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Summary: Marriage is both civil and religious. We must recognize the Laws of Virginia so the minister says, “By the power invested in me by the State of Virginia.” We must also recognize God, “I pronounce you are husband and wife, in the name of the Father, the

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INTRODUCTION

1. Marriage is both civil and religious. We must recognize the Laws of Virginia so the minister says, “By the power invested in me by the State of Virginia.” We must also recognize God, “I pronounce you are husband and wife, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

2. Three items to make a marriage valid.

a. Woman agrees, “I will.”

b. Man agrees, “I will.”

c. Minister makes a pronouncement, “I pronounce you are husband and wife . . .”

B. GATHERING OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered together in the sight of God, and in the presence of family and friends to join together this man and this woman.”

1. To witness. They came to witness, and listen. They witness the sincerity of the bride and groom.

2. To validate. A witness is called to court to testify what has happened, so family and friends see the ceremony and testify to others.

3. To celebrate. Family and friends come to rejoice in their happiness. Remember, Jesus attended a marriage ceremony as one of His first actions in ministry.

4. To uphold and pray for them. Family and friends attend and promise to support the couple as they walk with God.

5. To accept them into a Christian community. The new couple should begin in the church, live in the church, and serve in the church.

C. THE PARENTS

Approval and support. “Who giveth this woman, to be married to this man?” The father answers, “Her mother and I do.”

D. VOWS

Most couples prepare for the wedding ceremony, but give little preparation for marriage. The “vows” are like the starting line of a race, now they both must “run the race.”

1. Total commitment. “Leave father and mother and cleave only to her/him.”

2. Marriage has both. “For better or for worse.” Because Christians understand that sin corrupts everything it touches, there will be problems in life.

The house will need painting.

The car will need a tune-up.

The yard will need weeding and cutting.

The relationship will need constant attention.

When Sherry and I got married, my father said, “Up till now you two have spent your time finding out how much alike you are. From this moment on, you will find out how different you are.” He was right!”

3. Inevitable. “In sickness and in health.” Our bodies will get sick. A husband will care for a wife with cancer and a wife will care for a husband who is disabled.

4. The glue of a marriage. “To love and cherish.” The word cherish means, “precious, valuable, or worthy.” Treat one another as the most valuable possession in life. Husbands remember, “her price is far above rubies” (Prov. 31:10).

5. Marriage is forever. “Till death do us part.” No matter what happens, your vow is your integrity.

6. Don’t even think about it. “What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” This means don’t let any outside influences destroy the “union.” What can destroy a marriage: relatives, lustful flirts, busybodies, do-gooders, etc.

7. How can we protect our vows?

a. Time together, like when you first dated.

b. Respect, like when you wanted his/her affection.

c. Best behavior, like you expect from the others.

d. Pray together, the family that prays together, stays together.

e. Appreciation, kindness goes a long way.

f. Communication. This word means, “to make common.”

E. THE RINGS

1. Diamond. Represents the most desired gem; the man desires her more than any others.

2. Gold. A precious metal that becomes more pure as it goes through the refining fire. A couple’s love becomes more valuable as they go through pressures together.

3. Circle. We get our love from God who is eternal, i.e., He never began and will never end. Our love will be endless because it is from God. “Herein is our love made perfect . . . if we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and our love is perfected in us?” (I John 4:11-12).

F. THE UNITY CANDLE

Not two but one. Two burning candles are used to light one new candle, and then the separate candles are extinguished. “A man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:24).

G. THE KISS

Symbol of a new union. “You may kiss your wife.” This is a symbol of love and affection.

If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:

Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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