27 July 2013

God's design for marriage

Focus on the Family has a set of web pages entitled God's design for marriage, which got me thinking.

According to the Bible, what was God's original plan for marriage and how did it changed over time? So I thought I'd try to figure that out. Here's what I came up with.

God's original plan was for Adam to select an animal for a "help meet" (spouse).
God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam. Genesis 2:18-19
God created several million species of animals for one purpose and one purpose only: to find a spouse for Adam. God hoped Adam would find one or more of these animals attractive enough to marry. But it didn't work out as planned.
But for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. 2:20
So God made a woman out of Adam's rib.
The LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 2:21-22
 Very resourceful!

But this didn't work out too well either. Men liked women so much that they decided that if one was good, two would be even better. So God made rules for "taking" a second wife.
If he take him another wife.... Exodus 21:10
Often men liked one of their wives better than another, so God had to provide rules for men who had two wives, "one beloved, and another hated."
If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated.... Deuteronomy 21:15
And sometimes a man married a woman only to decide on his wedding night that he hated her. To deal with that situation, God came up with this plan:

The husband can claim she wasn't a virgin when they were married. Then if her father can't produce the "tokens of her virginity" (bloody sheets), God's plan called for the woman to be stoned to death at her father's doorstep.
If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her. And say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And ... say ... these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. But if ... the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel, Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die. Deuteronomy 22:13-21 
And men sometimes forced women to have sex with them. So God had to make rules for that, too.

If you "entice" an "unmarried maid" to "lie" with you, then you must marry her, unless the father refuses to give her to you, in which case you must pay him the going price for virgins.
If a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins." Exodus 22:16-17 
If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife." Deuteronomy 22:28-29
And then God had to decide what to do with women during holy wars.

If you see a pretty woman among the captives and would like her for a wife, then just bring her home and "go in unto her." Later, if you decide you don't like her, you can "let her go."
When thou goest forth to war ... and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands ... And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house ... and ... thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go. Deuteronomy 21:10-13
Since these marriage rules are often confusing, God provided holy examples for men to follow. The best and surest example, of course, is David, a man after God's own heart.

From David we know that it is perfectly acceptable for a man to:

Buy a wife with 200 foreskins.
David arose and went ... and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king's son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife. And Saul saw and knew that the LORD was with David. 1 Samuel 18:27-28
Get a wife by asking God to kill her husband.
The LORD smote Nabal, that he died. And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the LORD ... And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife ... And Abigail hasted ... and became his wife. 1 Samuel 25:38-42 
If you're lucky, God may even give you another man's wives, as he gave David Saul's wives.
Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel ... and I gave thee ... thy master's wives. 2 Samuel 12:7-8
But you must be careful. If you are unfaithful to your wives, God may punish you by having your wives raped by your own son while everyone else watches.
Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house,and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 2 Samuel 12:11
Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father's concubines ... So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel." 2 Samuel 16: 21-22
Of course, some men will want to have more than two wives. God is okay with that.

Go ahead. Wax mighty and have 14 wives.
But Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives 2 Chronicles 13:21
Or, what the heck, have 700 wives and 300 concubines.
He [Solomon] had seven hundred wives ... and three hundred concubines. 1 Kings 11:3 
Or marry a whore and have children of whoredom.
The LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD. So he went and took Gomer. Hosea 1:2-3  
Or buy an adulterous wife with 15 pieces of silver and a homer and a half of barley.
Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress. So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley.  Hosea 3:1-2 
Still, all things considered,  it might be wise not to marry at all. Because if you do get married, God might give your wife to another man or force you to eat your children (and vice versa).
The word of the LORD came also unto me, saying, Thou shalt not take thee a wife, neither shalt thou have sons or daughters. Jeremiah 16:1-2
Therefore will I give their wives unto others. Jeremiah 8:10 
I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend. Jeremiah 19:19
The fathers shall eat the sons ... and the sons shall eat their fathers. Ezekiel 5:10
But if and when God kills your wife, don't complain or mourn her death.
Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down. Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men. So ... my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded. Ezekiel 24:16-18
 If you're confused by any of this, don't worry. It is all straightened out in the New Testament.

Jesus said that the people that make it to heaven don't marry.
Jesus answered ... in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. Matthew 22:29-30
And Paul said that it's best just not to touch women or get married.
It is good for a man not to touch a woman. -- 1 Corinthians 7:1-2
For I would that all men were even as I myself.... I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. -- 1 Corinthians 7:7-9
But if you do decide to get married, or if you already are married, don't have sex. There's no time for it since Jesus is coming soon.
But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none. -- 1 Corinthians 7:29
Or, better yet, if you are married, get a big reward by abandoning your wives and children for Jesus's name's sake.
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. -- Matthew 19:29, Mark 10:29-30, Luke 18:29-30
So from God's point of view, the main thing is this: same-sex marriage is an abomination, everything else you can possibly imagine is OK.


Stephen said...

I respectfully refer you to Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian:
Steve Weeks

Sabio Lantz said...

Fantastic Steve !!

Damn, this should be required Bible reading for any Christian BEFORE engaging in a conversation women and religion.

Superbly put together !

Sabio Lantz said...

Actually, you inspired a post out of me -- give it a read to see my spin on things, if you are interested. I also put up a pic of your book and link to Amazon.

Again, nice job !

Anonymous said...

The article does not take into account that God is dealing with sinners who are by nature going to go against what is right. In general, if He did not cut us sinners some slack we would all be doomed. So He is giving commands that will give the best possible overall outcome. Hence, "IF” you take another wife... (culturally, in that part of the world in that time it was common to take more than one wife)

Solomon wilfully/knowingly went against God's command...

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

...by taking many wives, and he paid the price for it (1Kings 11; Nehemiah 13:26).

skanksta said...

thanks logical bob !

Steve, whatever happened to 'things I've noticed recently' ?

I used to like that..

Steve Wells said...


Yeah, I know. I used to like that ("Things I've noticed lately") too. But it was just too much work to maintain. I'm pretty much all twittered, blogged, websited, and booked out. I'm just glad I don't do facebook and I'm not very linked-in.

Chloe Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.