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Biblical Christian Marriage Commitment

Customs and ideas about marriage change over the years.  But God’s Word doesn’t.

A recent survey (The Hill)  reported that two in five young adults consider marriage an outdated tradition.

Another study from the Institute for Family Studies found that nearly 80% of teens expect to cohabit before marriage.  In this same group study, 95% expected to marry, and 87% intended to have children.

Included with the above trends are many who believe in trial marriages.  These would all involve cohabitation but with possibly a legal twist.  All of them include living together to determine if you are compatible.  Some modern propositions about trial marriages would contain these:

  • Real Estate marriages – just like buying property, the marriage contracts would be for 5, 7, 10, or 30 years. The marriage could be dissolved or renegotiated at the end of the time period.
  • Presidential marriages – the initial contract is four years and could be extended to eight years. After eight years, they may elect to choose a new partner.

Some consent to the traditional ideas of marriage, but in the back of their mind is the escape clause:  “If it doesn’t work out, we can get a divorce.”

Sad to say, many believers agree with some of these trends.  Or, if they disagree, they still practice cohabitation and salve their conscience by telling themselves, “Everybody is doing it.”

But what does the Bible say?

If you know and respect the Bible, cohabitation is an explicit prohibition. “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor;” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4).

God established marriage and family in Genesis 2:24.  God created Adam and Eve, and the concept of marriage was issued. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” In response to a question about divorce, Jesus stated, “And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mark 10:8-9).  That newly formed “one flesh” is not to be broken up.

Malachi 2:16 declares that God “hateth putting away.” He hates divorce.

If divorce is not an option for a Christian, then it is critical for anyone considering marriage to get God’s direction for marriage and then follow it.

God’s leading is critical.  It would be well for every Christian seeking a life mate to say, along with Abraham’s servant seeking a wife for Isaac, “I being in the way, the Lord led me” (Genesis 24:27).

First, a Christian’s foremost priority should be to only date another born-again Christian. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).  Marriage has enough initial adjustments to make. Don’t handicap your marriage by marrying someone on Satan’s team.  When you do, you have either entered a new war or surrendered to the enemy.

Second, if you are a committed Christian, look for a life partner who is also a committed Christian. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).  If a committed Christian marries an uncommitted, worldly Christian, you will have constant battles about church, Christian service, entertainment, and training your children.

Then, there are numerous other details to consider: desire for children and family, financial issues, family relationships, etc.

If you have settled the first and second issues above, you must realize that marriage is a COMMITMENT FOR LIFE.  There are no escape clauses. Marriage is a lifetime duration.

Ephesians 5:24-33 gives many excellent and practical instructions for marriage.

Ephesians 5: 22 says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” But husbands, remember that the preceding verse tells us to be “submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” Submission is not a one-way street.

Ephesians 5:25 commands, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” The husband should be willing to give his life for his wife.  Most of us will not be called upon to do that.  But we can provide help after a day’s work.  Help with the children and chores around the house – especially if the wife works outside the home.

Ephesians 5: 28 further commands the husband: “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.  He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” Together, you are one.  Whatever you would do to help yourself, you should do for your wife, also.

Ephesians 5: 33 concludes by saying that the man should “so love his wife even as himself: and the wife see that she reverence (fear or respect) her husband.” As one of my pastors said, “If a husband loves his wife the way he should, the wife will have no problem submitting to him.”

The marriage vows say, “For Better, for Worse, for Richer, for Poorer, in Sickness and in Health.” Things might be better, but they could be worse.  You may get richer, but you may end up poorer.  You may be healthy, but you also may be sickly.  Generally speaking, the older we get, the more health issues we battle.  Are you willing to deal with your own health issues and, at the same time, help your spouse with health issues?  Everything in the marriage vows and in Scripture clarifies that marriage REQUIRES a lifelong commitment. These vows demand that we don’t give up in tough times.  We stick with it, trust the Lord, and pray through, work through, and talk through the difficulties.

I do not take these issues lightly.  My wife and I are in our second marriage.  I lost my first wife after 53 years of marriage.  My wife lost her first husband after over 60 years of marriage.  God has blessed us both in our second marriage as we continue serving the Lord together.

If you are preparing for marriage, go for counseling with a godly Christian counselor.  He or she can help you be aware of and prepare for your life together with your spouse.  In your dating events, talk about anything and everything you can think of that will affect your life together.  If you discover issues or difficulties, resolve them before marriage.

Finally, commit your prospective marriage and home to the Lord.  Perhaps your goal together could be: “O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together” (Psalm 34:3).

About Dale B

I am a born-again Christian who loves to write and share the Good News about Jesus. Raised on a small Wisconsin farm and saved at age 12, I have been active in Christian service since that time. My many years as a pastor, accountant, and lay worker in the church have equipped me to help those in need. In retirement now in Texas, the Lord has led me to writing as a means of winning people to Christ and helping Christians grow in the Lord. By God’s grace I hope to be a blessing and encouragement to you.

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One comment

  1. Dale,
    Fabulous insight and wisdom pertaining to this story and your article overall,
    excellent points – I’m sure many will appreciate this message.
    God Bless~

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