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Summary: St. Valentine was martyred for the institution of great and godly marriages. Gen. 2 describes that these marriages are made up of at least four essentials: Monogamy, Fidelity, Longevity, and Intimacy.

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Great and Godly Marriages

Gen. 2.21-25

Steve Miller

2/12/06---Valentine’s Sunday

Opening:

A wife woke up one morning and said, “Honey, I just had a dream that you bought me a new gold necklace. What do you think it means?”

“I don’t know, but Valentine’s Day is coming soon. Tuesday, you’ll know,” He replied.

A few nights later, she again woke up after having a dream, “This time, I dreamed you gave me a pearl necklace. What do you think it means?”

“You’ll know Tuesday,” He replied.

The night before Valentine’s Day, she again woke up telling him about her dream, “This time I dreamed that you brought me a diamond necklace. What do you think it means?”

“Honey, be patient. "You’ll know tonight." he said.

That evening, the husband came home with a package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, she opened it--to find a book entitled, "The meaning of dreams."

INTRODUCTION:

Valentine’s Day has come to mean a lot of things these days. But it is not all about “puppy love.” It is about Great and Godly Love. Valentine, the priest who Valentine’s Day is named for, was martyred for the great and godly institution of marriage.

The emperor of Rome at the time, Claudius, passed a law banning marriages. His reason was simple. Men would not volunteer to join his Roman army with wives and girlfriends to leave behind. Valentine knew that God instituted the family and His will included great marriages. So, he kept on performing marriage ceremonies – but secretly. He would whisper the words of the ceremony, while listening for soldiers on the steps outside.

One night, he did hear footsteps. The couple he was marrying escaped, but he was caught. He was thrown in jail and sentenced to death.

Valentine tried to stay cheerful while imprisoned, and many young people came to the jail to visit him—actually performing ceremonies while imprisoned. The jailer’s daughter would often visit Valentine in his cell, and they sat and talked for hours. She believed he did the right thing by ignoring the Emperor and performing marriage ceremonies. On the day, Valentine was to die, he left her a note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. He signed it, "Love from your Valentine." That note started the custom of exchanging love notes on Valentine’s Day. It was written on the day he died, February 14, 269 A.D.

Key: Great and Godly marriages are worth that kind of dedication because Great and Godly marriages are the beginning of Great and Godly families. And Great and Godly families help to keep the world focused on our Great God.

This fact is not unknown to Satan, and that is why he has attempted to sabotage the marriage even from the beginning, driving a wedge in the first couple’s relationship. It began in the Garden, and now marriage is under attack in America. We are at a place where we have to define marriage as being between one man and one woman.

Is the issue really that important? You better believe it! Marriage is on the top of the spiritual priority list—Satan wants to destroy it, God wants his people to preserve it.

Someone once said, “A good marriage is like a casserole, only those responsible for it really know what goes in it.” Well, we know at least some of the ingredients to a Great and Godly marriage. In this Genesis passage, we find four essentials to great and godly marriages: Monogamy, Fidelity, Longevity, and Intimacy.

(The following outline is adapted from Ted H. Traylor, in his sermon, “The Family connection,” printed in James T. Draper, Jr.’s “Preaching with Passion,” Broadman and Holman, 2004.)

Genesis 2.21-25

1.) The first essential is MONOGAMY.

a. One man, one woman. There is no place for same-sex marriage and there is no place for polygamy.

You might not think that people are readily trying to have multiple wives, but as time progresses, American culture becomes acceptant of behaviors that were once repugnant to our nation.

Some of the first behaviors to be accepted culturally were adultery [sex outside the bonds of matrimony], cohabitation [an unwed couple living together], and pornography. Originally considered both shameful and illegal, adultery and cohabitation are now widely practiced and accepted both legally and culturally. Pornography is not only legal, but widely popular in every sector of our society.

--Abortion has become widely accepted both culturally and legally. Prior to 1973, many people did not even know what abortion was. Now it is legal and very widely accepted and practiced all across America.

--Prostitution has become viewed less shamefully than it had in the past. And it is even legalized in some parts of our country.

--Homosexuality is now accepted as a normal form of sexuality. First the American Psychiatric Association declared it was no longer a disease. Then the public began to accept it as "normal". And in 2004, the courts said that homosexuals should be allowed to marry one another. (previous five paragraphs from www.eadshome.com/polygamy.htm)

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