In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Marriage is important to God

Is it just me or have you noticed that in Western culture it seems like marriage is no big deal?

People commonly have sex outside of marriage, live together outside of marriage, cheat on their marriage partners, and often get divorces simply because it doesn't seem to be working for them. I'll never forget my shock once at work when a lady was talking during a break in a meeting and was sharing about how her daughter had wanted to marry this guy but that "fortunately" she'd talked her into living with him for at least a year first. A man who sometimes comments on my blog, whose intelligence I admire, once told me that he thinks it's ridiculous that someone would marry someone with whom they had not had sexual experiences because it's like buying a car that you haven't test driven.

Besides all of that, it just seems that our culture doesn't focus much on marriage, doesn't perpetuate the value of nourishing one's marriage to keep it strong.

But today as I was reading in Genesis 20 I found verse 6 intriguing. What's going on in this passage is that yet again, as Abraham is traveling, he lies to the local king and says that Sarah is his sister. Once again the king takes Sarah. But this time God talks to the king in a dream and warns him of the truth of the situation. I found these words in verse 6 significant:

Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her

What really hit me this morning was that God didn't say it was a sin against Abraham, but against God Himself. God must regard marriage as extremely important if a sin against someone's marriage is a sin against Him.

So I was sitting there with my open Bible, thinking about how messed up our culture is about marriage, and then the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart about me.

There have been some situations lately that I've been witness to that God's used to open my eyes as as to some of the lies the enemy tells people about marriage. The lies are:
  • Certain actions are little and don't matter
  • Giving into one's feelings, even at the cost of being inconsiderate to one's spouse, is just natural so why not go ahead
  • There's always time later to work on one's marriage since right now it's easier to be involved in other business
But this morning God began asking me questions about if I've been listening to those same lies as the people I've been observing. He began asking me if I've fallen into just living and taking things for granted rather than doing those things which nourish my marriage.

Gee, it's so much easier to look at how messed up culture is, or focus on how other people aren't doing things the best way, than it is to look at me!

What about you, what's God been teaching you about marriage or how has He been challenging you in your own marriage?

9 comments:

RCUBEs said...

There are many marriages being broken, day after day. Even sadder that it also occurs among Christians. God made me and my hubby always cling to His love. Because it's only from His love that perfect unity comes. May God protect our marriages. Blessings.

Michelle said...

Oh Tracy! Do you mind if I write my OWN blog on this!!! I have come from a broken, broken, BROKEN home. My mom has been married 4 times and my dad 3! I swore off marriage but God had other plans. Marriage is such a wonderful thing when used and reverenced the way God intended it to be. My mom told ME to live with my husband and not to EVER get married! Really!

I made SO many of the cultural mistakes before marriage. Praise God He took me on another path. Our marriage has suffered at times but what I find is...the more I die to self and serve others...the more our marriage flourishes. When God helps me to lay down my selfishness, things change. And I am so thankful that I am in the home...it seems "safer" here. I pray for my husband daily that God places His armor around him and protects him from the world and the temptations out there.

I know I need to work on my judgment of the "culture" around...1. because it wasn't long ago I was there, and 2. I sometimes have the attitude that the "immortality" of our marriage has something to do with us and not completely to do with God!

Andrea said...

amen!!
Blessings,
andrea

GCT said...

2 things:

1. You claim that god makes a point that marriage is important because he thinks it's a sin against him to mess with someone else's marriage, but isn't every sin (by definition) against god?

2. What do you think of statistics that show that divorce rates are higher in areas that are more conservative and more Xian? Also, in states that have legalized gay marriage or allowed for civil unions, the divorce rate is much lower - comments, thoughts?

Tony C said...

How important is marriage to God? He performed the first 'hitching', so I'd say He finds it pretty important.

Great post Tracy!

David-FireAndGrace said...

It is interesting people's perspective on marriage.

There are many views of marriage both in and out of the church. Often - (as we wrote about on KB) marriage is viewed as insulation from sexual sin. Yes, I agree that this is a dimension that a couple should share only with their married mate.

Culture has tried to redefine marriage, divorce and even what a couple is. God is not going to change his ideas on sin or marriage, nor his purpose for it - yet we debate it all the time.

Because anyone can call themselves a Christian, the stats are pretty ridiculous. Hell, I can call myself a hamburger, but it doesn't make me one. Here are a few stats:

- Those who live together before marriage are the least likely to marry each other.

- Those who live together before marriage have higher separation and divorce rates.

- Those who are sexually active before marriage are much more likely to divorce.

Here is what God says a marriage is. It is the union of a man and a woman (Adam and Eve). A true godly marriage (not a civil marriage) is one that has multiple dimensions. We often see this as the physical (sex), the emotional (feelings of love) and, of course, the spiritual - which if it is truly of God, cannot be broken by those that are committed to each other.

If you look up the Hebrew and Greek words for sex (yada (H)) and (koinonia (G)) they have a much deeper meaning. They define intimacy as knowing your mate deeply in all three dimensions - not just one.

A marriage that is not based in faith, one that is not emotionally safe with complete transparency and honesty, secured with sexual fidelity bound with sacrificial love is NOT a Christian marriage.

It has nothing to do with being conservative, or Christian, but in knowing God, and defining intimacy as if we were sitting at the feet of Jesus day and night.

The truth is that most marriages suffer from neglect, as do most Christian relationships. Add to the demonic influences, emotional baggage and a sex drive; third in line from eating and drinking, and it is no wonder people can't commit, resolve conflict and enjoy the sanctity of marriage.

David-FireAndGrace said...
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covnitkepr1 said...

45 years this month...Wow...isn't God great???
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