“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’” Eph 5:25-31 (ESV)
“And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Eccl 4:12
We’ve been wrestling together as to what is God’s direction for us over varied topics.
For the Sanctity of Marriage, God has made His direction clear -- our wrestling is do we believe it?
Upfront: If in an abusive relationship, get safe as Christians are not meant to be doormats.
God has designed marriage as a covenant relationship between a man, a woman, and God. As the couple grow closer to God, they also grow to each other (and the 3-fold cord grows stronger). From God’s blessing of the first marriage (leave … and cleave - Gen. 2:24), to Jesus confirming the holiness of marriage, adding “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matt. 19:5): covenantal marriages are designed as bedrock for society. Healthy marriages and families are needed for healthy churches which are needed for healthy communities. Healthy churches and communities are the foundation for healthy cities and on up through regions, nations, and the world.
A strategy of our enemy is to attack men to destroy marriages and families. By destroying marriage, the enemy destroys nations and can rule the world. No wonder even the concept of marriage is under attack
We may think of marriage as a contract. If so, then contacts can be broken. The truth is that marriage is a unifying covenant, holy and not easily broken.
Another lie is “finding your soul-mate”. On that shaky foundation, as the first disagreement can lead to “is this really my soul-mate or do i need to keep looking. The truth is that building a marriage is hard work (& fun!) and soul-mates are made, not found. For this author, I have colleagues from India living in an arranged marriage. When asked, they all said they expected to learn about their mate and grow together -- and that both families expected the couple to work through any differences. The reality is that the divorce rate for these arranged marriages is much lower than the rate for marriages based on romantic love in the West.
Another lie is about the hook-up culture and expectations for love. The World teaches that physical attraction (erotic love) may lead to fondness and affection (brotherly love); it is all about self. The Bible teaches that we are first love as Christ loves (self-sacrificial love) then fond affection, and upon that foundation and reserved within marriage, erotic love. That’s right, God’s design is for sex only within the bounds of marriage, which is upon the foundation of the covenant that He is an integral part. ANY sex outside of the marriage covenant is war on our ourselves and destroys others.
Last thought: If you think marriage is 50-50, that too is a lie. Divorce is 50-50. A successful marriage is 100-100, with God making a new creation much bigger than what the husband or wife can do, even with God, on their own.
Daily Battle Order:
What the World teaches about marriage falls far short of God’s design.
If not married and thinking of marriage, be thinking now about how best to prepare yourself and minimize the baggage you’ll bring into the relationship. Also, the average price for an American wedding (=party) was over $30,000 (pre-Covid); consider investing in pre-marital counselling to lay good foundations before getting married.
If married, read today's DBO with your spouse. How are you investing in your marriage and protecting its sanctity? Are you encouraging and supporting the sanctity of other marriages? What concrete steps can you take today to make your marriage better and a shining example for others?
Whatever your present situation in life, all of us are called to respect and support the holiness of marriage.