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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.


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