Journey in the Word: The Biblical Definition Of Marriage

Week 2

Read:  Genesis 2:24

Today’s reading would be “too hot to handle” for some people today.  One of the swirling controversies of our time is the definition of marriage.  For all his life, John Stott threw his hat into the ring along the lines he wrote about in today’s meditation.  He did so knowing full well the risk he was taking and the opposition he would face.

There are at least two significant ideas which emerge from this section of Genesis.  First, marriage is sacred.  And from a Judeo-Christian vantage point, there will always be a difference between a civil union and a holy matrimony.  In a pluralistic society, we cannot avoid the conversations and controversies which this conviction engenders.  But we make it nevertheless.

The second idea we find here is that marriage is foundational.  Before anything else, the values embraced by husbands and wives are the ones that become transmitted into the lives of their children, neighborhoods, and institutions.  This is because that marriage, next to the imago dei itself, is the means by which the values found in the Godhead become incarnate on the earth.

Ironically, today’s reading is not as controversial as it might first seem.  The archives of libraries and internet sites is increasingly filled with both religious and secular materials confirming how society in general is weakened by the erosion of marriage.  Civic and religious leaders are speaking in public and through the media calling for a fresh commitment to marriage, family, and home.

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 43 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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1 Response to Journey in the Word: The Biblical Definition Of Marriage

  1. Joyce Alexander says:

    I see the ideal in the scripture here; I see people whose marriages live up to that ideal – I have always envied such couples. Something in me aches for the might have been. And yes, we should encourage and provide support that helps young people grow into that ideal.
    But, I am not, after all, diminished as a person because I do not have that; there is one who loves me for who I am, loves me beyond imagining, beyond human ideas of ideal. That also we must remember and teach.

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