God has given us his blueprint. I will tell you, if you follow God's blueprint, you don't have to end up like one of those people who wonders why something that started so good could end so bad. Today on Connect with Skip Heitig, Skip begins his message, The First Wedding, and shows you the blueprint God laid out in the beginning for this thing called marriage.
But before we get started, we want to tell you about a resource bundle that helps you explore the Psalms and journal your insights, all while sipping some delicious coffee. Someone once estimated the cost of the services that mothers perform. The amount was huge. We know moms don't do it for money. They do it out of love.
While we can't repay our mothers, we can honor them. Here's a great suggestion. It's a special bundle of resources we're calling the Heart Songs package. It features heart songs. There's a Psalm for that, a powerful five-part series led by Lenya and Janae Heitzig designed to teach you to depend on God's love, power, and comfort in every season of life. You'll explore what the Psalms say about love, jealousy, fear, security, and longing.
Maybe you can think of a time when you really, really wanted something. This Psalm is kind of about that. It's this longing, this desire, this hunger that the Psalmist is expressing, and his longing is for home. In addition to this encouraging series, you'll also receive the Sheology Quiet Time Journal, perfect for daily Bible reading to make notes as you follow the Heart Songs series or for your personal prayer time. Plus, you'll get a bag of Skip's library roast coffee, the coffee Pastor Skip chooses when he studies in his personal library. The Heart Songs package is our thanks for your gift to support the broadcast ministry of Connect with Skip Heitzig.
So request your Heart Songs package today when you give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer, or call 800-922-1888. Okay, we're in Genesis 2 as we go to Skip for his teaching today. I remember something Ann Landers once said. Ann Landers, of course, was the gal who for years wrote advice columns in newspapers.
She was a syndicated columnist, and she wrote advice on everything, including marriage. She once wrote that a successful marriage is not a gift. It's an achievement. I believe that. I don't think it's a gift. I think it's an achievement. You've got to invest in it.
You have to deposit into it before you can withdraw anything out of it. What's ironic about that statement by Ann Landers is that in 1975, she wrote in her column on what would have been her 36th wedding anniversary that she could offer no answer as to why her own marriage was breaking apart. She wrote that in her column that after 36 years, her and her husband decided to break up their marriage, and she could offer no reason why. We all know that the statistics of marital breakup is high. Exactly how high, I can't be sure, because it depends where you look for statistics.
You'll find different ones. Some are higher, some are lower. It does vary from region to region and from demographic to demographic.
No need to get into that. But just to say, it's pretty high. Some will even say as high as 50% of marriages end in divorce.
I'm not sure, but if that's true, let's just say it's higher than it is lower. That makes marriage a pretty hard sell, wouldn't you say? How would you like to try to sell a product that only works half the time? You'd have a tough time selling it. Here, buy this car. Half the time, it'll run. The other half the time, it's just broken down on the side of the road, but you ought to buy it. No thanks. What about a phone service that drops your call half the time?
You go, I've got one of those, thanks. No, I mean half the time. Half the time, it doesn't work.
You're not going to be a subscriber. Would you go to a restaurant that offers a 50% mortality rate? Half the time, it's a real good experience.
Great green chili. The other half the time, they kill you. They're not going to stay in business or in airlines. That 50% of the time doesn't crash. Or a doctor that kills only half his patients. Now, when we talk about marriage and tell people they ought to get married, they're thinking, wait a minute, you're telling me this thing only works 50% of the time?
No, thank you. And you have to understand the reason I begin with that today is because that is exactly the sentiment that many singles are experiencing and expressing. More and more single people today are opting not to get married because of the statistic that I just shared with you.
More than ever before in history, we're seeing that. In fact, since 1960, the number of married couples has dropped 20 percentage points. Half of all American adults are opting to stay single and not to be married. In one report, this is the Pew Research Report, 40% of people studied over all said they believe that marriage is obsolete, including 31% of married couples. Obsolete.
50% rate, obsolete. No, thank you. Not going there. I'll try my best somewhere else. If you were to ask kids about marriage, you would get a variety of responses. One school asked kids a simple question, is it better to stay single or to get married? Five-year-old Bert said, as soon as I'm done with kindergarten, I'm going to get me a wife.
Very optimistic young man. But his older, he would think more wiser classmate, seven-year-old Will said, it gives me a headache to think about that stuff. I'm just a kid. I don't need this kind of trouble. It's a seven-year-old.
There's a lot of people that grow up thinking exactly like Will thinks. I don't need this trouble. But I'm here to tell you something. I'm here to tell you that doesn't have to be the case. It doesn't have to be the case.
It doesn't have to be the case for one basic, simple reason. Because God has given us a blueprint. You may not want to follow that blueprint. That's your prerogative.
You can do whatever you want. You're an adult. But God has given us His blueprint. And I will tell you, if you follow God's blueprint, you don't have to end up like one of those people who wonders why something that started so good could end so bad. I understand that I'm speaking to a group of adults. And I understand that not everyone in this room or listening to my voice buys into all of the principles we're talking about or we're going to talk about this morning. I understand that. But I will tell you, if you don't go with God's principles, you are looking at a world of hurt.
Let me explain. We've done this a while. We have a pastoral staff that every week for years and years and years have talked to couples in different stages of marriage. So we have a pretty good handle on how things work or don't work. And I'll tell you that almost without exception, every successful married couple I've ever spoken to has the principles we're going to look at today firmly intact. Whereas those who have trouble after trouble after trouble have messed with these principles or taken them out of their lives. So it's your prerogative whether you and I are going to take these principles to heart or not. Somebody once said that marriage is like a violin that doesn't work without strings. And once the music stops, the strings are still attached. So when we look at marriage from a biblical perspective, we know that a lifetime can be a long time.
The question then becomes to us, how do we make it work so that it produces our marriages long lasting music, beautiful music? And we come to God's principles. We come to Genesis chapter 2 where we started last week. This week we begin in verse 23. The Lord has made man and a woman, brought them together, introduced them to each other. Now he gives us the principles for that relationship staying together. There's three of them because there's three verses, each containing a separate principle. The principles are written out in your worship folder.
You can follow along. The first principle is that marriage begins with identity, a new identity. Whatever identity you have as a single person changes when you enter into this relationship. It's a new identity. If you look at verse 23, it says, Adam said, this is after God brought the woman to the man, Adam said, this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman because she was taken out of man.
I know some of you are thinking, what kind of a reaction is that? He sees his wife come down the aisle and he says, bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. Can you imagine a groom on wedding day looking to his best man going, hey, check out bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh coming down the aisle. What is that? This is ancient poetry. That's what that is. This is the first poetic couplet in the Bible.
Did you know that? Scholars tell us it is framed in Hebrew parallelism, that is, thoughts that rhyme, not words, thoughts that rhyme or build upon another thought. Moreover, bear with me, there's rhythm in what Adam said. According to scholars, the first line has a two-beat rhythm, one, two, whereas the second line has a three-beat rhythm. Interesting, isn't it, that his reaction is poetic and rhythmic, almost like ancient rap. Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. Adam had fun with that.
You can see I'm having fun with that as well. What we are reading here is an ancient idiomatic expression of delight. That's why some commentators say, and Adam looked at his wife and said, wow, at last, or this is it, we would say, where have you been all my life, even though he's only been around a few days. He understands something. When he sees that woman coming, that idiomatic expression, bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh, in other words, you're different from all the other creations, you came out of me.
Now, here's something I want you to notice. Up until this point in the book of Genesis, in the Hebrew, when the English word man appears, the Hebrew word is Adam, Adam, or Adam. It comes from the Hebrew word Adamah, which means the earth or the ground, because Adam was made from the earth or the ground.
All the other animals and Adam were created as God fashioned them from the earth. Now it's different. Now, because the word Adam is different, now because the woman comes not out of the earth, but out of the side of the man, God gives them new names. And it's not Adam, but the word for man is Ish, I-S-H, and Isha for woman, I-S-H-A.
In other words, their names correspond to one another. There's a whole new identity. It's as if Adam sees Eve and he sees a mirror image of himself in feminine form.
Calvin translates the verse, now at length, I have obtained a suitable companion who is part of the substance of my flesh and in whom I behold, as it were, another self. So it's not just Adam. Now he notices, hmm, Mrs. Adam.
This is the Adams family in the truest sense, that they identify with one another. Marriage begins with a new identity, a unit. In fact, listen, I'm calling it a covenant unit. They're about to make a covenant with each other and God will sanctify the covenant unit. You say, covenant?
What does that mean? Covenant is simply an agreement or an arrangement. Technically speaking, a covenant is a binding arrangement that commits two or more parties to perform certain actions. When God calls a man to marry a woman, they enter into that agreement, a covenant agreement, a solemn formal arrangement whereby those two parties promise to perform certain actions. Malachi chapter 2 verse 14 speaking to husband says, the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth. She is your companion and your wife by covenant. Same word is used of women in Proverbs 2 17. Speaking to the wife about her husband, it speaks of the covenant that she made before God. Why am I sharing that?
Why is it important? Because the description covenant for a marriage relationship is the same word God uses of himself when he makes a covenant with people. Jeremiah 31, behold the days are coming says the Lord when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, an agreement. So understand that God takes marriage and raises it up to the level of sacredness that he himself uses when he makes an agreement with mankind.
And Adam sees her coming and goes, I get it. Wow. At last.
Yes. We are one covenant unit. I have a new identity. You would do well to remember back to the feelings you had on your wedding day.
Try to do that. Try just now to get in touch with how you felt. I remember when I woke up that day, my first thought was, I'm going to be a husband today. And the weight of the word husband rested upon me. I told you before I was scared to death on my wedding day. I understood that I was going on my wedding day.
I understood this is a lifetime commitment. That weight on me at first thought, being eyes open, I'm going to be a husband by the end of this day. But how excited I was when I saw her coming down the aisle. It was like Adam's response.
When I saw Lenny in that white dress, I thought, wow. I stood here on this very spot next to a groom as his wife was coming down the aisle. He turned to me and said, she's mine. He was excited.
I'll guarantee you this. On your wedding day, when you saw that woman coming toward you men or wives, you were walking toward that man of your dreams. You didn't look at each other and go, oh, great.
You again. It was the recognition of two becoming one. You were becoming a covenant unit. Somebody once said, Adam and Eve had the ideal marriage. He didn't have to hear about all the other men she could have married.
She didn't have to hear about how his mother would have cooked that meal. This was the prototype, man. This was the first batch, man and a woman brought together. And he said, this is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.
She will be called woman because she was taken out of man. So marriage begins with identity. Here's the second principle found in the next verse.
Marriage requires responsibility. And here it is. Therefore, because of this reason, because I have brought the two, Eesh and Eeshah, together, therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh. There's three parts of that directive.
It's the best marriage counseling on the books. One short verse. Notice the process. First of all, leaving. What that means is leaving father and mother. It means that one relationship must be severed in order to solidify another relationship. One must be severed in order to solidify. A man shall leave, in Hebrew, abandon.
Now I need to explain something. It doesn't mean that you lose all contact with your parents. Never call me again.
I'm getting married today. Leave me alone. I'm moving away. It doesn't mean that. It means, essentially, cut the cord of dependence. It means your parents treat you, the newlywed couple, in an adult relationship now.
It means the parents give the children the space to grow up and solidify their own relationship. I always ask a young couple. When they come up to me, they say, we're getting married.
See, look. She'll go, see, look at that. Ring. I'm getting married. I always say congratulations.
I'm excited for you. But somewhere in the conversation early on, I ask this question. What do your parents think? Well, who cares what my parents think? No, I care. What do your parents think?
Usually it's, oh, they're so excited. But sometimes I'll get, they think he's a creep. Well, that's important to me. It's important because maybe not at that point, but it could be that later on down the line, the parent will be persuasive toward that girl or guy, and you will seek to transform your mate into the image that your parents have for that one. I know some couples that never leave their father or mother.
Their parents can be dead, and they still haven't left mother or father. That relationship has hijacked that new marriage. And so I'll say to you parents, if you're having children get married, release your kids. Give them space. Don't try to run their lives. Your goal for your kids, even if you've just recently had children, your goal is to make sure that your parents get married. Recently had children. Your goal is to get that child ready to launch.
They're not going to stay there forever. You are preparing that child to one day to launch. And we make that a symbolic part of every wedding. We have the bride walk down the aisle, typically, usually with her father. And I ask the question publicly, who brings this woman to be married to this man? And he will typically say, I do, or we do, or her mother and I do. But it's the giving away of the bride. That's symbolic, but all important.
I'm fortunate. I have a father-in-law who understood this principle, and he was at first service this morning. He typically is, and I got to thank him publicly that early in our marriage, when my wife, Lenny, would call him for advice, he was very cautious in giving advice. He would say, what does Skip think about this, before I answer the question? Have you talked it over with him first? And he would be very cautious at dispensing advice, and when he gave the advice, he would always give the caveat, now that's just my opinion, if that's not what your husband agrees with, scrap what I just said.
He was a wise man. There's something else to note before we move on to the second. If we are to leave father and mother, the most important relationship we have as human beings until we get married, father and mother, if we're to sever that relationship to solidify the new one, that means that every other relationship in our lives must also take a backseat. That means our relationship with our career, with our friends, with our hobbies, with television, must be re-prioritized according to the new, ultimate relationship that we have on a human level with spouse and spouse. If we cut the ties with father and mother, then other ties must also be cut. A wise person once said, a successful marriage demands a divorce, a divorce from your own self-love.
That's the first directive, leaving. Here's the second, cleaving. Therefore, a man will leave his father and mother and be joined.
That's the new King James. If you have an old King James, it says cleave, cleave. It means to be glued together or welded together. It means to be glued together. It means to be glued together.
It means to be glued together or welded together, if I can take the liberties. It conveys the idea of permanence. Now, I do something when I perform a wedding ceremony. I never ask the couple to say I do, and I tell them this before the wedding. I say, I'm going to ask you a question, and the answer is not I do.
It's not. I've been working out my whole life to say that. You're not going to say that because I do means I do right now. I want you to say I will, because I will means I do now, and I will continue to do that in the future. So I'm going to ask you the question, will you take this woman to be your God-given wife in this covenant of marriage? Will you love her? Will you honor her? And forsaking all others, will you live only under her as long as you both shall live? And I say, I want you to say it loud.
I will. That's a statement. That's a commitment. That's the idea of cleaving, gluing, being welded together. It speaks of permanence, permanence, togetherness in a permanent situation. Skip, does that mean that there can never be separation in a marriage relationship under any circumstance? I'm not saying that, because Jesus in the beginning because Jesus in Matthew 19 gave the one exception, and we covered that last Wednesday.
But I'm going to say something you know is true. No matter what the circumstance is, there is never a separation without damage. Can you think of a single divorce where there has not been some damage?
Can you think of one? That's Skip Heitzig's message from the series Keep Calm and Marry On. Now, here's Skip to share how you can keep teachings like this one today going out around the world, connecting you and others to God's Word. Even though we're believers in Christ, we still have to wrestle with the sin nature inside us. But God's Word equips us in the fight.
That's why our goal is to get more clear Bible teachings to as many people as possible. And through your generous gift today, you can help connect more people to God's Word. Here's how you can give 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. Join us again tomorrow as Skip Heitzig continues his message, The First Wedding. We live in a culture and a society where permanence isn't even part of our thinking system anymore. We've taken God's blueprint and essentially we've redrawn the blueprint. We've looked at God's blueprint and building the house of marriage and we go, I don't like this blueprint. There's no back door in it. I've got to draw a back door in it. 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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