Ten Affirmations About Marriage

weddingOur theme this fall in our bilingual group at church is “My Family, Part Of God’s Family.” On Sunday, I did something that I rarely do. The sermon wasn’t based around certain biblical texts; it was a series of declarations about my beliefs on marriage. Here are the ten things I mentioned:

  1. God created mankind as male and female. Gender is not an accident nor a product of evolution. It is divine design.
  2. God created marriage. This is not a human invention.
  3. Marriage is a spiritual act. God takes two people and makes them one. It’s much more than “a piece of paper.”
  4. Marriage is a covenant, with God as witness. This is much more serious than mere affirmations or promises. We take vows before the Lord. That can get lost amidst the flowers, fancy clothes, and wedding cake.
  5. Christian marriage and civil marriage are not the same. They often occur at the same time in this country, but they aren’t the same. That’s why the government doesn’t involve the church in divorces. Much of the political wrangling about marriage has to do with property rights, not spiritual realities. No judge can tell the church what is and what isn’t marriage.
  6. Living together without marriage is outside of God’s plan. Sexual relations should occur within a marriage or not at all.
  7. Gay marriage is not Christian marriage. Jesus spoke of marriage as being between a man and a woman. We have no right to change that definition.
  8. Failure to respect our marriage vows is an offense to God. We don’t just “cheat on our spouse.” We offend our maker.
  9. God hates divorce. God loves divorced people.
  10. Our church needs strong, healthy marriages. We must not be governed by mistakes we’ve made in the past. We must teach the truth to our generation and those to come.

I’ll talk some more about these in the days to come. What would you add to the list? What would you change?

2 thoughts on “Ten Affirmations About Marriage

  1. Robert

    From a 2005 paper entilted, “Divorce and Remarriage: Another Look at the Matthean “Exception” Clauses,” Andrew S. Kulikovsky (who lives in Australia) concluded his analysis in regard to the western Evangelical views regarding marriage, divorce and remarriage:
    “As Heth wisely notes, our theology of marriage should be committed to the premise that true happiness and fulfilment can only be found by putting God’s kingdom and His righteousness above all else (Matt 6:33). Because divorce is so clearly contra to the will of God, and because divorce for sexual sin displays an attitude of unforgiveness, the very notion of a legitimate divorce in certain circumstances seems unthinkable. Add to this the historical and literary context in which these so-called ‘exceptions’ occur, and the probability that they indicate legitimate grounds for divorce and remarriage approaches zero. It appears, then, that marriage is dissolved only upon the death of a spouse and therefore, divorce and remarriage for whatever reason, including sexual sin, is prohibited because it violates God’s plan and (at least at that time and in that culture) it would inevitably lead to adultery…Admittedly, the position argued above is vulnerable to being labeled as ‘hard-line’, ‘graceless,’ or ‘unloving.’ Yet it is difficult to see why a call for permanence in marriage—which is what God had intended from the beginning—should be so labeled. Nevertheless, failed marriages do occur and Christians do remarry— sometimes out of ignorance, and sometimes out of willful disobedience. Sometimes there are unfortunate circumstances; the death of a child; debilitating illness or injury; mental illness; domestic violence—all of which may place unbearable strain on the marriage. Yet, in all these circumstances there should be forgiveness, love and acceptance for those who divorce and remarry. In the final analysis, the key issue in this discussion is highlighted by Robert Stein: Divorce, for whatever the cause, witnesses to a failure somewhere of what God originally ordained for his creation…To contemplate divorce and in what instances a divorce may be legitimate is to think very differently from the way in which Jesus thought.”

  2. Pingback: Speaking words of grace to those who have divorced | Tim Archer's Kitchen of Half-Baked Thoughts

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