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Summary: A glamorous wedding does not guarantee a great marriage!

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On July 29, 1981 Britain’s Prince Charles married his Lady Diana in a grand royal ceremony. The glamorous wedding was a fairy tale of present pomp and past glory, a last gold-leaf page from the tattered book of empire. London was a city dressed like a vast stage. Buses were painted with bows, and parks bloomed with Charles’ royal crest outlined in precisely painted blossoms. Some 4,500 pots of flowers lined the wedding route.

Besides the happy couple, the audience included 26 prominent clerics, a congregation of 2,500 crowding each other for pew space under the great painted dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral, more than 75 technicians manning 21 cameras, and an estimated worldwide television audience of 750 million.

Isn’t it noteworthy that a glamorous wedding does not guarantee a great marriage?

A Marriage Made in Paradise

I. The Precedent of Marriage

II. The Purpose of Marriage

III. The Promise of Marriage

IV. The Primary Relationship of Marriage

A. Marriage involves leaving.

B. Marriage involves cleaving.

C. Marriage involves weaving

V. The Perfect Marriage

A. The perfect couple

B. The perfect environment

VI. The Problems of Marriage

VII. The Prologue of Marriage

Mrs. Albert Einstein was once asked if she understood her husband’s theory of relativity. "No," she said, "but I know how he likes his tea."

—Christian Reader, Vol. 33, no. 6.

I. Precedent of marriage

The pastor of a big city church ran an ad for a caretaker-housekeeper. The next day, a well-dressed young man appeared at the pastor’s door. But before he could say more than, “Hello, I came to see about. . . ,” the pastor began questioning him.

“Can you sweep, make beds, shovel walks, run errands, fix meals, balance a checkbook, and baby-sit?” the churchman asked?

“Whoa,” the young man said, “I only came to see about getting married, but if it’s that much work, I’m not interested.”

— Virginia Myers, In Saturday Evening Post, April, 1990

“But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mark 10:6-9).

There are erroneous views of marriage, which lead to wrong expectations, attitudes, and practices. It is here, sad to say, that many Christians—even Bible-believing Christians—go wrong. Their concept of marriage is an illusion. For that reason, we must spend some time discussing the nature of marriage.

The Precedent of Marriage

Most Christians understand the origin of marriage, although many are unaware of the significance of that origin. Let me set forth the basic tenet that must be affirmed and then consider its practical relevance to marital life.

∙ A Christian must clearly understand that marriage is of divine origin.

∙ That might sound like a truism, except for the fact that everywhere today we are being told otherwise. In colleges and high schools, our young people are taught that marriage came about not by divine fiat but as a humanly devised expedient.


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