By Martin Cisneros
Biblical marriage between a man and a woman presupposes a Scripturally-based Universalism because it is the one act of Remembrance that's done in the behalf of both Judeo-Christian Creation and Judeo-Christian Redemption, according to Genesis 2 and Ephesians 5. It is done in Covenantal Remembrance of the first marriage made by God and in Remembrance of the first-fruits of the resurrection. As the tithe affirms He's alive in Hebrews 7 and water baptism is being made conformable to His death in Romans 6, and as He sups the Communion of the Bread and Cup with us in His Kingdom, according to Matthew 26:29, marriage is a means of completing our affirmation of Biblical Creation, in Adam, and Biblical Universal Redemption through Christ. It is a pact to the death that we are bridging the gap between the Old Creation and the New Creation, with everyone in both instances by our exclusivity to our one marriage that is the story of the Creation of Paradise and the Restoration of Paradise.
In Isaiah, [speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD,] we are told that He would slay Old Covenant Israel and call His own by another Name with the introduction of a New heavens and a New earth through Christ and His Body of believers in the earth. Biblically, this is marriage: the slaying of our old name and the receiving of a new name, or identity. It's fair to say that one doesn't fully believe in Biblical marriage, to the fullest extent possible, without believing in partial preterism. Marriage is the Covenantal receiving of another Name that is promised to us in the book of Revelation; it's the slaying of our old name. Salvation through Christ, Alone, through belief in the Gospel of His Blood, Resurrection, and Lordship is the slaying of the old man, while marriage is the slaying of the old name, even often "legally," with the changing of one or both names at a court house. Marriage only falls apart when one [figuratively] holds on to one's old name to the genuine harming of one's new name. As God had 7 days of Creation in the Old Testament, there are 7 gifts for reclaiming Creation in the New Testament that Christ Himself gave at His ascension in Ephesians chapters 4 through 6: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, Marriages, Children.
Questions about whether or not one has to get married, in response to this, are like questions about whether one HAS TO BE water baptized or other similar questions. Obviously, faith and obedience to Christ Jesus, His Gospel, and the Holy Spirit within and upon the life of the believer are universally the paramount nonnegotiable. We realize the occasional Catholic writing on celebacy is genuinely Biblically thought provoking, and we're not here to argue that, but merely to teach what we've been given that applies to the greater number of people on earth than celebacy ever would! Biblically, though it is a variant form of incarnation doctrine, marriage isn't about procreation, but about the affirmation of all life everywhere by taking this vow with one person, of solidarity, unbreakable commitment and unbreakable love, and it's one of the strongest Biblical stands that can be taken against pagan idolatry that God ever created the framework for through His Word. It's about being made a covenant to the people to restore the earth, as it says in Isaiah 49 that we believe to be implicit in the "for this reason" language of Genesis and Ephesians regarding marriage. It is fair to say that marriage is a form of baptism and you have access to becoming, through marriage, what perhaps most people will never become without it!
This ministry isn't an apologetics ministry; it's not here to argue against other people's perspectives, nor to listen to other people's perspectives, but merely to enforce and reinforce what we've been given from Lord Jesus! No, we're not here to perform any marriages for anyone, not so much as even for our own staff, unless our Lord, Alone, indicates otherwise. As St. Paul in 1Corinthians chapter 1 affirmed that he wasn't sent to baptize, we weren't sent to baptize or to marry any couples to each other.
The half life of patience is one marriage. Don't divorce your spouse, thinking you'll have more patience with someone else 'cause you're making a fresh start. The most patience you'll ever have is for one marriage. Second marriage, it'll be half the patience it was for the first one. Third marriage, it'll be half the patience again, and so on. People don't get better at marriage the more marriages they have. For those in 2nd or third marriages, all isn't lost. Just means to be aware of how utterly dependent you are upon building your lives and your marriage on the Written Word of God, for it to regenerate your patience, like a star fish that's lost an appendage.
I've tried to ignore a recent celebrity issue of having been married only 72 days before bailing on the marriage. I'll choose my words carefully, but with some people applauding the filing for divorce after 72 days over trying to secure her happiness, I can't ignore the issue that's fundamental to this misunderstanding that's almost universal in the west. Marriage isn't about being happy & I'll say more in a while about this.
Marriage isn't about happiness. Doesn't matter if you're never happy a single day in marriage, if you PROPERLY UNDERSTAND what a marriage is. Totally irrelevant to discuss whether someone's happy or not happy with a marriage. Marriage is the acquisition of a farm. Some people may find it easier to understand the finer details if I were to say it's the acquisition of land intending to cultivate a vineyard on it. When you start growing grapes, on land that you own, it takes 7YRS of living on the property and cultivating the property to have anything even remotely worthwhile to put into a winepress to make wine.
Doesn't matter how unhappy you are those first 7 to 14yrs, if you're wanting to have something that competes with the best of 'em out there! And no one is married until they're actually married 'cause marriage is the actual process of living together under the same roof, of working the land up close and personal, and bringing forth a seed that'll bless the nations -- and I'm not talking about kids. This is still possible if kids never happened. Using the farm analogy, you've gotta work the land and make it fit for bringing forth what you're building out of it. Marriage is no more the goal than owning a farm is a goal in itself. Marriage begins when two people are living under the same roof, not when people are on opposite ends of the city or of the country, more busy with other things than cultivating that relationship.
You don't even know if you're happy with your farming methods in that marriage prior to the first decade and whether that marriage will be a profitable enterprise for the whole community for perhaps as much as the first two decades! Marriage isn't about romance, though romance is part of developing the right soil ratios for what's going to grow in that land, whether grapes, cotton, wheat, corn, barley, or apples. Marriage isn't about personal happiness, nor about the happiness of another. If someone else can't make you happy, then it's the same deception to say that you're the happiness of someone else, or that you could conceivably be!
Living under the same roof is about the cultivation of humility and teamwork. You're developing a team from scratch, and you've not started developing the team during any portion of the dating or engagement process. Only when folks have proverbially "signed on the dotted line" and consented to fully going forward in the team that you're developing can it then be said that you're team is ready for training camp. Doesn't matter if a certain celebrity or anyone else had dated whomever for a decade prior to getting married. The results would have been the same if she wasn't committed to working through her own issues within the context of that loving and supportive marriage, and the same for her husband. Marriage is about commitment to personal cultivation in the context of friction with this other person, and the friction, to be blunt, isn't always sexually arousing, though it serves the EXACT SAME ENDS within the context of living together in that totally committed relationship where you're not permanently walking out the door and neither are they!
Marriage is about building a life together and the taking of your whole family, inlaws and everybody, to the next level. People CAN'T experience those family dynamics UNTIL they're living under the same roof together, having received the same "name" in the eyes of the whole community and in the acknowledgement of the family of the others. Marriage is a negotiation with the family members of this other person, and not just in ancient or modern indigenous situations. Marriage is a commitment that you workout with that other family that you are there to support the development and the fruitfulness of this other person and of the whole clan and/or to die in the quest. It's commitment to a familial goal and not just when the deceptive issue of kids is on the table. It's deceptive because people think that familial goals only enter the equation with a pregnancy and/or a commitment to becoming pregnant.
You have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING with someone else until you've walked the aisle with them and have exchanged vows, rings, names, and authority, same as you're not a Christian until you're actually a Christian. Pastors tell this to people all of the time that are shacked up together, but this doesn't apply only to them, but to those who are dating and engaged that until the name has been settled on the entry-way to that vineyard and in the understanding of the whole community, there is no marriage, no sense of community, and nothing that God will honour with His Blessing, if the two of you lived a million years, fought a million wars together, premaritally, etc. Marriage is hands-on, EXCLUSIVELY; it's everyday getting up in the same house with this other person and plotting how to take over the world together in the Name of Jesus Christ!
Marriage is the negotiation of a shared dream with more than just this other person, but is the negotiation of two families that two people are accountable to. Those who doubt this, not only don't understand what marriage is, but likely have never had a genuinely blessed conversation with their mother inlaw and father inlaw! You don't get to say that because the sex is great, people think you're a cute couple, or something else that that guarantees a good marriage. Emotional chemistry isn't a guarantee of long-term happiness, and the presence or absence of long-term happiness isn't a determining factor on whether or not that's a good marriage. Marriage is nation building, the very thing that many people in the US are having a falling out with their own government over! In this seed, or in what these two people do together, [whether children ever enter the equation or not,] all of the families of the earth will be blessed.
Marriage isn't the acquiescence in someone else's dream, but the building of a shared dream in the environment of both people's weaknesses being completely out in the open, on the table, and under the same roof, where there's nowhere to run and nowhere to hide from it. Marriage isn't even about believing all of the same things, but about the cultivation of new wine; the pulling of weeds that would hinder the development of the corn you're trying to fill other peoples' stomachs, gas tanks, and other needs with. Marriage is the two strands of a double helix of DNA; if we're identical, one of us is completely unnecessary! Some people go into marriage expecting to have sex with themselves, expecting to have nothing but a yes-man or yes-woman around them that agrees with everything that they have to say, when none of the best, longest lasting marriages have ever had that as their testimony of their shared labor camp that they put lipstick on everyday and call it marriage!
Neither marriage, nor sex, nor children can make you happy. It's all like money in that if you've never had it before, your happiness will escalate with the growth of it up to a certain point, and then it'll just stay at that point. Marriage isn't about fulfillment, other than it's a framework for you to work for someone else with all of your might, counting on them to do the same thing; both of you expecting absolutely nothing in return, lest you fall into the trap of the devil with being discontented in all this other person isn't doing for you. Marriage is the sermon on the mount, it's turning the other cheek, blessing those who curse you in a million different EVER-SO-SLIGHT ways without meaning to, obviously, in the context of being married to each other.
Marriage is about DISCOVERING one another's failures and CREATING A DREAM TOGETHER; it's the reinvention of one another in His image and likeness and the subduing of the earth with His Blessing, it's the naming of all of the little animals that surround one's life, literally and [particularly] figuratively. Marriage is the development of a private Navy Seals team, figuratively with all of the suffering encountered in the movie "G.I. Jane." Marriage is a shared suffering on some God-forsaken island somewhere, where it ought to begin (rather than on rose petals) and a shared comraderie that you won't develop outside of being in the same trench together in the same house or the same apartment. Marriage is going to war together, and I'm not trying to be poetic, but am speaking very frankly that you'll be surrounded by enemies and be subject to so-called friendly-fire. Neither dating nor engagement is being in the same military unit before God.
Marriage is specifically that dreaded weight-loss program for the morbidly sweet-toothed. Marriage is combat. Romance in dating and the engagement is merely draft notice, the solicitation to enlist because of them paying your college bill, and it's not reflective of all that marriage is. Marriage isn't the happily ever after fairytale that people go from marriage to marriage trying to find. Marriage is all of the fights you've ever seen, from cover to cover, in the Bible. Sticking with a marriage is the first sign of maturity, while sticking with dating or an engagement is often too hormone-filled with hoping to get lucky.
Doesn't matter if someone believes they've heard from God about who they're supposed to marry. They're no more married than the oxymoronic Christian that's sick is healed simply because of what the Bible says, if they're not warring a good warfare with the actual Word about it. You confess you're healed 'til you're healed, in manifestation; you give because it's given to you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and you marry in order to have that promise of marriage some years after you walked the aisle and fully committed to receiving this person and all of their baggage, with every promise that they'd know where all of your baggage was, as well.
Basic training after enlistment has occurred after vows were exchanged, as well as rings, authority, and names is NO LESS THAN the first decade of living under the same roof, having universal acknowledgement of having all the same relatives, bills, mess, and trophies. Many marriage counselors agree that you've not gotten through the speed bumps in a marriage 'til after 6 or 7 years of living with this person under the same roof. Doesn't matter if you waited on getting married for 65yrs. If you're not committed to sailing the 7 seas with this other person and doing what it takes to maintain your boat, your supplies, your weaponry, your sails, and doing what it takes to keep your stuff clean, then you could have a shorter marriage than some celebrities.