All true Christians must surely be saddened and deeply concerned as we have witnessed, in our day, the marginalization of the institution of marriage in our nation.
The recent decision by the Lords to accept the bill redefining marriage was deeply disturbing. It would seem that our nation is determined to defy God and impose this bill with all its evil implications upon us. Our nation is in a desperate state of moral and spiritual declension, reminiscent of the dark days of the Judges, when ‘everyone did that which was right in his own eyes.’
Marriage has been defined by God. Governments have no right or mandate to attempt to redefine marriage. Marriage cannot be redefined. God’s word is forever settled in heaven. When asked about marriage, Jesus took the Pharisees back to the Word of God and to the declaration by God recorded in the book of Genesis; ‘Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?’ (Matthew 19:4,5; Genesis 2:24).
Contrary to the beliefs of many in our society, marriage is not some arbitrary idea concocted by mankind and thus able to be structured in any way that we see fit. Rather, it is instituted by God Himself for our benefit and for His glory. Societies, like buildings, need firm foundations. It is dangerous indeed to tamper with the foundations of any building. In our present and troubled and broken country it would be an act of criminal folly to undermine an institution which has not only has proved its worth through the centuries of our society but is directly mandated by God.
- The Divine origin of Marriage:
The first marriage is found in Genesis. This is the template for all subsequent marriages and the standard by which they are to be judged. God created a man and a woman who were to have and raise children. In Genesis 2:24 we read that man and woman are to come together in marriage as one flesh. This reflects God’s intention in creating men and women and shows the basic non-negotiable ingredients of marriage, a sacred covenant between one man and one woman in intimate physical union. Like all other covenants, it is governed by God’s commands for the sake of His glory and this glory is displayed as husband and wife are faithful to God’s design for marriage.
The marriage relationship as instituted by God, is intended to be a permanent relationship, only to be terminated by death. (Gen.2:24-25, Matt. 19:3-19)
- The Divine pattern for Marriage:
God’s intention for the marriage relationship as instituted by God is set out by God in various New Testament passages; (Eph. 5:11-33; Col. 3:1ff. esp. 18,19 – Husband & wife responsibilities; i Pet. 3:1-8)
Husbands loving and wives submitting are the main focus of these passages. The key to each fulfilling their role and responsibilities as set by God in His Word, is first and foremost dependant on both partners having a living relationship with Him in Jesus Christ and continuing to live in that relationship in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
‘Let marriage be held in honour among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.’ ((Hebrews 13:4) Following and obeying God’s commands is the path of blessing both individually and nationally.