Marriage, adultery, divorce, remarriage. Why God loves one and loathes the others.
When a Woman and a Man are united in Holy Matrimony, what are their friends thinking? "She looks beautiful in that dress." Or "Always the bridesmaid never the bride." Or "He's been to the Gym and that suit looks great on him?" How we trivialise Gods first covenent with us. It's become a fashion show, or a reason for self pity or a way to compare what your neighbour has and to check if you could have afforded this wedding.
Marriage is nothing to do with a Man and a Woman. They are simply necessary components. Marriage is about God, it's about the Trinity being lived here on the Earth and shared with Gods children and we pick it up and put it down in much the same way that we do the faith. Marriage is the embodyment of the Trinity here on Earth. It's as close as we are going to get in this gruelling 80 years so make the right choice.
So that's the beginning. Here's the middle before it fires back to the beginning again.
Do you remember Jesus went into the wilderness before he began his ministry. It's a part of the New Testament which frankly isn't spoken about enough. Here Jesus was tempted to leave his father in ways that we couldn't understand. In Matthew 4 Jesus is led by the spirit to go out into the dessert. He had just been Baptised by John, had the Holy Spirit decend from the father and he was moved to enter wild country for total solitary contemplation, but also to be tempted by Satan and tested by the Father. Jesus fasted for forty days and nights he was starving. Satan came to him and said "If you are the son of God, tell those stones to become bread."
Lets go back to the office. There's an office party at a pole dancing club. Sounds a bit extreme, I know, but it happens. The Husband refuses and saying that he loves his wife and that he couldn't go. The office girl says to him. "If you're so secure in your marriage, you should be able to go and it wouldn't bother you." How many might be fooled by that? I'm using extreme examples to illustrate not only how Jesus was tempted but to also highlight that temptation in marriage is very real and can derail the closest of Marriages.
Jesus' answer here could help in this situation also. He said. "It is written, Man does not live on bread alone." How true is that of marriage? You hear of marriages that are held together by sex, necesity, love, romance, access, availability, accountability, Money. And where is God? He was often left at the alter. Jesus then continues to say that we live "On everyword that comes from the mouth of God." Is that your marriage? Or like me is that the marriage you are praying for? If the husband in the scenario and his wife allowed their marriage to live in Gods word and their marriage was to his glory, he'd probably resign as soon as the office started to discuss the party location.
Lets say now that the wife is working and Dad is at home. She's a high powered solicitor about to get the break of a lifetime that will accomplish in her career a finality that makes her life seem complete. This means massively long hours at the office and her husband at home wondering when he will get to spend some time with his wife. She is about to become famous however and that means spending more time with her business partner and less time with her family. Jesus was offered the same.
The Devil took him to the Holy City and had him stand on the highest point of the temple "If you are the son of God," he said "throw yourself down for it is written. 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike you foot against a stone." Matthew 4: 5-6 Niv version, Hodder and stoughton.
Can you see the comparrison. Here the wife is facing riches and glory of the kind she could never have believed. She is working really closely to her partner in the business. Lets say he is having marrital problems too. Perhaps that why he's begun this venture. To get away from the home for longer. the temptation is there isn't it.
Again Jesus answers perfectly. "7 "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test."' If we are married and we keep finding ourselves in these situations are we not putting our marriage to God to the test. Can you imagine if Jesus had been as easy to tempt away from the father as we are from our spouses? The whole Earth would not be here anymore and if it was life would be very different. I'm just going to let the Bible speak for itself here.
Matthew 4 8-11 NIV Hodder and Stoughton.
8 Again, the Devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the Kingdoms of the world and there splendour. 9 "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."
10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me Satan! for it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'" Deuteronomy 6:13
11 Then the Devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
If you ever find yourself being tempted to commit adultery, if there is a person offering themselves to you. Phone your spouse straight away, even if the person is still there with you and tell them what has just happened. Then, even if you are at work, go home and make love to your wife. If you are at work, start looking at the Job pages together with your spouse and Bible study always. Pray for a resolution to this crisis with your wife and love and trust the Lord together.
Satan is an adulterer. Did you see what he offered Jesus, the husband. Adultery is another form of idoloatry. It os raising a person above the level of God in order to defy your covenent with him and your wife. I now that I have written both spose and wife and broke a couple of writing rules. You are supposed to pick one title, him, her or them or it. But this is my blog for the Lord and as a man it just feel right to say wife.
Matthew 19: 3-12 NIV Hodder and Stoughton.
3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his whife for any and every reason?" (I can hear Satan in the garden of Eden asking Eve, 'Did God really say not to eat of any fruit in the garden?")
4 "Haven't you read," He replied, "that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female,' and said 5'for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?' 6 So they are no longer two but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not seperate."
7 "Why then, they asked, "Did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"
8 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way in the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness (The destruction of the Covenental Trinity) and marries another woman commits adultery."
10 The disciples said to him "if this is the situation between a husband and his wife, it is better not to marry."
11 Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the Kingdom of Heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."
Ok, so lets take a look at what Divorce is. and in this I'm going to work in re-marriage. If you decide that you have made a big mistake and have not yet reached the marital bed. Divorce, you have not become one yet and therefore have a bit of time to fix your problems. If your partner has been unfaithful (Commited adultery) Divorce is a possibility however you should try to work things through. Move to seperate homes for a time, study the Bible together and if possible get re-married to one another. If this is not a possibility, then and only then is re-marriage to another partner permitted.
So what about these so called celbrities and superstars who get married for forty minutes and then divorce and seem to make a mockery of their own life and of Gods decree's about the seriousness of Marital union? Simple is the answer. When they re-marry they are mostly marrying into adulterous relationships.
If you are to divorce make sure that it is for the same reason that you got married. To love and serve the Lord. For that is exactly how a couple, certainly a Christian couple are supposed to take their vows. Their wedding should be an act of worship for the Lord and should point to his glory. This is why a wedding under a tent in rainy Scarborough with only a packed sandwich lunch and a can of cider to toast with can glorify the Lord more than the greatest of weddings at Westminster Chappel.
God gave us Marriage. It was a gift to cherish and to share with him. God Married them on the first day that they met. I'm not so sure that arranged marriage is a good idea. There are good reports and bad reports, it seems that there are less divorces in arranged marriages though that could simply be cultural. I'll remain open minded on this subject as there are not enough hours of my life left to go into the subject of arranged or Love first. The first Marriage was arranged. During the Wedding, the first thing Adam did was sing to his bride. "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: She shall be called woman for she was taken out of man." Genesis 2:23
I don't know how I am going to propose, when the Lord leads that incredble woman that I pray for each day that she is happy and well: I might sing it, which will take planning and a lot of voice lessons. I will be on one knee and I will have the permission of her Father, or parental figure. Marriage is Litterally God's Triune relationship given to man to enjoy, so that we can enjoy one another in harmony with God. Study the word together, everyday. Discuss it round the table at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Study together before you go to bed and love one another as the Father Loves the son and the son loves the spirit who loves the father.
The closer you are to Jesus the less you will argue with you wife. Pray together and nourish each other spiritually with Lord filling the gaps. And men take care of your wife as Jesus takes care of the Church. And women, Honour your husbands and submit to his leadership... Only if he is leading you in Godly worship however. If he starts hitting you beat the snot out of him and call your Dad. Then call your Pastor and force that man to confess that he has failed you in his charge as your protector and guide. Jesus adores his Church. Is your husband adoring you? If not, dig him in the ribbs and remind him where you come from.
Be truly blessed. May your marriages be fruitful and the Joy of Gods love be upon you and between you until Kingdom comes. Amen