LOVE AND THE SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE
No other factor is more relevant to the moral decline of our country than the breakdown of the family. Loss of the family as the beginning unit of civil society is at the crux of what is wrong with this nation we live in. God chose to make man in His image, and to that creation He added woman. Genesis 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
She was made from taking a rib from his side and brought woman unto him. Note that it was not from his foot to walk over her, or from his head, so that she would rule over him. No, God took from him a rib that would show that she was to be at his side to walk with him in unity of spirit and physically as a helpmate in all their shared lives together.
Let me make one thing perfectly clear, before I go on as this sermon applies to only one definition of marriage, as there is only one in God’s eyes. God made the first man in His image, and made He them (man and woman). It was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Any other definition of love in marriage is an abomination in God’s eyes. (Romans 1:26-27). God ordained this union as one man, one woman for life and not any other perversion of the perfect union of two people. This world is trying to substitute and redefine marriage into the complete opposite or the profane, but the secular approach will never work and produce a healthy society as in all cases, as it effects how the children view society and the circle of depravity perpetuates itself to their children. In our Bible, marriage is permanent, its ties so binding that they can be broken only by death—or something worse: physical infidelity, moral abandonment, or sustained abuse by either spouse, all of which Jesus encapsulates in the term porneia, translated as "sexual immorality."
While Jesus was on earth, the Pharisees tested Him on this point, and He made it so binding by the institution of marriage, from even the beginning:
And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at 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 flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."(Matthew 19:4-6)
Let’s deal with a case in point, or the redefining of marriage in this country and “no fault divorce” laws. Anyone can lawfully enter into a holy contract, called marriage and if they choose to discard the spouse, the husband or wife, they can do it in a whim, almost with no questions asked in divorce court. But I ask you, “Was that the way God intended it? Or are we sinning against God and His commandment? What does the Bible say? When Jesus was approached by the Pharisees, they asked Him about divorce and putting away one’s wife (or husband). Jesus echoes what Matthew records above in another passage. What did He say? Mark chapter 4:
10:2 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.
10:3 And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?
10:4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.
10:5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.
10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
10:7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
10:8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
10:9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Our Lord, Jesus Christ limited the permission of divorce to the single case of adultery or sexual immorality, as noted above. . It seems that it was not uncommon for the Jews at that time to dissolve the union on very slight pretences. So it was then, so it is now. The family is falling apart, as men and women tear up the marriage contract for the slightest whim. The “if it feels good do it crowd”, needs only their own pride and selfishness to rule in their lives to the destruction of their marriage vows and ultimately, this nation.
Many have found an abundance of reasons to discard the marriage and the love of their youth with any reason that makes them feel justified. But are they justified? Matthew chapter 5:
5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
That my reader, goes both ways. If a man puts away his wife for any cause or the wife her husband, but for adultery, it is sin in God’s eyes, as it violates the commandment “Thou shalt not commit adultery”. You cannot get away from this Biblical doctrine, no matter who you are. Don’t think that you can hide behind any false church doctrine that is misled you to support your sinning against God. You can be a “Christian” and do these things and God will judge you in the end, harshly. And then there are some who think they can get around this doctrine, because of their parents dislike for your choice of mate or my church says so, or it’s gotten too hard to stay married and “I just don’t want to stay married to this person, as we’ve grown “apart.” On and on they go. So they devise a plan for making life so difficult for their spouse that the union falls apart, by fiat and they feel justified. Let’s go over a few that I have seen in my days of life on this earth from others who have transgressed the sanctity of marriage by examples I have prayed over for healing.
There are some that believe that they can force you into repentance by shaming you and having nothing to do with you. It is called in some perverted circles as “shunning”, “excommunication” or “disfellowshipping”. The Jehovah’s Witness, the Amish, and the Church of Scientology are just some of the larger groups that follow this practice. There are also many smaller “religious” groups that follow this practice, including some that claim they are Christians. These groups believe that they are “loving” you to repentance by their actions. I believe, they have been deceived by Satan to the detriment of the family unit and promote Satan’s master plan. Their actions only proves their own unrepentant souls and influence from Satan. This new found “doctrine” in some “religious” circles, and I use that term loosely, feel that they can point to Paul's admonishment to the Corinthian church found in I Corinthians chapter 5:
5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
Erroneously, they use this to apply to their own family, meaning their wives, husbands or children and take on a self righteousness not rooted in Scripture. This passage has nothing to do with inside the family, except for adultery. This was the case of the man taking his father’s wife as his own. In this scripture passage, this man was committing adultery and fornication, as apparently his father was still alive. Or was an example of family incestuous practices. I bring this subject up because some have chosen to apply this verse to give a reason to put away their wife for other reasons beside fornication. They also use the following verse to justify this term “ shunning” but to not confuse the two, I will call it what it is…moral abandonment. This is leaving your first responsibility apart from God and to not care for your own flesh and blood. These misguided folks also use these following verses to justify their sin, but ignore the whole of the Bible and rely on their false interpretation of these two passages:
Galations 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
2 John 1:10,11 “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. Any one who shares with them
First, we need to understand the context of who the Scriptures are referring. They are talking about people who say that they are Christians, and they are talking about putting them out of the church. They are not talking about removing any contact with all people outside of the church and they are not talking about family members. The Bible does not say that Christians are to shun others. We live in the world, but are not of the world. How can you reach others for Jesus Christ, if you have no physical or verbal contact with others in this world? You can’t and you are not spreading the Good News of the Bible to the lost. You leave youself a small, select group that you associate with , as evidenced by Jehovah Witness’ practices and not in alignment with God’s Word.
Concerning Church discipline, the bible is very clear in Scripture – Matthew 18:15-17
“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. “
Outside of the church, treating someone as “a pagan or a tax collector”, doesn’t mean you completely ignore the person. What do you do? You attempt to reach them for Jesus Christ. You continue to love them. Jesus himself associated and ate with gentiles, including tax collectors. (Matthew 9:9-13, Mark 2:15, Luke 5:27-29) In other words, you are to treat them as you would any other non-member of your church.
By erroneously applying the above verse to your wife and children, families are being destroyed by the practice of moral abandonment called shunning being applied to them. There is no scriptural support of shunning one’s own relatives, as some have attempted to do. This includes parents, spouses, children, and siblings. Scripture states in 1 Timothy 5:8 “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
Getting back to marriage, when God established the institution of marriage, he designed the man to be the head of the woman as Christ is the head of the church. The reality of that is, if there is a problem in your marriage, usually the responsibility falls on the husband. In the case of the aforementioned false doctrine of “shunning”, more times than not, the wife and children are the ones that are morally abandoned. The Bible specifically addresses how a married couple who have been joined together by God must adhere to the marriage covenant for life. Ephesians Chapter 5:
5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
Christ loved the church (His people) with compassion, mercy, forgiveness, respect, and selflessness. In this same way husbands are to love their wives and the wives the same to their husbands…and each to their children…for life.
If you are not honoring your marriage vows (which include the words till death do us part) you are in direct disobedience to God, and you are not in His will. You are in direct violation of the law of God and God will take you to task for your sin.
In 1 Corinthians 13, God’s perfect love is explained in detail. And it is no more important than inside of a love filled family. Anything else is a desecration of the marriage covenant. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. “ Do you love your spouse, as Christ loves you?
Those that practice this act of abandonment, erroneously called “shunning” are not understanding of what God means when he says “Love one another”. What they are doing in reality is showing their pride and their hatred. Hatred for whom and who do they hate? They show hatred for their own flesh and blood, their children. What was marriage designed for? It was designed for the children.
The 5th Commandment speaks directly to parents and children, laying the foundation of responsibility that each has to the other. When children submit to their parents, and parents provide a loving environment to nurture their children in lawful living, the children and society directly benefit from this command. Home government is the cornerstone of national government, and when the home is right, the social structure follows. When marriage and family unity are held in high esteem and a fear of violating God's standards is instilled, sin can be held in check.
Hebrews 12:11 "Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."
We are supposed to be training our children in the way they are to go and grow. No wonder there are so many deviations from true Christian marriages. We see shacking up together and let’s see if it works out (which usually it never does). We see one parent households with no man in the picture. Maybe there is isn’t a mother in the picture either, as the sin is not exclusive to just men. We see orphaned children taken by DFS (Department of Family Services) because the parents, either one or both have failed in the marriage and the children suffer. We see men who fail to support their children by caring for their needs and finding anyway they can to dodge child support. This is not love or commitment. How can these children grow up any other way, but deficient in love for others or themselves? I see attempted suicides, drug addiction, and every other sin related to bringing children into broken homes. And where does it start? It starts with the human emotion of pride and selfishness.
Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” And what a fall it truly is…Our nation is failing because men and women do not fulfill the law of God concerning marriage and love inside that relationship.
What about spouses doing separation? Can it be beneficial? It can if it fulfills repairing what was deficient in the first place, love and honoring each other inside the marriage vows.
"Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you in this world. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil" (Ecclesiastes 9:9).
Again in 1 Corinthians chapter 7:
7:13 And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away.
7:14 For the unbelieving husband receives sanctification through his wife, and the unbelieving wife receives sanctification through her believing husband; for otherwise people would consider your children unclean, but now people regard them as holy.
7:15 Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister has not placed themselves under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace.
7:16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
7:17 Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk And so I direct in all the churches.
If you are separated from your spouse, and you are not doing everything you can to reconcile the marriage, I would recommend you spending time in the Scriptures. The Bible talks about separation (mutually agreed upon and only for a short time), but God’s plan for marriage is that you reconcile as quickly as possible so that Satan cannot get a foothold. Marriages are designed by God to glorify Him.
Concerning our dissolutions of marriage, what does God think about our divorce laws?
Crystal clear! Malachi 2:16 “God hates divorce”.
2:15 "But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit And what did that one do while he sought godly offspring? Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth.
2:16 "For I hate divorce," says the LORD, the God of Israel, "and him who covers his garment with wrong," says the LORD of hosts. "So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously."
Look at Galatians 5:19-21 again, quoted above. There are 2 key words in this verse related to problems in a marriage that show us how unbiblical the act of moral abandonment (shunning) leading to divorce really is. The key words are dissensions and divisions. The Biblical definition of dissensions according to the KJV dictionary is “Disagreement in opinion, usually a disagreement which is violent, producing warm debates or hot angry words; contention in words; strife; discord; quarrel; breach of friendship and union.” Scripture is clear. Moral abandonment called shunning causes strife, dissensions, and divisions. “…those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:21). It’s a serious offense that God has a dim view of leading to sin in the other parts of the verse.
I ask you to be honest with yourself. Do you see yourself in any of the practices I’ve outlined here? If you do, then brother or sister, you need to get down on your knees and pray for forgiveness. When you have cleansed your heart and mind of this wickedness by repenting tearfully before God and receiving forgiveness, you must make it right with the wife or husband of your youth. Ask them for forgiveness and together, get on your knees and ask God to restore the love and honor you were supposed to be giving one another. If you are sincere, and are wishing to do obediently what God has commanded, I believe God in His love and forgiveness will give you a new found love for the one who is your first priority on this earth…Your spouse and filtering down to your children.
I pray for the people who follow these practices. I pray that the Lord will give them eyes to see, ears to hear, and a softened heart. Remember, we are the Lord's servants.
2 Timothy 2: 23 – 25 “ … the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth”
It is God’s command and His institution and sanctity of marriage based upon the love Christ has for His church. If we as men and women of God would honor the institution of marriage in love and commitment, then this nation at large would slowly heal of the afflictions that are rampant in our world and threatens to destroy our country. It must start at the bedrock of our republic, the family unit.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor wishing you God speed and blessings on each of you. If I can be of any help to you, pray with you, or counsel you on any biblical principle, please drop me a line to firstname.lastname@example.org. God bless you all, till we meet at Jesus feet.