Sunday, November 29, 2015

7 Biblical Statements About Marriage

Note: The following is a message I shared at PPC this morning during a post wedding celebration. 

Everyone has an opinion what marriage is. Every culture has something to say about marriage. The world we live in has a definition what marriage should be. Even among Christ's followers, they have different opinion about marriage.

Book stores are filled with thousands upon thousands of books about marriage. As of November 28, 2015, Amazon has 415,243 books on marriage on sale. That's almost half million books on marriage. Unbelievable! If you read one book a day, it would take you more than one thousand years before you can read them all or if you read 10 books per day, it would take you over 100 years to read.  

Despite all the books on marriage to help couples stay committed, marriage has more problem today than the rest of human history. 

People have many opinion and advice about marriage. As Christians, we should know what the Bible says about marriage. There are very little passages about marriage in the Bible. People elevated the subject on marriage as if it is the center of our being. While the Bible didn't really say much about marriage, whenever the Bible speaks on this topic, it's very straightforward, clear and no beating around the bush! I probably have more than 10 books about marriage at home, but when I was preparing this message, I didn't consult any of them. I chose not to because I want to see what the Bible has to say. Here are 7 Biblical Statements on marriage.

1. Marriage is between a Man and a Woman
God created only the man in the first place. He didn't create them as pair to start with. When Adam was lonely, God said, "It is not God for the man to be alone. I will create a helper suitable for him." Did you notice something? It is interesting that God didn't create another man as suitable partner for Adam. This means the kind of marriage instituted by God is between man and a woman. Let's read the verse. "A man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and two shall become one flesh" (Gen 2: 24). God wants Adam and Eve to have Children. Adam and another man won't be able to produce a child.

Marriage between a man and a woman was reaffirmed by Jesus in the New Testament. In Matthew 19:4-5, "He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one’?"

2. Marriage is a choice
For Adam and Eve, it wasn't a choice, it was God's design. But Adam really likes Eve too. Love at first sight. In the New Testament, according to Paul marriage is a choice and singleness is a gift. Paul said, "I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion (1 Corinthians 7: 8-9). To the virgins, because of the present crisis I think that it is good for you to remain as you are. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife (1 Cor. 7: 26-27).

It's perfectly fine to be single. Don't feel bad if you are single. Some people think that marriage is the best. It isn't!

3. Marriage is God's Provision for the Problem of Sexual Immorality. 
"Because of immorality each man should have his own wife and each woman should have his own husband." (1 Cor. 7: 2). The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive one another. (1 Corinthians 7: 3-4). If the following verse is a movie, it would be rated R: In his wisdom, Solomon writes, "Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. (Proverbs 5: 15-19). 

4. Infidelity is Prohibited in Marriage. The Ten Commandments says, "You shall not commit adultery". "You shall not covet your neighbor's wife." "The marriage bed should be honored by all, and the marriage bed should be kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral."  Hebrews 13: 4

5. Marriage is a Lifetime Commitment
Divorce is not God's Idea. Divorce is created by man. Jesus said, "What God has joined together let no man separate." (Mark 3: 9) Paul said, "Are you married? Do not seek a divorce."  (1 cor. 7:27). Wife should not separate his husband and husband should not divorce his wife. A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. (1 Cor. 7: 39).

6. The Husband is Mandated to Love his Wife.  
Husbands love your wife just as Christ loved the church and gave His life for her. How must he love his wife? The answer is simple but difficult. Love your wife like Jesus love the church and love your wife like yourself. (Matthew 5: 25, 28).

7. The Wife is Commanded to Submit and Respect her Husband. 
"Wives submit to your husband as to the Lord." ( Ephesians 5: 22) Wives must respect her husband. 

For marriage to work, there must be a mutual responsibility between the wife and the husband. There is no other way for marriage to work if only one party is doing the job. God's idea is that husband and wife become one.