Monday, August 11, 2008

The Marriage Question


I have been fortunate enough to have been raised in the church. I have been in the church for 35 years now, and while I know I am young compared to many, I have seen my share of comings and goings within the membership.

One of the issues that has continually been difficult for families and individuals is that of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. The Bible teaches that we are married for life in the eyes of God (Rom. 7:2-3), and that except for sexual immorality, one is not to divorce their spouse and marry another (Matt. 19:9). But despite these simple teachings, as with any sin, people stray from God's will and make a mess of their marriage relationships.

I have been in counsel with several regarding marital situations since I began to preach. I have seen many couples attempt to get around the Bible in order to justify their relationships. What has always seemed incongruent about these matters is that people want to be accepted as they are, but will not accept God's word as it is. As one who works with people daily regarding spiritual matters, who is trying to help the church grow, I can tell you that my heart breaks over some of these marital situations. But at the same time, the real problem is that people struggle with their selfish will, personal desires and wants, and often find it hard to submit to God.

As long as the earth remains and the church continues to make every effort follow the Bible, this question of scriptural marriage relationships will have to be dealt with. It is my hope and prayer that we will always love God and His will first, that we will obey and defend His truth, and that we will love every individual and couple so as to help them have the relationships that will glorify God.

If we will submit to God, He will help us. If we will follow His will for the marriage relationship, He will bless us. If we will stand for the truth, He will keep us. If we will love one another, He will unite us.

"Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge." ~ Hebrews 13:4

4 comments:

  1. Steve HigginbothamAugust 13, 2008 at 12:06 PM

    Hey Jeremiah,
    Your following quote was excellent! "...people want to be accepted as they are, but will not accept God's word as it is."

    When I first got out of school, had just gotten married, and was desperately needing a job, I tried out at a place in Ohio. At the dinner table surrounded by elders, deacons, and a few members and their wives, one of the members said, "I divorced my first wife without the cause of fornication, and am now happily married to the woman next to me. Do you think I am going to go to Hell?"

    Well, I sure needed a job but I needed my integrity more. I simply quoted Matthew 19:9 to him and asked him what Jesus said about it. The silence was awkward to say the least. Looking back, I've always wondered if that was a "test" to see whether I would be true to God's word or sell out.

    I appreciate your writings.

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  2. Thanks, Steve. And thanks for not selling out.

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  3. Great writing Jerimiah. You always know how to take something man makes complicated and return it to its simplicity.

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  4. Like Steve, I loved the line too.

    "what has always seemed incongruent about these matters is that people want to be accepted as they are, but will not accept God's word as it is."

    Great line and truth.

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