Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Marriage Matters

The divorce rate among Christians is about the same as that among non-Christians. Approximately one in two marriages will end in divorce. At some point these marriages will for one reason of another sever the covenant they have made together with God. Let me stress something- this is a covenant they make not exclusively with each other, but the couple make it together and with God. Marriage according to Ephesians 5 is meant to be a unique display of God's glory. It is a matrix for presenting the love of God and the submission we are to have to God. So when a husband and wife head for divorce it isn't just their lives on the line (or the children or the millions of dollars the divorce industry costs the public); rather, God's reputation is on the line.

It may seem surprising that the divorce rate hasn't gone up in recent years. The 50% rate has held for a couple decades now. The primary reason there hasn't been a spike in this is because couples are opting out of marriage before they even make the covenant. Cohabitation among sexual partners and the practice of cycling through multiple sexual partners is greatly on the rise. While the church doesn't advocate this behavior and the Bible speaks very candidly against fornication and sexual immorality, do we encourage marriage enough?

Often I hear marriage discouraged among young couples. Wait. Wait. Wait. Make money. Enjoy life. Experience everything. Finish your degrees. Establish your career. It almost sounds like marriage is a death sentence. Live your life to the hilt and when you're all spent, give whatever's leftover to a spouse for the rest of your days. That's what we'd say if we were honest. We really should do a better job in the church (but especially in the home) of preparing young men and women for marriage. We just help them to see marriage as a goal worth striving for. It isn't a consolation prize. If we treat it and talk about it as such should we be suprised when it is so easily discarded?


Anonymous said...

You know, it's interesting, but I came out of a non-Christian home (not to say it wasn't a happy one) that didn't really push me one way or the other in regards to early or delayed marriage. They didn't push for abstinence either, and that ended up costing me something precious when I became a believer and later met my wife, who kept herself pure. Strangely, her Christian father wanted us to wait almost 2 years for my wife to graduate college before we got married. I didn't really know at the time, but the fight I put up against his wishes actually had Scriptural backing (1 Corinthians 7:2,9). For someone like myself who struggled with sexual desire for obvious reasons, the purity that my wife had physically, and the purity that I now had spiritually in Christ, was now at stake. Graduation or not (she and I ended up walking the stage together with the same last name), the Bible says it's better to marry than to burn with lust!

Jeremy Bradshaw said...

Amen brother! Great testimony. Hope you are doing well, we keep up with yall and pray daily!

texelct said...

Good post Jeremy. A topic that is on my heart continually. And as you said the article was very thought provoking.