Hebrews 13:4 – Let marriage be held in honor among all,
Genesis 2:24 – Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Proverbs 18:22 – He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.
Today, I give my 4th daughter’s hand in marriage. My heart and full and thankful to the Lord for his guidance on her life. I’ve been contemplating God’s ordinance of marriage, especially as found in the creation story. Marriage is God’s design and He is the one that calls it very good. I love that He calls it very good, but I also know that what God calls good, hell will try to destroy.
The longest marriage ever officially documented was enjoyed by Herbert Fisher and Zelmyra Fisher. Both were born in rural North Carolina; Herbert in 1905 and Zelmyra in 1907. The couple’s record breaking marriage lasted 86 years 290 days, as of 27 February 2011 when Mr Fisher passed away at the ripe old age of 106. Zelmyra died two years later, also at 106 years old!
There wasn’t anything special about the couple’s wedding day on May 13, 1924. They were like many of their day in that they took their vows “until death do us part” seriously. They considered marriage as a holy union, a holy covenant between a man, a woman and God, until the end of their days. They just didn’t know that their days would last over 100 years!
Marriage was instituted by God and was the first in the order of creation, given by God as an unchangeable foundation for humanity. This holy union is patterned upon the union of a holy God with a redeemed people, who are seen as his bride; Christ with his church. The marriage covenant fore-shadows the end of God’s story of humanity when our hope in Christ return will be to claim his bride, making marriage God’s living picture of the gospel of His redemption and grace.
It is because of this image of marriage as God’s plan for the redemption, hell has made marriage a primary battle ground. Yes, people have wanted to redefine marriage for their own advantage, but the real attack is by hell itself. If marriage can be destroyed, so then can families, churches, neighborhoods, communities, cities, states and nations, and most importantly, God’s blueprint of redemption.
While we tend to think of this attack on marriage as a recent battle, it actually has been going on since the very beginning. In Genesis 4:19 we see the first distortion of marriage when “Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah.” Lemech arrogantly asserts to his wives that he had followed in the footsteps of Cain. Lemech murdered a young man who injured him, and by his own boast; “If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.” Lamech distorts God’s pattern. It starts in breaking the design of marriage and it leds to generations of war and destruction.
Marriage is a holy union designed by a loving God to reflect the beauty of sacrificial love. As with the Fishers 86 years, I pray that Scott and Silena will also enjoy many years of the blessings of marriage.