Focal Passages: Genesis
2:23-25; Malachi 2:13-15
How many people have the
courage to write their own marriage vows? I can remember it as if it were
yesterday when Terri and I were in our pre-marital counseling sessions well
over 20 years ago, and the senior pastor discussed the various marriage vows.
I made sure to make it very
clear to him that I only wanted to say “I DO.” I wanted to keep it simple so
that I would not embarrass myself in front of all of our friends and family.
Our scripture passage from Genesis 2:23-25 is the very first recorded marriage
Adam publically declares
that Eve is not just his wife, but she is also part of him. They are now one
just as God intended from the very beginning. Today’s society glamorizes the
wedding. By this, I mean to say that more time and energy is spent on the
planning and choreography of the parties, showers, meals, and reception than on
planning for marriage.
Marriage is to be a lifelong
commitment between a man and a woman with God sealing this vow, but today we
often see marriage not so much as a covenant between man, woman, and God but
more as a casual agreement that ends when the relationship is no longer fun or
convenient. The idea of a vow that lasts until “death do us part” is rejected
in today’s society, and the sad part is that the average Christian marriage has
about the same chance of surviving as does a secular marriage.
recent statistics, almost 50 percent of all marriages will end in divorce.
According to scripture, a
vow is a sacred promise or covenant between two or more people with God sealing
the agreement. Marriage should start acknowledging that this is a special
relationship between a man and a woman and that Christ should be the foundation
and focus of this very special relationship. The purpose of marriage is to grow
together physically, intimately, and spiritually. God also had another very
special gift as part of His plan for marriage — children. The original couple
was encouraged to go forth and multiply. Nothing is more fun than having
children, but at the same time, raising children can be just as difficult as
working on and growing a healthy marriage. As parents, it is assumed by default
that children are not just raised in a safe home, well fed, and educated; but
it is also assumed the couple is to rear them to grow in their faith in Christ.
Christ takes the marriage
vow very seriously — so seriously that He uses marriage to define His
relationship with those who believe in Him. He demonostrated the ultimate vow
by opening His arms wide on the cross with the thought in His head … “I will
never leave you nor forsake you.”