February is a month well known for one thing, LOVE. I’m thinking Valentines Day! We set aside February 14th every year to recognize our love and affection for husbands and wives. I realize there is no Valentines Day in the Bible but if you’re a student of God’s word you know that everyday should be Valentines Day for the husband and wife in Jesus Christ.
I write specifically to husbands and wives because God ordained this relationship from creation. From Adam and Eve and throughout Gods word we find the relationship of a man and woman as husband and wife equally yoked as Gods plan for the family and procreation.
It is heartbreaking to see what man has done to marriage and human sexuality. Consider Sodom and Gomorrah; the immoral lifestyle recorded there has taken us down a dark path concerning love and sexuality. Today man tries to justify many things; same sex relationships, couples living together outside of marriage, adultery, pornography, bi-sexuality and even pedophilia as legitimate expressions of love. God calls these and more like them sin. For the Christian marriage, Valentine’s Day is not about sex or lust, it is a celebration of a godly relationship being displayed in many ways through a heart of love. There is no genuine love apart from the love God examples. He calls a man and woman into a relationship as husband and wife. For example, in Ephesians 5:22-33 Paul uses marriage as an illustration for the Saints relationship with Jesus Christ.
I want to take this time to honor biblical marriage. Not just marriage, but biblical marriage. There is a difference. In Deuteronomy God told Israel not to marry into the neighboring people. Not because of race, but because of idolatry. The neighboring people did not know the God of Israel, they preferred to worship false gods and images made by their hands. God did not want that influence in His people. From 2 Corinthians 6:14 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” This passage goes much deeper than marriage, it relates to every aspect of the believer’s life. Yet, it does include marriage. This is written to the believer. We are responsible for how we approach all relationships, including marriage.
Like many pastors, I counsel. Too often this counseling involves marriages. I have heard too many husbands and wives tell me if they only knew the other person was not saved. Before I marry anyone, I ask specifically if both are saved, are they born again. This is the foundation of a godly marriage. I will not marry a couple unless both have a testimony of being saved, and both have a home church to reference back too. I counsel singles to know the spiritual condition of the person your dating. Just claiming they are a Christian isn’t enough. There are too many loose definitions of a Christian floating around today. Ask pointed questions, where do they go to church, how long have they been going there, what work are they involved with, what is the pastors name, visit with them and listen to the conversations with others. If they have a good reputation or not, the conversation will tell you quickly. I’m not trying to break up dating couples, I’m trying to save future marriages.
A man or woman with a lustful heart will tell you anything you want to hear so they may fulfill their fantasy. It may be sex, money, power, influence or even a quick escape from an unwanted home life. What ever the reason, if it isn’t a godly marriage or hasn’t become one through the salvation of husband and wife it has little chance of surviving. If the devil helped make it, he will destroy it. It is always Gods desire for a marriage to be successful. A Christian should never give up on their marriage, the Christian can be the testimony God uses to win the spouse. That doesn’t mean a Christian should live in dangerous conditions, separation and divorce are two different things.
A godly marriage is a beautiful marriage. A man and woman both born again by grace and through faith in Christ alone. Christ being the foundation of their lives and the foundation of their marriage. Christian marriages have problems too, all marriages do. There are faults and failures, even sin from temptation. However; where Christ reigns there is HOPE! Divorce will not be mentioned in the Christian marriage, why, because the Christian marriage has a foundation that will not crumble and both husband and wife will want to fight for it. If you and your spouse are both born again praise God for that, many today can’t say that. Enjoy Valentine’s Day as your special day of the year to worship God for His creation of marriage. Remember to cherish each other as Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise, also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”
Go to Church, commit yourself and your marriage to the Lord. Love one another as Christ has loved the church. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Until we meet again in person or in print, may God richly bless you is my prayer!
Terry provides pastoral services to McDowell Missions Ministries