Behold The King: Teaching on Marriage
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 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.
A Designed Institution
A Designed Institution
Marriage is designed by God from the beginning to be an example of His love and sacrifice for mankind. While God knows that humans are not always trustworthy and faithful. Humanity can rely on the fact that God is always trustworthy and faithful.
And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Dominick and Anne Cosentino were married in 1928. She was 16. He was 18. In 2008 the Cosentinos, 98 and 96, celebrated 80 years of marriage. At the celebration “Anne wore a white wedding veil, and when Dominick kissed her, he laid his hand on her heart.” In a day when marriage seems more fragile every passing year, the Cosentinos have a secret: “Couples shouldn’t anticipate their entire marriage will be rosy,” Mrs. Cosentino told the St. Petersburg Times, “but compassion and devotion can keep them together.” God’s intent is for a man and a woman to make a lifetime commitment to one another and then keep that commitment even if it takes 80 years. I am sure that the boy and girl that were married in 1928 have changed a lot in the intervening years. The one thing that hasn’t changed is their devotion to one another. That is what makes marriage work.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 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. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 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. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
Adultery Starts in the Heart
Adultery Starts in the Heart
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Just as Eve was deceived by Satan in the garden, we are tempted to look, touch, and taste that which we know is ungodly and therefore unhelpful for us. When a person justifies a habit of lusting they deny the reality of human emotions and intellect that God granted each of us.
To keep thee from the evil woman, From the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; Neither let her take thee with her eyelids. For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: And the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.
And, behold, there met him a woman With the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; Her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, And lieth in wait at every corner.) So she caught him, and kissed him, And with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; This day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, Diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, With carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed With myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
In a column in the Chicago Tribune, Cheryl Lavin concluded that “the trick to flirting is knowing when to stop.” She described two married couples whose flirting jeopardized their marriages because they took it too far. Where is that line? Jesus drew it with the first lustful glance. He said, “But I say to you that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
Commitment to Dependency
Commitment to Dependency
Mankind is completely dependent upon God whether an individual acknowledges it or not. A marriage must be dependent upon God, and thankful to God for the beautiful relationship He has designed. When individuals stray from God’s design of marriage it is often due to selfish desires. A misinterpretation of the emotions and desires that God has instilled into mankind.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Daniel Gilbert, a Harvard psychologist, studies happiness. One thing he discovered is that married people are happier than those who just live together. He uses himself as an example. He and his girlfriend had been living together for a dozen years. Because of his discovery, he proposed marriage. How did it work out? “I love my wife more than I loved my girlfriend, even though she’s the same person. Commitment isn’t just a sign of love; it is a cause of love.” God can command a man to love his wife because God already knew that commitment is a cause of love. Sometimes the action of loving someone wholeheartedly precedes the feelings of love.
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
Disaster of Divorce
Disaster of Divorce
If someone misrepresents themselves to another person (sexual purity, intentions in the marriage, etc.) their spouse has every right to serve that individual. But we have often not truly understood what serving people really looks like. Sometimes in order to serve someone we must illuminate the ugly, sinful, and self harming habits they are committing. With the attitude and desire to see the offender repent and reconcile with God and others. Service is not accepting and enabling others to continue in a sinful lifestyle.
Despite recent trends toward short relationships and divorce among stars, rock musician Jon Bon Jovi and his wife have remained married throughout the years. They were high school sweethearts and wed in 1989. When asked about the longevity of the relationship between him and his wife, Bon Jovi said the main factor was fear. Bon Jovi explained the secret of their happiness this way: “Let get that right here, right now. I’m afraid of my wife.” He then added, “Trust me, she is the best. I am very happy.”
And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you. But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all. Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
Wether you are single, dating, married, divorced, remarried. God loves you. He desires your life to represent His Grace. No marriage is simple. Jesus tells us that our human depravity drives us away from His perfect design for us. But when you receive Christ as your Savior, you are transformed. You now have His power and ability to make decisions that intentionally glorify Him and serve others. God has you at the exact relational position you can handle so use it to glorify Him.