The Institution of Marriage

Scripture Reading — Mark 10:1-11

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 will become one flesh. — Mark 10:6-8

July 7 on the Chinese lunar calendar is called the Qixi (“seventh evening”) Festival. Also known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day, this festival goes back for thousands of years. The main focus is on the love story between an earthly cow herder and a fairy weaver girl. So on this day, single girls would go to temples to ask for the blessings of a good husband and a lasting marriage.

If we are serious about having a good marriage, we should consult the Lord, who created marriage. In today’s passage, Jesus quotes from the book of Genesis, showing that God instituted marriage. God made the man (male) and the woman (female), and God joined them together in marriage. If we deviate from this foundation of marriage as God instituted it, then we go our own way toward destruction, no matter what promises, arrangements, skills, or determination we might try to use to find fulfillment in life.

If, on the other hand, a couple marries on the basis of this foundation and seeks the Lord’s will faithfully, their marriage will have added protection. Ecclesiastes 4:12 tells us, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Indeed, a husband and wife who together seek the Lord form a winning combination.

Prayer

Thank you, Jesus, for reminding us that God instituted marriage when he created man and woman. Help us to remain faithful to this sacred communion. Amen.