Jimmy Evans - God's Purpose for Marriage
In Malachi chapter two, God is gonna say something concerning marriage that we need to hear again as a culture, a Christian culture and an American culture. Malachi two says Judah has dealt treacherously, an abomination, this is verse 11, and an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the Lord's holy institution which he loves. He has married the daughter of a foreign god. And so God commanded the children of Israel, you can't intermarry, and he's told us the same thing, that we're not supposed to be unequally yoked with a person that is not a believer in Christ.
Now, some people got married to, and they were both unbelievers, and somebody got saved, so you need to stay married. But if you're dating, you don't marry a person who doesn't have your faith. The only person that would marry a person not of their faith is a person whose faith is not important to them. And so the children of Israel were commanded by God, do not intermarry with other people. And they started to do that. They obeyed God for a while. Now they're intermarrying, and God comes and he says, this is an abomination that you're doing. You're profaning, listen, the holy institution that I love. That's what marriage is. Marriage is the holy institution that God loves. Let me say a few things to begin with. God considers marriage to be holy, and holy means set apart for him. Marriage is set apart. When something is holy, it means it's set apart for God.
Okay, well, here's what a secular culture does, and we live in a secular culture. God is not a part of the equation. In a secular culture, it's not holy. Nothing's holy, literally, because everything is about me. Everything is about us. So God says, marriage is a sacred institution that I love. God can't do anything in a society, or let me say it this way. God's plan can only work on strong marriages. Marriage is the first institution that God ever created on earth. In Genesis one, when God created Adam and Eve, he created the institution of marriage. The institution of marriage is more important than the institution of the church. We can't build this church on unhealthy marriages. It's more important than the institution of government.
Our government's falling apart, because families are falling apart across America. We don't have enough money to take care of the problems that broken families are causing. It's more important than finance. It's more important than anything else. And so, this is the institution that God set apart for himself. Now, listen to me for just a minute. So, you say, well, marriage is first of all for God. Absolutely. It is set apart for God, number one. The number one reason that Karen and I are married is for God. The number one reason that Karen and I are married is not for our own pleasure. It's not to get our needs met. It's not about us.
The number one reason that we are married and we stay married is because we want our marriage to glorify Jesus Christ. That's the reason that we're married. But listen. When it's no longer about God, you can justify anything. And the reason that our culture is so dramatically changing in people living together, in different types of marriages and living situations, the reason that we're changing, it's no longer about God. It's about us. Sexuality is the example. Did you know that your sexuality was created first of all for God, and that kind of surprises some people. It's like, wait, wait, Jimmy. You're saying that God created our sexuality for him? Absolutely.
The only thing that God gets out of all of creation is family. And the way that God gets that family is through our sexuality. Before our sexuality is about us, it's about God. And I'm telling you that marriage is sacred, and I'm telling you that the mother's womb is sacred. It is a sacred place where God Almighty is working. And so, God, God is coming now to the children of Israel, and he's saying, this is no longer about me now. This is no longer about you honoring me and you serving me and your marriage honoring me. And you're committing abominations, and you're profaning the holy institution that I love.
And here's what I'm saying to you, 'cause all of us, you know, all of us have issues in the area of marriage, and none of us are perfect. But I'm saying, if you will love marriage, God will bless you. If you will make your marriage and your sexuality about God, God will bless you. This is a holy institution that he loves, and to the degree, listen. I wanna love what God loves and hate what God hates. Anybody with me? God loves marriage, and as Christian people, we can't get down on marriage. We can't be like the world. We have got to be defenders and supporters of the holy institution that God loves, and God has a perfect plan for marriage, and this is what we love to tell people all over the world. You have a 100% chance of success in marriage when you do it God's way. God never creates anything to fail. God never creates anything to hurt people. Marriage is wonderful, when you do it God's way.
So let me talk about God's plan for marriage, and this is Genesis chapter one. God is telling us right here why he created marriage. Genesis 1:26. God said, let us. Now, notice there the plural. Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. Let him have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the cattle, over all the earth, and over all the creeping things that creep on the earth. So God created man in his own image; in the image of God he create him. Male and female, he created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.
So Genesis one now is a big overview of creation. And in Genesis one, we're shown that God created them male and female in his image, and he gave them dominion, so on and so forth. In Genesis two, now, it's the detail. Adam is created first. He names all the animals on the earth. A helper is not found suitable for him. Then God takes a rib out and creates Eve. And so the detail of Genesis one related to marriage is found in Genesis chapter two. So let me tell you the four purposes of marriage. Here's why God created marriage.
Number one is to replicate God's nature and image on the earth. So, God wanted the earth to be full of his image, and the first thing that God ever said now, in verse 26, says, let, God said let us, let us, make man in our image. The word God there is the word Elohim. Now, there's many words for God or Lord in the Bible, but this word is the word Elohim. And when you find a Hebrew word that has I'm on the end of it, it's masculine, plural. It's talking about a group of men, like the Nephilim. We talked about the giants, the Nephilim. I means a group of men. And so, God, Elohim, was speaking among himself, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and he said, let us make man in our image, and then he says, he made them male and female in his image.
And so let me have my couple come up, Matt and Amy Spears, and also, we have the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit here, and they're gonna help us to understand this. Amy, come over and stand with me. And Matt, stand right over here, if you would, Pastor Matt. Stand right over here, and then this is Lee Cummings. This is our friend Lee Cummings from Kalamazoo, Michigan, Radiant Church. Give him a big hand. And he, come right over here. Stand right here. This is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, right here. Y'all stand close, shoulder to shoulder, 'cause you're one, remember that. Okay, there we go. So, Elohim here, the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, triune God, our God is three in one, right. Everybody with me?
Okay, our Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus is standing in the Jordan River. The Father says, this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, and the Holy Spirit descends on him like a dove. They're one, but they're three persons, okay. So, Elohim in Genesis chapter one said let us make man in our image. So what God was trying to do when he made marriage was to replicate this. So, here's Adam over here. This is Pastor Adam. This is Adam and Eve, okay. So here's Pastor Matt. So Adam, Elohim, stand over here. Yeah, sorry, I wasn't waving at you, sorry. Stay one. So, Elohim says, let us make man in our image. So Elohim makes Adam. And in Genesis 2:18, out of all of creation, in Genesis, the end of Genesis one, God saw all that he made. He said it's very good, except for this.
In Genesis 2:18, Elohim looks at this and said, that's not good. That's not good. It's not good for that man. Why? Let me ask you a question. Does this look like this? The answer is no. This doesn't look like that, does it? So, the Lord took a rib out of Adam's side, and he made Eve. Okay, so here's Eve. Well, let me ask you a question. Now look at this. Three in one. Does this look like this? The answer is no, it doesn't. Let me ask you a question. But what if you had a Christ-like man, a Holy Spirit-like woman, and God in the middle. Does this look like this? It does. So, Elohim said, let us make man in our image. And he made a Christ-like man, a Holy Spirit-like woman, and he was in the middle of it, and when God sees a Christian marriage, this is what he sees.
And when the devil sees a Christian marriage, this is what he sees. And when Adam was by himself, the devil never attacked him, and Adam was on the earth for quite a while before Eve, because he named all the animals before she was there. But as soon as this woman showed up, the devil saw this, and he attacked their marriage in Genesis three. And Genesis three is not the record of the fall of man. If the devil would have attacked Adam by himself, that would have been the fall of man. Genesis three is the record of the fall of marriage.
When Satan say the image of God being replicated in Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, he went crazy. And this is why he hates your marriage, because your marriage looks like God. Elohim made this so the whole earth would be full of the image of God. Thank you guys. Great job, yeah. That's such a great picture to get in your head, because when you're reading the Bible and it says, let us make man in our image, and he makes Adam and Eve, it's like, how does that work? Marriage is a threat to the kingdom of Satan. Everything God does in society, he does on the foundation of marriage. And the devil understands that. He's a strategist, so he knows, if he's gonna have his way on the earth, he has to destroy marriage.
In 1947, Carl Zimmerman, who was a Harvard sociologist, he issued a report, in 1947, warning America that we were going the same way as Rome, Greece, Egypt, Babylon, Sumeria, and all the great civilizations that fell from within. And he was a sociologist. He understood world history. And so he said, he studied every major civilization that became great and then fell from within, and here's what he says. Every society that becomes great becomes great on a conservative, biblical model. It doesn't matter if they were Christians or not. Rome, Greece, Egypt, Babylon, all of them became great when they had strong families and strong marriages. And every family, every society that falls from within has the same seven things that they do.
Now, let me say this another way. We're not enlightened as a society. We're going down the same dark alley as all those other societies did. And liberal laws are leading us there. When I say liberal, I'm not saying Democrat or Republican. I'm just saying liberal. They're against the word of God. So here are the seven signs of an atomistic age. This is Carl Zimmerman. This is a Harvard sociology in 1947 that was warning us back then that we were going the wrong way.
Here's the number one sign of what he calls an atomistic age. That means it's falling apart. Marriage loses its sacredness as it is frequently broken by divorce. That's the number one that happens. The devil, again, he's a strategist. He knows if he can destroy marriage, he can destroy society. So the first thing that happens when the devil begins to destroy society, marriage loses its sacredness.
Number two, the traditional meaning of marriage is lost, and alternative forms of marriage, you know, cohabitation, all those things, become.
Number three, the feminist movement abounds, and women lose their inclination for childbearing. Did you know in Japan, in Italy, in Germany, in the Netherlands, they're depopulating? They are not having enough children to replace themselves. In a society, you have to have 2.3 children per couple to keep your population what it is. That's what we have in America right now. We are not, we are not increasing in population. We're not having enough children to do that. But did you know that before societies depopulate, all of them have liberal family laws, and this is what happens. Women become feminists, because marriage, marriage makes women feel secure. It makes them feel secure to have children and that the husband's gonna be there to help 'em raise the kids. But when there's no marriage, the women lose their inclination for that.
Number four, there is an increased public disrespect for parents. Is that happening?
Number five, there's an increase in juvenile delinquency, promiscuity, and rebellion.
Number six, the hostility of pseudo-intellectuals to the traditional family soon spreads to the common people, sealing the doom for society. By the way, pseudo-intellectuals, that's what he calls liberals, okay, because they think they're smart, but they're not. Now, in marriage, our headquarters of MarriageToday are in Southlake, Texas, in Dallas, and so, we have a Marriage on the Rocks certification course that I teach a couple, two or three times a year, and people come in from all over the world to that course. And so we had this couple that flew in to come to the course, and they were checking into their hotel. And the man behind the counter of the hotel said, well, what brings you to Southlake? And they said, well, we're here for Jimmy Evans's marriage course. And the guy behind the counter said, does anybody care about marriage anymore? Contempt for marriage has spread to the common people in our society. It's no longer just think tank people at Harvard or somewhere else. The average person in America today no longer believes in marriage. By the way, in 1930, 83% of adult Americans were married. Today, 49.7% of adult Americans are married. Most adults in America are not married right now.
Number seven, there's an increased acceptance of adultery and sexual perversion. And every society that has fallen from within has those seven things.
Let me ask you a question. Do we have those seven things? We have every single one of 'em. Let me say this. America is not doomed, because Jesus Christ is still Lord in heaven. And we believe that God, but, let me go back to number one. It says that marriage loses its sacredness. We are fighting at MarriageToday to raise the standard to make marriage sacred again in our society and help people understand what it is. And that's even what I'm doing right now with you in this message, 'cause I know you believe in marriage. I know you're Christian people and believe in it, but I'm saying, we must stand for marriage, because when marriage falls, society falls, and we've gotta stand for it.
This is number three reason for marriage is to generationally perpetuate the nature of God and the values of his kingdom. Marriage makes us act like God and look like God. Marriage causes us to behave differently, and anybody here who's married, is successfully married, here are the things that marriage requires of us. Number one is sacrifice. Marriage doesn't work for selfish people. If you're selfish, stay single. I'm just saying, it will not, marriage is brutal on selfish people. Number one is sacrifice. Marriage is a covenant, and the word covenant means to cut. It means a sacrificial, permanent relationship.
The second thing that marriage requires is commitment. That's why a lot of people live together. They get married, they're not committed. If you're committed, you'll get married. And so it requires commitment. God says in Hebrews 13:5, day one of our relationship, I will never leave you. I will never forsake you. How many of you are glad that God's committed to us like that? Anybody glad? I'm glad. I will never. On your worst day, he will never leave you or forsake you. That's what you call commitment. It's God-like. Service. We have to serve each other. Selflessness, cooperation, faithfulness, and generosity. God put his image on Adam and Eve and then commanded them to multiply. Before they were qualified to multiply, they had to bear God's image.
Well, part of that is what I showed you earlier. The other part was his character. Parents are image-bearers to their children of God, and when parents are married and their marriage is full of sacrifice and cooperation and service and selflessness, children are seeing the image of God, and not only will the children love the parents, but also, the children will love God. But when society rejects marriage, we're not just rejecting marriage. We're rejecting the character of God in our society and in our homes.
And when I said earlier that one of the signs of an atomistic age is rebellion in children and disrespect of authority, you know why children become rebellious and disrespectful toward authority is there's nothing to respect. Their parents are so selfish that their parents value their own pleasure over their children's wellbeing. You know, there comes a point in a child's life that they really just don't care how happy we are. They care that we're there and we do our job. And for children to be healthy, they need parents that are willing to sacrifice for their wellbeing and not lay them on the altar of their pleasure. And that's what's happening a lot in our culture.
Number four. To multiply God's human family with righteous offspring, and God says it. This is Malachi two. Did he not make them one, talking about a married couple, having a remnant of the spirit? By his spirit, he make them one. And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Marriage is best for kids. And at the end of the day, children, when a marriage fails, children are hurt by that and our society devalues that. And I know that there are single parents here, and single parents can raise terrific kids. But you know it's harder. It's harder because you're by yourself. But, so, the Heritage Foundation released a report talking about marriage and its effect on children, and here's part of their report here, 'cause when God says, I want them to be one in marriage, why? Because I want righteous offspring.
Here's what the Heritage Foundation, a think tank, says about parents and children. Children raised in intact families have, on on average, higher academic achievement, better emotional health, and fewer behavioral problems. Fathers of intact families spend, on average, more time with their children. Teens who frequently have dinner with their families are at lower risk for substance abuse. Adolescents from intact families are less likely to become sexually active. Children raised in intact families by happily-married parents tend to be more religious in adulthood. Children raised in intact families are more likely to have stable and healthy romantic relationships as adults. Intact families are more likely to provide a safer home for children.
Married mothers tend to create a better home environment for their infants. Married mothers are less likely to experience abuse and violence, and married fathers tend to have better psychological wellbeing. Well, you may be divorced and remarried. Great, you're not, that's great. This might not be your first marriage. Maybe it's your third or fourth. I hope it's your last. And I hope you'll fight for it. And if you are divorced and single, I hope that you will believe God to bring you a spouse that you can have this kind of marriage. I would be divorced if it weren't for the grace of God, so I'm not being self-righteous. All I'm saying is, children are better off when they have their parents. They need their mom and dad.
And the reason the devil attacks your marriage, number one, is because it looks like God. Number two is it makes you act like God, and number three is he wants to break your child's heart. We must fight for the holy institution that God loves. And if we've made mistakes, thank God that we have a forgiving God. And if we're broken right now, thank God that we have a redemptive God that can put us back together. But we as believers and we as a society, we must come back to the place of understanding: marriage is not just another relationship. It is the foundation of society, and it is the holy institution that God loves. Somebody say amen.