神 – 婚姻 — 婚姻是神的旨意
我们现在来一起思想基督徒的婚姻。婚姻是神的旨意。先来看看是什麽造成一个基督徒婚姻与建立一个基督徒家庭的。从神的观点来看，婚姻指的是什么呢 ? 家庭裡的每一个成员的责任是什麽呢 ? 依照圣经，每一个家庭成员该做些什么才能在基督家庭里维持一个和适基督徒的立场与责任呢？让我们从神最初创造的那裡开始。我们称它为”婚姻”。
婚姻是唯一的在伊甸园里人类堕落之前，从天上就已经赐下来的制度（创世记2：21-25）。 在罪进入世界以前，神就已经命定了婚姻，意在使婚姻作为地球上最充实，最丰盛与最欢乐的生活制度。如果婚姻不能做到这些的话，错不在这制度的本身，而是那些不用心的进入婚姻又未能尽到美好婚姻所需条件的人。事实上，婚姻对神的计划是如此的重要，神在以弗所书内将婚姻与与教会做了比较， ” 丈夫是妻子的头，如同基督是教会的头，他又是教会全体的救主。教会怎样顺服基督，妻子也要怎样凡事顺服丈夫。你们做丈夫的，要爱你们的妻子，正如基督爱教会，为教会舍己。丈夫也当照样爱妻子，如同爱自己的身子，爱妻子，便是爱自己了 ” 。 （以弗所书5：23-25; 28） 因此教会应当是家庭的一个反映，而家庭也应当反映出教会的样式。
人们对婚姻的期望在许多方面有所不同。有些人是因为错误的动机而结婚，例如 : 身体的吸引，为经济有保障，身体的安全，情绪能稳定，性的亲密，想脱离父母的约束，逃离恶劣的家庭，自我形象不佳，想得到认可 …等等。这些动机在婚后迟早会浮现出来，可能会把婚姻带入险境。夫妻婚前，彼此必须绝对的坦诚并且公开。他们应该有权利询问对方问题，无论是社交方面，灵命方面，身体方面或任何有关对方在彼此认识以前，过去的任何事情。
神计划要藉着婚姻来满足我们的许多个人需求。这些需求如友谊的需求，家庭的需求，被社会群体接受的需求，两性亲密需求以及许多其他的，都从婚姻而能得到。“为这个缘故，人要离开父母与妻子连合，二人成为一体 。” ( 以弗所书5:31 )。神命定婚姻制度是为了使人得安慰舒适，快乐与幸福。这是神起初计划的一部份。这不是由演变而来的一种关係。这也不是在人类的早期阶段不小心掉进去的一种习俗。这不是人为的安排或是暂时的关系而已。这是起源于神的，是神创造计划的一部分，是神所命定的，夫妻两人彼此终生委身于对方的承诺。“ 所以神配合的，人不可分开。” ( 马可福音10:9 )。神所设立的婚姻使男女在肉体与感情关係上联结而有在世上养儿育女的恩典。
在地上没有一种关系比婚姻关係更亲密，更神圣的了。这关係甚至超越儿女与父母亲的关系。我们的救主亲自指示：人必须离开父母，与妻子连合 ( 创世纪第2章24节 ) 。请不要把这意思理解为：人可以不顾父母，忽略父母 – 绝对不是那意思。其意思在指出婚姻裡的关係与义务应该要先尽到/做到。从男人与女人进入婚姻盟约的那一刻开始，他们的最高的义务就是彼此相互为对方负责。
这裡是一段着名的语录，说出了神对婚姻的观点。 “ 如果神要女人统治男人的话，神会使用亚当的头骨来造女人。如果神的旨意是要女人做男人的奴隶，神就会用亚当的脚骨来造女人;但是神却是用男人身上的一根肋骨造了女人。因为神造女人是来做一个帮助的伴侣，并且是与男人平等的人。 ” (奥古斯丁)
婚姻是一个结合，只有死亡才能它分开。结婚仪式的焦点是在两人之间的盟约和相互间的誓言，保证要“彼此相爱，尊重，和珍惜，直到死亡将我们分开为止”。结婚仪式所期待的是两位新人彼此承诺委身与托付，不管未来会发生什么事， “无论日子更好或更坏，无论是在病中还是健康时，无论是更富还是更穷，都永不分离”。两人在神面前，立下一个只有死亡才能废除的盟约。我们不难想象，当两人发出神圣誓言的那段时间， 在天上的天使安静了他们的歌诵，在等待中显得静默。于是两颗心/两个生命因此被神圣的约结合了。这样的仪式是如此的圣洁，如此神圣，如此充满既定的天命；身为基督徒，这个婚姻仪式只应当在有明白这事件之神圣的基督徒们的在场，才能举行。让我们不要轻忽神的这个安排的而得罪了神。
做出这些调整的最佳方式是经常使用这几个字。“对不起，请原谅我，我爱你”。这里有一句经文，加强这几个字的重要，“ 我亲爱的弟兄们、这是你们所知道的。但你们各人要快快的听、慢慢的说、慢慢的动怒．”( 雅各书第1章19节 )。 当夫妻们发现彼此之间有很多的不同之处时，他们或许会沮丧气馁，并且认为他们的婚姻是一个可怕的错误。我们需要再一次理解到婚姻是需要彼此牺牲/不断调整的，夫妻间需要作调节。夫妻两人很容易忘记在婚前是多么的美好，两人是多么的恩爱。再次的，婚姻是神的计划，将两个生命融合为一。努力的过好每一天，认真看待生活裡的每一天，这样你们会在每一件事上开始成熟，彼此互补不足。正如有人这么说的，“ 在你与这个人一起过日子以前，你永远不会认识他/她的。而逐渐认识对方/认识加深，是这婚姻生活的喜悦。”
让我来举例说明这是怎么样形成的。你曾经站在河流旁看过两条河汇流吗 ? 这两条河水，一道是浑浊的，而另一道则是清澈的。两条河流相交的地方开始是尖锐的分界线，浑浊的水与清晰的水明显而清晰的突出。当你沿着河流走时，你会惊奇地发现，在一段相短短的距离内，浑浊与清晰的差异迹象都消失了，两条河流已经完全合而为一了。当两个生命在婚姻里汇合时也是如此的。联结与完美的溷合是不能被强制的，美满的婚姻是渐渐的慢慢的到来—但是它终究会来的。那时你们的生命将会比毫无差异需要克服的那种更为美好，更高贵，更坚固。你们已经超越并克服了彼此间的差异，两人都在自己灵魂上克服了自我赢得了胜利。而你们两人在主耶稣基督里结合的生命，将会带来平稳的清流到你们美好的关係裡。
有时当你感到挫折，私心作祟的时候，魔鬼就会试图要破坏这个夫妻关系。基督徒夫妻两人应该彼此同意永不考虑或讨论的一个词，就是“ 离婚”这字词。“离婚 ”永远不能解决问题，这只是魔鬼的谎言，想让你认为所有你们的问题都会因此解决。如果你曾经寻求神的旨意了，而神也将你们结合在一起，藉着神的恩典与指引以及与你们的坚强毅力，你们就可以使你们的婚姻成功。几年以后当你在回想时，你就会明白真爱在婚姻裡的粘固力，并会为你拥有的美好关係而喜乐。所需要的就是多一点智慧的耐心。如果彼此待对方都是以耐心，而且为对方考虑着想，那麽调节很快就会发生，而当你们处在神旨意的中心时，你会发现婚姻是地球上最美好的关系。
没有一个人有权白白的享有快乐幸福，除非他是以奉献`以勇敢和自我的牺牲而赢得的。这三种品质带来了神要赐两人透过婚姻在基督裡合二为一时，所享有的幸福与喜乐。“又当存敬畏基督的心、彼此顺服。” ( 以弗所书 5:21 )。幸福快乐不应该是我们的动机，因为它会变化，如风一样。快乐是来自于顺服神的话语，遵从神旨意的结果。“因为你们立志行事、都是神在你们心里运行、为要成就他的美意。 凡所行的、都不要发怨言、起争论。” ( 腓立比书 2 : 13 ~ 14 ) 。对基督徒夫妻来说，婚姻应该是在两个人的身上活出的一个新生命。
如果快乐是婚姻的主要追求`如果快乐是婚姻的最终目标与结果的话，那么快乐本身会逃避人的狂热紧抓而滑走/熘走了。然而如果男女双方都能本着牺牲，忍耐和宽容谅，不计代价，下决心要使婚姻的这冒险成功的话，那麽他们就会找到幸福快乐。婚姻是神施恩典给人的一种方式，而不是肤浅的世俗快乐。请记住，婚姻就像一个三角形，三角形的底部两个角是你和你的伴侣，三角形的顶角是神。当你们越接近神时，你们两人就会自动彼此靠近；同时如果你们两人彼此越靠近，你们也就自然的与神越接近；你们就会发现“ 因靠耶和华而得的喜乐是你们的力量。”( 尼希米记 8 : 10 )
如果你是已经结婚的，你会记得婚前是什麽样的，你的伴侣在婚前是多么的细心关怀！你们在婚前总觉得做得不够多来让对方欢欣。可是在结婚后，我们是多麽容易就丢弃了生活上的这些礼貌了啊；不再说 “ 我爱你 ” ， “我为你而感谢神，让我有了你” 以及 “你真了不起 ” 。并且其他的鼓励言语渐渐的减少。那些让夫妻彼此的心与爱意味深长的小小礼节也逐渐开始减少了。当然，这不能归咎于一个人，不全是单方面的问题。在这件事情上，妻子常常疏忽，与一样都负有责任。这裡要强调的重点是，这些礼貌的话语与鼓励的话是婚姻生活的成功所必需要有的。请记住夫妻间要保持文雅的言行与高尚的举止。请记住，这些在夫妻间彼此相待的文雅言行礼貌的举止态度应该要改进`要持守。
我们都有爱心，但爱心没有那麽大，能够永久的承受冷酷丑恶的待遇。这两颗婚后的心都是宅心的事实使他们对这种忽视更加的敏感。宅心与宅爱是忠心耐寒`耐热`耐乾旱的植物，但还不够能耐到不需要露水与阳光；宅心与宅爱也需要良善，温柔，与礼貌的行为与体贴关怀来滋润。事实上，已婚夫妻的心更是热烈渴望恩慈，情爱，和体贴，这需要不会比未婚的人还少。可是许多人在婚姻裡却没有做到这些，就在这一点上婚姻被摧毁了。“ 小子们哪、我们相爱、不要只在言语和舌头上．总要在行为和诚实上。” ( 约翰一书 3 : 18 )
婚姻生活不是计算的地方，不是计较谁该负任，谁应该先迈出与配偶言归于好的第一步，谁应该向对方道歉的地方。真爱是不知道有这些决定的！没有！但愚笨的人会採用这做法，会如此的计较。如果有人在白天说了伤害人冒犯人的话语了，应立即收回这些话。这里有一个很好的做法，就是如果在白天有人说了冒犯的话让人愤怒生气时，这一节经文必须被应用： “ 生气却不要犯罪．不可含怒到日落。”（以弗所书4:26)。而 在你晚上闭眼要睡觉的时候，你们必须确保完全恢复夫妻间的关系.. “对不起 ”这句话会带来心灵的平安，加上一晚的好睡眠/使你们的心得平安，让你们能安然入睡。真爱是愿意先宽恕对方。婚姻生活中不容许自大高傲，这在婚前不被允许，在婚后的现在也不应该被允许。
若把耶稣基督和圣经从你们日常生活谈话中排除在的话，那会是一个致命的错误。耶稣从来没有自己的家，但祂爱家庭，并且花了很多时间在不同的家庭裡。基督在家裡的同在是不可或缺的。祂爱你的家，并希望随时成为受欢迎的客人。千万不要让你的家裡或你们夫妻关係上造成一种情况，以至于你邀请耶稣基督来做客时你们会感到有障碍/感到不自在。缺少了耶稣，是不会有深沉坚固永恆之爱的。夫妻可能可以和平地生活在一起，但是缺少了神子耶稣的同在，就无法实现真正幸福美好的家庭。每个家庭的心脏是妻子，每个家里的头是丈夫；每个丈夫的头是基督，而神是基督的头。( 哥林多前书 11 : 3 )“ 我愿意你们知道、基督是各人的头。男人是女人的头，神是基督的头。”
GOD – MARRIAGE – It was His idea
Let’s think together about the Christian marriage. Marriage was God’s idea. Let’s look at what makes a Christian marriage and a Christian home. What does it mean to be married – from God’s viewpoint? What is the duty of each member of the family? According to the Bible, what is each member to do in order to maintain a proper Christian perspective and responsibility as a part of the family? Let’s start where God started it all. We call it “Marriage”.
Marriage is the only institution that has come down to us from the other side of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:21-25). God ordained marriage before sin entered the world and intended for it to be the fullest, richest and most joyous life on planet earth. If it fails in being this, the fault is not in the institution itself but in those who enter into it carelessly and fail to fulfill its conditions. In fact, marriage is so important to God’s plan that He makes a comparison in the book of Ephesians between marriage and the Church. “The husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church; and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let wives be to their own husbands. Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it… So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself” (Ephesians 5:23-25; 28). The Church should be a reflection of the home, and the home should be a reflection of the Church.
Pre-Marital Check List
Expectation in marriage varies in many ways. Some get married for the wrong motives such as: physical attraction, financial security, physical security, emotional stability, sexual compatibility, freedom from parents, escape from a bad home, a poor self-image, approval and the list continues. Sooner or later these motives will surface and will put the marriage in jeopardy. Each should be absolutely honest and open with each other before marriage. They should have the liberty to ask questions whether they are social, spiritual, physical or anything that might be a part of the others past. Honesty will prevent future shocks that may save the marriage. In fact, every romantic relationship requires the test of time, as well as the test of an occasional separation. This is a fundamental practice in determining God’s will. Time apart will make the heart grow fonder, either for the one you plan to marry or for someone else. Make sure your relationship has experienced the time test.
God planned for many of our individual needs to be met through marriage. The need for companionship, family, social acceptance, sexual intimacy and many other needs are met through marriage. “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and these two shall become one flesh” (Ephesians 5:31). God ordained marriage for the comfort, happiness and well being of mankind. It is a part of God’s original plan. It is not a relationship that evolved. It is not a custom into which men fell into during the early days of the human race. It is not a mere arrangement or relationship that is temporary and man-made. It is of Divine origin as a part of God’s creation, which God ordained to be a life-long commitment to each other. “What God has joined together let no man put asunder” (Mark 10:9). It is His ordained institution for men and women to join in a physical and emotional relationship and to have the privilege of bringing forth children into the world.
There is no relationship on earth so close and sacred as the relationship of marriage. It supersedes the relationship of a child to mother or father. Our Savior, Himself, directed that a man should forsake father and mother and cleave unto his wife (Genesis 2:24). This is not to be taken as meaning that a man should neglect father or mother – far from that. It means that the marriage relationship and obligations come first. From the moment a man and woman stand at the marriage altar, their highest duty is to each other.
A minister of the gospel should perform a Christian marriage. It is a ceremony so solemn, so fraught with possibilities of good or evil, so bound up with the eternal destiny of the lives of people that a cheap or flippant mode of entrance thereupon should not be tolerated. In marriage, two hearts and lives are being joined, becoming one for their lifetime. This was God’s original plan for marriage before the fall of man into sin. “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). One is the only number that is not divisible.
Here is a famous quote that gives God’s perspective on marriage. “If God meant for woman to rule over man, He would have taken her out of Adam’s head. Had he designed her to be his slave, He would have taken her out of his feet. But God took woman out of man’s side, for He made her to be a helpmate and an equal with him” (Augustine).
Marriage is a bond that can only be dissolved by death. The ceremony is focused on a covenant between two people who exchange vows and pledge to each other to “love, honor and cherish until death do us part”. The ceremony anticipates commitment exclusive of future events regardless of what happens. “For better or for worse, in sickness or in health, for richer or for poorer.” These two people stand before God and form a covenant that only death can annul. It is not difficult for us to think that the angels of heaven hush their songs and grow silent in wonder while holy vows are taken, and two hearts and lives are thus joined by Divine appointment. A ceremony so holy, so sacred, so filled with destiny that as Christians, it should only be done in the presence of Christians who understand the sacredness of this occasion. Let’s not be guilty of treating this Divine plan lightly.
What is to be expected of these people if marriage is to prove to them the blessing God intended it to be? What must they have in their hearts? What will sustain this new relationship? Will there be any adjustments or conflicts? Let’s consider some of these.
Flexibility and Understanding
Every pastor of a church knows the truth of this. When two lives are joined together, there is, necessarily, for a time, a dashing of life against life. We all come from different backgrounds, families, temperaments and personalities. Many adjustments must be made, and each must have an understanding heart and mind to blend this relationship together. They begin to understand that there is a big difference in the way a man and a woman thinks. Things that are important to a woman are insignificant to a man, and things that are important to a man are insignificant to a woman. The discovery is soon made that those habits, tastes and inclinations differ much more widely than was thought possible during those wondrous courtship days! If both were just alike, marriage would soon be boring. God made us different so that we can compliment each other as we mature.
The best way to make these adjustments is to frequently use the following eight words: “I am sorry, forgive me and I love you.” Here is a verse to reinforce this. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19). At the discovery of many differences, couples sometimes grow disheartened and conclude at once that their marriage was a dreadful mistake. Understand again, marriage requires sacrifice and adjustments to each other. It is easy to forget how wonderful it was and how much in love you were before marriage. Again, marriage is a Divine plan that merges two lives into one, and by taking it one day at a time, you will begin to mature and compliment each other in every thing you do. As someone has said, “You never really know a person until you live with him or her, and getting to know them is the joy of married life.”
Let me illustrate how it all works. Have you ever stood and watched as two streams of water merge with each other? One can be a muddy stream and the other clear water. Where the two streams meet there is the sharp dividing line. The murky water stands out sharply and distinctly from the clearer water. As you follow the stream, you will be surprised to find that within a comparatively short distance all signs of distinction are lost. The streams have completely merged. So it is when two lives merge in marriage. Union and perfect co-mingling can never be forced. It comes quietly and gradually – but it will come – and your lives together will be finer, nobler and stronger than if there had been no differences to overcome. Each will have won a moral victory over his own soul, and the united life together in the Lord Jesus Christ will bring calm and peaceful waters to a wonderful relationship.
Sometimes in the middle of your frustration and selfishness, the devil will try to destroy the relationship. One word that a Christian couple should both agree never to consider or discuss is the word “divorce”. It is never the answer. It is the devil’s lie to make you think that all your problems would be solved. If you have sought God’s will and He has brought you together, and with His grace and guidance and your perseverance, you can make it work. When you look back years later, you will understand the bond of true love in marriage and will rejoice in the wonderful relationship that you have. All that is needed is a little wise patience. If each is patient and thoughtful toward the other, adjustment will occur very quickly, and you will discover that marriage, when you are in the center of God’s will, is the most wonderful relationship on earth.
Building a marriage relationship is not easy. There must be fewer thoughts of happiness and more thoughts of the simple, unadorned job of marriage. When a scientist shuts himself up for years in the laboratory for research, when a child is born crippled and some mother’s heart is chained to the little couch of suffering, we do not press upon them with idiotic inquiries as to whether or not they are happy. Such a question would be an insult. Marriage is a commitment that we are to see through. We are to look before we leap, and having leaped, we are to remain committed at the post of duty. There never was a marriage that could have possibly been a success or a marriage that could have possibly been a failure.
No one has a right to happiness unless he wins it by devotion, courage and self-sacrifice. These three qualities bring the happiness and joy God intended when two become one in Him through marriage. “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:21). Happiness is not the motivational goal. It changes like the wind. Happiness is a result of obedience in doing God’s will according to God’s Word. “For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmuring and disputing” (Philippians 2:13-14). For the Christian couple, marriage should be one new life existent in two persons.
If happiness is primarily sought and made the chief end and aim of marriage, it eludes the feverish grasp and escapes. If, however, men and women gird themselves for the adventure of marriage by becoming sacrificial, patient, forgiving and determined to make a success of the venture at any cost, then they find happiness! Marriage is a means of grace, not of shallow human happiness. Remember, marriage is a like a triangle. The bottom two corners of the triangle are you and your mate. The top corner of the triangle is God. If you draw closer to God, you will automatically draw closer to each other, and if you draw closer to each other, you will automatically draw closer to Him and find “the joy of the Lord is your stregenth” (Nehemiah 8:10).
Politeness and Courtesy
If you are married, you remember what it was like before marriage, how attentive your mate was! You could not do enough to please each other. After marriage, how prone we are to drop the little amenities of life. The words “I love you,” “I thank God for you,” “You’re special” and other encouragement’s are used less frequently. The little thoughtful courtesies that mean so much to the heart and happiness of each other begin to diminish. Of course, it is not all a one-sided matter. The wife is often as neglectful in this matter as is her husband. The point is that these words and encouragement’s are necessary for the success of the married life. Make it a point that these refinements of manner toward one another be preserved.
Our hearts are loving, but not so loving that they can permanently withstand ugly treatment. The very fact that they are home hearts makes them all the more sensitive to such neglect. Home heart and home love is loyal and hardy plants but not so hardy as never to need the dew and sunshine of kind, tender and courteous actions. The fact is that there are no hearts that hunger so passionately after kindness, affection and thoughtful courtesy as the home hearts of a married couple. Many marriages have been destroyed at this point. “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth” (I John 3:18).
Unity of Interest
It is a very easy thing for even the hearts that love one another very dearly to drift apart. Before marriage, you each did all you could to find out what the other person liked. Then you would be sure to provide this for them. After marriage the husband has his office, cares, professional duties and daily toil. The wife has her household problems, children and social engagements. Often, before either of them is aware, they have drifted apart, and misunderstandings have become easy because interests are so far removed.
Now there are excellent ways to meet this contingency. We know a splendid man and his wife who have been almost overwhelmingly busy, each in his own line of work. However, they have not allowed that to cause them to grow apart. They read together. Each concerns themselves with the problems and hopes of the other. They worship together and pray together. The years have knit them into a perfect union of wedded love. No man is so great as to be above concern about that which affects the interest of his wife. If he is unconcerned, it is not a sign of greatness but of folly and failure to care for the most priceless treasure that God has given him. Marriage is more than finding the right person; it is being the right person. To be the right person, you must each have the right relationship with Jesus Christ. Then you will have the right relationship with each other. Please read I Corinthians chapter 13.
Vision to Avoid Misunderstanding
Married life is no place for calculating as to whose place and duty it is to make the first step toward reconciliation, to apologize first. True love knows no such decision! None but a fool will take such a course. If offensive words have been spoken during the day, let them be recalled instantly. Here is a good practice, if words of offense, or anger have been spoken during the day, this verse must be applied, “Be angry and do not sin. Let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (Ephesians .4:26 NSAB). Before you close your eyes to sleep, be sure there is complete restoration of fellowship between you and your mate. The words “I’m sorry” will bring peace of heart plus, a goodnight sleep. True love delights in being the first to forgive. There is no place for pride in wedded life. It would not have been permitted before marriage. Let it not be permitted now.
Jesus Christ in the Home
To leave Jesus Christ and the Bible out of your daily conversations is a fatal mistake. Jesus never had a home of His own, but He was a home lover and spent a lot of time in different homes. His presence in the home is indispensable. He loves your home and wants to be a welcomed guest at any time. Never create a situation in your home or relationship that you would not feel comfortable inviting Him in as your guest. There can really be no deep and abiding love without Him. There may be agreement, after a kind. Men and women may even live together in peace, but there is no such thing as a true home without the abiding presence of the Son of God. The heart of every home is the wife; the head of every home is the husband; the head of every husband is Christ; the head of Christ is God. “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God” (I Corinthians 11:3).