“Let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband fulfill his obligation to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband”—1 Corinthians 7:2-3
Marriage is not always easy! Not so profound a statement, is it? But why is marriage often so difficult? After all, we’ve had thousands of years to perfect it. Aren’t we supposed to be this evolved being that learns to adapt to and concur the environment within which we find ourselves! We may be able to give many reasons to the above question, but let’s look at it from a Biblical perspective.
God is the Author of marriage. This fact should automatically cause believers in Yeshua (Jesus) to recognize that the institution of marriage would be a focal point of the devil’s attacks. We read in the Gospels that the “”Pharisees came up to Yeshua, testing Him and saying, “Is it permitted for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” He answered them, “Haven’t you read? He who created them from the beginning ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate” (Matthew 19:3-6).
Yeshua quoted from the Book of Genesis, specifically Genesis 2:24. God pronounced this decree before the fall of man. The command is that the two would become one. This is also a picture of the marriage covenant between God and the body of Messiah. Yeshua prayed that his followers would be one, as He and the Father are one (John 19:11) and that “The glory that You have given to Me I have given to them, that they may be one just as We are one—I in them and You in Me—that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them as You loved Me” (John 17:22-23).
Yeshua’s prayer highlights the will of God for us in marriage—”that [we] may be perfected in unity”. This is the essence of two people becoming one flesh and is the main reason we so often fail at it. This unity is a threat to the demonic realm and the goal of the Adversary to desecrate all that God has built. Yes, there’s much spiritual warfare at the center of a difficult marriage. We can see this at the beginning of time. Even though it wasn’t written out for us to read, the book of Genesis gives us a glimpse of the warfare Adam and Eve experience after they were removed from the Garden of Eden.
Scripture tells us that Adam “had relations with Eve his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “I produced a man with Adonai””(Genesis 4:1). Notice anything/anyone missing from Eve’s statement? It’s as if she completely removed Adam from the marriage. Inherent to her statement is a level of aversion to Adam, and an indication something isn’t quite right in the marriage—the enemy has struck at the heart of their perfect union, and we, too, experience the same today.
Why is marriage often so difficult? We have an aggressively determined enemy who takes joy in tearing down what God built, but “what God has joined together, let no man separate” (Matthew 19:6). Sin caused a stain on our hearts but we are still heading toward a perfect union. Take heart! This is not the end of the story. Yeshua’s words will not return to him void, but will accomplish what He has decreed. Rejoice and sing!
“Halleluyah! For Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot reigns! Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready, She was given fine linen to wear, bright and clean”