Summary: I suggest that we need to go back to the blueprint & read again the words of the architect who designed marriage in the first place, & find out what He has to say about it. (*PowerPoint Available - #261)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
CENTRAL CHRISTIAN, BROWNSVILLE, TX
(Changed e-mail address: Powerpoint slides for this sermon are available at no charge. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your request - #261.)
ILL. A Hollywood actor who was famous for his romantic roles was once asked the question, "What makes a great lover?"
I am sure that the listeners expected him to answer with a typical playboy-macho response. But he surprised almost everyone when he answered, "A great lover is a man who can satisfy one woman all of his life, & who can be satisfied by one woman all of his life. A great lover is not one who goes from woman to woman - any dog can do that."
However, many of our magazines, movies, & TV programs are proclaiming a very different message. They say that marriage is repressive & degrading for women & that we need alternatives that are in step with our modern age.
ILL. Universities even offer courses on "alternatives to marriage" that proclaim, "The concept of traditional marriage & traditional family ties are antiquated. So we must form relationships that are more in step with our times."
Is that really true? I suggest that we need to go back to the blueprint & read again the words of the architect who designed marriage in the first place, & find out what He has to say about it.
Turn with me to Genesis 4-5 as we consider 4 words that help us to see the guidelines which God has given for a successful marriage.
"For this reason a man will leave his father & mother & be united to his wife, & they will become one flesh. The man & his wife were both naked, & they felt no shame."
What is God telling us through Moses? Now realize that this passage of scripture was not written for Adam & Eve, but it was written after marriage had been tried & failed quite a few times. So God reveals to Moses these guidelines that apply to all marriages.
First of all, there must be a severance - "For this reason a man will leave his father & mother..." There must be a leaving of the father & the mother. There must be a leaving of the old home - the old family ties - the old securities - the old protection - the old financial dependence upon mother & father - & the beginning of a new home.
Of course, that doesn’t mean to ignore mom & dad - never call them up - never go home for a meal again.
In fact, it has been my observation that after marriage home often becomes more sacred than it was before - that the ties between parent & child are even more precious than they were before - but in a different way.
But there needs to be a severing that takes place.
A. I honestly believe that these words were given, not just for the benefit of the bride & groom, but probably more for the mother & father of the bride & groom. I am convinced that it is often a lot more difficult for the parents to sever the ties than it is for the bride & groom.
ILL. In most wedding services the father of the bride is asked, "Who gives this woman to be married to this man?" And he answers, "Her mother & I do."
However, I wonder if the parents of both the bride & the groom should be asked, "Do you give your daughter to be married to this man?" & "Do you give your son to be married to this woman?"
There needs to be a commitment by both sets of parents because they, too, must sever the ties. They must each realize that their child is leaving the nest - & they must prepare themselves to let go.
B. And, of course, it applies to the bride & groom. Many marital problems come when one or both are unable to sever their ties with mom & dad. They still depend upon them emotionally, psychologically, & maybe even financially, & it creates a very insecure feeling within the marriage bond itself. There must be a severing of that tie.
ILL. Do you remember the old American Folk Song, "Billy Boy, Billy Boy?" There is an interesting line in that song - it says "She’s a young thing & cannot leave her mother." Do you remember that? How old do you think she is? When you sang that song how old did you picture that girl? 16? 17?
But when you learn all the words to that song an interesting fact emerges. Here is how the song goes: "How old is she Billy boy, Billy boy? How old is she, charming Billy? Three times six & four times seven. Twenty-eight & eleven. She’s a young thing & cannot leave her mother."