Summary: Jesus quotes that passage of scripture and then adds a statement to it. Most wedding ceremonies conclude with those extra words. “What God has put together, let no one tear asunder.” Both Jesus’ words and Christian wedding ceremonies emphasize a cent
Dr. Roger W. Thomas, Preaching Minister
First Christian Church, Vandalia, MO
Family Classics Series
A Marriage Made in Heaven
Jesus quotes that passage of scripture and then adds a statement to it. Most wedding ceremonies conclude with those extra words. “What God has put together, let no one tear asunder.” Both Jesus’ words and Christian wedding ceremonies emphasize a central truth of our text. Marriage is not only a good thing. It is a God-thing. Jesus teaches us that a marriage is made in heaven, not just the one described in our text, but every marriage!
We turn to that truth today because on this Sunday in our Season of the Family (Mother’s Day to Father’s Day) we pay tribute to the long-term marriage in this church. We have many. . . .
None of our folk have yet set the Guinness World Record for a long marriage. That record still belongs to Percy and Florence Arrowsmith. Percy, of Hereford, England, died in 2005. He was 105. He and his younger bride of 100 had been married eighty years when he passed away. Percy and Florence met at church. He sang in the choir, and she was a Sunday school teacher.
According to the Guinness World Record authorities, the couple held the record for the longest marriage, as well as the oldest aggregate age of a married couple. "Couple Mark 80th Anniversary," The San Antonio Express-News (6-2-05)
Just for fun let me share three my favorite marriage stories. I would call them jokes but I don’t want to set expectations to high:
Number 1: A judge was interviewing a woman regarding her pending divorce, and asked, "What are the grounds for your divorce?" She replied, "About four acres and a nice little home in the middle of the property with a stream running by." "No," he said, "I mean what is the foundation of this case?" "It is made of concrete, brick and mortar," she responded. "I mean," he continued, "What are your relations like?" "I have an aunt and uncle living here in town, and so do my husband’s parents." He said, "Do you have a real grudge?" "No," she replied, "We have a two-car carport and have never really needed one."
"Please," he tried again, "is there any infidelity in your marriage?" "Yes, both my son and daughter have stereo sets. We don’t necessarily like the music, but the answer to your questions is yes." "Ma’am, does your husband ever beat you up?" "Yes," she responded, "about twice a week he gets up earlier than I do." Finally, in frustration, the judge asked, "Lady, why do you want a divorce?" "Oh, I don’t want a divorce," she replied. "I’ve never wanted a divorce. My husband does. He said he can’t communicate with me."
Number 2: The day before Thanksgiving an elderly man in Phoenix called his son in New York and said to him, "I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; 45 years of misery is enough. We’re sick of each other, and so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her." Frantic, the son called his sister, who exploded on the phone. "Like heck they’re getting divorced," she shouted, "I’ll take care of this." She called Phoenix immediately, and said to her father. "You are NOT getting divorced. Don’t do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back, and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?"
The man hung up his phone and turned to his wife. "Okay, honey. The kids are coming for Thanksgiving and paying for their own flights."
Number 3: A man left work one Friday afternoon. But instead of going home, he stayed out the entire weekend fishing with the boys and spending his entire paycheck. When he finally appeared at home Sunday night, he was confronted by his very angry wife and was barraged for nearly 2 hours with a tirade of his actions. Finally, his wife stopped the nagging and simply said to him "How would you like it if you didn’t see me for 2 or 3 days?" To which he replied, "That would be fine with me!
Monday went by and he didn’t see his wife. Tuesday and Wednesday came and went with the same results. On Thursday, the swelling went down just enough where he could see her a little out of the corner of his left eye.
Unfortunately, the state of marriage in our society is not a joking matter. It is not easy and it is getting tougher all the time. The State of Our Unions 2005, an annual report put out by the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, highlighted the difficulties facing families in our society. Among the findings: