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Marriage and the God of life

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posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 05:04 PM
When God made the living things of the world, he blessed them.
That is, he told them to be fruitful and to multiply.
I believe the ancestors of the Israelites would have first known their God as the source of life, in the animals they hunted, in the animals they herded, in the crops they planted, and in their children.
That is the meaning of “blessing”;
“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man who has his quiver full of them” (Psalm 127 vv4-5).

And this is where marriage comes in.
“Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis ch2 v24).
This firm and stable relationship is the Biblical ideal of marriage;
“The Lord was witness to the covenant between you and the wife of your youth… she is your companion and your wife by covenant” (Malachi ch2 v14).
But the purpose of marriage, in God’s eyes, centres upon the children;
“Has not the one God made and sustained for us the spirit of life? And what does he desire? Godly offspring” (v15).

And we can see the importance of children from Ezekiel’s white-hot anger over the practice of sending them “through the fire” to other gods;
“And you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small a matter that you slaughtered my children and delivered them up as an offering by fire to them?” (Ezekiel ch16 vv20-21)

The Biblical God seems to take marriage much more personally then the gods of some of the other nations.
The laws of Hammurabi and the laws of ancient Rome deal with marriage as a business transaction.
They concern themselves with questions like “if a man’s wife runs off with the milkman, how much of her dowry is he allowed to keep?” But this God takes marriage under his own protection.
In the laws of the Pentateuch, he is prone to describe the various disorders which affect marriage as abominations. And an “abomination”, in the Old Testament, means another god or an act of idolatry. By extension, any direct offence against the Lord God of Israel.

One such disorder is divorce, which breaks up the stability of marriage. Malachi’s homily on the subject concludes;
“So take heed to yourselves and let none be faithless to the wife of his youth. For I hate divorce, says the Lord, the God of Israel, and covering one’s garment with violence [i.e. injustice]” (Malachi ch2 vv15-16).
Jesus drew the same conclusion out of the Genesis verse. It was not God’s intention that men should be sending their wives away to suit their own convenience. If it was allowed in the Law of Moses, that was only because of “the hardness of your hearts” (Matthew ch19 vv3-9).

The Law also implicitly accepts that men will have multiple wives and concubines.
Jesus was not asked about this, probably because the custom had died out.
But if the question had come up, he would surely have given the same answer.
The statement in Genesis clearly assumes a one-to-one relationship.
The later indulgence given to polygamy must again have come from “the hardness of men’s hearts”.

Another disorder is adultery, something else which breaks up the stability of marriage.
It is forbidden, of course, in one of the Ten Commandments.
Adulterous behaviour is not just the husband’s concern, but a direct offence against God himself (though the introduction of the death-penalty may be another symptom of human “hardness of heart”).
Thus the main purpose of the law on divorce is to protect the marriage custom from “defilement”; if a divorced woman loses her second husband, through death or divorce, her first husband is forbidden to take her back.
A resumption of the first marriage would be “an abomination before the Lord”, which would “bring guilt upon the land” (Deuteronomy ch24 vv1-4).
That is, the forms of marriage are not to be turned into a mask for casual promiscuity.

Another direct offence is harlotry.
“Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, lest the land fall into harlotry and the land become full of wickedness” (Leviticus ch19 v29).
“You shall not bring the hire of a harlot, or the wages of a dog, into the house of the Lord your God in payment of any vow; for both of these are an abomination to the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy ch23 vv17-18).

The prophets underline the point by using both adultery and harlotry as metaphors about the spiritual faithlessness of God’s people Israel;
“A spirit of harlotry has led them astray, and they have left their God to play the harlot…
Therefore your daughters play the harlot and your brides commit adultery” (Hosea ch4 vv12-13).
And we also see in Proverbs the analogy of the “wicked woman” as the seductive opposite of Wisdom.
She is both harlot and adulteress, the married woman making the most of her opportunities;
“My husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey” (Proverbs ch7 19).
(Or “Me man’s away to Ballynahinch, d’ye knaw?”, as an Ulsterwoman once said to my father)

Incest is another disorder. Most cultures have rules which define incestuous relationships, and the rules found in Leviticus are not very unusual.
One interesting feature is the logic applied to what might be called “adulterous incest”- that is, coupling with the wife of a close relative, such as father, brother, or son. The reasoning is that this act is “uncovering the nakedness” of the relative in question. Obviously this relies on the premise derived from Genesis, that husband and wife are “one flesh”.

On the same principle, the relatives of one’s own wife are also forbidden;
“You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, and you shall not take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter… they are your near kinswomen… And you shall not take a woman as a rival wife to her sister, uncovering her nakedness while her sister is still alive” (Leviticus ch18 vv17-18).
Another variant is the complaint found in Amos;
“A man and his father go into the same maiden, so that my holy name is profaned” (Amos ch2 v7). The implication is that this double coupling counts as incest, even in the case of a harlot, no less than if she had been the wife of one of them.

Finally there are the disorders of sterility.
A eunuch (“a dry tree” in Isaiah) is not even allowed to be part of the assembly of the Lord (Deuteronomy ch23 v1).
There are laws about men or women who couple with beasts (Leviticus ch18 v23 and ch20 vv15-16). The relevant curse in Deuteronomy ch24 immediately follows the curse on incest with father’s wife (and precedes the curses on incest with sister or mother-in-law).
The chief objection must be that the act has nothing to do with human reproduction. It is fundamentally sterile.
Again, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination” (Leviticus ch18 v22).
This would surely be for the same reason.
The coupling of man with man is necessarily as sterile as the coupling of man with beast.
These things are associated, in Leviticus ch18, with incest, adultery, and “sending children through the fire”, none of which offer the right conditions for bringing up “godly offspring”.

Conversely, we find nothing, at least in the Old Testament, to encourage vows of celibacy.
Sexuality, in itself, comes under no condemnation.
Far from it.
The Biblical God is a God of “Get married and have lots and lots of children”.
Because this is a God of Life.

posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 05:05 PM
Incidentally, the sentiment of Genesis ch2 v24 must be very ancient, because it appears to assume matrilocal marriage customs. That is, the husband, not the wife, is the one who leaves the parental home.

posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 05:06 PM
The question of celibacy

Nobody in the Old Testament seems to see any spiritual merit in renouncing women altogether.
The nearest we get is the occasional demand for temporary abstinence, when people are about to come close to God.
As at Sinai; “Be ready by the third day; do not go near a woman” (Exodus ch19 v15).
Or when the priest Ahimelech was ready to let David have the holy bread, “… if only the young men have kept themselves from women” (1 Samuel ch21 v4). As they normally did, according to David, when he was leading them into battle.

Even in the New Testament, there is very little that even appears to recommend permanent celibacy. The greater emphasis lies on faithful marriage.

In Revelation, the redeemed seen in heaven “have not defiled themselves with women, for they are chaste” (Revelation ch14 v4).
But this is about spiritual faithfulness to God, the converse of the spiritual infidelity of the Harlot. They are not literally a crowd of male virgins, any more than they are literally 144,000 members of the twelve tribes of Israel. We need to understand the symbolism of these passages.

Paul says to the unmarried “It is well for them to remain single, as I do” (1 Corinthians ch7 v8).
But this is for practical reasons. “The appointed time has grown very short… the form of this world is passing away.”
In the circumstances, it is desirable that believers should focus their attention on what they are doing for God, and marriage becomes a distraction;
“The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord, but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs”.
However, a man who marries even now is committing no sin (vv25-35).

Then there is Matthew’s version of the conversation about divorce (Matthew ch19 vv10-12).
Once Jesus has explained that God does not want to see men divorcing their wives to suit their own
convenience, the disciples react by observing “If the case of a man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry”. Modern translations give the more accurate rendering “It is not expedient to marry”.
This has always struck me as a remarkably self-centred, even cynical, response. It amounts to saying “If marriage means being bound as tightly as that, the best way of escaping the snare is not to get married in the first place”.
Nobody would have thought of “not good to marry” as a true spiritual assessment, if Jesus had not replied; “Not all men can receive this saying”.
But even in his own comments, abstinence has value only “for the sake of the kingdom of heaven”.
In other words, the same practical motive that Paul was putting forward. The really devoted disciple would want to leave himself free to concentrate on the preaching of the gospel.

How, then, did the church of the Middle Ages come to believe that the state of celibacy was spiritually superior to the state of marriage, a very unbiblical viewpoint?
I think this happened because “spiritual”, in the sense of “relating to God”, was taken too literally as the opposite of “fleshly” and “material”, confusing the different meanings of the word.
If the physical flesh and the material world are non-spiritual, so goes the argument, we can get closer to God by avoiding them, which includes avoiding marriage.
But the Bible does not say that the material world is evil in itself (the KOSMOS in John’s gospel is the human portion of the world).
The Biblical God looked at the world he had created and found it “very good”.
We come closer to God by taking part in it, in conformity with his will, than by avoiding it.

posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 05:57 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

You're missing the fact that the male is the head and the female is the body. (This is what all the rules are about men being the head of the family and women not talking in church, etc.)

The union is a likeness of God the Father unto God the Son.

The head translates the spirit into the body. Put the seed (what you see of the spirit) into the body (into words.)

It is breathing life. (pro)creation.

Edit: (Malachi ch2 v15) The spirit + male (head) + female (body) = likeness of God.
edit on 7/29/2016 by Bleeeeep because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 06:03 PM
a reply to: Bleeeeep
That is true. There wasn't space to talk about everything.
Also I was concentrating on the presentation of God as "God of life", which has been my theme for this cluster of threads.
It's an enormous subject, certainly. Thank you for that contribution.

posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 06:09 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

I think that is everything -- that is why it is sacred and why none of the other things are right. (Because it is in the likeness of God.)

That formula is the whole deal. Making children - reproducing (living) concepts / living souls.

posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 06:13 PM
a reply to: Bleeeeep
Certainly. That is why the OT calls the man or the woman blessed who has many children.
"Our sister, be the mother of thousands of ten thousands".

posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 06:29 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Well marriage between common people was introduced very late, it was between royal houses at first.. Its symbolic

posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 06:31 PM
a reply to: tikbalang
Laws about marriage, even between ordinary people, are very ancient, in other cultures as well as the OT.

posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 06:44 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

The meaning of marriage was to declare the father of a child and its responsibilites

posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 06:48 PM
a reply to: tikbalang
And to keep the parents together while the child was being nurtured.
According to modern anthropologists, the long-term parental partnership probably played a vital part in the early development of the human race.

posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 06:54 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Well since men fought, i believe the vital part was a food and water source..

Urin turned into an alcoholic beverage.. Using people as a water treatment factory.. Grain is magic

posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 06:59 PM
a reply to: tikbalang
The story goes that humans developed larger brains, which meant that their children could not mature in a few months, like many of the other animals.
They needed and need to be nurtured for years. The long-term parental partnership was what made that possible.
In other words, Darwinism now agrees with the Bible that an institution of the "marriage" type is important for the sake of the children.

posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 07:03 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

i dont know, not my area of expertise.. =)

posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 07:08 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI


There is hardly any independence between chimpanzees. They are very social. Chimps that are just born can survive without their mothers and orphan chimps would be adopted by relative chimps that would take care of them like a mother. The young chimpanzees usually stick with their mothers until they hit puberty which about when they are 7 -10 years old. When females hit puberty, they are mostly interested in sex parties and when males hit puberty, they are interested in pride and dominance. The female chimps move into to neighbouring communities when they go through the period of adolescent sterility.


posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 07:13 PM
a reply to: tikbalang
Yes, that has mother being responsible alone, for a slightly shorter period.
Our ancestors apparently found that keeping father and mother together was a more efficient way of doing things in the longer maturation period, and so gave them an evolutionary advantage.

posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 07:25 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Opinions Now

posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 08:46 PM
So why aren't we hunching each other and smoking pot living like natives? That sure was a great time to be in.
Good weed great sex life. the white man took that all away. The white man's ancestor, not modern white men. No offense.

posted on Jul, 30 2016 @ 06:57 AM
a reply to: luciferslight
that was a perversion of what God wanted.

Man is prone to perversions.

Smoking anything is a perversion to the body, mind and spirit.

Even Christians are encouraged to have a great sex life in a monogamous relationship.

Why bring race into this?

You must be a racist to bring race into this subject, as this subject goes beyond races.

posted on Jul, 30 2016 @ 07:07 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

I have been married for 19 years. My wife, the mother of our children, plays a very important role in the education of our children. But she does so much more. she puts others before herself, does things to please others like making homemade banana bread and brownies to give to others. she rises early with me to see that I am fed and have coffee then packs my lunch.

She has a garden she tends to of both vegetables and flowers. She keeps the house presentable, she keeps the clothing washed and in its place. She goes shopping using coupons to save money. She has her own eBay page to sell new with tag clothing (very inexpensive) for her own pocket money, then she will spend it on things for the house or the kids not just herself. She works hard at everything she does with no complaining.

She sings at church, at home and in the garden. Beautiful to hear. All adore her and praise her for being such a virtuous and loving woman.

She is a true proverbs 31 mother.

Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

Proverbs 31:11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

Proverbs 31:12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

Proverbs 31:13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

Proverbs 31:14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

Proverbs 31:15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

Proverbs 31:16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

Proverbs 31:17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

Proverbs 31:18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

Proverbs 31:19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

Proverbs 31:20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

Proverbs 31:21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

Proverbs 31:22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

Proverbs 31:23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

Proverbs 31:24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

Proverbs 31:25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

Proverbs 31:26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

Proverbs 31:27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

Proverbs 31:28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

Proverbs 31:29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

Proverbs 31:30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

Proverbs 31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

I am very blest to have a wife like that. I praise my Lord Jesus Christ for choosing her for me.

Marriage is a wonderful thing when it is in the Lord and followed by keeping his word concerning marriage as one man and one woman.

The world can keep its form of marriage, the worldly form is even in the church and that is why the rate of divorce is the same as those of the world. I will keep the marriage the Lord has blest me in and endeavor to keep unto the end.

edit on 30-7-2016 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)

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