Friday, October 30, 2015

Blended Family Couples Are Not Covenant Family Couples

This post is written to bring discernment for the the truth about a second part of a Focus on the Family (FOTF) Broadcast featuring Ron Deal, author and speaker for FamilyLife Blended. The first blog post on part 1 is here. The Misplace Humility With Blended Families

This second part of this "Improving Your Marriage As a Blended Family Couple" program starts out with a quick snippet of the day’s program. Ron Deal explains how a step-mom, who is normally not a mean person, describes her inability to control her becoming a “wicked step-mom” because of her frustrations in dealing with her husband’s ex-wife. Ron Deal explains that this woman’s normal behavior in context is to “bring that out in her” so that she does not act out in frustration. Based on what God ‘s word has to say on divorce and remarriage, I would compare the advice in this broadcast to adding poison to a cup of water and then putting a “potable water” label on the cup. Then you drink the water believing that the label has power over the poison. This is how Focus on the Family and Ron Deal expect you to view blended families.

The word of God says that this woman that Ron Deal talked to, she is in adultery with this man because this man’s “ex-wife” is in reality, his “covenant” wife. (Mt 5:32,19:9; Mk 10:11,12; Lk 16:18) This is important to note, especially since Ron Deal will try to convince us to listen to what he has to say about “committed love” and remaining in what God calls adultery, by correlating this to how it should be in a “first’ marriage. Ron wants us to label a “remarriage” as a marriage, and remain in humility so that the remarriage will be committed, not ending in “another” divorce.

The truth is this… problems in most blended families are not a result of lack of humility, the problem is denying truth which prevents one from remaining obedient to God’s word. Humility to remain in adultery remarriage proves not only to be counterproductive, illogical, and sinful, it is an assault on the very definition of marriage, and a perversion of the Gospel. Blended family couples are not covenant family couples.

The context of this post will focus on the “foundation” of what FOTF and Ron Deal believe about “marriage”. Jim Daly will highlight his “thoughts” in the introduction, and Ron Deal will conclude the broadcast with his definition of “committed love”. The entire middle of these two comments  permeates with the human philosophy totally devoid of scripture. Please listen to the whole broadcast and consider what I write in this post concerning what I believe to be unbiblical advice, human philosophy, and damnable heresy.

In the introduction to this broadcast, Jim Daly tells us that there are “unique” challenges for step-couples and step-families. Daly continues to say that step-families aren’t like other families and that there are lots of reasons for that. Then he asks the question from an audience’s perspective as to why FOTF is not talking about “first-time marriage” and “traditional marriages” instead of the subject of step-family marriages? Then he says these very important words that set the foundation for what FOTF believes, and how what they believe stands contrary to the word of God.

“The reality is, in our culture this happens (divorce and remarriage); it happens for biblical reasons, it happens for unbiblical reasons, and I’ll acknowledge that…but we’ve got to pick up the pieces with these families in their present situation. And we want to strengthen where they are at so they don’t go through another divorce. I’ll tell you what my passion is; too much divorce in the Christian church,… we have got to stop finding that easier way out. I know some of you are saying, you haven’t lived where I’m living…I get that, but we’ve got to do everything we can do to seek the fruit of the spirit as Ron Deal or guest talked about last time, to pursue humility in our relationships…and to be bold and blunt, we don’t do that well today. We are such an entitled culture, we’ve got to find a better way to deal with relationships…I’m saying that as much to me and Jean as I am saying to everybody else…This is imperative that we work on our relationships so that they are an example of Christ in us.”- Jim Daly Focus on the Family President 10/29/15

This opening statement breeds a certain amount of controversy and considerable confusion, and this starts in the first sentence…

“The reality is, in our culture this happens (divorce and remarriage); it happens for biblical reasons, it happens for unbiblical reasons, and I’ll acknowledge that…but we’ve got to pick up the pieces with these families in their present situation."-Jim Daly

When Jim makes the statement about “our culture”, whose culture is he refereeing to? Is he talking about a nation that has thumbed its nose at God’s definition of marriage? Is he referring to the culture of a nation that has become so sexually immoral that certain “Christian churches” glorify the idea of same-sex marriages and ignore cohabitation among heterosexual couples? Is he referring to a culture that has embraced the loopholes to divorce and remarry by way of Reformers who penned documents of tradition (Westminster Confession of Faith) to replace God’s word? The same Word that defines marriage as a one-flesh covenant between one man and one woman for life? No excuses, no exceptions! 

Or, is Jim talking about certain Christians in “our culture” who point to what the early church practiced and believed on what God’s word says about marriage being as a one-flesh covenant between one man and one woman that can only end in death? If Christians are set-apart from culture, how does divorce and remarriage fit into an evangelical church that looks no different than unbelievers who divorce and remarry? That fact alone should point to the absurdity of believing the body of Christ would bow to the idea that a divorce paper can end what God hath joined together. 

Jim makes a very bewildering attempt to differentiate between the idea that there are “biblical” and “unbiblical” cases for divorce and remarriage. I understand his point from already knowing his false teaching in defining marriage; except in this broadcast, Jim does not specify on what separates the “biblical” case from the “unbiblical” case, let alone tell the listener if there are consequences of either. If I was a first time listener, I would have to assume that even if there are “biblical” and “unbiblical” reasons, neither of these cases will affect my eternal destination if I divorced for “unbiblical” reasons. I would only know that Jim Daly, FTOF, and Ron Deal would love to help me “pick up the pieces of my present situation.”

Let us say that a person was in an “unbiblical marriage” and he or she listened to this broadcast. We would have to assume that even though a marriage is “unbiblical”, it is a lawful marriage non-the-less and that FOTF and Ron Deal would want you to “remain” in this marriage so that you will not go through another divorce.
They would tell you that divorce is acceptable for repeated unrepentant adultery and abandonment. My response to FOTF's biblical “rules” are here , here and here.

But let us give FOTF the benefit of the doubt and just say that the divorce and remarriage does NOT fit into either one of FOTF categories of “adultery” or “abandonment”. This particular divorce and remarriage is “unbiblical”. So what is the solution to this? Does FOTF tell you that an “unbiblical” remarriage is not a marriage in the Lord (1 Cor 7:39)? Even if we were to use Matthew’s account (Written specifically to the Jewish Christians who understand the concept of fornication during the year of betrothal marriage of which there is an exception clause-Matthew 5:32 and19:9), we see that a remarriage after a divorce is adultery.
Matthew 5:32 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.

Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

It is adultery to “remarry” after a divorce. If this is the case, why does Jim Daly refuse to acknowledge this sin of adultery for those in “unbiblical” marriages? Both Jim Daly and Ron Deal would have us believe that a “remarriage” after divorce is “biblical”, and that they both provide “biblical” advice to remain in an “unbiblical marriage” that God calls adultery. They believe that the advice they have to offer would keep the couples in these unbiblical adulterous remarriages from getting another divorce. 

Should not Jim Daly, FOTF, and Ron Deal be pointing to the idea that the Lord Jesus Christ saves us from sin and death if we repent of our sins, and that divorcing from an “unbiblical adulterous remarriage” is the most obvious choice in this situation? If a person remains in sin and does not repent, he or she will go to Hell. One could conclude that Jim Daly and Ron Deal are avoiding the truth in these situations, and would much rather send an “unbiblical married couple” to “The National Institute of Marriage weekend” or Ron Deal’s “Blended Family Summit”. Is this far better than telling them that adulterers do not inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9-10)

Near the end the broadcast, Jim Daly asks Ron to define a term from his book "The Smart Step-family Marriage" for couples of step-families, “committed love”…Ron quotes: 

“It’s that covenant attitude that says we’re in this thing for life. For couples in step-families, that means declaring to everyone around you, we’re in this thing for life. I mean, in the beginning, now this is really important for couples of step-families to hear me say this, alright?... In the beginning, your children are not nearly invested in the success of your marriage as you are, now that’s very different than a first marriage. I na first marriage, biological, traditional families, everybody’s invested in the success of mom and dad’s marriage, if they’re not happy, we’re not happy. If they’re separated, we want them back together again….So you as a couple you have to be committed to a long term relationship even when others around you are not…including your kids. That can feel strange sometimes, you feel like you’re betraying your kids, …it’s like I’m doing something that is putting them at a hard place in their life…well, yes there are adjustments, and sometimes they are not really excited about your marriage,…” Ron Deal, FOTF 10/29/15

Ron Deal wants a rebellious, vow breaking, adulterous couple to teach their children that good is evil, and evil is good. This couple did not have a "covenant attitude" to remain in a covenant marriage, but by-golly, speak evil against their "remarriage" after hardheartedly divorcing a spouse that they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that will never repent of what they did to them...It would seem that Ron Deal teaches that humility to remain in selfishness of second, third and fourth vows is much easier than humility to remain in the first one. 

Also, Ron wants us to believe that teaching children that staying in a committed “remarriage” is equally important as staying in a committed first covenant marriage.  Ron Deal and so many others want you to believe that a child should accept a divorce from a covenant marriage of their biological parents, and that a divorce from an adulterous remarriage would be terrible.
Two divorces make a right in this case, becasue divorcing from adultery is eternally more secure than remaining in adultery.
Here is some scripture for Ron Deal, since he uses zero scripture to back his idea that a one-flesh covenant can end by the actions of godless parents who care more about “self” and seeking humility in a remarriage, rather than obeying God’s "commands" to display humility in a covenant marriage. (1 Cor 7:10,11) Teaching children that is is "ok" to remain in adultery is not a good idea.

Luke 17:1Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come. It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

Remember where Jim Daly tells us his passion…”Too much divorce in the church”.
Here is my passion. Too much false teaching by these popular ministries is keeping couples in the bondage of sin. The Lord rebuke Jim Daly and Ron Deal.
 If Jim Daly and Ron Deal want to seriously help people for all eternity, they need to repent and tell people the truth. What does this look like for Jim Daly, Focus on the Family, and Ron Deal? It is the same thing I wrote to FOTF founder, James Dobson…
1. Jim Daly and Ron Deal, as well as Focus on the Family must personally admit that they have misled singles, families, and marriages by incorrectly teaching sound doctrine on marriage, divorce, and remarriage. They must seek forgiveness in the Lord, and then seek forgiveness to all the ministries, pastors, and people they mislead.
2. Jim Daly and Ron Deal as well as Focus on the Family must restructure the ministry…teaching that a one-flesh covenant marriage is never dissoluble by divorce and that all remarriages are adultery is a great start. This would involve dissolving all remarriages. Unfortunately, many remarriages have children born in this adultery. This dissolution of remarriage is not a condemnation to these children, but an act of repentance against the sin of adultery so that the blood of Christ will cover all involved. These children will grow up knowing that the blood of Christ covers them and that their parents obeyed God by dissolving an adulterous union thus coming to, and living in salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. These parents are just as responsible to raise the children, yet this will not be through bitterness of divorce, but through obedience and faith in God to do the right thing. Compare this to a hardhearted person who divorces, thus separating the family by divorce. Any divorce recovery ministry will tell you of horror stories of how parents put the children in the middle of their ugly separation battles. Which divorce honors God?  Divorce from marriage, or divorce from adultery remarriage? Not to mention that in one generation, marriage would be restored as it was meant to be.
3. Jim Daly and Ron Deal, as well as Focus on the Family will be able to continue this new ministry like never before. The focus will be on family and marriage without the need to talk about divorce. There will be a greater emphasis on church discipline and consequences for those who remain hardhearted. There will also be a need for singles ministries for a spouse who has a prodigal spouse. This single ministry would focus on the single spouse remaining in Christ while making the prodigal fully accountable for their actions. This preparation would prepare the loving spouse and church family to greet the prodigal when they come home. These ministries will have a greater impact on a world in desperate need to see the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ lived out through one-flesh covenant marriage.
There is restoration and hope available for these men and these ministries. There will be consequences of nearly a 500 years of false teaching, but the power of the Gospel can, and will restore the repentant. It is my prayer, and should be the prayer of every believer that the body of Christ would stand strong to defend marriage as one man and one woman for life. Unfortunately, the greatest obstacle to defending marriage is not the unbeliever, it is ministries such as FOTF and FamilyLife.

Please join me in praying for Jim Daly, Ron Deal, and the ministries that are tied to marriage. God loves them, and so must we. If want to be a witness to the world that divorces and remarries, we must be pro-permanence of marriage so that the world can really see...Christ in us! Please pray that they would repent, and when they do, forgive them, just as Christ forgave us.

Luke 17:1-3 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come. It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.3Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.In Christ's love,


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Misplaced Humility With Blended Families

I can say with all honesty that nothing steals my joy more than listening to a "respected evangelical" talk about humility and grace to remain in remarriage adultery (sin), as they ignore the truth that God's word points to humility and grace to remain in a covenant marriage. The reason it steals my joy is that the blindness and ignorance of these ministries leaders and what they teach, is sending them straight to Hell. If this is not sad enough, there are many sheep who blindly follow these wolves. Here is a series of five posts concerning the eternal harm by ministries such as Focus on the Family. (FOTF)

FamilyLife Blended's Profile PhotoToday’s (10/28/15) FOTF broadcast includes Ron Deal and his philosophy on improving a marriage as a blended couple. It must be CLEARLY understood that FOTF and Ron Deal both believe that a "remarriage" after a divorce of a living first covenant spouse is a lawful marriage.

FOTF President Jim Daly adds a disclaimer at the 4:40 mark of this podcast and tells the listeners that,

"'step-families' are formed from the death of spouse and other “biblical “circumstances, but not exclusively for unbiblical reasons". 

This is a very significant statement. What FOTF is saying is that the information provided in today's broadcast is also for “unbiblical” step-families.  Does Jim Daly address the difference between biblical and unbiblical?
No, he does not.

What FOTF, Family Life, and Ron Deal fail to eternally understand is that ALL blended families that include any combination of a divorced and remarried spouses are unlawful marriages. They fail to understand is that what we teach our children about marriage will reflect in what they understand about the Gospel. Teaching children the truth about one-flesh covenant marriage is remaining in a one-flesh covenant marriage.

The guest on today's FOTF program is Ron Deal. According to the "About Us" on the FamilyLife Blended website, Ron Deal is the President of “Family Life Blended” which,

 “provides biblically-based resources that help prevent re-divorce, strengthen stepfamilies, and help break the generational cycle of divorce”

The Bible says that a person is in adultery if they divorce their spouse and marry another (Mt 5:31,32; Mt 19:9; Mk 10:11,12; Luke 16:18). Instead of misplacing humility within the "re-marriage", men like Ron Deal need to place the emphasis of humility in covenant marriage. This requires a Christ-like heart and puts zero emphasis on breaking a vow and considering nothing less than faith in Christ to remain obedient to that vow. If Ron Deal, Family Life, FOTF, and the majority of the evangelical church seriously want to “break the generational cycle of divorce”, they need only heed the word of God.

It would take just ONE generation if ministries like Family Life, FOTF, and the evangelicals would unite in treating marriage as a one-flesh covenant that can only end in death. The Church can ONLY be united in teaching the permanence of marriage. Instead of creating loopholes to allow divorce and remarriage (These loopholes are contrived by believing that the Westminster Confession of Faith trumps the word of God), perhaps the church should buckle down on defining and teaching that marriage is a one-flesh covenant. They should also address and combat the sin that is the underlying reason for divorces, and they should become accountable with disciplining the unrepentant spouse. Here is more on the how the Church should deal with the problems behind divorce.  How the Church SHOULD handle Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage?

The Lord makes it clear that a one-flesh covenant marriage can only end in death (Mt 19:4-6; Mk 10:6-9;Romans 7:2,3; 1 Cor 7:39), and that the scriptures point to reconciling the marriage in ALL cases (1 Cor 7:10,11). This may include "drastic" measures such as not allowing an abandoning spouse to believe he or she can leave a marriage without consequences. This may include "drastic" measures such as one spouse humbly remaining unmarried until his or her prodigal spouse comes to repentance. This may include "drastic" measures such as praying for an unsaved spouse who leaves a covenant he or she made before God. This may include having faith in God through the Holy Spirit to chastise and convict an unrepentant spouse. The idea that God is smaller than our marriage problems is never a laughing matter. It is an affront to God to disregard the permanence of marriage.

When it comes down to it, any spouse who abandons a marriage will go to Hell unless he or she repents and returns to the marriage. Instead of “killing off” a spouse through divorce, it is time to show "humility" as men and women who will never divorce even in the most difficult of situations. This is because we are new creations in Christ who understand the eternal severity of breaking a one-flesh covenant before a Holy God. We no longer live for the flesh, but we live in  and we are guided by the spirit of God.

This is an eternal issue that many want to treat as an earthly matter. Folks, marriage is very serious to God, and providing a bandage for a severed limb is only avoiding the real problem. Humility starts and remains IN A MARRIAGE IN THE LORD, and never must we teach that divorce is anything but a hardness of heart and totally contrary to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. What witness of the Gospel do we send to our children that depicts the end of a family through divorce? Here is a post on those convicted that remarriage is adultery and how it pertains to teaching children the truth about marriage. "Dear convicted remarried believer."

The ministries like FOTF and FamilyLife need to seriously consider the many brothers and sisters who have warned them of their false teaching.  The human philosophy these ministries spew on the sheep in their care only exposes the truth that what they offer is temporary, futile, and lacking spiritual truth. The permanence of marriage represents the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and offers truth, grace, mercy, and humility of which is totally foreign to divorce and remarriage.

Instead of patching the wounds of divorce with lies and deceit, its time to end divorce once and for all. Instead of living for the temporary and appeasing the flesh to "remarry", it is time to end adulterous remarriages and live in the Holy Spirit so that the world will see what eternity in Christ really looks like.  This can only happen if ministries such as FOTF and FamilyLife teach what  humility and repentance look like in a covenant marriage, and not misplaced humility to remain in sin.  

James 4:8-10 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

What Is The Law Of Marriage As It Pertains To Me?

Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

You hear it from the evangelical pastor, “Marriage as a lifetime covenant was God’s intention, but sometimes there are “valid” circumstances to divorce.” You hear it from remarried couples, “I had “valid” reasons to divorce and God blesses my remarriage.” You hear it from divorce lawyers. “The laws of the land provide unilateral divorce if one spouse seeks to “validate” a reason to terminate the marriage.” These all sound like really good excuses, but are they true? If marriage was meant to be a lifetime commitment and not a contract, what are the consequences of us believing marriage is anything other than a one-flesh covenant vow that can only end in death?

I have considered every angle as to why people seek to convince me that a one-flesh marriage between one man and one woman is anything other than a lifetime commitment that can only end in the death of either spouse. I have written nearly over 90 blog posts on the permanence of marriage covering every angle to defend the marriage as a covenant no man may break.

Sure, I have pondered if preaching marriage permanence is legalistic, and that telling someone that they are in an adulterous marriage is not loving and Christ-like. Yet, each time I view marriage from God’s perspective, I am totally convinced that marriage is not ours as His creation to define. I have considered and counted the cost and would be willing to lay my life on marriage being for life. I hold marriage to the same standard as the Gospel.  Would it be Christ-like and loving to share the Gospel to the unrepentant sinner?

If I am correct in believing that marriage is permanent, then it begs to ask the question: Why would God make marriage permanent? People really do want to know the truth, and wanting to know the truth about marriage is no different then wanting to know the truth about ones eternal destination. 

There is no question that recent events have pushed the definition of marriage in the spot light. This is great, because people are wanting to know more about marriage. Marriage is a “big thing” to many people, but if we do not think marriage is a “big thing” to God, we will have a wrong definition of  marriage. The great thing about wanting to know more about marriage will have people wanting to know about the Gospel. A great part of this post is showing the significance to marriage definition and how it relates to the Gospel.

Therefore this is my 93rd post on defending and presenting what God's word says about marriage being one man and one woman for life. This is yet another “apologetic” for the permanence of marriage. (1 Peter 3:15)

Why is marriage one man and one woman for life? 

1. God says so.

Key verses:  Gen 2:24; Mt 19:4-6; Mk 10:6-9; Romans 7:2,3; 1 Cor 7:39; Eph 5:31 and Heb 13:4  
Wherever you see God saying anything about marriage in the Bible it is referred to as a lifetime one-flesh covenant that can only end in death. Marriage is very serious to God and He makes it very clear that what He says is truth. The Lord Jesus Christ own recorded words call for marriage permanence as it was in the beginning…one man and one woman for life. (Mt 19:4-6; Mk 10:6-9) This is the foundation of marriage and any time you want to discuss marriage, these verses must apply!

Many will say…”What about adultery, abuse, and abandonment?” In which I answer, “What does God’s word have to say about trusting in Him when things are beyond our control? What does He say about sin, and how to handle sin? What does He say about loving our enemies? If God is not big enough to handle our problems, then why did you stand before Him and make a vow of marriage to your spouse in the first place? Did you believe that God would not keep and honor His part of the marriage covenant, and/or do you believe that you are responsible for your spouse’s covenant vow to you?

I believe G.K. Chesterton puts ones faith in God into perspective:

“The broad-minded are extremely bitter because a Christian who wishes to have several wives when his own promise bound him to one, is not allowed to violate his vow at the same altar at which he made it.” - G.K. Chesterton

2. Marriage represents Christ love for His church. 

Key verses: Gen 1:1-Rev 22:21 
The Bible from front to back is a picture of the bridegroom Christ coming for His bride. The "witness" of marriage by the church of Christ must be that of a body of believers who defend marriage as a one-flesh covenant until death. Marriage is not man's idea, it is God's law.

Divorce will never be an option for the believer. If your spouse uses unilateral court appointed laws to exit a marriage, he or she only exited what man sees, and not what God grafted from above. Never fall into believing that marriage is a piece of paper; unless you divorced from a first covenant spouse and seek to remarry. Ironically, a divorce decree is only applicable to end an adulterous union that God says was never a marriage in the first place.

3. Marriage speaks boldly of God and His creation…from the beginning. 

Key verses: Genesis 2:7-25; Mt 19:4-6; Mk 10:6-; Romans 7:2,3
Since man was created in God’s image and God provided man a helpmeet (woman), it best serves to treat marriage as a gift from God. It was God’s grace that gave us life, and it was God’s grace that gave us marriage. It is no wonder that a new life (children) can only come from one man and one woman. Since everything God created was “good”, it serves to say that divorce is not good and that marriage is permanent.

The "law of marriage" originated in the beginning, and this law applies today. The Lord Jesus Christ came to fulfill the laws, of which marriage was already established before Adam took a bite from the forbidden fruit. Thus, marriage in the New Testament does not include the foreign idea of divorce.

In Timothy C. Tennents recent posts "Marriage, Human Sexuality and the Body", he asks believers to consider the thought of marriage as it was in the beginning.

“When Paul says, “in Adam all die and in Christ all are made alive”, that is a reference to only Christ and the fallen Adam.  But, when Jesus says “from the beginning it was not so” he is calling us to look back even before the Fall.  We have to go back to the original design and understand something of the theology of creation, the theology of the body, and God’s original intention for the cosmic role of Adam and Eve in the original creation, which we must examine before we rush too quickly to Genesis 3 and the entrance of sin.” -Timothy C. Tennent

4. Marriage creates humility.

Key verses: Eph 5:22-33
God created man, and then He created woman out of man. One became two, to become one again. Before the fall of man, both the man and woman were unashamed (Gen 2:25) and after the fall, God specifically stated that there would be difficulty between a husband and a wife. (Gen 3:16-19) A man will find it difficult to love his wife as God commands, and a wife will find it hard to respect or submit to her husband. 

This is where the power of the Gospel comes in. The Lord Jesus Christ is the great equalizer, because apart from the Holy Spirit living inside of us, we cannot rightly love and submit respectively. Since marriage was formed and joined by God, it makes sense to include Him as the officiator of marriage. Thus, when two become one, the cement that keeps them in place is the love of Christ. 

5. Marriage models the Gospel and is a witness to unbelievers.

Key verse: Eph 5:32
Everyone wants to be loved and adored. Every man and woman desires to be loved, and marriage is not only God’s gift offering of that that love, but marriage represents that love as well.  It speaks volumes when a couple loves each other. Outward affection and inward humility between couples create a beautiful dance. When we understand where this gift of marriage originates, we have a better understanding of God’s love for us. God provided us with a suitable partner in this temporary lifetime. But the foundation of this temporal institution has eternal qualities. 

Displayed in marriage is this eternal love that Christ has for us. He longs for His bride, and we become his bride when we accept the humility and love He gave on our behalf on the cross of Calvary. In Hershael W.York’s recent blog post, he equates the witness of the Gospel as it relates to marriage.

“If marriage is a picture of Christ and his love for his church, then much more is at stake than my happiness. The world should long for what Christians have. If our marriages aren’t filled with kindness and joy, why would anyone want what we offer? But when they see in us a mutual delight, a gentle and easy trust in one another, they can’t help but ask, “What’s your secret?” And we can tell them that it’s no secret at all. It’s Jesus.” ~ from  "Is your marriage a picture of the gospel? "Hershael W. York 

6. Marriage unifies the church

Key verses: Eph 5:32; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6; Heb 13:4
Since marriage is a representation of the Gospel and displays the love of Christ, would it not also unify the church? Sadly, there is no mystery that the church is much divided on the issue of marriage. I am not speaking exclusively on the case for same-sex marriage, but the idea of divorce and remarriage. There are four stances on how the church views divorce and remarriage, and much of this was covered here. The Four Stances on Divorce And Remarriage...and Marriage.

If marriage is understood as a one-flesh binding covenant for life, how could the church be so divided? What is even a greater question is this: How should one view the division of marriage? The church that stands for the permance of marriage claims that all remarriages after a divorce of a living covenant spouse is adultery.  Thus, one cannot fellowship with a person or persons who remain in unrepentant sin. This is a delicate issue, but I have offered real biblical advice to correct this and strive for unity on this matter.  Dear Convicted Remarried Believer and Dear Pastor,.

In Trevin Wax’s recent post, he brings to light the schisms resulting from marriage redefinition and how we must view these in light of unity. Keep in mind that what he quotes is not strictly relegated to same-sex marriage and licentiousness. We must consider what he writes as it equates to all aspects of marriage redefinition, up to and including divorce and remarriage.

“It baffles me that one would blame the schisms across the Western Church today on those who uphold Christianity’s historic sexual ethic instead of those who advocate for a sexual revisionism that would have been unfathomable to the generations of the Christians who came before us and, even today, shocks the consciences of the vast majority of Christians outside the West. Only in Western cultures do we call churches “affirming.” Outside the West, the term is ‘apostate.’” -Trevin Wax

In a recent New York Post article, the recent Obergefell v. Hodges decision has brought to light real questions concerning the “unintended consequences” of redefining marriage. This post not only exposes the complications surrounding the decision to redefine marriage, it exposes the evangelical churches inability to “unite” on a sound definition of marriage. 

"If the Constitution guarantees murderers and rapists the opportunity to meet their accusers and defend the charges against them, why no protection for spouses who exercise their fundamental right of marriage? Why does marriage matter so much if its protections and benefits can be cavalierly taken away?" - Beverly Willet

 7. Marriage declares God’s glory for all eternity.

Key verses: Gen 1:1; John 1:1
God created the heavens and the earth. God created man in his image. God created marriage. Everything God created was “good”. How can we as His creation not give all the glory to God? Just as the Lord Jesus Christ glorifies God  by remaining in perfect relationship with the Father, so too does marriage provide the means in which to glorify God by living out a relationship with our spouse.
 The Lord Jesus Christ came into this world to save us from sin and death, it was His love for us that is so evident in the union of marriage. The core of the Gospel is believing that His perfect sacrifice brings us into a relationship with God, which was previously unattainable by our own less-than-perfect works. Though marriage does not save us from sin and death, marriage demands that we sacrifice self to become one with our spouse. A marriage vow says that we will stand by our spouse no matter what happens. So too Is Christ’s marriage to His church, he will never leave or forsake us. 

He will always be faithful, even when we are not.

In effect, this puts into perspective the love of a Savior, the glory of God and the purpose of marriage. Viewing marriage with an eternal perspective is in total contrast of viewing marriage as if there is nothing beyond this life. The paradigm is that marriage of one man and one woman ending in death, requires a Christ-like love to remain and persevere to the end. The rewards of remaining in this lifetime marriage is eternity married to Christ. The rewards of believing marriage is a means to make us happy can only be obtained in this life. This is disastrous. Not only was marriage a means to fulfill your life, it also reveals what you believe about eternity. Viewing marriage as temporal will have eternal consequences. Viewing marriage as eternal will have temporal consequences.

In conclusion, I have offered another apologetic for the permanence of marriage. In reality, the apologetic was already in the word of God. If it begs to ask the question: Why would God make marriage permanent? One need only open the pages of His word and believe what the Holy Spirit reveals, and not what we want to be true. This is the question everyone needs to answer: What is the law of marriage as it pertains to me?

Proverbs 3:1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

In Christ’s love,