The Antithesis In Marriage
To live an antithetical life requires that we live in two dimensions as it were. The one dimension is life in this present evil world; the other dimension is the life of heaven, firmly planted in our hearts, which is a principle of our calling and life as citizens of the kingdom of Christ. Such being the nature of the antithesis, the child of God is called by His heavenly Father to live a no/yes life: that is, to live a life in which he must say No! to sin and Yes! to God. It is quite impossible to say Yes to God without saying No to sin. It is equally impossible to say No to sin without saying Yes to God. Already in Paradise Adam was called to say No to the forbidden tree and Yes to the tree of life.
The servant of Jesus Christ says his loud No to all the corruption in marriage and sex. But he must say Yes to God.
Marriage is wonderful institution of God.
It is a relationship of life where man and woman become one flesh in a very real, but also profoundly spiritual sense. Becoming one flesh is so sublime, so pure, so beautiful that God has said it is a picture of the transcendent relation of Christ and His church. In the heavenly marriage, as well as in our earthly marriages, Christ and his people become one flesh; we are the body of Christ, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, very really, more fully than the earthly can imagine. God made woman from the flesh of man; in marriage they once again become one flesh. Such great blessedness belongs to those who marry in the Lord and live holily in the marriage state.
Marriage is the fundamental institution of society. God married Adam and Eve and thus created the institution of marriage. It is the only institution of life God created with the original creation. The rest of life’s institutions develop organically from marriage: the home with children, the church, the school, the shop, government, and the public square. Marriage, after the pattern laid down by God in society, produces a well-regulated, crime-free, holy society with holy institutions. When marriage is corrupted, the home is corrupted, schools are failures, government becomes itself a decayed institution from which little good can come, disorder reigns in society at large. Governments appoint blue-ribboned committees who spend millions studying how crime in society, deterioration of education, and sexually-transmitted disease can be overcome. Usually the answer from committee after committee is: More money needs to be spent. No one mentions that the home is to blame for all society’s ills and no improvement anywhere will be made until marriages are reformed.
One has some trouble understanding Satan’s strategies. He is not stupid. He knows, perhaps better than we do, that the home is fundamental to society and that if the home is wrecked, society will be destroyed. Yet he and his fellow demons have launched an unprecedented attack against the home and have enlisted the aid of sinful men in their determination to destroy the home. These demons, under Satanic leadership, are committing suicide. They are destroying the very world they want to steal from God. They want to drive the owner from his premises (so they can live there); but in doing so, they burn down the house to attain their goals.
Is this stupidity on Satan’s part?
Does he not know what he is doing?
Do not the wicked with him sense the futility of their plots?
Yes, they really do. The trouble is not ignorance; the trouble is hatred of God and His creation. The wicked are bent on destroying marriage (though through success they destroy society) because marriage is an institution of God and their hatred against God is so intense that they will destroy themselves in order to destroy God.
To live the antithesis means that the believer says in word and deed: “No. We understand you, Satan. We know what you are up to. We want no part of your plots.” It also means that we say, “Yes, Lord. We will be faithful to Thy covenant in the world no matter what the cost to us, and no matter what suffering may be our lot. We will maintain our marriages and build our homes upon the foundation of Thy Word. We will fight to maintain the sanctity of Thy glorious institution, made heavenly in Christ. We will live in holiness and purity.”
To live the antithesis means that we continue to condemn divorce and remarriage. We continue to warn against its evils and its evil consequences. We continue to strive to maintain our marriages as pictures of Christ and His church.
To live the antithesis means that we understand that marriage is a union of love, of life and of joy. Husband and wife love each other not only when a handsome and strong man stands with his beautiful wife before the minister in marriage, but also when each of them has become old and decrepit, wrinkled and disabled, worn and dying. Love for each other within marriage reflects the love of God that pervades all of married life. Husbands and wives are gifts of God to each other, for they are not only husband and wife, but brother and sister in Christ. They are given the blessedness of spending their earthly years in the joys of marriage, and they will spend eternity in the joys of a greater, higher, more blessed marriage when they are with Christ.
To live the antithesis means to thank God for the privilege of having children. It is to use the sanctity of that mysterious wonder of sex, that marvellous gift of God, to bring forth the seed of the covenant. It is to believe that God will be our God and the God of our children through all the generations of time. It is to lay hold on God’s promises that God in mercy uses us to bring forth those whom He has elected from eternity and redeemed with the great price of His own Son.
When children come in a home, to live the antithesis is to protect, as much as possible, the home from the attacks of Satan. It is to make the home a harbour of safety, of peace, of love, a place of tranquillity and serenity, a place to flee from the terrors and horrors of the world. No longer can the home be protected from the perversity of fornication and moral degradation. To live the antithesis is to show children their calling before God to live lives of purity. This can only be taught children when husband and wife are joined in a common effort to live lives of purity themselves. Then homes, too, will be reflections in this life of the family of God’s everlasting covenant of grace.
By Herman Hanko