Mat 19:4-6 “And he (Jesus) answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Max Lucado once said, “God created marriage. No government subcommittee envisioned it. No social organization developed it. Marriage was conceived and born in the mind of God”.
The Bible begins and ends with a wedding (Gen 2:20-25, Rev 19:9). Marriage is a total commitment and a total sharing of the total husband with his wife, and wife with her husband. In Mt 19 and Gen 2, we find clearly and concisely what marriage is. It is a male, who leaves his parents, and cleaves (literally “sticks to like glue”) to his wife (female). They two (one male, one female) become one flesh. This spiritual reality (Eph 5:31-33) is physically expressed in the sexual union of man and wife. This is what God Himself joins together. What God has joined together, let no man separate. In this covenant of Holy Matrimony, man and wife can be naked before each other, and not ashamed. The marriage bed is undefiled (Heb 13:4). This is The Word of God.
One man, one woman, in the covenant relationship of Holy Matrimony, joined together by God, until death do they part. I can already hear it: “old fashioned” “behind the times” “old fuddy duddy” “unrealistic” “dead old dogma” etc. No. Biblical; Holy; Righteous; Christian; Honest; Good - these are the terms God uses for His idea of marriage. Just because many in the world, and in the church for that matter, don’t believe or practice this any more, doesn’t mean it’s not right or applicable for us today. God created marriage in Gen 2, and Jesus confirmed it in Mt 19, and Paul confirmed it in Eph 5. God’s idea of marriage, and plan for marriage, has not changed.
I do not say this to condemn, but to encourage. I know there are legitimate victims of divorce; faithful spouses who were cheated on or abandoned. I know many of us were fornicators or adulterers before we came to Christ. I know you can’t unscramble eggs. But we are not to make excuses now. There are too many excuses in the church. There are too many “Christians” who practice these things now, and want to excuse it. It is inexcusable.
Judgment begins at the House of God (1Pt 4:7). Is it not hypocritical of us to be condemning the world of all of there fornication, adultery, homosexuality, shacking up, divorce - when Christians are doing the same? Should we expect the world to have a high view of marriage, when much of the church doesn’t practice it? How many people who call themselves Christians and sit in church are having sex outside of marriage? Or committing adultery? Or engaged in homosexuality? Or are getting divorced for frivolous, unscriptural reasons? Or are shacking up with someone?
Marriage is the bedrock, the foundation, of society. Our society is degenerating, because marriage is not held as the sacred institution that is essential for it’s survival. Marriage has been cheapened. Any two or more “things” can get together now and sign a piece of paper and call it “marriage“. Marriage is supposed to be holy. It’s supposed to be sacred. It’s supposed to be a meaningful covenant between God and husband and wife. It’s supposed to be pure and undefiled and permanent. It’s supposed to be an expression of Jesus’ love for His bride, the Church.
It may very well be too late for our society to regain the respect for holy matrimony that it once had; but if there is any hope, the Church has to regain it first. Christian’s must practice the way before they can show the way. The Church has to remove the beam in it’s eye, before we can help society. We must fully believe and practice God’s view of marriage in our own home first - then can we be a lighthouse in a dark world. We must take our vows before Almighty God very seriously. Covenant is very serious to God. Be selective concerning who you marry, because once you are married, you are in covenant relationship until death. As Ben Franklin said, “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, and half shut afterwards”.
If husbands and wives would seek to out-serve and out-love one another, marriage could be restored and blessed. If our attitude was from the heart “what can I do for you”, instead of “what can you do for me”, we would see marriage restored to it’s place of honor. The cursed trinity of “me, myself, & I” in one or both parties is the scourge of marriage. To live for the other; to fully give ourselves to the other; to fully love the other - this is what marriage is to be.
For Jesus’ sake, let us stop blaming our spouse, being self centered, shirking our marital vows and responsibilities, and start being to the other what we would like them to be for us. “Well, when he starts being this” or “When she starts doing that, then I’ll….”. Praise God Jesus didn’t say, “When those sinners on earth earn my love, then I’ll go save them”. Meditate on that for an hour or so. Then do what The Bible – what God - has told you to do.