Love is the Foundation
The Bible reveals that the marriage relationship is from God. He designed it for man’s benefit. The purpose is seen from Genesis 2.18,22-24, where it is stated, “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’ And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
Yet marriage is not desired by many. If God created the marriage relationship for man’s good, why is this so? Why do we find such abuse within that relationship? Stable marriages make for stable societies. The Bible shows repeatedly that the stability of any society is in direct proportion to the stability of the marriage relationships within that society. In connection with this, we read in Psalm 11.3, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” This is true of any institution. When thinking about our society, our homes, or our government, what can the righteous do if the foundations are destroyed? Has God’s foundation for marriage been destroyed? What is a foundation and what is God’s foundation for marriage?
Foundations consist of those things that give support. Houses are placed upon foundations to give them strength and stability. Relationships must have good foundations in order to meet hard times. For marriage to be the relationship that provides man the benefit that God intended, it must likewise be built upon a solid foundation. A proper foundation will provide support for those who enter a marriage relationship. God has laid the foundation for the marriage relationship. That foundation is love.
Love is also from God, for God loved man first. God made man capable of loving him and loving one another. The greatest evidence of love is sacrifice. God’s love for man is seen in the sacrifice of his Son. It provided the greatest benefit known to man. The apostle Paul explained it as follows: “For one will hardly die for a righteous person; though perhaps for the good person someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5.7-10).
Through this, we can learn from God how to show our love in the marriage relationship. IT will be in the sacrifices made between the husband and his wife. The love that will provide a solid foundation for marriage is seen from the love that Christ had for the church. His sacrifice for the church is seen in Acts 20.28. He gave his life (shed his blood) for the church. It is further illustrated in Ephesians 5.22-23, where we find, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctity her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
Such a foundation will make the marriage relationship what God intended it to be. Our happiness in this life is greatly affected by how successful we are in our marriage relationships. However, when this godly foundation is destroyed, what remains? Society suffers when relationships are fostered through “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2.15-17).
“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” In a society wherein the marriage bond is about as treasured by the people as the birthright was by Esau, what can those who have respect for God’s view of marriage do? We can exemplify the blessings of our marriages by having the same love for our spouse as Christ had for man and for the church. We can respect and fulfill our God-given roles in the marriage relationship: “Wives be in subjection unto your husbands, as unto the Lord…in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it” (Ephesians 5.22,24-25). When we stay within the boundaries prescribed, and build upon God’s foundation, then we will truly have a “marriage made in heaven.”