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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Spiritual Outlook: The honorable hookup

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“The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.” -Genesis 2:18, 21-22 NIV

The wedding season is here. Summer is the second most popular season for couples to tie the knot. According to the 2021 Real Weddings Study, June and August are two of the most popular months for weddings, with 13% of couples saying “I do” in both months.

Marriage is a good gift from God. This was confirmed in the Gospels when Jesus claimed, “but at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united 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 one separate” (Mark 10:6-9).

Because marriage is of God, it’s a relationship, a special “hookup” that’s to be held in high honor (Hebrews 13:4). But what makes marriage an honorable hookup?

Genesis 1 stresses that God knows what’s “good.” God saw that everything he made was “good” to “very good.” The term “good” here describes what is pleasing to God, beneficial for life and abundantly enjoyable. As to vegetation, we’re informed that the trees God made grow out of the ground were “good” for food (Genesis 2:9).

As to humanity, God said of Adam that “it is not good that man should be alone; I will make a helper suitable for him.” Adam’s aloneness was not that he was by himself, for he had every living creature with him, nor was it for a lack of fellowship because he had God with him. What wasn’t “good” about Adam’s aloneness was that he didn’t have a comparable, complementing mate for partnership and help, and to enjoy God’s fellowship with (Genesis 2:20).

God thusly created Eve not out of Adam’s head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him. Rather, God created Eve out of Adam’s side to be equal with him, and under his arm for protection and near his heart to be loved. God knows what and who is good for you (Genesis 2:18, 22).

We often refer to Proverbs 18:22 when commenting about marriage: “he who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.” The term “finds” could be understood to mean come forth, appear, meet accidentally, happen upon or encounter.

The blessing in marriage is found in the hookup that God “brings” or “joins” together (Genesis 2:22). The honorable hookup is found not when on the prowl seeking and searching for a mate, but when one goes to sleep (Genesis 2:21); that is, become deadened to the flesh, and allow God to go to work in making a “match made in heaven.” Then one day, they appear out of nowhere and you realize “this is now” the one (Genesis 2:23).

Here’s a story that stresses how this can happen. During a morning worship service, Ellen noticed a nice-looking man sitting by himself on the back pew. As a single woman she had a vested interest in meeting him. She approached him with an extended hand and said, “Hi, I’m Ellen.” He took one look at her and bolted out the door without saying a word. The following Sunday he returned to church and made this apology: “My name is Bob, and I owe you an apology for my rude behavior last Sunday. You see, my deceased wife’s name was Ellen, and I had been praying, ‘Dear God, please send me another Ellen.’ When you approached me and said, ‘Hi, I’m Ellen,’ I lost it.” Bob and Ellen have now been married many years and are both very thankful for the way God answered Bob’s prayer.

Rev. Johnson A. Beaven III is pastor of Citadel of Faith Church of God in Christ. Contact him via email at jabeaven@gmail.com, or via Twitter @jbeaven.

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