Hi, this is pastor Ken and this is my Monday Marriage Message…Godly Offspring
Last week I talked about the fact that as a part of joining a man and a woman and making them one flesh, God actually joins three and makes them one: the husband, the wife, and a portion of His Holy Spirit. We looked at the fact that as He does this He creates an entity, (the marriage) that then resembles Him. God is three in one, marriage is a three in one union. This goes even further to propagate the truth that it is in fact, at marriage, that the task of creating mankind in the image and likeness of God is completed. We sometimes resist this notion because we like to think of creation as complete when the baby shows up, but there are other examples of how a baby is not a completed creation at birth. Yes, that child is viable and visibly (as well as audibly) alive at birth. As Christians we say the child is a life from the moment of conception, but we do not try to argue that simply because life exists, the task of creating the child is complete. Furthermore, we do not have any reasonable expectation that a newborn baby boy or girl is a man or woman yet. There are years of growing and the awkward stage of puberty to be experienced before we say that baby (very much alive) has completed the process of creation. The fact of the matter is that it could be argued ad nauseam when we are completed, but very few would try to debate that a man and a woman joined as one with a portion of the Holy Spirit is a more complete creation capable of reflecting its Creator than a singular baby boy or girl and has exponentially greater capacity to reflect God.
If we are joined as husband and wife with a portion of the Spirit it begs the question, “Why does our marriage have need of a spirit of its own?” Let’s look again at the scripture we referenced last week: Malachi 2:14b-16 …Because the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore, take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of His youth. “For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,” says the Lord of Hosts, “Therefore take heed to your spirit that you do not deal treacherously.”
There are two reasons to join a man and a woman with a portion of God’s own Spirit listed for us right there in verse 15. First, He seeks godly offspring. What is God looking for from our marriages? Why does He make us one so that we have greater capacity to reflect His likeness and Image? So that we can have greater capacity to reflect His image and likeness. We are made one to encourage one another to fulfill our intended purpose to look more like Him. Proverbs 17:27 says; As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. While friendships are generally considered a close relationship and I hope that you are friends with your spouse, the marriage relationship is intended to be the closest human relationship that exists. As husbands and wives, it is our loving duty to accentuate the best in each other. My wife Lynn spurs me on to be much more than I would otherwise attempt to be on my own. She also, as a part of the sharpening process, spurs me to improve my responses to her and to others I interact with. I do not always enjoy the process, but if you have ever watched iron be sharpened it is an uncomfortable yet profitable engagement. There are sparks, friction, and heat, all irritating to a peaceful existence, but the result is smooth, easy movement while carrying out the intended purpose of the blade. While I may find her attempts to “sharpen me” offensive, I am always pleased when the better, sharper man emerges. What is the Spirit’s role in this process? He keeps us accountable to Him when we are doing the sharpening, in other words He convicts us if our motives are not pure, especially if we are simply being judgmental. He also gives us the enduring grace if we are the one being sharpened, helping us to know that our spouse’s intentions toward us are good and not bad, as they may appear through the shower of sparks and thick smoke.
Second, the Spirit helps keep our motives in check. We are more likely to try to justify unjustifiable behavior if we only have ourselves to convince. However, when literally joined and made one with another including a portion of the Spirit we have a built in truth detector that steps in when we desire to believe a lie that will have detrimental consequences for the marriage. There are certain activities that are considered to be wrong to engage in as part of a marriage. No matter what time you travel back to, no matter what society you look at…cheating on one’s spouse for example, is and has always been considered wrong. Why? Every marriage between a man and a woman contains a portion of the Spirit. God’s laws are written on our hearts (Romans 2:14). God is working inside each of us through His Holy Spirit to help us not only do what is right but also what is pleasing to Him. (Philippians 2:13)
Our reference scripture says He seeks godly offspring. This does not simply mean that God want us (as Christians) to have children and teach them to be godly people, though He does desire that result. This verse also gives purpose to the inclusion of a portion of the Spirit in our marriages. God desires to see the very institution of marriage be a godly thing. It cannot appropriately reflect His image and likeness if it is used as a way to destroy rather than to build up. God is in construction, not the demolition business. He is trying to make us the people He has always desired and designed us to be. While it is important that we die with Christ to our old life, God is not trying to kill us by the sword. He is, with surgical precision, trying to free us from the tumor of sin. He wants our marriages to be a reflection of that. He wants the results of our marriages that include a Portion of His Spirit, to be something that looks, sounds and acts as He does. He wants it to produce…godly offspring.
Questions to Answer:
What specific ways do you see the inclusion of the Holy Spirit in your marriage making you better? As individuals? As a couple? Give at least one example for each.
What godly offspring (as defined above) do the two of you recognize is a result of your marriage?
Actions to Take:
Ask God to help you welcome the placement of His Holy Spirit as a part of your marriage.
Invite the Holy Spirit to mess with your marriage and agree together to be open to the changes He suggests.
So now, determining to see godly offspring be the result of your marriage…go be awesome!