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Marriage the Way God Intended
Marriage: The Way God Intended
Christians view marriage as an institution ordained by God for the lifelong relationship between one man and one woman.
"Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4).
Throughout the Bible marriage is honored among Christians. However, it's not seen as a necessity for everyone. Those who choose to remain unmarried are not viewed as incomplete in Christ. For that matter, there is no indication Jesus was ever married.
In most circles divorce is less than the ideal situation, but in our modern world concepts about roles and responsibilities of a husband and wife vary considerably. Some blame the feminine liberation shift towards equality between a man and woman, which many view as not being biblical. There is a small, but growing number of Christian denominations conducting same-sex marriage.
God laid out His plan for marriage as a lifelong union. When we stray from that plan the results can be disastrous. Unfortunately, Christian divorces are comparable to that of the rest of society. Ironically, many Christians see nothing particularly wrong with divorce. However, the Bible clearly lays out God's plan for marriage and divorce.
God made the first man, Adam, but declared it wasn't good for him to be alone. God then created Eve, blessing their union and giving them dominion over the earth.
"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth" (Genesis 1:27-28).
With the creation of marriage God emphasized three principles:
Marriage is sacred.
God hates divorce.
Marriage is designed to bear children of godly character.
“Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 2:14-16).
Jesus knew the importance of lifelong marriage and taught about it.
It's important we encourage those in troubled marriages to seek counseling. According to therapists most divorces are not necessary. If a situation arises when we do consider it, shouldn't we first consult the architect who first designed the institution? Many Christians are in disagreement about whether the Bible allows divorce, or remarriage for that matter. What does the Bible say about it? Biblical grounds may exist: When a spouse is guilty of sexual immorality and refuses to repent.
However, this doesn't mean divorce is required, it is only allowed. Many have taken the shattered pieces of their marriage and have put them back together.
What is a Christian Marriage?
In America, fewer people are choosing to marry with less than half of couples choosing not to. Meanwhile, the percentage of those living together outside of marriage is increasing. Additionally, children born to single mothers is also mounting. These statistics raise important questions about the value and meaning of marriage in American culture. Can Christian faith make a difference? Obviously, simply professing to be a Christian doesn’t guarantee a successful marriage.
Since the beginning, Christian writers have commented on the marriage relationship. The apostle Paul taught husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He compares the relationship between husband and wife to that of Jesus and the church. But what about a marriage in which only one is Christian? Could that be considered a Christian marriage?
Christian or not, marriage is difficult to sustain under any circumstances, but it does offer hope. It should not be surprising God declares, in Malachi 2:16, "I hate divorce!"
Most Christian leaders will discourage divorce even in difficult situation. Some Christians believe the only exception for divorce is death. Clearly, this is a, prickly issue. But most would agree those seeking a divorce today do so for less than spiritual reasons. The reasons range from poor communication and financial problems, to lack of commitment.
When a marriage isn't working, many take the easy way out. In short, many who consider divorce have not done everything they can.
What Causes Troubled Marriages?
Not working through problems.
Not accepting responsibility.
Not acknowledging each other's feelings.
Not displaying affection.
Opposing religious beliefs.
There are many reasons. God's design is for the husband to be responsible for providing for his family and be respectful of his wife. He fulfills her need to feel secure through love, acceptance, and sensitivity.
Husbands and wives must never lose their commitment to each other. It empowers them to keep an unbreakable covenant with their marriage partner regardless of unexpected circumstances. They must mutually decide divorce isn't an option. The key to a successful marriage is commitment.
First, we need someone willing to hold us accountable to that commitment, perhaps a pastor or counselor. We should never make decisions about marriage in a vacuum.
In the context of today's world, our response about divorce and remarriage isn't easily understood.