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The Divine Ideal

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Sermon shared by Melvin Newland

May 1996
Summary: Marriage is Godís creation, & we need to dust off the instruction book to find out what God has to say about His creation.
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
CENTRAL CHRISTIAN, BROWNSVILLE, TX

ILL. Iím told that if you go into some of the jewelry stores in Reno, Nevada, once known as the "wedding & divorce capitol of the nation," that youíll find a sign like this being prominently displayed, "Wedding Rings for Rent."

Now I suppose that most people who see that sign for the first time probably read it with amazement. Then some may even think, "Hm, thatís an interesting idea. It certainly would be cheaper to rent than to buy!"

Sad to say, in our contemporary society, among an awful lot of couples, it really might be much more practical to rent their wedding rings for a period of time. Nationwide, 1 out of every 3 marriages ends in divorce.

On college campuses the question arises, "Is it right to impose a 50-year contract on two 20-year olds?" Is it really fair to insist that two youngsters, hardly dry behind the ears, should pledge themselves each to the other for the rest of their lives?

Those are not new questions. The world has always questioned the need for such commitment between two people. The world has seen unhappy marriages - it has seen domestic conflicts - it has seen spiraling divorce rates. This is not new & it is not unique to our times.

Iím somewhat surprised when I hear about a non-Christian couple who has a happy marriage because they are working against tremendous odds. Most people who fall into their category have made shipwreck of their marriages. One out of three marriages ends in divorce.

ILL. But did you know that a study made a few years ago discovered that church going families - where both husband & wife professed a strong personal faith in Christ & went to church together - experienced only 1 divorce for every 55 marriages? It really is true that "Families that pray together, stay together."

But Iím worried today because Iím afraid that many church-going people have gotten in step with the world & have come to believe that the sanctity of marriage is not all that important. Some are packing their bags & going in different directions without any twinge of guilt, believing that marriage is something you try out for a while, & then just leave by the wayside if it doesnít seem to be working out.

Marriage is not an invention of man. It is Godís creation. So it seems to me that our great need is to dust off the instruction book & find out what God has to say about His creation.

In the 2nd chapter of Genesis we have what scholars call "A primary reference point." This is the first place where marriage is mentioned in all of Godís Word & we must understand what is said here before we can understand what is said in the other passages that follow.

I. IT IS NOT GOOD FOR MAN TO BE ALONE

A. But before we discuss that, I want you to notice something. In vs. 31 of the 1st chapter of Genesis, it says, "God saw all that He had made, & it was very good."

But in the 18th vs. of the 2nd chapter we find for the very first time that God sees something that is not good. God looks at Adam & says, "It is not good for the man to be alone." In the Hebrew language He is literally saying "Aloneness is not good."

Now stop there for a moment. Here is the scene. God has created Adam, & has breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. And Adam is working in the Garden of Eden, for God
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