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Thursday, May 28, 2015

'Be Fruitful & Multiply'; the Purpose of Marriage

But did He not make  [ them ] one,
Having a remnant of the Spirit?
And why one?
He seeks godly offspring.
Therefore take heed to your spirit,
And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.
Malachi 2:15

Undoubtedly, under that first ( covenant ) especially,  the Clear Purpose of our Creator in instituting the Covenant of Marriage was procreation! To 'be fruitful and multiply' was given as a command to the birds of the air & the fish of the sea ( though interestingly, not the 'beasts of the field' ) as well as Man on the Land. As we have have explored previously, Man & Woman were created with interlocking parts for which the primary utilization is the progression of the species. Most people understand how this works, so we don't need to get into the intricacies here!

Much is made in this day & age, not so much among Christians, maybe, as among those who make no claim on that Name, that we are spiritual beings having a human experience! The progression of the Covenant, from being more or less based in physicality to being manifest as spiritually discerned ( I Corinthians 15:46 ) seems to give us a clue that this statement is not far from the mark! This might engender many more questions, but is it possible that in the New Covenant ( age ) where there is no more marrying or giving in marriage ( Luke 20:35 ), we are meant to spiritually 'be fruitful and multiply'? the language of the apostle Paul concerning the Fruits of the Spirit ( Galatians 5:22, Ephesians 5:9 ) seems to point in this direction as well!

Scripture tells us that 'children [ are ] a heritage from the Lord' ( Psalm 127:3 ); this, like the Creator who rewards His People thusly has not changed & will never change! It is not easy, especially in this day & age, to raise children, but the blessing of children cannot be denied! the apostle Paul does not give us a lot of insight into his relationship with Timothy ( or Timothy's mother ), but we are told that he was Paul's 'true son in the faith' ( I Timothy 1:2 ( I Corinthians 4:17 ); Titus was another who bore this Badge of Honor ( Titus 1:4 )! Clearly, it is not merely by physical procreation that we can 'be fruitful and multiply'!

In this Age of Technology there is much that exists, purportedly to make our lives easier, but which actually makes it more difficult! With greater technology usually comes greater cost & nowhere is this more evident than in the breakdown of the family unit! There are manifold ways in which greater technology has affected the family, but maybe the most obvious is the greater cost; many families, because of this greater cost, have done several things, one of which is that both husband & wife are almost forced to work outside the home, rather than one or the other staying home to take charge of raising their children & another is that the children themselves are seen as more of a burden, if there are children in the picture at all!

Someone once said that 'it takes a village to raise a child' & whether one agrees with the thought processes behind this particular statement & the one who made it, it is difficult to deny its veracity, at least in theory! 'Community' might be a better substitution for 'village', but this statement is itself not far off the mark! The Nuclear Family, with Father, Mother & Children, is traditionally how the order was set by our Creator, but they are not alone in their endeavor; ideally, everyone with whom they have blessed fellowship bears a part in the raising of these Heirs of the Earth! These Blessings were given especially to a certain set of parents to raise, but it is not on their shoulders alone that these Blessings rest, but on the greater, especially Covenant Community!

In this present Age, having been incorporated into the Body of Christ ( spiritually ), we understand that this ( incorporation ) is not physically, but spiritually manifested! We, as Timothy & Titus were not, are not so much Children of God by physical manifestation, though there is clearly that aspect, but by spiritual birth ( John 3 ), by spiritual multiplication! This is not to say that the family unit instituted by the Creator is no longer valid, just that our Covenant Horizons have witnessed a Great Expansion & Infinitely so!

Children ARE our heritage from our Creator, but it is not only those that have been especially entrusted to us that are a blessing to us! Neither is it to us alone that those with whom we have been especially blessed are a heritage; all those with whom we have blessed fellowship partake in this Communion! As we have witnessed, it is not by physical procreation alone that we are to 'be fruitful and multiply'; simply by partaking in the Blessed Communion that we have been given by our Creator, we are to establish His Seed in the Earth ( our world ), not simply by physical generation, but by spiritual procreation!

The Covenant of Marriage is a Sacred Institution; as the male & female anatomies have not changed with the Advent of the New Age, neither has this Eternal Institution! While there may be a question in certain people's minds as to whether we are in that New Age ( 'the age to come' ), the Conclusion is unavoidable; we are in the Resurrection ( Luke 20:34-36 ( John 11:26 )! Being in the Resurrection, having been awakened ( startled ) into our True Life, we understand that to fulfill our Creator's command is not simply to engage in the act of procreation ( it may not even involve that ), but to partake in Blessed Communion with the Fruits of the Spirit!

Charles Haddon Shank

 

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