Definition of a Christian Marriage
Chick-fil-A Chief Operations Officer, Dan Cathy probably didn’t imagine the firestorm which would result from his seemingly innocuous interview with a friendly journalist – but when the mainstream media got wind of it and applied their spin, it “went viral” – “In a heartbeat”. Although the original interview didn’t contain anything resembling “hate speech” or even any negative commentary, you wouldn’t know it from the ultra-liberal secular media outrage which followed.
We won’t spend a lot of time on the trigger event. Rather than re-hashing that already over-reported topic, let’s consider a related subject. Since this blog is primarily focused on Christian readers, it seems appropriate that we consider the question: “What is the proper definition of a Christian Marriage?”
Looking clear back to the beginning, when God ordained marriage, scripture indicates that he actually extracted tissue from Adam’s own body and created a clone – almost. Eve was made from Adam’s tissue, but in female form. Genesis 1:27 (HCSB) tells us:
He created him in the image of God;
He created them male and female.
Genesis 1:28 (HCSB) reveals their assignment, spoken directly by God, which begins as follows:
“God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth…”
Surely, no one can doubt that those instructions were for one man and one woman! Of course, there is more…
Genesis 2:24 (HCSB) “This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.”
Of course, neither Adam nor Eve actually had much of a selection of mates, so it would have been meaningless to tell them what God thought of divorce – but then “ they become one flesh.” should pretty well eliminate any doubts. Just in case you need more, though, thousands of years later, the Lord Jesus clearly stated God’s view of divorce. One of the places that you can find it recorded is Matthew 19:8-9. We’ll quote it here from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.
“Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of the hardness of your hearts. But it was not like that from the beginning.And I tell you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”
Whoa! That sounds somewhat inflexible, doesn’t it? At the time that Jesus spoke those words, they clearly did not reflect the prevailing standard in His society! It appears that the Lord was not at all impressed with prevailing practice or the force of public opinion. How different that is from the view of many in “the church” today. We seem to have accepted the concept that whatever is viewed by our society as “right and good” must actually BE right and good. If we intend to call ourselves Christian, though, we really ought to begin by finding out what the Christ had to say about our standards.
Thousands of years ago, Moses, the lawgiver wrote in Deuteronomy 5:32 (KJV):
“Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.”
Do you have a problem with that ancient, “archaic” language? Then consider it in modern terminology – from the New English Translation:
“Be careful, therefore, to do exactly what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn right or left!”
That actually sounds pretty much the same, doesn’t it? Do you find those words to reflect a viewpoint which seems a bit intolerant? Well, you’d better face the facts. If God is actually GOD, then He has the right to define right! As a matter of fact, it’s His responsibility, and He takes it seriously. He doesn’t give us these rules just to prove His dominance, though. He actually knows what is best, and if we will obey His instruction, the rest of that statement naturally follows. It’s actually found in the next verse – Deuteronomy 5:33 (NEB).
“Walk just as he has commanded you so that you may live, that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land you are going to possess.”
That’s right! God tells us that if we will find out how He wants us to live – and actually do it – “it will go well with us, and we will love long”.
A good place to begin would be to find out how he wants us to conduct the most personal part of our lives – our marriages.
If you haven’t yet chosen your life-mate, you’d do well to consider and obey the instruction of 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 (HCSB)“Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness?What agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?”
Did you already “mess up” and do it wrong? Don’t give up. God is a God of love and forgiveness. He has promised, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (KJV)
We can ALWAYS trust God to do as He said He would. If He has cleansed us from all unrighteousness, then we can make a fresh start – even if our marriage has already gotten off on the wrong foot – but THIS TIME, let’s be very careful to do it His way! Even marriage to an unbeliever may be salvaged, with His help.Above all, though, don’t take another step until you have sought His guidance – and when you know His will, obey Him without question.
While you are at it, you might want to look for ways to encourage others who are striving to obey God’s will – such as choosing Chick-fil-A when you are looking for fast food that’s actually reasonably healthy!
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