Sunday, October 28, 2012

Is the Relationship Worthy of Marriage: A Series on Sacred Marriage

Is the Relationship Worthy of Marriage: A Series on Sacred Marriage

 

Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” – Psalms 85:10 (ESV)

Today’s devotional will begin a series God is leading me to write regarding marriage, and finding the spouse He has for us.  Having gone through two divorces, you might very well think “who is she to offer marital advice?”  But let me ask you this.  If you’re going to a new town and you need directions, do you ask someone who has never been there before, or someone who has walked its streets?

God has seasoned my testimony with the pits I’ve fallen into, and asked me to show others where those pits are and enable them to bypass them.  (And to lighten this a bit, note that those “pits” did not make me “pitiful” because God was and still is by my side!)  2 Corinthians 1:4 says that God comforts us in our troubles so “that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God”. So to that effort I offer advice to those who may be considering marriage, may be looking for a spouse, are dating, or may have never started dating. 

Marriage was designed by God, not man.  We have to look to God for answers in what it is supposed to be for it to be truly successful. You don’t ask an Olympic swimmer how to bake a cake!  Why would you turn to Hollywood, filled with divorces and “entertainment” based on sex outside marriage and divorce, to find answers about marriage?  Let’s turn to the originator of the relationship, and ask Him to tell us how to be successful in marriage.

In the Garden of Eden when God created Eve, He did so because, as He proclaimed “it is not good that man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Children had to be born.  Unlike the male and female animals he made, God chose to have a part in the marital relationship by creating Eve Himself specifically for Adam.  This is a divine relationship created by God, and it should be treated with respect as a gift from God.  It’s not something to do spontaneously or without caution.  In Malachi 2:16 God says “I hate divorce”.  He does not approve it except in the case of death of a spouse or unfaithfulness of one spouse to the other (Matthew 5:32, 1 Corinthians 7:39). 

However, things do happen to break the foundation of a marriage.  Though God hates divorce, He will forgive all sins, including divorce.  I will not sit here and tell a woman who may be in an abusive relationship to stay.  SEEK GOD.  He holds all the answers for your future.

Divorce leaves a scar on the soul.  When two are joined in marriage, they are no longer two, but ONE in the sight of God, and are given a portion of His Spirit within their relationship.  Divorce does not leave the one as two wholes as before, but as halves of the single unit.  His Spirit bond between them is gone.  Forgiveness can be attained, but make no mistake, it is a painful process.

The two are made one for a single purpose.  It is to allow them to have God-loving and God-following children.  Malachi 2: 15 says, “Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring.”  Children are to be the result of marriage – not the cause for it.  Two are made as one, with God as their binding force.  Malachi 2:15-16 goes on to say “So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”

Guarding your spirit means having self-control.  A man, or woman, must be able to commit to the marriage in such a strong way that outside elements and temptations will not break it.  The vows are not made just to each other, but first to God.  Breaking a promise to God does not go without consequences.  Ecclesiastes 5:5-7 says about vows made to God that “It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear. It’s not the lawyer, divorce court, the loss of your retirement, or the custody of your children you should fear when looking at divorce, it is God.

Malachi says that one who divorces their spouse “covers his garment with violence”. Don’t take those words lightly.  Violence in this verse comes from the Hebrew word “chamac” (Strongs H2555).  It means violence, wrong, cruelty, injustice”.  That is what divorce brings to your life.

After considering all this, you may ask if marriage is worth the effort.  After finding a man who truly is my gift from God, and the spouse I believe He had designed for me from the start, I will tell you YES, it is! I like how Psalms 85 describes God’s relationship to His people because it so describes the heart of those divorced.  It says He forgave their iniquity, covered all their sin, and put away His indignation toward us. It goes on to say that He restored us and revived us.  And in verse 10 it says, “Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.”

Friends, this is how successful marriage is accomplished.  It is an act of God where a steadfast, unshakable love is met with faithfulness.  God finds it righteous and dwells in it, and peace is its sweet kiss of approval.  Seeking this kind of marriage is worth the effort.  This kind of marriage has no end to its blessings, and is never a burden.  The key is knowing how to find it.    

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