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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.

∙ Those two viewpoints are not only antithetical, but lead to widely differing consequences in marriage.

∙ If marriage is a divinely ordained institution, as the Bible purports, then it should persist until God ordains otherwise; the rules and ideals of marriage are to be those which He set forth; and marriage must not be revamped by human whim or expediency.

∙ If, on the other hand, marriage came about as a human expedient, devised by man, and all of its terms were of human origin, then it certainly may be abolished or its terms may be altered by man for whatever reasons he wishes.

Young people in our churches do not have a strong idea of the divine origin of marriage. The church naively assumed that they understand this teaching and has not adequately taught them the biblical facts. The home has been equally deficient. How will young people learn? Not from the propaganda they read and hear in the media or in school. There they will be told just the opposite. If they are constantly bombarded with the message that marriage but a human expedient, they will eventually believe it and, holding to this low view of marriage, will act accordingly. That means that biblical terms for marriage will tend to strike them as irrelevant or at best an optional viewpoint. It means that they will build their marriages out of wrong materials and will aim for something far beneath biblical standards. The result will be the destruction of society.

Over three decades have passed since the divorce rates began to escalate. The statistics are in. We can now make some definitive statements about the impact divorce has had upon our culture and especially upon our children. In an article entitled, “Dan Quayle Was Right,” The Atlantic Monthly published their findings:

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