phrase and we think okay, Eve, the mother of kind of all the living, right, this female, because they were created male and female, this female is called suitable helper in our English language. Now for some of you that read like old translations you remember the term "help-meet" that was actually the English translation there, you're kind of going I don't, what is that, is that a meet-up place, what is that? You're kind of going I don't know what that means. Here's why. Because in the Hebrew language that word is one word, but it's a compound word, and it's a very complex construction in the Hebrew language. So it's not easy to just translate simply into the English language, because it's made up really of kind of two root-words that are kind of stuck together. Now oftentimes when that happens to us in the English language we just take the two words apart and we define each of them and we go okay, then this is what it means. It's a little different than that in the Hebrew language because, and I'm sorry for the little you know, kind of quick language lesson, so just stay with me. The reason that's difficult is simply because sometimes the whole is actually more than the sum of the parts. You can't just simply do it that way, but for our purposes let's do this.
Sometimes when women read that they're kind of like "I don't really like how that sounds". Suitable helper. I'm not his secretary. I'm not his assistant, right? You kind of feel that way, right? I'm not his secretary or assistant. Here's the good news, in the Hebrew construction, you're clearly not that. Here's why. Because that word for help or suitable helper, that word for help is a noun form, and again, sorry to be technical, a noun form in the Hebrew language is the word "ezer". And when that term is used in the whole Hebrew Scriptures in the Old Testament it's almost exclusively in the noun form attributed to God. God is my helper, God is my help in times of trouble. So whenever it's used in the noun form it's almost exclusively talking about God. So, just so you know when that term "helper" is used here, it is not trying to categorize a woman in any kind of inferiority to a man. That is not what's happening in this passage of Scripture at all. In fact, would you say that God is inferior to us? Of course not.
Now, what you can't do ladies is you can't turn that on its ear. I knew we were superior! I've known it all along and now God said it, that settles it, I believe it! You can't do that either because that's not the intent of the passage, right?
But what it's trying to help us understand is this, it's that this idea of helper is not some like junior assistant do-nothing. That's not at all what's being communicated here. But there's the other part of that compound word is where we're kind of translating it "suitable helper" and that word "suitable" means complimentary, perfect pairing. That's kind of the idea - partner.
In fact, Dr. Walton, a scholar that I was reading, he said really in English if we could make up a word, it would be more suitable to how we translate this in English, if we could make up a word. Because you know that suitable idea is kind of the idea of a counterpart or complimentary or perfect pairing or partner. He said if we could make up an English word to translate this Hebrew word here, maybe something like counter-partner would be a good one. If you think that's stupid, by the way, then it's his fault, not mine. Counter-partner. Here's the idea. In it contains the word counter-part which means equal to, like me and partner, which means are supposed to be unified in terms of what they're doing. The idea of a counter-partner is actually the idea of the text here. Why? Because God is painting a picture right out of the gate of oneness in terms of His creation of Adam, "Adom" and Eve, the man and the woman, and He's creating this picture of oneness.
Now, He goes on to give us another picture, and we'll see it in Genesis chapter 1 verse 26 and 27. It says this: "Then God said, 'Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.' So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them."
So you see this is God's divine design, this is His picture in terms of marriage because He is creating them, not only in oneness, but now He's created them in His image. The second word that I would give you that we're looking at is not only oneness, but representation. You see, the idea of image, created in the image of, I've taught on this before and I know that you remember everything I've ever said in my entire fifteen-plus years that are here, right? I know you've got 100% of that memorized, just like I do. People ask me sometimes, remember that sermon when you said... I'm like no, I have no idea, but did you like it? Yeah, yeah, I loved it. Cool. Then I'm glad, you know. Because I can't remember everything that I always say, I get that.
But when I taught on the image of God, here's something I wanted to point out. That when it says we're created in the image of God, that can just as justifiably be translated as the image of God. And here's why I make that point. Because maybe when we read it we would understand it better that way. You see, image in the time that this book was written, particularly the time that Genesis was written was something that people would understand.
Because for instance, like pagan gods, like Baal would be imaged as a bull. So there would be this graven image, right of a bull. Not because Baal looked like a bull, but because that was characteristic of the nature of what they said that Baal was like. That was the idea. Or, it was said of kings who were ruling over pagan dynasties that they were images of the gods that they served. That didn't mean that they looked like them, it just meant that they were representatives of them in that kingdom where the gods ruled over it.
That's the idea that's being communicated here in a sense, because the original audience would have heard it in that kind of way. That human beings have been created as representatives of the God who has made this, in Genesis 1 and 2, who has made this cosmic temple for His presence to dwell in, and He has placed representatives that are going to be like a priest and priestess for Him that are going to represent His purposes on the earth that He has made where His presence is. Kind of He says the earth is His footstool, kind of everything is where His presence is. It's this picture of a cosmic temple.
The reason we know that too is because by the way, when you see the building of the tabernacle in Exodus, when you ultimately see like in 1 Samuel, the construction of the temple, it goes right back to the creation narrative because they understood this as kind of a cosmic temple that was being created for God.
So this idea of being a representative is really, really super important for us. And in fact, we also note that these representatives were created in a very specific way. I want to show it to you. Genesis chapter 2 verse number 7 says this: "Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." And then later on in that chapter it tells us about Eve as well. It says: "So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. And the man said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; and she shall be called 'woman' for she was taken out of man.' That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh."
You see, we're getting this idea of why, and the Scripture actually talks about the idea that that is why. The idea is that there is a oneness of representation that happens. Check it out this way, I'm using my hands. You have Adom, human, male that is created by God from dust, right? I've heard people say the reason women have to be really, really great people is because they're attracted to somebody made of dust and for men it's pretty easy since she's made of prime rib. Stupid, isn't it? Whoever made that up, is stupid. It wasn't me, I think it's stupid. Just saying somebody has said that, before, it wasn't me and they're stupid. Alright. So, you know, just saying.
Here's man, created by God. Out of man's side, man's bleeding side, comes woman. And then woman is separate from man, and then the Bible says that God brought the woman to the man and the two became one. There was a oneness, right? There was a re-uniting which did what? It gave an even more dramatic representation of the image of God because the image of God, He said He has created them as image-bearers, male and female, He has created them. So there is a oneness of representation.
Now this is tremendously important when we look forward in the revelation of Scripture when we get into the New Testament. Because as you know, marriage was not something that God looked at and went, oh, that would be a cool illustration spiritually. He didn't do that. God already was representative of who He was and He created marriage to image certain things.
So, look at it this way. From Adam's bleeding side came his bride. From Jesus' bleeding side came His bride. You see, that's the picture, ladies and gentlemen that's being painted for us because God knew all along what He was going to be doing. That He was going to birth this thing called the church, the bride of Christ from the bleeding side of the sacrificial Lamb of God, so that together they could be unified for the sake of what God wanted to do in the world. It's a beautiful picture for us.
But these things, the idea of representation and the idea of oneness actually gets us to the action why. And I want to give that to you here as we kind of finish up our time. Here's the action line. Well, let me show it to you in Genesis chapter 1: "God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number..." You know what that says? Here's the third thing. It tells us about mission. Not only is God in this kind of, answering this question of why marriage, not only is it about oneness and about representation, but it's also about mission. God actually says "He blessed them and said to them be fruitful and increase in number."
In other words, populate the earth with representatives through child-bearing. Now, what better way to raise up children that would know and love the Lord than with a mother and a father who are image bearers of God, who've been brought together in oneness, so that there is an environment for the children to be able to see that kind of representation? That's really God's divine design.
And in fact, there are people who study kind of family behaviors that are not even that I know of that are not even affiliated with things of faith. Like for instance, Dr. David Popenoe who is a leading the Rutgers team in the National Marriage Project. Notice what he said about marriage that I thought was very interesting. He said, "What people seem to have forgotten is one very important element or purpose of marriage," said Popenoe. "Throughout history, marriage has been viewed as a child-rearing institution. As a society, we like other modern societies, are drifting ever further from that understanding. While Americans aspire to marriage, they are ever more inclined to see it as an intimate relationship between adults rather than as a necessary social arrangement for rearing children. There is a robust body of research that indicates that children raised with their two married biological parents (mother and father) who are in a low-conflict relationship, on the whole do much better in life than children raised in other family forms. To the degree that we as a society want our children to do well in life, we should be very concerned with what is happening to marriage."
Now this is not coming from somebody who's speaking on behalf of the church or things of faith. This is just a researcher who's leading a team at Rutgers University talking about the social effects of marriage. Even the world recognizes that having a man and a woman in the context of a home is better for children. And of course we would say in terms of faith, it is significantly better to have a man and a woman in a married relationship that love and follow the Lord Jesus Christ to bring a child into that environment, so that they can learn what that looks like and see a pure reflection of the oneness of God's own nature.
Now in saying that by the way, I am well aware that there are married folks that are listening to me that can't have children. I understand that completely. I get it. I also know that there are people listening to me who have children but don't have a spouse. And it may have been through choices that happened in your life previous to coming to know Jesus. It may have been through no choice of your own. You got left in a really difficult position. Here's what I want you to know real clearly. We love you. We're for you. And God is sufficient for you. His grace is greater than our weakness. Whatever gaps we may feel, whatever gaps we may face, God has the ability to make those up, because God knows where you are and he's gracious. Isn't that a great reminder for us?
But all that said, God still does have a divine design. He has a way in which he has structured the world and the universe to work. And he's really calling us to be married for the sake of mission. That he wants a oneness. So there's that there's that love and companionship. There's that, I guess we got married for love. There it is right? Oneness and companionship, right? But he wants us to be representatives - for what end? For his mission in the world. Because of what he wants to do.
In fact, notice in the original story this mission coming to the fore. Look what it says in Genesis chapter 1. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number;"
Listen to this. "...fill the earth and subdue it (or take dominion over it.) Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
And then notice what happens in Genesis chapter 2. It says this. Now the Lord God planted a garden in the east, and Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground - trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon; and it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. Then he says the gold of that land is good, aromatic resin and onyx are also there. And the name of the second river is the Gihon; and it winds through the entire land of Cush. And the name of the third river, the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asher. And the fourth River is the Euphrates. You've heard probably of the Tigris and the Euphrates right? And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and to take care of it.
You're going okay? Why? Why did you go through all of that? Listen very carefully. He's got Adam in the garden. He wants him to work it and take care of it. But he says even after all of these good things, it's not good that you're alone. I want you to have another being like you, because I want there to be a oneness of representation of my image, which is male and female. I want that representation in the world. And I want people to be able to see that and sense that, because you're my representatives. And I've got a mission for you.
You see, as you're cultivating this garden where you are, there's a river that flows out of the garden and goes into all of these places. All of these other lands. These lands are not cultivated, but you are in a place of cultivation. And what I want you to do is I want you to cultivate and not just stay in the garden. I want you to extend the garden, because what God's purpose is is that his glory would cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. This is what God's intent was. He was about the mission of everybody being impacted by his glory from the very outset. And at the foundation of that mission was marriage, of what he wanted that married couple to do together. It's as if he said to Adam and Eve - I've got a job for you, and I need both of you to be able to do this.
Now why is that important for us? Well, because here's what I think. I think maybe some of our marriages are being crippled. Because we're so focused on our individual needs that we fail to realize what God desires is for us to be able to serve Him together. You see, when we're just focused on ourselves, everything becomes really, really, really ingrown. And it's not healthy for us.
In fact, there was a counselor that I was reading, his name is James Oltuis. Listen to what he said about that. He said, "To try to keep love just for us... in the marriage relationship... is to kill it slowly. We are not made just for each other; we are called to a ministry of love to everyone we meet and in all we do. In marriage, too, Jesus' words hold true: in saving our lives we lose them, and in losing our lives in love to others we drink of life more deeply."
Man this is so true in marriage, just like it is in anything else. If everything, listen, if all the love that we have is just focused on one another and meeting each other's needs, we're missing what Jesus has called us to. Because he's called us to actually live out our mission of love to everyone we meet. Now, the marriage relationship is unique in the sense of what we share and the intimacy that we share. But we can't just so focus on our individual needs that we forget the mission of what we're trying to do.
Maybe I could say it this way - when you serve the Lord together in your marriage, you're actually serving your marriage. When you serve the Lord together in your marriage, you're actually serving your marriage. Now you're not doing it with the intent of that necessarily, but there is a huge benefit in that. Because God was saying to Adam and Eve, I've got a job for you, and I need you to do it. And I need you to do it together. I want you to extend the garden.
Now what does that look like? Well for me, right? When I came to faith in Christ I was 19. At 19 I came to faith in Christ, and at 20 God had called me. I knew it. I was still in college, but I knew God had called me to preach the gospel, and I knew he called me to vocational ministry. So the good news was is that when Edie and I started dating, which was you know right around or shortly after that time, she actually knew what she was getting into. When she finally showed up like in my life, right? When we started dating - aka - when she stalked me, and finally I gave in. It's a joke. I love saying it. She just always rolls her eyes, like shut up. Right? When God brought the woman to the man. That's what happened. God brought the woman to the man.
When he did that, listen, we went in with our eyes open. Because I knew what God was already doing in my heart. She knew what God has already done in my heart. And she was affirming that. So when she came into this thing with me, we knew that God was calling us into vocational ministry, and that we would be serving the Lord kind of as our livelihood. This is what we would do with our lives in terms of vocational ministry.
Now, most people in the world aren't called into vocational ministry. But everybody in the world that is a follower of Jesus is called into ministry. Everybody. Everywhere. Every marriage everywhere. This isn't just about those who do what I do. This is about all of us. So what does that look like for you? How could you actually make an investment in your marriage by serving God together? Because when you serve the Lord together you're actually serving your marriage, because you were designed for this. This is a part of the why of marriage. It's not just love and stuff. That's true. Love and companionship, oneness, that's a beautiful benefit of marriage, isn't it? We don't want to even trade it in. That's a wonderfully beautiful, intimate thing. But we've been called to be representatives. We've been called on a mission to help extend the garden wherever we live with the grace that he has shown us. We extend that into the lives of the people that we come in contact with. And we are designed actually to serve the Lord together in some sense.
What does that look like for you in your world, in your life, what does that look like for you? Maybe it looks like a husband and a wife determining that they're going to use their home as a place of hospitality for maybe people that are in between places that they could live? Or maybe using it as a respite spot because you've got friends that are fostering children or adopting kids and they they may need a break from time to time. And it's an opportunity to use your home to be able to do that. Maybe that's something you could do together to serve the Lord. Or maybe you could serve the Lord together through one of the ministries of the church. Maybe you say you know what we're not plugged in anywhere. Why don't we together serve the Lord in King's World, or serve the Lord in Shine, or serve the Lord in Movi, our high school ministry or in Vintage, our college-age young adult ministry, or wherever! Right? Or in visiting people who can't get out of their homes or who are sick in the hospital. Or or maybe serving together in one of the support groups because God has shown us such grace in our lives. I don't know! But maybe God would speak to you in that regard. I'm not sure.
I realize that some of you and your minds are going wait a minute? What about my husband doesn't really, he's not really a part of faith, or my wife is really not a part of the faith. We're going to come to that eventually. Not today. But we're going to come to that. I know you're here. I see you. I know you're here.
Maybe you could for a season, because you're gifted in maybe unique ways, maybe for a while the husband could support his wife in the area of her service and help support her giftedness in that regard and they could serve together along that line. Maybe the wife could come alongside the husband serving with him in his area of giftedness and support him along that line and they could do that together for a while. I don't know man. I'm just tossing out some examples. But the reason that I'm doing that is because when we serve the Lord together in our marriages, we're actually serving our marriages. It's good for us, because we've been designed for it.
Now listen carefully - single parents. You also have a mission. Even though you're one and not two, you still have a mission. You still have a mission. And God himself, when you appeal to him, will help bridge some of the gaps that you feel, by maybe calling some other people around you that can help you in the process of helping demonstrate to your children what it looks like to have a healthy marriage. What it looks like to be healthy followers of Jesus Christ. God is going to be gracious to you. He cares about you! I see you too.
And single adult, I haven't forgotten about you. You have a mission in life. And by the way, I would ask this question. What's your motivation for wanting to get married? If your motivation is just love and stuff, that's a part, but that's not the whole. Do you really have a motivation and getting married where you and your future spouse will be able to serve the Lord together in some way? Because that's what you were designed for. That's what you were made for. So you have to work through some of those motivations, even in your own heart.
Why am i banging the drum on all of this? Because if anybody should know the why of marriage, it's God's people. God's people should know why we say "I do." Because the whole concept of marriage and saying "I do" is God's. And if anybody should know what that looks like, it's us. I've not covered every piece of ground I could cover on the subject, but I've given you some foundation. And my hope is that you and I, regardless of what our marital status is or is not, that we begin to understand the foundation of why. Because if you're asked that question, you don't want to just answer incompletely. You definitely don't want to answer I want to get married for the gifts and stuff. Alright? Not a good answer. Oneness. Representation. Why? Because God has a mission for us to extend the garden.
Let's bow our heads together for prayer. If you're here, and you've never come to a place of beginning a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, you've never really genuinely acknowledge that you've sinned and come short of the glory of God and that only Jesus can forgive you of your sins, and that you've cast yourself upon the mercy of God, then that's the first decision that you need to make. That's the biggest issue for you. To recognize that Jesus came and was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, and went to a cross to die in your place, because your sin must be judged by a holy God. And Jesus took your sin upon himself, he became sin, so that in him, we might become the righteousness of God. What an exchange! What an exchange! If you've never entrusted your life to the Son of God who died and who was resurrected from the dead, and who lives right now even, then I want to encourage you when we dismiss in just a moment to come by the Fireside Room and speak to someone about what it means to have new life, to have our sins forgiven, to be made new. Because the best thing you'll ever do for either your present marriage situation or your future potential marriage situation is to be set apart for God. To be made new. That will be the best foundation for you.
Father, for those of us who have heard your word today, I pray that whatever I've said that is of eternal truth that you would write it on our hearts. If I've said things God that are inconsistent with your heart and your truth, I pray you to allow people to forget it as quickly as they heard it. What matters is your truth, appropriated by your Spirit in the lives of people. And Father, I pray for every single adult that's in this place. I pray God that you would speak to them about the motivations of their own heart. And how that their desire for marriage needs to be grounded in what your design for marriage is all about. And that they would long to be able to serve the Lord together with a spouse.
Father, for those who are single parents, I pray that you would encourage them. You would provide for them. And you would just as strongly help them to see that they too have a responsibility and a mission to demonstrate the glory of Christ, even in their own context with their own children.
And Father, I pray as well for every marriage. I pray that you would give us a sense of what it means to serve you, because you've designed us for that. That Lord, as we serve you together, we're actually serving our marriage. Thank you God that marriage is your idea and you help us understand the why behind it. May your people know why they say "I do", because we know that this is fundamental to the mission that you have called your church to be on. We love you Lord, and we thank you. In Jesus' name, amen.