Hi, this is pastor Ken and this is my Monday Marriage Message…Image Bearers
One of the scriptures that I have spent a good deal of time dissecting in the past few weeks is Genesis 1:26-27, “Then God said, let us make man in our own image according to our likeness…and so God created man in His own image; in the image of God, He created him; male and female He created them. I have spoken several weeks about how God did that, and in the coming weeks I will have much to say about how we are created in His likeness. In other words, how we are created to act in many of the same ways as God acts. We will discover how many of the differences between a man and a woman were a part of our creation so that when joined as one we might be more in the likeness of God. Today however, I want to look at one of the ways that as married couples we are created in the image of God. In other words, how is it that as husbands and wives we can actually look like God?
There are many thoughts, even from scripture, that can tend to confuse us as we consider this question. First of all, the obvious; if a man and a woman look so different than each other, how can they both be a reflection of God’s image? The Gospel of John tells us that Jesus said God is Spirit and that no one has ever seen Him (John 1:18, John 4:24). If this so, how can we reflect that which we cannot see? These and others like them are good questions. Some have answers we can understand now; others remain the mysteries of God. There is an important scripture that allows us to see one way that a married couple is reflective of the image of God in a unique and powerful way:
Malachi 2:14b-16 …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 is a lot to unpack here but we are going to focus on an obscure truth that could easily be passed over if we aren’t careful. Verse 15 begins with Malachi asking a question: And did He not make them one having a remnant of the Spirit? While there may be legitimate questions among scholars as to who “Them” refers to, (it may mean Adam and Eve, it may have meant the Israelites of Malachi’s time) but neither of these explanations change the greater truth contained within. The who is not important, it is the what that holds all the value. “…make them one having a remnant of the Spirit.” If it were Adam and Eve being spoken of, so be it, God being true to Himself does not waver and what He did for them He continues to do for every man and woman joined thereafter in marriage. If it were the people during the time of Malachi being spoken of, that just goes to prove the former premise to be true. The amazing work of God begs to be the focal point of the verse. God makes one flesh of two people at marriage and adds a third…a portion of His Holy Spirit! The fact that the scriptures capitalize the word Spirit here is indicative that it is speaking of the Spirit of God. This also passes the test of logic. God would not have to say that He joins two people each already possessing their own spirit with a portion of their own spirit. The joining of the Spirit with a marriage is only necessary if it is a new entity having need of a spirit.
The great truth for today is this: when God joined you to your spouse, He did so augmenting the miracle of your oneness by adding to that new oneness a portion of His Holy Spirit. There are now three parts to the one thing. It is therefore, triune. It is three in one. As such, it reflects the image of the triune God that created it.
We will talk more next week about the need for our marriages to have a spirit all its own. For today, focus on this great truth. When we are joined in marriage, we are not only capable of reflecting the likeness of God in that we can act in some of the ways He acts, but now we see that we can also reflect His image, and our marriages can also reflect the way He looks.
Questions to Answer:
Were you aware before today that your marriage had a spirit?
In your own marriage what are some evidences you see that this is in fact true?
What could the two of you do to access the leanings of the Spirit in your marriage as you make decisions that affect the two of you and the oneness you share?
Actions to Take:
Tell your spouse why you feel it is important that God chose to make a portion of His Holy Spirit an integral part of the oneness you share.
Find ways that fit in your marriage for the two of you to be sensitive to your “portion” and commit to making the Spirit a more integral part of who and what your marriage is so that it can be more reflective of the triune God.
So now, recognizing that your marriage not only gives the two of you opportunity to act in the ways God acts, but also to look in some important ways the way God looks…Go be Awesome!