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6/24/12 Title: “Young Adults 3: Thinking About Marriage 1”
A. June series on young adult issues // Today: Helping young single adults think wisely about getting married
II. Genesis 2:15-25
A. We can see in the NT (esp 1Cor.7) that singleness is a calling of God for some.
1. Our Lord was single. And so was the Apostle Paul. And there are special advantages to being single.
B. Gen.2 helps us to see that life is ordinarily divided into two stages.
1. Stage one: your primary connection is with father and mother
2. Stage two: your connection shifts to a spouse
3. Assuming you get married as a young person, the second stage lasts a very long time.
4. Young people are famous for thinking only of right now.
5. Proverbs: wisdom is assessing where a road leads before heading down it
6. The rest of your life: that’s pretty important
7. Generally the second stage lasts a lot longer than the first. In my case, in a few years (~7) I will have been married for two-thirds of my life. And we live to be Bob and Pinkie’s age, we will have been married about 3/4 of our lives.
III. The permanence of marriage
A. Cleave to your wife: stuck with each other
B. This kind of choice must be made with the irreversibility of it in mind.
C. When I address the married people, I say, “You’ve got to accept the spouse you have and make the most of it.”
1. But you single people don’t have to accept anything. You get to choose.
2. But it’s so important you choose well. Because probably you’ll only choose once.
D. The one whose judgment will affect every day for the rest of your life
E. Your companion, the one you’re going to hang out with: Trudeaus
F. Wit: cleverness vs kindness, skill, handsomeness, as opposed to stability, humility (with McMahon)
A. The most profound way that the two become one is by having children
1. At this point you can’t even imagine how much you will love your child.
B. You don’t choose your parents, but you do choose your spouse.
1. You also don’t choose your kids, but you choose who their other parent is going to be.
C. The parent of your children, whom you will love more than you’ve ever loved anything in the whole world
1. The one who will be your back-up, The one who will be their example, The one who will teach them and counsel them and provide for them and show them how to live in this world under the Lordship of Christ
D. You are a fool if you don’t think hard about this kind of thing when evaluating a potential spouse.
V. Genesis 3 and marriage
A. Genesis 2 provides us with the story of the origin of marriage. It informs us that God did it at the very beginning of mankind, that it is between one man and one woman. But Genesis 2 also leaves something out. It tells the story of marriage before the fall of mankind into sin.
B. The curse introduces pain into human experience and, in particular, into the experience of marriage.
C. Two weeks ago we talked about how in Gen.3:17-19 human work was cursed. “Cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you...By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread.”
D. But in that same passage we learn that the human family is infused with pain: the whole process of having children, and marriage itself: “Your desire shall be for your husband, but he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)
1. This strange-sounding verse seems to mean that the woman would desire to impose her will upon her husband but in fact he would rule over her instead. In other words, whereas before sin, man and woman would work together in harmony, now there would be conflict, now they would be self-willed, now there would be a struggle of wills.
2. Not only is the most likely interpretation of the Hebrew words in the verse (based on their use in Genesis 4:7b), but it is also the interpretation which is most consistent with the rest of the curse, which announces the introduction of pain into various aspects of human experience.
E. Marriage involves putting two sinful wills together: a lifetime of disagreements
1. The importance of finding someone you can work with, someone whose approach to disagreements you can respect and even enjoy. Picking a spouse means picking an opponent.
VI. The sexual side of the equation
A. I understand the drive to get married. I wanted to get married as soon as possible.
1. But impatience can be deadly in this business.
B. It’s nice to have someone who’s attracted to you, but you need to be aware that, as Proverbs 31 says, “Beauty fades.”
C. One thing that often wreaks havoc on the process of finding a good spouse is when a couple gets physically involved while dating. For a number of reasons, it removes any ability to be objective about their relationship.
A. The younger sisters in Fiddler on the Roof who are excited to get a match
1. I don’t want to instill fear. I realize that some are too reticent. They need to trust Christ and not fret so much.
2. But so many young people are not sober enough when they think about the second stage of life.
3. And so they make foolish decisions they have to live with the rest of their lives.
B. There are no guarantees, of course. Sometimes the most promising prospect turns out to be a dud. And the one who looks like a scoundrel waiting to happen turns out to be a great catch.
1. Ultimately our trust has to be in the Lord to give us the spouse He wants us to have.
C. Leaving parents often means leaving more than you realize. And even if your feeling about living at home is mainly a negative one, often young people come to the conclusion that there was a lot of positive after they are married. There’s a lot more to being married than you realize. Go humbly.
D. The best wisdom I can offer you about marriage is this: You can’t approach marriage right unless your love for the Lord Jesus is strong enough that you are coming at marriage from a position of strength and not weakness. In other words, if you marry out of a sense of need, you are getting started at a bad place. Or, to put it another way, as a human being, you need love, everybody needs love. But human love is frail and imperfect. Ultimately the love we need is the love of God in Jesus Christ. And only when you are stable in His love, are you really ready to commit yourself to love another.