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

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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.

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