God’s Sovereignty in a Nation of Conflict

[An archived post in honor of Lincoln’s birthday, and in recognition of the conflicted world we live in still.]

Abraham Lincoln is not known for being a great theologian, but he is known for his intelligence and wisdom. So I quote him here because he comes as close as anyone I’ve read on what it means to say that God is sovereign when the world is in conflict:

The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be wrong. God cannot be for, and against the same things at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God’s purpose is something different from the purpose of either party – and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect His purpose.

Abraham Lincoln and General George McClellan after the Battle of Antietam, 1862 (Wikimedia)

Abraham Lincoln and General George McClellan after the Battle of Antietam, 1862
(Wikimedia)

I am almost ready to say this is probably true – that God wills this contest, and wills that it should not end yet. By his mere quiet power, on the minds of the now contestants, He could have either saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest. Yet the contest began. And having begun He could give the final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds.

Abraham Lincoln (ca. September 1862)

These words must have grated on those in both parties who were convinced that God was on their side, and who thought that to say otherwise was not only treason but blasphemy.

Jeremiah and Ancient Turmoil

It’s something like what Jeremiah the prophet faced two and a half centuries earlier. He’d told the people of Jerusalem that God was going to punish them for their wickedness, and they didn’t believe him because in comparison to some of the nations around them the Israelites were spotless in their righteousness.

Then Jeremiah went a step further. He said God would punish them at the hands of one of the most wicked nations known, the Babylonian Empire. This was too much for King Jehoiakim to take; he ordered his advisors to arrest Jeremiah for treason.

The Israelites soon learned that Jeremiah spoke truly. Babylon conquered Judah and took control of Jerusalem, and Jehoiakim never survived the siege.

Today’s Wars Within and Without

God’s sovereignty in conflict achieves purposes we don’t understand. Yet the conflicts come because people make bad decisions. Even Christians are susceptible to this.

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. (James 4:1-2.)

God is sovereign over our struggles and fights, but he is not the cause of them. We are. His purposes will ultimately prevail but people can find themselves in quite a battle along the way, battles of their own making.

There is an answer, though, and like all true answers it is found in Jesus.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5.)

Branches don’t produce fruit; that’s the vine’s job. But branches do bear fruit as long as they abide in the vine. This is where we find freedom from quarrels based on our own selfish desires that battle within us. We are free from such battles as we abide in Jesus, resting in the one who produces abundant fruit for us to bear.

This fruit is not just nourishment for our souls, but is all that Jesus promises: nourishment, riches, everlasting life, the power of the kingdom of God. When you desire and bear such fruit, there is no battle within.

The will of God and the sovereignty of his purposes is then not a conflict for us to endure but a blessing for us to enjoy.

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The Thrill of Desire

[As Valentine’s Day approaches, this archived post on true desire seems apropos.]

The Thrill of Being Desired

Perhaps it was romance: Some cute classmate liked you in high school or college and it sent a bit of a thrill through up and down your spine, made your heart beat a little faster, and your breath got caught in your throat.

Or maybe it was a job offer: Someone actually wants you over all those other people who applied for the position and now you are the one who gets to choose whether to accept.

Or perhaps it was just some stranger at an airport who saw you looking lost and came over to offer guidance, seeking you out when you didn’t know where to turn to for help.

In any case, it’s nice to be sought after.

Jesus, the One who Seeks Us

Jesus is a dogged seeker. It’s what he does:

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10.)

And he’s in the business of freeing those he seeks:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then [Jesus] rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:18-21.)

And he doesn’t give up seeking:

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:12-14.)

And he pays our ransom for us:

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45.)

This is our Savior, one who continues to hunt for us, to loosen chains that bind us, to bring us out of captivity and into a freedom more marvelous than any we could ever imagine.

We are lost without him but in him and through him we are found, blessed for eternity:

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7.)

Past, Present, Future

I love that those passages cover our lives past and present and future.

  • Past: While we were dead in our transgressions, Christ died for us. Jesus came to seek and save. He fulfilled the prophecy of a Savior in the presence of those around him.
  • Present: We are presently seated with him in the heavenly realms; it’s not something we have to wait for.
  • Future: God is going to show us even more incomparable riches of his grace in the ages to come.

The bottom line is that our God saves:

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death. (Psalm 68:19-20.)

This is our God, our rescue, our ransom.

Romance, Job Offer, Airport

Each of those scenarios at the top of this post are really analogies for Jesus seeking us out.

Love: Jesus is the one who loved us before we loved him.

Work: Jesus invites us to serve in his kingdom, taking part in the work that he desires to do through us.

Direction: Jesus himself is the way, and when we feel lost he says all we need to do is look at him.

We are found.

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50 Shades – a parody movie review

[The sequel to 50 Shades of Grey opens today. I haven’t sent it but here’s my review and I bet it’s spot on for accuracy.]

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50 Shades of Lent explores the relationship between a man-with-a-religious-sounding-name and a woman-who-refuses-to-use-the-brains-God-gave-her.

As the Lenten season approaches, the man talks the woman into signing a contract that gives him total power over her decisions for the next 6 weeks. She soon discovers that when it comes to deciding what to give up for Lent the only thing she’s given up is the ability to decide what to give up for Lent.

Most astute movie-goers would suspect that the filmmakers made a glaring error in calling this 50 Shades of Lent. After all, Lent isn’t fifty days long.

This is where – Oh the humanity! – this is where the script takes its most devious turn: the contract allows him to change what she’s giving up for Lent more than once per day.

The maximum number of restrictions under the contract is fifty, but she doesn’t know when he’ll hit her with the old switcheroo next. Will it affect her diet, her wardrobe, her vocabulary?

The man acts capriciously and maliciously:

  • One day he tells her she has to give up all dairy, the next he requires that milk be back on the menu but all non-dairy products are anathema.
  • He subjects her to ridicule among her fashion-minded friends by decreeing all her outfits must comprise plaids, stripes and polka dots –  at the same time. She starts to breathe easy when he relents the next day, only to find that now all colors but mustard yellow are off limits.
  • Then comes the worst day of all, the day she’s suspected would arrive but dreaded all along: he tells her she’s not to use any words ending with Y. The fiend has found the perfect way to shut down any attempts she might have dared to question his dictates by asking “why”.

The man is the consummate manipulator. This movie will have you on the edge of your seat, waiting for the opportunity to leave the theater without making too much of a disturbance.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll kiss ten bucks goodbye:

  1. You’ll laugh at yourself for ever buying a ticket.
  2. You’ll cry at the thought of never getting back the 90 minutes of your life spent watching the film.
  3. And you’ll kiss … well, you’ll still kiss ten bucks goodbye no matter what.

See you at the movies! (But not that one.)

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[You would think that this isn’t how real faith in God is expressed, that no one would subject themselves to the whims of another person when it comes to as important a matter as exercising faith. I rather think they might.

After all, is it that much of a stretch to go from allowing a person to manipulate your feelings and dictate what you wear, where you live, what car you drive and how brutally you have sex, as depicted in the 50 Shades book and movie? That’s not love; that’s a power trip. And just as some people fall prey to people in relationships, others fall prey to those who seek to manipulate them in their faith.

Which do you think is worse?]

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The British Didn’t Lose the American Revolutionary War

My history professors at the University of California said the American character was shaped in large part by westward expansion into the frontier.

My history professors at the University of Sussex, England, said the American character developed from an incessant entrepreneurialism that began with the first settlements and continued to the present.

I got the impression the truth included both their positions.

The Surrender at Yorktown (Wikimedia)

The Surrender at Yorktown
(Wikimedia)

One of the things about American history that I thought was not subject to debate concerns who won and who lost the Revolutionary War. The basic facts are that fighting broke out in 1775 and General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington in 1781, with the formal peace treaty coming in 1783.

That sounds like a win for the new United States of America.

Not according to The English Club.

I ran across their website through a link to their article on the History of the English Language. I recommend it for a good overview of the development of English from its arrival with the Angles, Saxons and Jutes in the 5th century through Norman French influences and changes to the language as it spread around the world.

It’s a short article and very readable. It even comes with a handy chart with dates and developments. That’s where I discovered that America apparently did not beat the British in the War for Independence:

1776 Thomas Jefferson writes the American Declaration of Independence
1782 Britain abandons its colonies in what is later to become the USA

“Britain abandons its colonies” – I’ve never heard it put that way. I suppose losing battles and spending way too much money to carry out a war halfway around the globe might be considered abandonment. Perhaps it depends on who you ask.

False Prophets

Sometimes people just see things differently. That’s understandable; we all have our own experiences and can’t know everything that might influence another person’s way of looking at life.

Other times people make it up as they go along, much like when the kings of Israel and Judah were considering whether to wage war on the Arameans:

Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them. Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns and he declared, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.’”

All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. “Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious,” they said, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”

The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.”

But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.” (1 Kings 22:10-14.)

Micaiah's Prophecy, by Johann Christoph Weigel, 1695 (Wikipedia)

Micaiah’s Prophecy, by Johann Christoph Weigel, 1695
(Wikipedia)

As you might have expected, Micaiah’s prophecy did not agree with Zedekiah’s. He told the kings they would lose horribly, and they did. (1 Kings 22:15-38.)

False prophets do not escape God’s attention either. Here’s a conversation God had with Jeremiah concerning false prophets a couple centuries later:

Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, Rembrandt, 1630 (Wikipedia)

Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, Rembrandt, 1630
(Wikipedia)

But I said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! The prophets keep telling them, ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place.’”

Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.” (Jeremiah 14:13-14.)

Everything’s going great, the false prophets told the Israelites. These prophets made the claim of absolute truth: I speak because God has spoken to me!

Taking it with a grain of salt

I try not to get worked up over people who falsely claim to be speaking for God, not because I don’t think its important but because the Bible says we shouldn’t get wigged out about it.

If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed. (Deuteronomy 18:22.)

Do not be alarmed.

That’s not the same as saying “Don’t do anything about it.” It’s just that we shouldn’t let ourselves get so worked up over someone saying something false about God that we can’t deal with it constructively. Ultimately, God says he’s the one who takes care of false prophets anyway:

I am the Lord, … who foils the signs of false prophets. (Isaiah 44:24-25.)

I’m not alarmed. God’s got it covered.

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5 Easy Steps to Reading the Bible Literally

If you haven’t done the above, you’ve never read the Bible literally. You can still read it literarily, which is much better.

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What You Can Accomplish with a Little Kindness

a-little-kindness-does-a-lot-of-good

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:1-2.)

When has a small act of kindness meant much to you?

How can you be kind for someone today?

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Love and the Meaninglessness of Scripture

[This is part two of a series on the meaning/meaninglessness of Scripture. Here’s part one.]

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Meaningless Kitchen Gadgets*

Where’s this been all my life!

I wonder if the people who came up with these gadgets have any ideas that they decided not to pursue. Then again, I’m surprised even these made it to market. Except this one:

Seriously, folks. Don’t we all want to be able to cook up a whole one pound package of bacon in a single shot?

Meaningless In The Bible

Think the Bible’s not full of meaningless passages? The book of Ecclesiastes alone uses the word “meaningless” 34 times. If that’s not a book full of meaninglessness, then what is? Of course the writer there is warning us away from the meaninglessness of putting anything – family, work, pleasure or anything else – before God. (Ecclesiastes 12:13.)

Isaiah also speaks of meaningless matters. He brings God’s message to the people of Israel, telling them to give up their devotion to their meaningless forms of worship and instead turn to God with their whole hearts.

Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
    Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
    I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.
(Isaiah 1:13.)

The theme recurs under the New Covenant as well, where Paul warns his friend Titus to guard against people who insist on teaching legalistic doctrine (the “circumcision group”).

For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. (Titus 1:10.)

Do you see how both Isaiah and Paul touch on the same problem? Isaiah warns that people are getting caught up in following formats, thinking that is what will make them right with God, without concern for true faithfulness to God himself. Paul too cautions against those who insist people must do something in order to meet God’s standards, essentially to become Jewish and try to follow the same empty rituals Isaiah denounced.

Paul’s advice on how to handle these false teachers is telling:

Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth. (Titus 1:13-14.)

Make them stop because all they’re doing is promoting human commands, and human commands are meaningless.

Which takes me back to Ecclesiastes and the words of that passage I cited above:

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. (Ecclesiastes 12:13.)

Don’t Keep God’s Commandments

What does it mean to keep God’s commandments, though? It can’t mean to consider ourselves bound by the law that Moses delivered to the Israelites, the rules and regulations in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Paul made that very clear when he denounced the circumcision group. (He also did so in other letters. Read Galatians 2:11-16 for a real eye opener on how strongly he felt about it.)

So if we’re not to keep the commandments the writer of Ecclesiastes had in mind, the law of Moses, then is there any commandment we must keep under the New Covenant? Yes, and it is clear and unequivocal:

Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Romans 13:10.)

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14.)

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. (James 2:8.)

There is no law binding on anyone under the New Covenant except the law of love. This is God’s royal command that encompasses all God’s laws.

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*This is not the first time I’ve written about kitchen gadgets, as this guest post for Keri Wyatt Kent will attest.

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Why I Mean It When I Say the Bible Lacks Meaning

[This is part one of a series on the Bible and meaning/meaninglessness. Part two will be up on tomorrow.]

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Some people read the Bible as if it were a Rorschach ink blot:  all impressions are equally valid.

Ink blot: what do you think it means? (Wikimedia)

If that were the case, though, then passages like this would be meaningless:

… you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (1 Timothy 3:15-17.)

My take: God’s word means something, but it doesn’t mean everything.

The passage from 1 timothy 3 is a good place to begin understanding the Bible’s meaning or purpose. And when a book has a purpose it’s not fair to then read the words as if we could make them mean anything we want them to.

  • For example, try reading a recipe and then assigning your own meaning. The chili recipe’s list of ingredients includes cayenne pepper? Go ahead and read that as meaning you should use strawberry jelly. After all, they’re both red, right?
  • Or perhaps you’re on jury duty and the judge instructs jurors not to talk about the case with any other person. You hear the word “person” and think, “Well, the internet is not a person so I can write all about the case on Facebook and Twitter!” I bet the judge would rather you not come up with your own meaning for the jury instructions.
  • Maybe your car is low on oil, so you read the manual to see what to do. It says to fill with oil to the level on the dipstick. That seems like a waste of time because you’ll just need to add more again later, so you decide the manual must mean to fill above the line and you put in a couple extra quarts. Let’s see how that works out for your engine as the oil pressure goes higher – much higher – than the car is designed to handle.

As I said above, it’s important to get the author’s meaning when reading.

With the Bible, that means not only reading it carefully but also comparing what one part of it says to what another part says. Sometimes that’s easy, such as when Jesus quotes a prophet from the Old Testament and says he is fulfilling a prophecy.

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:16-21.)

Other times we need to find the reference for ourselves, as in seeing the fulfillment of Old Testament visions in the Book of Revelation. Compare these two passages:

I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. (Daniel 7:11.)

And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. (Revelation 20:7.)

The Bib;e – not an ink blot (Wikimedia)

But one thing we can’t do is read these passages and make up our own meaning to them. Well, I suppose we can. But it won’t give us a right understanding, and it won’t give us the blessings described in 1 Timothy 3 above. How to understand the Daniel and Revelation passages, then? Start by reading the rest of the Bible to get the entire context of God’s work in this world.

So when I said the Bible lacks meaning, I meant it. The Bible does not mean whatever anyone wants it to mean.

But it also does not lack meaning. It means what God says it means.

If there’s something worth reading and understanding, it’s reading and understanding what God’s word means.

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Marriage: A Means to Holiness or to Happiness?

Marriage Isn’t for Everyone

Marriage isn’t for everyone. Then again, being single isn’t for everyone either. As Paul said, not getting married can be the best thing for someone’s relationship to God:

I wish that all of you [married people] were [single] as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (1 Corinthians 7:7-9.)

This passage makes me wonder about this tweet I read over the weekend:

If the tweet had not used the phrase “designed to make” I would have passed over it quickly. But that phrase unfortunately says more than perhaps Mr. Keller meant.

Nothing makes us holy but the work of Jesus. His life, death and resurrection are the means to our being set apart for God, our being made holy to the Lord.

And by [God’s] will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:10.)

This is the will of God, that we are holy because of the work of Jesus. To say that “marriage is designed to make us holy” shifts the focus from Jesus and onto our relationships with one another. As important as those marital relationships are to God, marriage was not created (that is, not designed) to make us holy.

God’s will – his design – is that the one sacrifice of Jesus is what makes us holy.

So where does that leave marriage? It exists with the rest of life. In all we do we are to glorify God, whether married or single, working or resting, learning or teaching, nurturing or being nurtured, even eating and drinking.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31.)

That’s what marriage – like all of life – is for. Glorifying God.

Life as Designed for Holiness

Some might say that the original tweet isn’t focusing especially on marriage making one holy, but rather on the fact that people can tend to have a misunderstanding about marriage being about the happiness of the spouses. It’s a misunderstanding, they might say, that applies to marriage as in many other aspects of life.

In that case, substitute the word life for marriage. Then it would read:

If we want to be happy in life we will accept that life is designed to make us holy, not happy. Happiness is a byproduct.

But this is not the design of life. Life was designed, or purposed, long before there was a question of not being holy. God created everything, including people, and called it very good. There was no unholiness to overcome.

The same goes for marriage. If Adam and Eve are considered a married couple (is there any other way to see them?) then their marriage is not designed to make them holy since it came into being before the Fall. Thus, marriage itself came into being before the Fall. How can marriage be designed to make us holy if when it was designed there was no unholiness to overcome? It cannot be the original design and there is no indication in Scripture that it was added as a later model of marriage to take over for the earlier model.

Also, if marriage has a design in it to make one holy, what is the comparable relationship for unmarried people? What relationship do single people look to that is similarly designed to make them holy? The answer is that the questions themselves exacerbate the misdirection caused by the original tweet.

The only relationship designed to make us holy is our relationship with Jesus.

Marital Happiness Actually Is in the Original Design

When God created Adam, he made an interesting observation:

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable* for him.” (Genesis 2:18.)

Bringing Eve into the picture, then, was a response to the solitude of Adam, not his unholiness. Again, how could it be about making Adam holy before sin had entered the world (see Genesis 3). The answer, as shown above, is that marriage was not designed for holiness.

It was designed for companionship.

This companionship has an aspect of happiness designed into it, but it is the classical definition of happiness (in this case a prospering in one’s relationships) and not the modern version of feeling good about oneself or one’s circumstances in life – marital or otherwise. Here is how the Book of Common Prayer (The Online Book of Common Prayer: Pastoral Offices, The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage) describes God’s design in marriage:

The bond and covenant of marriage was established by God in creation, and our Lord Jesus Christ adorned this manner of life by his presence and first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. …

The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is
intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.

It looks like quite a party: Marriage at Cana by Marten de Vos (Wikimedia)

It looks like quite a party: Marriage at Cana by Marten de Vos
(Wikimedia)

What are these “purposes for which it was instituted by God”? Mutual joy, help and comfort, raising children (if children are part of God’s will for the marriage) who will know and love God. This sounds a lot more like experiencing happiness than achieving holiness, although where happiness ends and holiness begins is a nonsensical distinction in God’s kingdom.

The truth is that marriage is not and was not designed to make us holy. That’s not how it was in the beginning at creation and – as the Book of Common Prayer recognizes by referring to Jesus and the wedding at Cana – there has been no change in its design since then either.

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*For the meaning of “suitable helper” in the Genesis 2 account of establishing and designing the first marriage, see Oppressing Women – a Coalition Built on False Premises.

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The Patriarchist’s Guide to Studying the Women of the Bible

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This list isn’t far off the mark. See: Silencing Women – the guaranteed way for men to stay in control.

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