Summary: A defense of traditional marriage.
“The Mandate for Marriage”
Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
I. The Truth about the Marriage Mandate
a. It’s source – What is the truth about marriage? First, it must be acknowledged by any reasonable objective person that for the last 3,500 years of human history (since the introduction of written records) there was only one definition of marriage and that all attempts to re-define marriage are recent comparatively speaking, that is these efforts are less than 100 years old. The biblical definition was the only definition during all of this time. God ordained that marriage was to be between one man and one woman, period.
Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
There are several truths established by what Jesus teaches here; First, notice that from the “beginning” God made them male and female, that is, He established a difference in the genders of these first two human beings. Second, in verse 5 we have four terms that are significant, father, mother and man, wife. This male and female are to live together as man and wife and in procreation (one flesh) they are to be father and mother. A third truth is that they are not to be parted by anything but death.
Friends, God has given the mandate for marriage in His word and not me or you, or any person, even the president of the United States has the right or the authority to define or re-define this mandate. We have a biblical model for marriage and any departure or deviation from this model has consequences for us and for the culture at large.
b. It’s sanctity
God’s plan for sex includes 1 man and 1 woman, within the marriage relationship.
Over $450 million will be spent this year on sex-ed, most of it centering on what has become known as “safe sex”. There is no sex safer than sex within God’s plan!
The world’s version of safe sex is not based on morality at all. Their theme is: “if you can’t be good, then be careful”. (Jerry Shirley)
God’s Word and will concerning this subject is clear.
1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
If marriage is to be honored by all and is blessed by God then also is the “bed undefiled and should be kept that way.” What does this mean? Bed is (koite) in Greek and refers to the marriage bed, to sexual union. God blessed the sexual relationship between a man and woman within the bonds of marriage. In Eden, prior to the fall, Adam and Eve had no sense of guilt with regard to their spiritual, emotional, and physical relationship. Genesis 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. Guilt only came with sin. But within the bonds of marriage that same innocent and beautiful relationship can still be enjoyed. There is absolutely no stain, no defilement, to the sexual relationship of a husband and wife in the bonds of marriage. FWB Commentary on Hebrews p. 358
c. It’s symbolism
Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
II. The Transgression of the Marriage
a. The attacks – We should not be surprised that the biblical model is under assault. The practice of polygamy is not new and was common among many of the patriarchs, but from the beginning it was not so! The Bible doesn’t try to hide the fact that when Godly men and women rebelled against the mandate for marriage that they paid a high price for their failure. Abraham, Jacob, David and Solomon all suffered because of their failure to adhere to the Divine mandate for marriage, but from the beginning it was not so. Of Solomon it is said;
1 Kings 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
We all know the effects of divorce on marriage in our culture but many do not realize that divorce is not a new phenomenon. Listen to what Jesus had to say about his subject;
Matthew 19:7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.