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Summary: This message takes a look at what biblical marriage is and isn't

Some of you are old enough that you recognize the music as the Frank Sinatra song, “Love and Marriage”. Others who are a little younger simply recognize it as the theme from “Married with Children”, that’s how I think of it.

For those who aren’t familiar, “Married with Children” was a sitcom that aired on Fox from 1987 to 1997. It was the longest running live action sitcom on Fox and focused on the lives of Al and Peg Bundy and their children Kelly and Bud.

It aired about the same time as “Roseanne” and while many families saw themselves reflected in the Connors from “Roseanne”, they took solace in the fact that they weren’t like the Bundy’s from “Married with Children”.

You watched Married with Children and thought “There but for the Grace of God.”

Those even younger have never heard the song before today. The chorus goes:

“Love and marriage, love and marriage

They go together like a horse and carriage

This I tell you, brother

You can't have one without the other”

Over the next seven weeks we are going to be looking at family relationships, husbands, wives, parents and children. How we live together and how we love together.

Unless you are an orphaned, childless hermit there will be something here for you.

So, let’s start with marriage, for thousands of years it was assumed that if a man and woman were in a long-term relationship that they were married.

In this day and age, our perceptions of an event are often coloured by what we see in the media and certainly there are all kinds of movies about weddings and marriages, Mamma Mia, My Best Friend’s Wedding, 27 Dresses and Big Fat Greek Wedding are only a few.

And it’s not surprising that movies about weddings are usually chick flicks.

But guys if you are looking for a movie wedding scene with all the essential elements, heroes, villains, giants, peasants and the underlying threat of physical violence there’s only one. Here is one of my favourite movie wedding scenes.

. . . (Wedding clip from Princess Bride)

Well, that’s a wedding scene that guys can get into

So, let’s begin with What Defines a Marriage:

Let’s start here with some secular definitions:

Merriam-Webster Dictionary mar·riage (mar'ij) noun

1. the state of being united as spouses in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law

Dictionary.com defines marriage this way, Any of the diverse forms of interpersonal union established in various parts of the world to form a familial bond that is recognized legally, religiously, or socially, granting the participating partners mutual conjugal rights and responsibilities

Collins English Dictionary mar·riage (mar'ij) noun used to define marriage this way:

1. The state of being married: relation between husband and wife.

But now it defines Marriage this way: A marriage is the relationship between two people who are married. Notice, it no longer speaks of a husband and wife.

Kind of reminds me of the story told about Abraham Lincoln. It seems that one day he was in a discussion with a young man and he asked him “How many legs would your calf have if you called his tail a leg?” To which the boy replied “Five”, “No, four” the President said, “simply calling his tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.

Of all the definitions I’ve read I think I enjoyed Sydney Smith’s the best, Smith was an English Clergyman who lived between 1771 and 1845 and he said “Marriage resembles a pair of shears, so joined that they cannot be separated, often moving in opposite directions, yet always punishing anyone who comes between them.”

But why? Why marriage.

Because,Socially: Marriage Protects the Family

Throughout history and in cultures around the world there have been procedures and celebrations set in place that allowed a man and a woman to come together and start a family.

In North America that is recognized as our modern Weddings, there is music (Link to music) that when we hear it we immediately think “Wedding”.

There are words that are said “Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedding husband?” that we automatically think “Wedding”.

There are clothes that when we see them we automatically think “Wedding.” There are even automobiles that when we see them we think “Wedding.”

And what we think of as normal might seem a little strange in other lands and other cultures and perhaps even in our own land a couple of generations ago. Weddings have become big business today. Sometimes when I’m talking to a couple who are living together without being married and I query them as to why they haven’t gotten married their response is “We can’t afford to get married.”

No, getting married doesn’t anymore then living common-law. The cost of a licence and the preacher pretty much covers it, and if they can’t afford the preacher I’ll do it for nothing. What they can’t afford is the Wedding and that is completely different then a marriage.

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