People don’t marry as they once did. Fewer people get married. More people aren’t even interested in marriage. Same-sex “marriage” has become legal and publicly accepted. Younger people are even embracing multiple-partner relationships at higher rates.
Many people are uneasy about these trends, but don’t have strong reasons to support their belief.
This reveals a deep confusion about marriage. Why do we marry? More than ever, this world needs to understand the true purpose behind this critical institution of family life.
That is why I am excited to be able to offer you a wonderful booklet by Herbert W. Armstrong. It is called Why Marriage!—Soon Obsolete?
Marriage is truly one of the greatest gifts God has given to humankind. When you understand the deep meaning wrapped up in this family relationship, it will dazzle your mind! This little booklet can give you that understanding, if you are open to receiving it.
Let me share with you some of what Mr. Armstrong wrote on this vital subject:
Stop and think for a moment. Why did God ordain the human relationship of marriage?
The old repressive, dualistic morality taught that the only purpose of sex was reproduction. But if merely reproducing their kind were the only purpose of sex, no marriage would be necessary! God made animals male and female. Animals reproduce—but they do not marry! Marriage is not necessary to procreate.
Realize this! Understand this truth! We can, through sex, have reproduction without marriage! Indeed, that is one of the world’s greatest evils today—there is entirely too much reproduction without marriage!
Animals reproduce. But animals do not marry! They need little or no teaching.
Ever see a little calf born? The mother cow does not need to call an obstetrical physician or go to a hospital for the delivery of her calf. As soon as it is born, the calf will begin to stagger to its feet, while the cow just stupidly stands waiting. She does not need to teach her calf how to walk, how to take its food, how to do anything. A little wobbly and unsteady at first, the calf is up and walking in just a minute or two.
Now how long does it take a human infant to learn to walk? Usually a year—and often more. But the newborn calf walks almost immediately. No one teaches it. The calf has instinct. And where does it start walking? It has no instruction from anyone. It starts walking for its first “dinner.” It knows where to go. And the mother cow just stands stupidly still while her calf sucks its milk.
And where is “Daddy”—the bull? That’s hard to say. Perhaps miles away. He probably is nowhere around. And soon the calf will not even need the milk from its mother—and will be on its own.
There is no marriage—no family life—no home life.
But with humans all this is different. The purely reproductive process is the same in all mammals. But beyond this, all is different! The only purpose for sex in animals is reproduction. But humans are different! In humans, reproduction is not the only purpose of sex. A second purpose is marriage—and there is yet a third purpose!
The newborn human does not get up and walk immediately to its food. The tiny baby is absolutely helpless. It has a few instinctive reflexes, but no instinct, in the strict sense of the word. It has mind—but at birth there is no knowledge as yet in its mind. It knows virtually nothing at birth. It must be taught! It needs parents to teach it! It matures so very much more slowly than animals! Yet its potentiality is infinitely higher! And for this higher purpose, parental guidance and family life are necessary! For God had said, “Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26).
God made cattle “after their kind”—after the cattle kind. He made “every winged fowl after his kind”—after the winged fowl kind! But He made man after the GOD kind!
Now, incredible as it may sound to those who do not understand the revelation of God’s truth—and only an infinitesimal minority does—God is a FAMILY!
And in man, God is reproducing His kind! Man has the supreme potentiality of being actually born into the very divine God Family!
A God-Plane Relationship!
So grasp this colossal truth, if you can!
Here is the greatest truth you can ever know! Man, and man only, of all life forms God has created, can be born into the God Family—the Kingdom of God!
Animals have never been given family relationship. Angels have never enjoyed family status. The family relationship is a God-plane relationship—not an angel-plane relationship. And God bestowed it on man! Because man is to be born into the God Family.
Of all life forms—whether plant, animal or angel in all God’s creation, MAN ALONE was created for marriage—for home and family life!
Read that again! Try to comprehend it! Think of the significance! This truth has been hidden from a deceived world!
Man is, now, composed of matter. Yet in man—and in man only, is God’s creation still going on! Humans, by repentance, surrender to God and acceptance of Christ, may be in mind and attitude converted—may receive God’s Holy Spirit. Thus they are actually begotten as God’s children! They may have direct communion with God, and call Him Father! They are brought into a Father-and-son relationship with God!
This is possible for no other creature—not even angels! Angels were not, never can be, begotten and born of God! Each angel is a separate creation. No angel can ever become a part of the divine Family or Kingdom of God!
Notice! Of angels, God says: “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” (Hebrews 1:5).
Neither animal, nor angel, nor any other being, except man, can be literally begotten by spiritual reproductive process, and then actually born into the divine God Family!
What a matchless, supreme, awe-inspiring, breathtaking potential!
It was God’s purpose that humans, unlike animals, angels or any other living beings, enjoy the blessings of marriage and family relationships—actual God-plane relationships. The marriage relationship, as explained, had to be a love relationship. But human, fleshly man is not born with spiritual love. Man’s comprehension of mind—his expression of love—is confined, naturally, to the physical level, through the senses. Unconverted man can express only physical love—and, in marriage, through sex. The first man, Adam, was created—and we were all born—with one “human” spirit, which imparts physical intellect to the brain. But man was made to need another spirit—the Holy Spirit of God. Yet only the few specially and individually called by God have God’s Spirit—and with it the agape love.
Man is given a choice! So he has full ability to turn physical sex love in the wrong direction of lust. God equipped him with mind. He has capability to discern—to choose—and what he sows he shall reap!
Making man a physical being, it was still God’s design to make possible our greatest happiness.
Of all the truly enjoyable experiences received through the five senses, perhaps the most intense and supremely gratifying—the very pinnacle of sheer exhilaration—is that received in the sex act of expressing love for the one who is dearest of all people on Earth, and to whom one has been joined in blessed and holy wedlock by God Himself!
God made us so that we may really enjoy the taste of delicious food—the sound of beautiful music—the sight of a beautiful landscape or flower garden—the fragrance of lovely roses. The right exercise of our senses is right. God intended this pleasure and enjoyment. God is love, and God expressed His love toward us by making these delights possible. Yet, probably the most intensely delightful of all physical joys God’s love has made possible, is that of sexual love between husband and wife.
It was intended to endear each to the other, bind them closer to each other.
It was God who created these five senses, and set them in such dynamic action, with their various stimuli. And God beheld everything that He had made, and pronounced it very good!
God wants us to enjoy living! God made us so we can find true happiness, here and now—we can simply radiate happiness and joy! His law is the guide to the right use of these powers which can produce joyous blessings, or terrible curses. And He gave us the choice!
God gave us the blessed marriage relationship, and the God-plane family relationship!
Love is God’s way. But natural man can express it only physically.
But if the physical love relationship in marriage brings joys and delights, how much more the SPIRITUAL love relationship expressed in marriage where both husband and wife are filled also with this second Spirit—the Holy Spirit of God!
So, since humans can express naturally only a human and physical love, we come to the answer of the important question why sex?
The Creator, in His wisdom, knew that sex WAS necessary to preserve the marriage and family relationship, in real love!
God knew what He was doing!
God’s answer to those unhappy early religious “fathers” in their “chaste severity” is: “Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! … Shall the clay say to him that fashioned it, What makest thou?” (Isaiah 45:9).
And again: “Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?” (Isaiah 29:16).
Sex was created, in God’s loving wisdom, to make possible these sacred God-plane institutions of marriage, home and family!
Sex was created to stimulate pure romantic attraction and love between a man and a woman properly mated for marriage; to inspire them with desire to share their lives, their problems, their trials and troubles, their hopes and successes together; to enjoy the planning and building together of a happy home; and to rear a happy family.
God designed sex to produce pure, righteous, clean, holy and rich blessings! He made it to be the loving bond which not only would inspire a properly mated couple to marry, but which would preserve that marriage in love. Sex should be the energizing magnet to draw constantly closer and closer together with increasing love a husband and wife—to heal over those little irritations, disturbances or misunderstandings which do occur.
Yet, this very bond which should bind the marriage tightly together is also the cord which, misused and perverted, severs more marriages than all other causes combined. Misused, it can bring nightmarish divorces, wreck homes and lives, leave children without parents, spawn juvenile delinquents!
Let’s save sex for marriage. Let’s turn to the way of all the blissful joys and blessings God made possible, and intended!