God, You have done all things well; teach us to know Your love. Amen.
Text: Genesis 2:18, 21-24
And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him 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.
Here we learn that of His goodness God created a man and a woman and commanded them to live in marriage together. Out of His goodness toward us He always leads a certain match for each person, so each man should receive his wife, and each woman her husband, as a gift of the Lord. Woman is created to be man’s helper, and man should be woman’s earthly provider. Both should promote each other’s temporal and eternal happiness. But this is attained only by love. Love unites hearts and wills, and the two are made strong together to fight the battle of life and to bear daily burdens. In love they gladly serve one another, each of them happy in the joy of the Spirit and sharing their troubles. So marriage is a glorious state, full of all kinds of tribulation, but rich in grace, improving, refining, sanctifying for man and woman. “From the harmony of their natures a new mutual will arises, of which the quiet home with its duties, its chores, and its joys shall give testimony. But how I see this most beautiful union desecrated everywhere! Man and woman clash and regard their own will as most important in the marriage. First one rules, then the other, and sadly each one in their quiet moments wonders whether separation would be better, and what they have sacrificed of their own precious liberty. In the end one becomes the plague of the other, and, thinking of how they have to stay together, love’s glow is extinguished.” No, selfishness never established any happy marriage. How could selfishness unite hearts in the Lord?
But let man and wife be knit together in love by God in Christ, then they will be together in temporal and eternal happiness. Even the frailties each of them still has should not hinder love, but on the contrary, if they share everything, they shall be blessed even in their weaknesses. “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord” (Pro 18:22).
God, grant us happy marriages and happy homes, where love is the uniting bond, love is the flame, love is the power and the wealth and the life! Amen.
The Holy Spirit with them lives,
Of grace and love the Giver;
God’s peace and quiet He now gives
And guides their actions ever:
That you with chastity and love
May share long life together,
And then eternally above
True joy and gladness gather,
We wish this for all people.
Swedish: Vi ønske vor Brudgom nu og vor Brud L 584:3 tr. DeGarmeaux;
tune: Ein neues Lied (ELH 405); alternate hymn: Our Father, by whose name ELH 187