Years ago I saw an old b&w movie titled “Marty” (1955) starring Ernest Borgnine, who plays 30-year-old butcher who is still living at home with his overbearing mother. He is lonely and has tried dating, but he’s a rather homely, stocky guy and has problems attracting girls. Marty’s mother persuades him to go to a dance, and there he meets a girl, Clara, who is much like him—rather homely and shy. But the two strike up a friendship, and Marty thinks that the relationship has potential. But when his friends and family meet Clara, they are not impressed, and they encourage Marty to drop her. Marty follows their advice and drops Clara, thinking that he can do better. But then his feelings of loneliness return, and he finally realizes that Clara’s homeliness and lack of sparkling personality doesn’t really matter to him. They get along well; Clara is a nice girl who makes him happy. She seems to like him. So Marty reaches out to Clara again, they reconnect, and, although the movie doesn’t end in their marriage, it suggests that the two of them live happily ever after together. It’s a sweet movie if you ever get a chance to see it.
Marty found a relationship that was mutually beneficial for both himself and someone else. The two characters together create something special that they could not experience apart. Marty and Clara began a partnership that, we imagine, resulted in great happiness and satisfaction.
Of course, we don’t base our relationships on Hollywood movies, even good ones. Our ultimate and highest authority for family life is the Word of God, and God says a lot about family relationships in his Word.
We know that one of the purposes for marriage is companionship. God said that it was not good for the man to be alone. He needed a partner suitable for him.
Today I want to talk about marriage partnership. I want unmarried people to adopt a biblical understanding of marriage partnership, and I want to encourage married people to conform their partnership to the biblical model.
Let’s consider a few things regarding marriage partnership.