“Mawwage is what bwings us togevah today. Mawwage, that bwessed awwangement. That dweam wifin a dweam,” says the clergyman in The Princess Bride. In character might I add, “Mawwage is vewy special.” Marriage is a very special organism. Yes, organism! Marriage is a living, growing, adapting reality that is composed of multiple (two) parts that make up the whole. Jesus reminds us that “the two shall become one flesh.” “Marriage,” says the Hebrew writer, should be “held in honor among all.”
Our current culture struggles to define marriage from a legal standpoint. Some states are passing laws that expand the definition of marriage, while others are passing law that supposedly “protect” marriage. This same discussion concerning the definition of marriage is going on not only in the United States, but also through out Europe. I recently learned that Scotland is again considering separating from British rule for self rule and that one reason is so that they can redefine marriage to include same-sex unions.
What is marriage? How should Christians around the globe view marriage? According to God’s Word (the Bible) who can enter into a marriage union? To begin to answer those questions, lets simply start with the words of Jesus and the apostle Paul.
- Matthew 19:4-9, “He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”
- Mark 10:6-12, “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
- 1 Corinthians 7:1-5, “Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
- Eph 5:31-33, “”Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” . . . . However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
- According to Jesus and the apostle Paul: Marriage is one man and one woman for life.
- According to Jesus and the apostle Paul: Multiple wives (husbands) are not an option.
- According to Jesus and the apostle Paul: The divorced (except for adultery on the part of the other) sin if they remarry.
So, my fellow Christians, our government(s) already support a non-biblical definition of marriage when they allow for “no fault” divorce. Before we jump on the so-called “Traditional Marriage” bandwagon, we might need to get the mote out of our own eyes and start practicing the definition of marriage that Jesus and Paul lay before us. Then we can not only have authentic marriages but we can have a positive influence on those around us to do the same.
Now, let the conversation begin!