Posts Tagged ‘I Corinthians 7’

I suspect that most of our young people who are still in church think that the only reason to get married is to have sex without sinning. Otherwise, why do you need to bother getting married? It’s just a piece of paper.

Certainly this is the message of the culture we live in. Listen to what the Huffington Post said on July 5, 2011:

Shocking new statistics released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau suggest that Americans may no longer need marriage. For the first time ever, fewer than half of the households in the United States are married couples. In the past decade, the number of unmarried couples increased 25 percent as more people chose to cohabitate. A Pew Research Center study last year put it more succinctly, finding an increasing number of Americans now believes marriage is “becoming obsolete”.

Christians will not win this battle for Christian marriage—even with our own children and grandchildren—unless we teach our children a much more biblical view of why people should marry.I’m not talking about just advantages, but rather God-ordained purposes for marriage, His design for marriage.

Here’s my brief list. You may want to add to it—but if you do, be sure and ground your reason in the Word.

  1. Genesis 2 & 3.   People were created to live in pairs. It was not good for people to be alone, so God made spouses.  Marriage is a state of completeness that God intends for most people! Yes, there are exceptions—including Jesus himself—but most people were intended to be completed by another, not to be alone.
  2. I Corinthians 7:2-6           People should marry to enjoy sex, which will help them avoid sexual immorality, which includes promiscuity, adultery, pornography—any sexual sin.
  3. I Corinthians 7:2               People who marry should be confident and secure with faithfulness from their spouse.
  4. I Corinthians 7:5               People should marry to support each other’s relationship to God. It’s not good physically to be alone; it is perhaps worse spiritually to be alone.
  5. I Corinthians 7:33,34       People who marry learn to better please each other. They learn to put someone else’s needs above their own.
  6. Ephesians 5:21ff               Both husbands and wives learn submission in marriage, a virtue that is essential for pleasing God.
  7. I Timothy 5:14                Marriage is for the purpose of having and raising children.
  8. I Corinthians 7:15             Marriage should provide a haven of peace!
  9. Ephesians 5:22ff               Marriage is for enjoying every benefit of love and respect
  10. Deuteronomy 24:5          Marriage should be a place of real happiness.

I’m trembling even as I write this because I can hear so many of you screaming, “That’s not how my marriage is!”

“That’s not a description of anybody’s marriage!”

“Faithfulness, hah! Submission—sure or get hit! Peace? With that mean drunk!

“My marriage is hell!”

The abandonment of God’s purposes for marriage is so widespread that the corruption seems both inherent in the institution and unavoidable!  So why get married?

So why follow Jesus at all? Most people don’t, and most of those who do follow Him do so quite imperfectly—many even blatantly hypocritically!  Lots of Christians do terrible things. In spite of this, Jesus says, “Follow me” and we believe there is no other way!

I have to argue that the same is true for marriage. In spite of the corrupted marriages all around, marriage as God intended, as He purposed, is still designed to fulfill all of the wonderful purposes listed above.

Yes, marriages can be hell if the will and purposes of God are not foremost!  Where God is not present is the very definition of hell.  But do you not believe also that where God is, there is heaven! Can marriage be anything but heaven when God is there?

To those in bad marriages: search your heart honestly and repent of your own sinfulness, then pray that God will be present in your marriage, and raise it from the dead. He can do what you can’t even imagine! Ask other Christians to fight for your marriage in prayer!

To those already divorced because of bad marriages and still angry because God did not save your marriage: the consequences of sin in marriage are terrible. If you were sinned against, God still loves you! God allowed even His only Son to be sinned against and to suffer horribly.  No one can tell you why you had to endure such pain, but God has not abandoned you.  You can be sure of that!

To those in good marriages:  remind yourselves of why you are happy! Don’t take credit for it yourselves. Give glory to God! And teach your children and grandchildren why they should marry in the Lord. Teach them not to be afraid of marriage because of the corruption they see around them, but to trust God’s steadfast love.

To those yet unmarried: The only way to happiness is a marriage made in heaven! Be serious about testing both your own heart and the heart of a person you might marry to see if the reasons you want to marry include all of God’s purposes for marriage.  Before you step to the altar, make sure you are ready to take vows before God and that you really want God to join you together.

There are no perfect people, so there are no perfect marriages, but both we and our marriages can be perfected. In Ephesians 5, Jesus washes away all blemishes from His Bride, so their marriage will be perfect. The more we lose our marriages in Him, the more perfect our marriages become as well.

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