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
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?