Marriage and Family

Marriage and Family

The Marriage Relationship

In this message, Pastor Ed Kidwell outlines the Christian roots of marriage, scripturally debunks the popular opinion against legalized unions, and offers encouragement to those who might be struggling in their marriage.

Introduction
•    Turn to Colossians 3.
•    The very foundation of every society in history has been the institution of marriage.
•    Marriage and family have never been under such attack as today.
•    No society in history has every recognized the institution of marriage as anything other than the union between one man and one woman.
•    The Roman Emperor Justinian clearly defined the term marriage in his law books when he said, “Marriage, or matrimony, is a binding together of a man and a woman to live in an indivisible union.”
•    Because this was a recorded law, it is significant that the singular article was used. This means “one man and one woman.”
•    Whether or not American politicians come to the same conclusion as Justinian doesn’t change the facts about what is marriage.
•    The only way we can be sure to navigate through the sometimes stormy seas of marriage is if we go to the Operations Manual, the Bible.
•    So I want to look at Biblical facts about the marriage relationship.

•    Colossians 3:17-19, 24 And [whatever] you do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.
•    Colossians 3:23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,
24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Where Did Marriage Come From?
•    Most of us would agree that human beings have an instinctive drive to be married to a single someone else.
•    Most would also agree that we have instinctive jealously over that person to whom we’re wed. Instinctively, we are not willing to share them with anyone else.
•    The marriage instinct was placed in us by God:
•    Genesis 2:20-25 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.
21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.  22 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
23 And Adam said: (Holy Moly! Mama mia! Mamacita!) “This [is] now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
•    Adam wasn’t a monk! When God presented Adam with a wife, Adam really liked what he saw!
•    And the Holy Spirit inspired the words in verse 24 for us to understand that because God designed marriage, it is our instinct to want to be married!
•    The atheistic secular minds of today want to say that our marriage instincts are created by our environment, not by God.
•    This type of thinking is rooted in the religion of Evolution (which cannot be thought of as science by any reasonable mind), and is nothing more than man trying to erase moral boundaries.
•    “If there’s no God, there’s no moral accountability…I can do what I please and never be punished!”
•    If we’re not morally accountable to anyone, then we can all live a hedonistic lifestyle—eat, drink, be merry, party hearty! There is no moral standard, no moral absolute.
•    But this thinking disproves itself. If there is no moral lawgiver, then:
•    1. “There is nothing wrong with sleeping with whoever or whatever, wherever, and whenever.”
•    But most people instinctively say, “No…that’s wrong.”
•    But as soon as you use the word wrong you have to ask, “Why is that wrong? Who said so?” If there is no moral standard then there is no such thing as right or wrong.
•    But very few people would agree that it’s okay to do these things in a public park, for example.
•    2. “There is nothing wrong with killing whoever or whatever is in my way.”
•    This is obviously wrong. So then people compromise…
•    3. “There is nothing wrong with doing whatever I want so long as I don’t hurt anyone else.”
•    So if you kill yourself, are you really only hurting yourself?
•    Or if you live a loose lifestyle, are you really only hurting yourself?
•    Why are there so many people struggling with guilt over past promiscuity? Why are there children birthed out of these one-night-stands that long for a true father, or hate men altogether because they didn’t have a father? Why are unborn babies killed who were conceived through promiscuity?
•    Are you really hurting only yourself?
•    The fact of the matter is that God created marriage, and He is the moral law-giver. Therefore, if we do not live according to His law, He has the right to judge, and to not protect.
•    But because God is longsuffering, He tries and tries to exercise His right to have mercy before He ultimately has to exercise His right to judge.
•    2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning [His] promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

The Legitimate Union
•    One of the attacks of the marriage relationship today is what defines a legitimate marriage.
•    An old saying says, “Redefinition covers a multitude of sins.”
•    If you take a jar of strychnine and relabel it as Protein Powder, does the label make it less poisonous?
•    Part of human nature has to justify itself. In other words, if we can convince our conscience that something’s okay, then we think it’s okay.
•    For example, many will say “We’re not ‘shacking up,’ he’s my fiancé.” Of course, it is clear that neither party is serious about marriage, but they like the sound of that French word!
•    But even if they are serious, does the intent of doing something mean that you’ve done it?
•    “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” —Anon
•    In Matthew 25, Christ describes the parable of the sheep and the goats. And the only difference between the two is what they actually did and didn’t do!
•    Because God created marriage, and because He is the moral lawgiver, only He can define what is legitimate and what is not.
•    Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
•    The Hebrew word for wife is ishshah, and has a double-meaning. It means wife, and it also means one.
•    In other words, a man shall be joined to his one wife—singular! Just one, “until death do us part.”
•    The significance of this is overwhelming, especially since this is the first mention of wife in scripture.
•    Christ Himself defined a legitimate marriage in John 4. He met a woman of Samaria at a well, and…
•    John 4:16-18 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”
17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’
18 “for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”
•    So Christ Himself made it clear that “shacking up” was not a legitimate form of marriage. Christ implied that a legitimate marriage must be recognized by others, especially those governing the community. In other words, no license, no marriage.

The Marriage Relationship
•    In our text, we find some simple advice for enjoying the marriage relationship:
•    Colossians 3:17-19, 24 And [whatever] you do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.
•    Colossians 3:23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,
24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
•    Live to your spouse as if you were living to the Lord.
•    So what does this mean in practical terms?
•    If I were to ask every husband, “What does your wife want out of the marriage?” most men would probably say, “I don’t know!” The really keen ones would say, “She wants to talk, to spend time.”
•    If I were to ask every wife, “What does your husband want out of the marriage?” Most would probably say, “Food, and ‘cuddle time.’”
•    So if you know what they want, why not just give it to them?
•    Men, if she wants you to listen, then listen! Give her your time, give her yourself!
•    Ladies, if he wants food and ‘cuddle time,’ then serve it up, and serve it hot!
•    This is entirely scriptural, and the Bible instructs husbands and wives alike:
•    1 Corinthians 7:3-5 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.
4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband [does.] And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife [does.]
5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
•    Many marriages do not enjoy the blessings of God because they are not obeying the instructions of God!
•    If we obey God’s Word, we will receive the blessings of God’s Word!
•    But the scripture goes on…
•    Ephesians 5:22-25 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
•    Both of these commandments are related to how we serve the Lord.
•    Our marriage is in fact a microcosm of our relationship with God.
•    That is why God is so interested in it being pure, loving, and intimate.

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