Man is a complex being made in the likeness of God (Gen. 1:26); his being is tri-dimensional: spirit, soul and body (1 Th. 5:23). God alone understands our many needs and He alone can fully satisfy us. Man, to be fulfilled and happy, seeks to address the needs of his spirit, of his soul and of his body. The plan of God for men and women is simple : first He wants them to recognize that they are lost and helpless sinners as they face this life and that of eternity. He call us to know Him, the source of all real joy and blessing, through His Son Jesus Christ (1 Ti. 2:4); then washed in the precious blood of Christ, we enjoy communion with God and give Christ the first place.
God created man and his sexuality; He has also given the instructions as to the use of these things. Modern man, without God, seeks after personal satisfaction, despising divine principles full of wisdom and blessing for him; he thus generates innumerable problems of spirit, of soul and of body. Man’s irresponsibility in this regard results in the breaking up of the family unit and the abandonment of home and children. The search for pleasure away from God multiplies physical and mental sickness, rape, pornography, prostitution and the cowardly murder of millions of innocent defenseless unborn babies. All these horrible things are linked to this same original source.
Many young people also handicap their future happiness by rushing into adventures without respect for marriage and the deeper communion and commitment that should precede such. The consequences of such misconduct can last for a lifetime and are eternal for the unconverted. How many marriages are broken up because built on the quicksand of current moral values, of self satisfaction rather than the solid rock of divine principles. Marriage is a divine institution which is a picture of the union of Christ and the church (Eph. 5:25). Those who willingly ignore the solemn warning of Hebrews 13:4 "Whoremongers (fornicators) and adulterers, God will judge" despise the institution of marriage and will bare the consequences of that.
But for those who are saved through faith in the Lord Jesus, God can bring young men and women to know each other through sanctified activities, having Christ and His Word as center and theme. If affinities are developed, the relationships can then develop wholesomely and be crowned by a mutual bond with depth and commitment (Am. 3:3, Co. 1:18). Let us consider three levels of relationships or fellowship which lead to happy marriages.
Fellowship of Spirit This is the first stage where true friendship develops between humans. As we share thoughts, ideas and opinions we learn more of each other, encouraging or not further development in friendship. The spirit must then be the first level of exchange between man and woman; this can then lead, in certain cases, to the sharing of sentiments of the souls and of mutual deeper emotions.
Fellowship of Soul Although fellowship of soul exists between friends, its development is particular between a man and a woman as it may lead to uniting their lives in the bonds of marriage. So it is at this stage that the first exclusive affection and emotion develops in the forming couple (ex.: confiding in one another, sitting together, showing moderate affection in all purity). This fellowship of soul and spirit between man and woman must be a subject of prayer so that none would trigger in the other expectations that will not come to pass (Song. of Sol.. 2 :7). To go forward and then to change your mind would not be walking in love. In depending on the Lord and going slowly a decision will be come to: either to stay at the level of wholesome friendship where fellowship of spirit and soul is enjoyed normally between humans or to pursue further in the way that leads to the bonds of marriage and full fellowship connected with it.
Fellowship of body By their wedding, public and solemn act (Jn 2:1-10), and only by it, a man and a woman become a married couple and have God given access to the third level of relationship with God’s blessing. The fellowship and union of the bodies completes the binding of the couple that express their unity which is theirs before God. This married couple will then enjoy unity of spirit, soul and body reserved by God for them alone The passage from fellowship of soul to fellowship of body requires much vigilance to flee any behavior which might lead to fornication or uncleanness in the days preceding the wedding.
These three bonds, communion of spirit, communion of soul and communion of body is like a threefold cord (Ec. 4:12), are the most solid possible to insure the stability of the family and provide a home that can welcome children in its bosom where they will find security and happiness. This excellent way, passing through the trials of the road of life road, provides lasting fulfillment and happiness reserved to those who honour the Lord by obedience and sanctification (Is. 35:8-10).
NOTE: All Bible references are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified. All unsigned material is in the spirit of Ecc. 12:11. Send all correspondence, comments, suggestions to: email@example.com
Last update 2013/12/06