The Principle of a Happy Home (Genesis 2:18; Matthew 19:5) / June. 24. 12

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Birth, marriage, and death are usually recognized as the three most momentous events of an individual’s life.

Of those three momentous events, marriage is the only one in which people have a choice. People have no say in birth, nor do people have a say in death. But in marriage, people have a choice.

Therefore, our births are a pure gift from God with no active participation on our part.

Marriage, on the other hand, is something we willfully decide to do.

Therefore, marriage is an adventure we choose to embark on.

The reason why marriage is an adventure is because marriages can turn out to be good or bad.

There is a Western proverb that says, “When you go to sea, pray once. When you go to war, pray twice. But when you get married, pray three times.”

This is true because oftentimes marriage involves more navigation than sailing and becomes more intense than war.  As a result, marriage is not just an adventure, it is a risky adventure.

Norwegian playwright Ibsen had this to say about marriage:

“A compass has yet to be discovered that can navigate through the rough seas of marriage.”

God, on the other hand, created the institution of marriage and in order to navigate the seas of marriage He provided a compass. The compass is the Bible, the Word of God.

Life is composed of three momentous events. Of the three, some of us have only experienced one: birth. And some of us have experienced two: birth and marriage.

Today, upon being born, Jacob Lee and Rachel Tan will together experience another momentous event in their lives: marriage.

According to, a 2011 survey of 18,000 newlyweds found that the average cost of a wedding, excluding honeymoons, were $27,021.

Spending a lot of money on a wedding does not guarantee a happy marriage. And spending less money on a wedding does not mean a marriage will be unhappy.

So what does make for a good marriage? The principles for a good marriage can be found in Scripture.

The Garden of Eden is known as the perfect paradise. However, in order to be a perfect paradise, there must not be a shortage or lack of something important. The Garden of Eden lacked something very important. It lacked a woman to accompany the man named Adam.

Genesis 2:18: The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” 

The picture of a biblical marriage is a man and a woman coming into a partnership of being there for each other and helping one another.

A marriage is a man being there for the woman and helping her. And likewise, it is a woman being there for the man, helping him as well. 

How do we give such help?

There is a story by a Danish writer named Hans Christian Andersen that I would like to share with you.

There was once a farmer who had his wife’s consent to trade their horse for a better one. So he took his horse to the market. On the way to the market, the farmer saw a fat cow. He changed his mind and exchanged his horse for the cow. After walking some more, he exchanged the cow for a sheep. And after walking some more, he exchanged the sheep for a goose. Then he exchanged the goose for a rooster. And finally, he exchanged the rooster for a bagful of rotten apples. The end result for the farmer was a bagful of rotten apples. When evening came, the farmer was staying at a nearby inn for the night when he met two noblemen who listened to the farmer and how he ended up with a bagful of rotten apples. But After hearing his story, the noblemen said to the farmer, “When you go home, your wife will be so upset that she will not let you back in the house!”  But the farmer replied, “No way! My wife will be very pleased.” The noblemen were shocked and said that if his wife was somehow pleased with what the farmer did, they would give him all the gold coins they had in their possession.

The next day, the farmer’s wife heard her husband’s story about how he traded their horse for a bagful of rotten apples and said, “This is fantastic! I really needed some bad apples in order to make vinegar.” The ending of the story is that the farmer won the bet against the noblemen and became very rich.

What does it mean for husband and wife to be suitable helpers for one another? It is not about complaining or judging each other for mistakes. It is about going through all of life’s circumstances – the joyful ones and the hardships – together, being united all throughout. Therefore, in order for husband and wife to be suitable helpers to one another, they must recognize what it really means to be a suitable helper as God intended.

A marriage focused on helping one another is not about finding a spouse that can satisfy me and my needs. Instead, it is about me trying to become a spouse that can satisfy my husband or wife.

Matthew 19:5 gives us three principles that pertain to a marriage that consists of two suitable helpers for one another.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

These are the three following principles:

First, they leave their parents.

Second, they become united.

Third, they become one flesh.

First, they leave their parents

In a marriage, man and woman leave their parents.

Leaving their parents does not mean ignoring them or disowning them.

Leaving their parents mean that up until this point, they were under the care of their parents. But from this point forward, they are independent and are responsible for caring for themselves.

There are many responsibilities that come with such independence.

Most obviously, there are responsibilities between the husband and wife themselves. But there are other responsibilities as well such as husband and wife as son-in-law and daughter-in-law.

Until now, they were under the care of their parents. But now their mentality shifts toward building their own family. This requires psychological independence and economic independence from their parents.

Therefore, this is what they will say when they leave their parents.

Mom, dad, until now I have lived well by your grace. But now I have met this man or woman and after we get married we will live by our own strength. This is the means in which man and woman will declare their independence from parents.


Second, they become united

Matthew 19:5, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

Two people becoming united does not mean they become exactly alike. What it means is that although they have different characteristics and personalities, those differences come into harmony. In order to come into harmony, there must be a connection between their minds. This is referred to as the psychological relationship.

The psychological relationship can be explained as a mathematical formula.

1 + 1 = 2 is a mathematical truth.

However, in marriage, the mathematics is 1 + 1 = 1.

Furthermore, another mathematical truth is that when you divide two in half, the result is one. However, in marriage, when you divide one in half, the result is half (½).

Thus, when one man and one woman become united as a married couple, it means that they are forming a relationship that cannot be divided.

In their union, strengths are united.

Two people’s strengths are more powerful than one person’s.

That is why in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, it says this about strengths that are united:

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Third, they become one flesh

Matthew 19:5, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

The literal meaning of two becoming one flesh refers to sexual companionship. This is a privilege that God gives only to married couples.

Sexual companionship serves two purposes.

The first is for growth and thriving. It is through the couple’s sexual relationship that they will bear children. Then the child must be nurtured. After the child is born, nurturing the child becomes much more than a simple matter of carrying on the family history. It is about participating in the development of a future society.

Therefore, becoming a married couple is about building a family, but simultaneously, it is also about building the larger society.

Through marriage we make families and through the children of those families we carry on our responsibility as a human race to advance the history of mankind.

The second purpose of sexual companionship is physical satisfaction and pleasure.

Besides being a means to bear children, sexual companionship is a source of intimacy and enjoyment.

Through sexual companionship, husband and wife are able to enjoy one of life’s most pleasurable natural experiences. Through marriage, sexual companionship overcomes each other’s existential loneliness. Therefore, sexual companionship isn’t about taking care of our own needs; rather it is about providing a need of our marital partner. Herein lies the beauty of sexual companionship – it is about giving, not taking.

That is why in the letter written to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul urged couples not to withhold from each other unless it was to devote ourselves to prayer (1 Corinthians 7:5).

I will share one last story with you before I conclude today’s message.

There was once a famous preacher who was given an invitation to preach at a church. He told them the title of his sermon and the text from which he was speaking from. Then he came up to the podium at the time he was told. Looking around at the audience, he asked them a question.

‘Ladies and gentlemen, do you know what my message is about today?’

To this the audience replied, ’Yes.’

Then the preacher said, ‘Since you already know it, now put it into practice.’ With that he concluded his message.

After some time, the preacher was invited once again to the same church. This time, however, they asked if he could make his message a little longer because last time it was too short.

Again, he came up to the podium at the time he was told. And just as he did last time, he looked around at the audience and asked them a question.

‘Ladies and gentlemen, do you know what my message is about today?’

This time the audience replied, ‘No.’

Then the preacher said, ‘If you don’t know, put some effort into it.’ With that he concluded his message.

After some time, the preacher was invited for the third time to speak at the church.

At the time he was told, he stood up at the altar and asked the audience a question.

‘Ladies and gentlemen, do you know what my message is about today?’

This time, half the audience replied ‘Yes’ and half the audience replied ‘No.’

According to the story, the preacher then said, ‘Then will those who already know kindly teach those who do not.’ And with that he concluded his message.

Up until today, the bride and groom have learned and experienced many things in their lifetime. But there is still more to learn and experience in their future.

Jacob. Rachel. What you know, you must put into practice. What you don’t know, you must strive to learn. If one person knows and the other does not, you must teach one another. As a man and woman of faith, you must do your best to raise your family in the sight of God, in the sight of your family, and in the sight of your church.