MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Fort Gibson

February 10, 2014

Marriage God’s way is honorable

This spring, I will be conducting a wedding ceremony for my niece, Julia, and her fiancé, Kyle. So, I had been thinking about what I would say to this young man and young lady. Then, lo and behold, as I was cleaning out a cabinet in my office, I came across the outline of an old sermon a preacher friend of mine delivered titled “Marriage Is Honorable.” What timing! And just in time for Valentine’s Day. You talk about providence!

Even though the sermon was nearly 20 years old, the Biblical truths expressed in it are timeless. So, I thought I would pass along these three points to my readers, especially since many in our society no longer hold marriage as being sacred or honorable:

• Marriage is a divine institution, a gift from God, and is for our good. Genesis 2:18-24 leaves no doubt as to what God had in mind for the covenant of marriage. “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’” It goes on to say that “God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”

• Marriage means commitment. It is an accepting covenant, meaning, we all have faults (Romans 3:23), and it sometimes takes a little work to get past the idea that your spouse can be absolutely perfect all the time. The Old and New Testaments teach that we are to honor marriage as an exclusive commitment (Exodus 20:14, Matthew 5:28), and that both physical adultery and emotional adultery are sin.

• Marriage means permanence. Remember? For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part? That is not a Bible quote, but it is rooted and supported in God’s word. Paul told the church in Rome that marriage is a lifetime commitment (Romans 7:2). The Old Testament says that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). In the New Testament Jesus also speaks strongly against it in Matthew 19:4-9, and goes as far as saying that “anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”  

Paul told the church in Ephesus that wives should submit to their husbands in everything, AND that husbands should love their wives, “just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5:22-25).”

The covenant of marriage, as described in the Bible, should be honored by all (Hebrews 13:4). Yes, a successful marriage must be built on an undying, selfless, and sacrificial love between a man and woman. But both must also build their marriage on the foundation of Jesus Christ, placing Him as the highest priority in their lives. Only then will everything else fall into place, and the husband and wife will experience joy and a marriage covenant as God intended, with both looking out for the best interests of the other and looking to God in all things. Have a great week!

Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or barrett@fggcc.org.

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