Marriage was God's design to address the first problem that he noticed in his creation, which was separation, isolation, aloneness. God's solution to that was marriage. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip shares powerful truth about the purpose of marriage and how it's possible for your marriage to work the way God intended, painting a picture of the relationship he desires with us.
But first, we want to tell you about a resource that helps you explore the Psalms and see that you can lean on God through any of life's seasons. Betty White said, it's not easy being a mom. If it were easy, fathers would do it.
That's not a sly shot at dads. It's a compliment to the wonderful work of mothers. Here's a great way to show your appreciation for a mother in your life. It's the heart songs package, which features a teaching series on the Psalms led by Lenya and Janae Heitzig. Psalm 45 is a love song. And in it, you're going to find a groom and a bride, and it's their wedding day. And it includes an ornate dress and bridesmaids and perfume and gifts and guests. The heart songs package also includes a beautiful sheology quiet time journal and a bag of Skip's library roast coffee. It's a great gift to honor a special woman in your life with encouragement and strength as she studies God's word and spends time in prayer, all while enjoying a delicious cup of the coffee Pastor Skip loves. The heart songs package is our thanks for your gift to help share biblical teaching and encouragement with others through the broadcast ministry of Connect with Skip Heitzig.
So be sure to request yours when you give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. Now we're in Genesis two as we go to Skip for today's teaching. It was simple life for Adam.
It was just a relationship between God and him. Very few rules, only one real prohibition. Adam, you have options. You can go wherever you want. You can do whatever you want. You can eat whatever you want, except there's one tree hands off. Don't touch that.
It's the only prohibition. Very, very simple. And that was good.
Adam had what every guy dreams of. Perfect environment. Lots of lush vegetation. Smog-free environment. No traffic.
No traffic lights. No country music. No, I'm sorry. I wanted just to throw that in. Sorry. It was paradise.
Ain't no paradise without country music. I know. I can hear it.
No emails, please, on that one. Simplicity was good. Something else was good. The responsibility was good. Adam had a job. Talk about the perfect job. He got to name animals. His job was having the animals pray before him and go, I'm going to call it that.
Now, in my own warped thinking, I always have a little fun with this, and I'm thinking that Adam started the day really ambitious. Here it goes. Hippopotamus. Five syllables.
That's pretty good. But then, as they kept coming, he shortened it. Rhinoceros, four. And then it's like, elephant.
But then the end of the day, he's getting tired. It's cow. Dog. Cat. Pretty good.
It's a hippie's dream. Natural world. Naming animals. Life is good. Simplicity. Responsibility.
What wasn't good? God states, it is not good that man should be alone. What does that mean? Well, let me begin with the obvious meaning. The obvious mechanistic, physical meaning is that it would be impossible for Adam to just be himself to fulfill the commission that God gave him to fulfill, stated back in chapter 1, verse 28. Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.
You can't do that by yourself. There's no parthenogenesis with one entity. But more than that, when God said it is not good for man to be alone, he was not just thinking of the procreation necessity. He is addressing another dimension that human beings have, and that is a social dimension.
There's more to our being than just physicality. God created human life to have fellowship with him and to have interaction, fellowship, and social activity with other people. It's not good for Adam to be alone. Dr. Leonard Kramer, a psychiatrist who specialized for 30 years in treating depression, said, and I quote, the human being is the only species that can't survive alone.
The human being needs another human being. So isolation is not the divine norm. Community is.
And you know why community is? Because man is created in whose image? God's image. In the image of God, he made man. And if man is created in the image of God, then the man, like God, must be social. Because if you think about it, God is a triunity. Am I right, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Interacting together in perfect love for us to be created in his image demands that social dimension, that fellowship dimension, because we're made in his image. The Jewish sages in commenting on this were a little bit rough, a little bit strict.
Their commentary runs like this. Whoever has no wife exists without goodness, without a helpmate, without joy, without blessing, without atonement, without well-being, without a full life. Indeed, such a one reduces the representation of the divine image on the earth. And you're going, whoa, whoa, whoa. Skip, do you mean that it's bad to be single? No, I don't mean that. I just quoted to you a commentator.
Who cares what the commentator says? The Bible doesn't say that. In fact, the Bible would say, not only is it okay to be single, it's important.
You fulfill a very important role. When God said it is not good that man should be alone, that is the norm. Marriage will become the norm as the foundational building block of all society. It is good for man to be married if it's not good for him to be alone. But please don't misunderstand, marriage is not the only good.
I want to reinforce that with a few examples. Joseph became the prime minister of Egypt and saved the world from famine as a single person. Daniel was a confidant to the king of the world, Nebuchadnezzar at the time, as a single person. Elijah the prophet stood headstrong against idolatry and for God, bringing the nation back to God as a single person. The prophet Amos was the eighth century prophet who brought the nation back on track as a single person. John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus Christ, John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus Christ, of whom Jesus said he's the greatest person who ever lived, did all of that as a single person. Paul the great apostle, writer of much of the New Testament, one of the greatest missionary workers ever, did all of that, we believe, presumably, as a single person.
And that leads us ultimately to Jesus Christ, the savior of the world of whom the Bible is written about, who performed the great redemption of the sins of mankind as a single person. And one person writes, and I agree with him, it's impossible to believe that the same God who permitted his own son to die a bachelor would regard singleness as wrong. However, I must quickly add by saying that singleness is good, but it requires a calling and a giftedness, just like marriage requires a calling and a giftedness. Singleness requires a calling and a giftedness.
Matthew 19 speaks of God giving people a gift of celibacy, to perform things they could not as a married person. It's a gift, and I know some of you are thinking, God, please don't give me that gift. Send me to a far away mission field, but don't give me that gift. If you think that way, you don't have that gift. If you had that gift, you know you have that gift.
You'd have a contentment already built in. Now, I'm saying all this, number one, if you're single, please don't think that you're unimportant or you're unimportant or you're a second-class citizen. You are okay and important.
You fulfill a very crucial role, and I'm saying that for another reason. If you're married, please don't try to marry off all your single friends. I gotta get them married. I'm the matchmaker from heaven. They're thinking of another place perhaps. Allow the Holy Spirit to get involved in the process.
He may use you, but He doesn't need you. It's not like they're living a sub-life because you haven't found a mate for them yet. I guess it all boils down to the principle of Paul in Philippians 4 11. I have learned in whatever state I am to be what? Content.
Content. You might be a single person. You go, oh, I'm not content till I get married.
Oh, really? I think you need to hang around some married people because, am I right, married people? Some of you have gone, I remember how easy it was when I was single. I think single people need to hear that, and I think married people need to hear what single people have to say, because here's the bottom line I have discovered. If you are discontent as a single person, you're going to be discontent as a married person.
It's really about you and your character, not about your circumstances, but about who you are. I enjoyed being single. I had a great network of friends. I was never lonely, though I was alone. I was never lonely.
I had great support. Now that I married and have been and will be, I love the married life. Both are gifts of God. So when God says it's not good that man should be alone or not good, not good for man alone, it's a statement that is similar to what Solomon will write later in Ecclesiastes 4 when he writes two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor. And there's much scientific evidence that says a healthier life is a life filled with strong interactive human connection. It ups the immune system.
It mitigates against depression, so on and so forth. Not good, not good is man alone. That's the problem of man alone on an island. Now let's shift gears. Let's look at the plan of God to rescue man.
Same verse, same verse, verse 18. I will make him a helper comparable to him. Now when you hear the word helper women, does that sound romantic?
Does that sound impressive? No, it sounds pathetic because we're thinking in English, I don't think we're getting the right sense of the term helper. That's what I am, a helper.
Hi, I'm Mr. So-and-so. Here's my helper, my ancillary person, my aid. It almost sounds like there's only one person in the equation that has all the know-how and the wisdom but could use a little help to get the job done.
As if the vows would somehow say I take you to be my lawfully wedded maid to wash and to fold from this day forward for better for worse. If that's what you're thinking the word is, you've got it wrong. The Hebrew word etzer, etzer is a word that means something very different. It means to supply something that is crucially lacking, to supply something crucially lacking and usually in the Old Testament more often than not is a word designated for God. Psalm 46 is an example. God is our refuge and strength, the very present help, etzer, in trouble. Moses spoke of God in Exodus 18 as his helper who delivered him from Pharaoh, etzer is the word. In Psalm 54, behold, God is my etzer, my helper. The Lord is the sustainer of my soul.
So perhaps it's best to look at it this way. God said, not good, not good is man alone. He needs all the help he can get. He can't do what I've called him to do alone. He needs a helper. There's a second word I want you to see in this plan. Not just the word helper but the word comparable helper, the adjective. I will make a helper that is comparable to him. Another word, suitable to him. Another word, matching him. Literally it reads this, a helper like opposite him, a helper like opposite him. The wife was to be the corresponding counterpart to the man.
The word comparable or suitable suggests something that completes a polarity, like a north pole must have a south pole, like the negative must have a positive, something that completes something else. So the idea is he needs the kind of helper who will complete him and help him reach maximum fulfillment, provide the other pole to his life. Provide the other pole to his life. I like that thought.
In fact, let's camp on that for a moment. You've heard the statement opposites attract. It's true in the physical world. You get two magnets, put a south pole and a south pole together and they will repel.
Get a north pole to a south pole, they will attract. Opposites attract. And we often say that phrase when it comes to relationships.
Am I right? We are often attracted to people who are different than we are because they somehow fill out that lacking part in our lives we don't have. Now my wife and I are very similar in some areas and polar opposite in other areas.
There are some similarities. Both of us have strong personalities. Both of us have leadership capabilities. We are both communicators. I teach. She teaches women. I write. She writes.
But we're polar opposites. I'm very spontaneous. She might even say erratic. She's very organized, very planned.
Everything has to be planned in advance. And I might just, let's just go do that. Like whoa. So we're very opposite in that. She's neat. I'm not. I'm messy.
Now I have learned to be neat so that I really love neatness but it's taken 31 years. We're opposite in that. Also, I'm right.
And she's always right. What is an interesting observation is that the opposites attract and they do. And that's part of the wiring I believe God put within us to be attracted to someone unlike us to fill us up in those areas. But though we are attracted to each other, what happens after we get married is some of those differences start to grate on us. Why are you so different? Well, that's what attracted you to me to begin with. Yeah, but now I notice it more and you have to deal with it more. And you have to deal with it more.
So a helper, a helper like opposite him. So what happened? Verse 19, out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, every bird of the air brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. Whatever Adam called each living creature was its name.
Now watch this. So Adam gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, the beasts of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. Do you understand the meaning of this?
All of the animals, all of the different species didn't fulfill what was lacking in his life. So contrary to what you've been told, the dog is man's best friend. Now I know you love your dog.
I have a little puppy at home and we have a special little relationship. But some people, and I'm not going to mention who because I don't know specifically, will often treat animals like the one that is fulfilling everything about their lives. I read an article this week in Time Magazine simply called, Do We Love Dogs More Than People? And it cited some interesting behavior patterns like organic dog food that is given to dogs only the best, puppy Prozac that is dispensed to them, dressing them up in fine clothes, one athlete put a 12 million dollar trust fund for his dog aside.
Crazy stuff. All of the animals were brought before Adam but none of them was the one would complete him. And the Jewish commentators in commentating on this verse will say that as the animals were brought before Adam, Adam noticed that each had a partner and he exclaimed, but I have no partner.
And he noticed another species, but I have no partner. And perhaps that's the idea when God says, and not one was comparable to him. Nothing in the animal kingdom could fulfill Adam.
It would take only the woman. So a helper, a comparable helper, let me just add on that, a God ordained comparable helper. God said, not good, not good, the man should be alone.
I will make a helper for him. And then look at the last part, verse 21. The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam. He slept, he took one of his ribs, closed up the flesh in its place. The rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and he brought her to the man. God is the father of the bride bringing the wife to the man.
Here's your wife. Beautiful story, scares kids to death. One little boy was in Sunday school, heard this story, went home that week and was doubled up by the side of his bed because he had a stomach pain and his mom came in and said, Johnny, what's wrong? He goes, I think I'm going to have a wife.
Poor thing. Now this is obviously a miracle of God. It's not just one miracle, it's three. God's the anesthesiologist giving him a deep sleep. He's the surgeon performing this act and he's the healer bringing the flesh back together and waking him up. It's sort of funny to think that Adam was asleep on his first date, but I think that that is a pattern that has been repeated many times since. I do love the thought that the Bible makes clear that she was taken out of his side.
Matthew Henry put it so beautifully. Woman was not taken from man's head to be above him. She was not taken from man's feet to be walked on by him. She was taken from his side.
That's the literal Hebrew, not rib, the side to be close to his heart, to be next to him, to be beloved by him, to be protected by him. And Matthew Henry finally adds, if man is the head, then woman is the crown to her husband. So God brought the woman to the man. The same God who said, this isn't good, said, this is good.
And he brought her to him. Suffice it to say then for this morning that marriage was God's design to address the first problem that he noticed in his creation, which was separation, isolation, aloneness. God's solution to that was marriage, but it doesn't always work.
It should work. It can work. God designed it to work, but it doesn't always work.
You say, Skip, why doesn't it always work? Because as human beings, we tend to want to go back to the island, back to the island, get married, get hurt, exchange a little bit of love, become self-effacing, hurts, walls go up, back to the island, more isolation, back to the island, more separation. And some of the loneliest people I know are people who sleep in the same bed.
And they're even more isolated. Marriage can cure the aloneness or accentuate it sometime back after a certain time. Sometime back after a service at the end, I said, would you turn around and hug the person next to you? I got an anonymous email that week. Dear Skip, my husband did as you suggested and hugged the person next to him.
That was her. We sleep in the same bed, but until this morning, we have had no physical contact for three months, no touch, no hand-holding, no hug for three months. To the extent that your partner is alone in the marriage is the extent that your marriage is failing. Because God's solution was to rescue us from the island of self.
Something else in closing. The relationship between a husband and wife, according to Paul, was to be a picture of the relationship that God wants to have with his people. And for many people, I would say for even all people, there's a cosmic loneliness that must be, can only be fulfilled by having Christ at the center of your life. It begins in a relationship with him.
The connection must be made vertically, horizontally, yes, but don't leave out that vertical. That wraps up Skip Heitzig's message from the series, Keep Calm and Marry On. Find the full message, as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Now, here's Skip to share how you can keep these messages coming your way to connect you and many others around the world with God's word.
True fulfillment and happiness in life comes from just one thing, and that is pursuing God himself. I'd like to ask you to join us in getting that life-changing message to a world that desperately needs to hear it. Your generous gift can help others experience the power of the word. Here's how you can give a gift today. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate, or call 800-922-1888.
800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. Before we close, did you know there's a great biblical resource available right at your fingertips through your mobile device. You can access several of Skip's Bible reading plans in the YouVersion Bible app and dive deeper into several books of the Bible to gain new insights. You can also find Lenya's heart songs reading plan to accompany this month's resource offer. Just search Skip Heitzig in the YouVersion Bible app. Tune in next week for more verse by verse teaching from Skip. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
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