Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 25, 2014

“Preservation of the Spouses”: Part II of “Marriage is a life-long bond created by God”

Today’s devotion comes from Deuteronomy 24:5 which was included in yesterday’s Scripture.  Today, we will focus on this verse.

“When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty;  he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken.”  Deuteronomy 24:5.

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Our God changed water into wine at the wedding at Cana.  John 2:1-11.  Our God instituted honeymoon as we see in today’s Scripture.  What a God we have!

We may think of the doctrine of “Marriage is a life-long bond created by God” only as creating strict duties on spouses and the church.

But, today’s Scripture reminds us of the blessing of this doctrine.

In yesterday’s devotion, I included an extensive quote from a book by Professor David J. Engelsma (a Professor of the Protestant Reformed Churches) titled “Until Death Do Us Part” on the subject of marriage.  I quoted a section from Chapter 6 “Marriage:  A Lifelong Bond”.  Here again is the link that will bring you to this chapter but which will also contain the other chapters if you scroll up or down.  http://www.prca.org/resources/publications/pamphlets/item/648-until-death-do-us-part#h7-nbsp-chapter-6-nbsp-marriage-a-lifelong-bond

Today, I will repeat on a small part of that quote which does focus on the blessing of this doctrine and then I will add my own thoughts to the blessing that we receive.

“For in addition to its being a blessing to many families, as well as to the churches made up of these families, the doctrine of marriage as a lifelong, indissoluble bond serves the gospel of the covenant of grace. And this grand gospel of the covenant as a bond of fellowship between Christ and us, established, maintained, and perfected by the triune God in sheer, unilateral, unconditional grace and, therefore, unbreakable and everlasting, is the ‘best thing’ in the Protestant Reformed Churches, as it is the ‘best thing’ in the Bible.”

It seems to me that if we should think of the doctrine of marriage as being consistent with the doctrine of unilateral, unconditional grace, then we can think of “TULIP” and “Preservation of the Saints”.  And, we can think of the life-long bond of marriage created by God as “Preservation of the Spouses”.  In other words, this doctrine of marriage does more than only create a duty in man;  this doctrine of marriage glorifies God’s work.

So, what does God do when He creates this life-long bond of marriage?

We do know that God creates “one flesh”.  “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”  Genesis 2:24.

But, our thoughts should not end there, at that mysterious work of God.  God’s work does not stop there.

For example, we see in today’s Scripture that God provides the honeymoon.

“One flesh” and the honeymoon:  what a great way to begin the bonding! 

But, we see elsewhere other examples of God’s bonding.  I will only quote two more examples, but you can think of more.

God makes the newly-wed wife to be that excellent wife in Proverbs Chapter 31.

“10 An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.”  Proverbs 31:10-12.

God gives us children and a house to bind us altogether.

“1 How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways.
2 When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands,
You will be happy and it will be well with you.
3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
Within your house,
Your children like olive plants
Around your table.
4 Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the Lord.”  Psalm 128:1-4.

Now, we do know that not every action of our wives comes out of Proverbs Chapter 31.  And, we do know that not all of the blessed married couples have children.  But, there are other blessings that God gives us to bond us and preserve us.  In addition, God gives us special grace to endure.

But, in conclusion, if we received salvation by grace and we received spouses by grace, why should we turn our focus back only to our duties?!  Let us meditate on all that God has done for us, and is doing for us, in the life-long bond of marriage.  Let us live by faith not only in what God has done and is doing for our salvation.  Let us also live by faith in what God has done and is doing for our marriage.

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