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Covenant: One Flesh

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One Flesh

A covenant is a commitment.

I saw a T-shirt the other day that summed up our culture on commitment it said: Please be aware, that I am totally committed to remaining fully uncommitted to commitment

Commitment is an unusual concept for today’s culture. We live in a temporary world. Something breaks, something wears out, you buy a new one. TV’s and other appliances are no longer built to last. They are built to replace or the parts are so expensive, when they break, your forced to replace them. The nature of our job economy has changed. People no longer stay at jobs until retirement anymore. There are no pension plans with jobs any more, now you just pick up your 401k retirement and take it with you to the next job. Rewarding longevity and commitment is a thing of the past right? Well… not in the life of the believer. Althought the modern lifestyle has conditioned us otherwise, we have to fully understand that the broader concept of the covenant is Commitment. God always honors our commitment to him.

Ours is a disposable, throw away society, we now consider commitment to be situational and conditional. My friend makes me mad, I just unfriend or stop talking to them. Unsure if this marriage might work? We’ll just move in together, no need to get married. If it doesn’t work we’ll just try it again with someone else,

When I got with this person

I was looking for an ideal.

Then it became an ordeal.

Now I want a new deal.......you see that is a contractual way of thinking. If this person doesnt live up to the terms I have outlined in my mind, I’ll just move on until the terms match my desires, but they never will until both parties submit to God.........Still, folks have no problem entering into a 30 year mortgage with one another, or getting a tattoo with each other’s names on our bodies but marriage? Man, that’s a commitment.

A covenant is an agreement between two people where they each pledge to commit to their promise. For the last couple of weeks we’ve been focusing on the promises God has made to us and today as we unpack the scripture let’s talk about our promises to God. Are you ready? (Let’s pray: Father we lift up the name Jesus higher and higher because you are so Holy. Spirit of God please be with us stretch our minds and provoke our wills according to your word in Jesus name amen!

Go with me to the beginning.

And the Lord God said, “ It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now 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 be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

This is a very familiar passage of scripture. You’ve heard this passage at most weddings and marriage seminars. The Marriage Covenant is the earthly example that God gave to us to illustrate His love and commitment to you and I, His church. Family is the foundation of culture and society and most of the devastating breakdown of our world can be traced back to the breakdown of marriage.

Now if you are single here today, don’t check out, don’t think this isn’t for you, don’t be disappointed that you came here today or that you invited your single friend. We’re all going to be blessed today because All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. God designed His word for every situation that effects mankind. The Word has power because it is power. The resurrected power of Christ Himself is in the Word. The word was with God, the word was God and the Word became flesh in our Lord Jesus. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Now This is the dawn of time. We don’t know exactly how long Adam was single before God created Eve. Like men today he was single long enough to know that this isn’t any fun. Why didn’t God create Adam and Eve at the same time? Scripture isn’t clear on this. My personal belief was that God intentionally wanted Adam to experience loneliness so that He would fully appreciate Eve when she would be introduced.

When Jesus Christ is the center of your marriage and that each spouse weaves their own individual faith in Him and around Him and while doing so wrap their faith with each other’s and when that happens you will have a marriage that all of Hell will not be able to shake.

We were never intended to live this life alone. Not just in marriage but this walk, this journey that we’re on. Look at the person to the right of you and tell them you need them, now look the other way and say you too.........We aren’t designed to do it all alone. We need people in our life that walk with us. I have been alone, its terrible especially if you were like me, living under the deception of the enemy. I felt alone, there was nobody there, nobody to share with me what says That God is A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation. 6 God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity;

Is God in His holy habitation.

6 God sets the solitary in families;

He brings out those who are bound into prosperity;

God articulates His thought on loneliness, in verse 18 it’s not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him. Ladies, did you hear that? A Helper comparable to him. Comparable not in the fact that they were two equals but that her strengths would compliment his weaknesses.

His strengths would compare to her weaknesses. IT sounds complimentary instead of culture telling us that marriage equals inequality.

God’s word indicates that the strengths that Adam would need for all he was called to be, and all that he was called to do was inadequate by itself. It was going to require a partner. It was in this moment that God created this thing called a marriage.

The state of Arkansas is one of three states where engaged couples can enter into what’s called a Covenant Marriage. It’s a special license that the county clerks provide that gets filed when they marry. The stipulation is that in order to get a covenant marriage license the couple is required to receive pre-marital counseling and provide a letter from a pastor or a counselor and also that there would be a two year waiting period from the time of a legal separation before a divorce decree would be granted. I think it’s wonderful that the civil authorities recognize the importance of marriage. The county clerk may have licensed it, but God created it, He breathed on it and He made it Holy. It’s a holy covenant between one man and one woman. That’s not political, it’s spiritual and scriptural. Gods word says in Marriage is honorable among all.

A marriage is a promise to one another before God, and a promise to God. When Amanda and I promised to one another that we would cherish and obey for better or worse, sickness and health, rich or poor, when we made that promise to one another it was echoed in Heaven to the Lord. That’s the definition and essence of marriage. God created Adam from dirt, opened His side and took out his rib, and from that rib he created Eve and as His hands created these two humans he created marriage.

Adam woke up and God introduced Eve to him and he said this is now bone of my bone,

flesh of my flesh. Adam recognized something of himself in her. That in that process God created spiritual intimacy. They were part of one another. Until their bodies are no more. This relationship is good until one of us is gone to glory. There are endless number of reasons, but the statistic in America is still close to 50% of all marriages ending in divorce. With the rising divorce rate and the trend toward total truthfulness these days, it is almost as though the marriage vows are being changed from “till death do us part” to “till something better comes along, again that is the contractual way of thinking.............. You knowThere’s not one person in this room that hasn’t been touched by divorce in some way. So the question remains and screams out how do we keep our promise?

I’ve said this several times and I will repeat, God will never ask us to keep a commandment without giving us the ability to keep it. How do we keep this promise, it has to be more than communication and having a date night. Since God is the author of Marriage the first place to start is by obeying Him, if one or both parties in a marriage are not obeying God the likelihood of divorce goes way up...... Verse 24 gives us what we need. Let me read it again. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh There’s three critically important things taking place in this one verse. The first we see is to LEAVE.

That a man or a woman shall leave their father and mother. Not only is there a physical move from one home to another but there becomes also a transfer of authority. When you’re children live at your home you are the authority in their life. They are living under your authority. You are responsible for their well being, for their safety for their provision and nurturing. They look to us for direction and guidance. Even if our children go away to college and we’re helping support them financially they are still under our authority. Well Dad I’m 18. That’s great. I’m glad you can vote but if I’m paying for stuff your still under my authority. Doesn’t matter if your 18 or 38 if a parent is helping financially support a child they still have a place of authority. They shouldn’t at 38, it will likely be unhealthy but they still do.

But when we decide to get married we now transfer the authority that our parents had to our spouses. In a healthy marriage we no longer look to our parents for support or direction. The relationship is still one of the most important that we have but it has to change. When a parent interjects inappropriately into the marriage of their adult children it throws their marriage out of balance. That’s why God was very specific. And sometimes the married child invites the parent into a marriage. This is never good. How do we do that? Mama never cooked it that way. That’s not how Mama did it. Well Daddy always put gas in my car. Or when there’s a fight or issue and one spouse instead of working it out rushes to the understanding arms of their mom or dad. Why is that unhealthy? Because my little girl will always be my little girl. My son will always be my son. You can’t come to me with what they did wrong because I will always take a side?

A man should leave his mother and father. It doesn’t change how we feel for our parents but our parents are no longer the priority our spouse is. This is difficult but this principle holds for those that may be entering into a subsequent marriage and maybe you’ve been single for awhile and you have children. Leaving the home of your mother and father also means leaving the current house, the current life that you’ve been living. It’s all changing remembering your moving from one home to another, not necessarily the physical residence but also the make-up and structure of how you’ve been living. It was just you and your two kids, well now you’re adding another human to the house.

The priority has to change. When you’re single it’s all about you, and when you’re single with kids it’s all about them but when your married it has to be about the spouse. We turn our priority, we turn our allegiance to our spouses. Because in a family where there is a marriage the marriage is the priority. If we don’t have strong marriages we can’t be strong parents.

Is it hard absolutely, ask any parent in a blended family. You’re not abandoning or neglecting them just your spouse needs to be the priority. It will benefit and bless the whole house. So we leave and the KJV says this He shall cleave unto his wife. We leave and now we cleave. The use of joined or cleave in the original language has the connotation of sticking together like glue. Adam and Eve were so close they shared a rib. They were joined, they were connected. Nothing could break them apart.

Listen to me, God never intended that people stay in abusive relationships, toxic and dangerous relationships. There is grace for that situation and for you so I need to be real. We have a collective mentality that quitting is an option. That if things don’t work out how I need them to I can walk away. Even well intentioned christians. That if it’s hard, it must not be God’s will. If this door doesn’t open then it wasn’t meant to be. There are some doors that God intends for us to open but we just wont out-push the devil, who has no authority over your situation except what you give him.

The enemy is on the other side against the door keeping you out but how many of you know if you just keep knocking (when you’re tired) if you just keep asking(when you’re frustrated), if you just praying(when you’ve prayed the same prayer) if you just keep pushing, that the door of that marriage that seemed closed, wouldn’t even crack, if you just keep persevering that eventually that door would fling open and the devil would walk out as restoration walked in. We have to make a declaration that we are joined. . “I have set the Lord always before because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved”.

In order to keep our marriage covenant with one another and to God he said that we should leave our former life, be joined together, and finally, they shall be come one flesh. So we need to leave, cleave, and weave. It’s through this one flesh principle we see the results of the beauty and majesty of marriage. The sanctity of sexual intimacy, emotional intimacy, having children, creating a family. Our lives are joined so closely that we have the same rib. The same heart. But there’s this final element that creates the marriage and it’s the prevailing factor in the ability for you and I to keep our covenant. In a marriage its not just a man and a woman. Eccle 4:12 says this “Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken”

When Jesus Christ is the center of your marriage and that each spouse weaves their own individual faith in Him and around Him and while doing so wrap their faith with each other’s and when that happens you will have a marriage that all of Hell will not be able to shake.

But it takes a covenant. A decision that regardless what comes, good, bad, richer, poorer, sickness and health we’ve made a promise that made in Heaven with God and with one another.

Our first commitment is to our Heavenly father to Walk before Him in the righteousness of Christ Jesus, in order to do that, you need to know Jesus:

Salvation
Pray for Marriages

AA man should leave his mother and father. It doesn’t change how we feel for our parents but our parents are no longer the priority our spouse is.

When Jesus Christ is the center of your marriage and that each spouse weaves their own individual faith in Him and around Him and while doing so wrap their faith with each other’s and when that happens you will have a marriage that all of Hell will not be able to shake.
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