‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh”? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’
Matthew 19:4-6 (NIV)
Read: Matthew 19:1-12
Consider: Today is my wedding anniversary. In 1976 I married the woman that I have spent the last forty-one years sharing my life with. I believe in Christian marriage, that is between a man and a woman. I also believe that marriage is for life.
I think that society’s pursuit of personal happiness and fulfilment in marriage is misguided, primarily because I believe that in Christian marriage both husband and wife are meant to be more concerned about their partner’s happiness than their own. I also believe that a husband’s and wife’s primary role is to encourage their partner to grow as a Christian, and lead a Christ-like life day-by-day. I recognise that what I believe about marriage is counter-cultural today, yet this is what I believe the Bible teaches. While I accept that society has no regard for God, and chooses to ignore what the Bible teaches about marriage, it cannot be right when churches and denominations choose to turn away from the authority of Scripture to align themselves with the prevailing values of society.
This morning I was listening to the radio while driving and someone on the radio said (amongst other things) that they liked living today because there was such freedom in society’s understanding of what marriage is and that divorce was now much easier than previously. What the speaker went on to say was that despite these improvements (as he saw them), the one thing that was missing from society was the underpinning of stable family life. I found this interesting because he was not speaking from a Christian point of view at all.
As Christians we have the opportunity to be examples to the world in terms of how our faith affects and influences our attitudes in every aspect of our lives, not least of which is marriage. The writer to the Hebrews encourages those who are married in this way: ‘Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.’ Hebrews 13:4 (NIV)
Pray: Father, thank you for Christian marriage and the encouragement another human being can give us to live totally for you. May we take time to encourage our spouses so that we work effectively together, as a team committed to you. Amen