Monday, May 16, 2016

Defining Marriage Part 2 - Martin Wiles

I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. Matthew 5:32 NLT

He looked at me with a serious face and said, “I don’t check my email.”

He was a fellow pastor who I’d recently met. Our church was going through a transformation process, and he was my initial contact to get the ball rolling. When I asked if I could email him, he said yes but that his wife checked his emails before he saw them. If it was something he needed, she’d forward it to him. This was his choice, not hers. Then he confessed. He had been trapped by pornography on the Internet. Knowing his weakness, he voluntarily chose to leave alone what he knew could destroy his marriage: lust. 

Though a serious institution, marriage is not a sacrament. I experience God’s grace in my marriage relationship, but it has no bearing on my relationship with Christ or my eternity in heaven. While God blesses marriages, they don’t save souls eternally.

Sexual activity should be reserved for within the marriage union. Sex before marriage with the intended partner, free sex, and sex with someone other than one’s spouse is rife. God calls it fornication and adultery. Jesus even says if I look on a woman with lust, I’ve been unfaithful in my heart whether I have been in practice or not. Christians have the privilege of demonstrating godly attitudes about sexual relationships through our marriages. 

Marriage is for pleasure and procreation. Adam was sad when there was no one like him. After God married the couple, He told them to populate the earth. Pleasure and procreation. Having children is wonderful, but nurturing the relationship with my partner—who will be around when the kids are gone—is vitally important as well. 

Marriage is a union of body, soul, and spirit. God says the man and woman become one. No longer is it just about my wants, desires, and dreams. I have a partner to consider. Soul refers to the mind, will, and emotions. I am joined to my partner in these areas as well. When both partners are believers, they are also joined in spirit. God’s Spirit lives in both. They operate from a common foundation and can take a journey with God together. 

Enjoy the partner God has given you and serve Him together.

Prayer: Father, thank You for giving us partners to journey with through life.

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