Friday, May 18, 2012

The War on Marriage


Want to join me for some late night conversation? I'm a stay at home mother but don't let that deceive you..I still study God's word because it fuels this passion to follow him whole-heatedly.
Here is a glimpse into what was hours spent flipping sticky pages, being challenged, and learning more about God.  It was an incredible afternoon well spent!
We have to be real with each other if we're going to be friends.  You have to know where I stand and why I stand there. 
Our country is fanning the flames for what is to become a huge battle and its time to give them a message deeper then, "It takes faith", "Its just wrong", or the common if i ignore this will it go away?  Our lives are hard and some of us are growing weary.
Its time to shed light on the truth.
Its going to get heated tonight and your blood pressure will probably go up a few degrees but if we're truly friends then hear me out and know that this bold move was prayed over all day and has been stirring in my heart for the last few months.


The War on Marriage

1.Marriage-a union created by God
2.Divorce
3.Pre-marital sex/living together before marriage
4.Homosexuals desire to be married
5.Conclusion

In the beginning God created man in his own image (Genesis 1:27-28).
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."
"God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it."
After God created Adam he said it was not good for man to be alone. 
Genesis 2:18
"The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
Eve was created from the rib of Adam to be his helper and one equal to him.
God blessed Adam and eve with marriage, it was a gift and he told them to be fruitful.
He goes on to say in verse 24;
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."
This union of marriage was instituted by God not any culture.
In the very first book of the bible where it talks about the beginning of earth we see the first marriage in its perfect design.
There are three main instructions that God gave
1The man leave his parents and in a public act promise himself to his wife
2are joined together by taking responsibility for each others welfare
3the two become one flesh in intimacy and commitment of sexual union that is reserved for marriage
A strong marriage includes all three.
Source: piccsy.com via Laura on Pinterest

I wish that this could have ended right there.  That we would be living in that perfect world God created but we all sinned and chose to for selfish gain.
Sin marks the turn in a once perfect marriage union.
But note that God never redefines marriage.

He instructs us all throughout scripture how to be the wives and husbands that honor Him.
In fact in three places it says the exact same thing.
Matt 19:4-7, Mark 10:6-9, Gen 2:22-24
All say that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh so they are no longer two but one.  Therefore what God has joined together let man not separate.
(Please do read these yourself)


In Ephesians 5:22-23 the apostle Paul writes,
"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and present her to himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church- for we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh.  This is a profound mystery-but i am talking about Christ and the church.  However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."

We're going to leave it at this but there is so much more instruction for marriage throughout the Bible but this is the main point.  Our marriage ought to be an example of the picture of Christ and His church which really is a beautiful thing.

Marriage was a gift from God to a man and a woman.

But the institute of marriage designed by the Creator is crumbling.


Divorce
Just last week a friend sat on my couch and told me she was to leave her husband and had already moved out.  I love her dearly and my heart broke to hear that she was throwing in the towel.  I understood because marriage is not for the weak.  It takes a bold man and woman to make vows such as:
I promise to love you forever and forsake all others until death do us part.
It takes two people who love the other and consider the other more important then their own needs.
My dear friend had fallen for another man and he looked like a real prince charming compared to her husband, the toad who seemed to stop paying attention to her and meeting her deepest need to be loved.
We've messed up, and i'm owning up to that.
In my own marriage we have sinned and taken huge sprints away from the umbrella of God's authority when the rain appeared fun to dash through. And if we're being honest, we were miserable people when we disobeyed God and came back a mess.  But God lovingly dried us off and gave us a brand new pair of dry clothes.

Lets dig into divorce though and hear what God's word says.  In Matthew 19:3 the Pharisees (Religious Men) approach Jesus with what seems like an innocent question 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?
Jesus answers in verse 4 by going back to the beginning explaining where God joined man and woman together let man not separate.
In verse 8 he goes on to say, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."

Its pretty clear right there that Jesus is not for divorce.  He gives us an out in the circumstances of unfaithfulness but I have to point you to the entire book of Hosea.  God instructs Hosea a prophet to marry a woman who goes on to leave him and their children and sleep with other men.  He instructs Hosea to buy her back and love her still.  God wanted to demonstrate his own love for Israel, his chosen nation.  He wanted to show that although they had gone astray and were unfaithful in their sin he still forgave and loved them.
God has redeemed many broken marriages where one spouse was unfaithful. Its truly humbling to see God restore a broken marriage.

1 Corinthians 7:10-15

10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.

This verse can't be any more clear. A wife who divorces her husband is not to be remarried.  (This may cause the blood pressure to rise a few degrees.) In 1 Corin. 7:39 Paul says, "A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives.  But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord."

We have twisted Gods word in so many ways for our selfish purposes.  Because let me tell you how hard marriage is.  The raw feelings you will deal with when your spouse lets you down or isn't interested in having conversation.  When he would rather watch a baseball game then take a walk with you.  Or when I nag him and am like a dripping faucet.  Because of sin, marriage became a whole lot harder.  But again, God never said it was okay to get out when things became difficult.
Do you need a minute?
This is a lot of information and it takes time to really wrap your heart around these words.
Doesn't truth hurt sometimes?
If you allow Him, God gets under your skin and makes the wrong uncomfortable.  He did just that to the Pharisees who were out to stump him..but he could not be silenced.

Pre-marital sex/living together before marriage
Its almost unheard of these days to hear about two people being virgins when they come together on their wedding night.  Its sad because we only rob ourselves the pleasure when we wait. We live in a culture where sex is everywhere and the message is to indulge in it.
But God's design for sex as stated in Genesis was that it was meant for marriage between a man and a woman.  We were to be fruitful and have children, and it was a gift to enjoy that pleasure of becoming one with our spouse.  Sex outside of marriage destroys relationships, in marriage with the right attitude it can be a relationship builder i've learned.
We were meant to be be joined together after the wedding night and then to live together.  Yet our culture looks on that as foolish and its because marriage is a commitment and some aren't willing to fully commit but want to still play house and try to incorporate a good sex life outside of marriage with their partner.  It has left a lot of grief in its aftermath though. 
It goes against God's original design for marriage.
If you are remarried at this point make sure this time around you hold to your vows and commitment to love your spouse, God's message of salvation didn't stop at 'we are sinners' he made plans to save us. If you had sex before marriage the same truth applies.

Homosexuals desire for marriage
We already heard Jesus' word in Matthew 19:4 talking about marriage between a man and a woman. 
I want to focus on the first chapter in Romans.  The author is apostle Paul.  Lets keep in mind the entire blueprint of this book of the bible though as to not take it out of context.
1 sinfulness of humanity
2Forgiveness of sin through Christ
3freedom from sins grasp
4 Israels past, present, and future

Lets dig together in the first chapter though. All of us are sinful and Paul gives it to us straight.
I know this is long but please read for yourself

Romans 1

New International Version (NIV) 

God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.


In verse 26 is directly talks about woman exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones and then in 27 it says in the same way men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.  Men committed shameful acts with other men.  Why am I going here?  Because I can't just simply tell you that homosexuality is a sin, i need you to know where God says this.  How he never intended marriage to be between two women or two men.  The problem is that two woman might really love each other or two men might love each other and they may have a better chance of staying committed then a man and his wife even.  But let me say that a woman can love a man that is not her husband (vise versa).  But it still doesn't excuse the sin of adultery which God calls sin.  God is clear about homosexuality being a sin.  Not any more worse then another sin but still not okay by Him.  But homosexuals define themselves as just that being homosexuals not by choice and i do believe they are attracted to the same sex and have been for some since a young age.  How can you argue to them that its wrong? They will twist Gods word some hating you and your God for telling them they are wrong and others twisting God's word to say He is fine with it.  But stepping out from under the umbrella of God's authority is messy and there isn't much lasting joy.
Roughly 4 million people over the age of 18 identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/07/gay-population-us-estimate_n_846348.html 
They want to be heard, and they want to be accepted yesterday. They want the government to recognize their unions as marriage too and at their heals are the men who want to have multiple wives.  This isn't something the christian can simply ignore in hopes it will go away.  In the same way Jesus was always ready with an answer for his critics we need to own our faith boldly but lovingly.
One of my dearest friends is gay.  She reads every single blog post and never fails to comment.  She has walked with me this journey of life as a mother herself and a woman learning alongside me.  She's my friend and I care so much for her.  If she came over to my house we would laugh and talk about the good, bad, and the ugly in life.  I respect her because she's kind, loving, a good mother, friend, and she has supported my dreams since the beginning of my blog. 
Her and I differ on this and that's okay because I have the utmost respect for her still.  And if ever she needs a friend i'm here not judging.  Even if she got married today to a woman, we'd still be friends and I'd still want to be her friend.
God placed her in my life for a purpose and i'm glad he did.
In the same way that I will love my divorced friend, my remarried friend, and gay friend God loves them that much deeper.

Conclusion

It all comes down to selfishness which means to be devoted to oneself. (websters)  We don't want to deny that which brings us pleasure, do we? I'm guilty of it all the time.  It would be much easier to flirt with another man to meet the need of wanting attention then to patiently love my own husband and wait on him.  Or even deeper, to consider him better then my needs and go about meeting his before mine are met.  Marriage is hard but God defined it simply between a man and a woman.
In Matthew 7:1 we are warned "Do not judge, or you too will be judged"  Its one thing to take a bold stand in your faith but a completely other thing to sit judging the world.  Let God be the judge of humanity.  Its a very fine line and one i've struggled with myself.
If you disregard this as a hypocritical bitter christian woman's opinion, okay, that's fine. :)
But trust me,
Not being under the umbrella of God's authority only robs you of the joy Christ gives so freely.
And I can't stress this enough...
Ephesians 6
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
Satan is on the prowl like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  He is after our homes, marriages, children, hearts, minds, and souls. His main goal is to separate us for our loving God.  And I think he's done a great job of disrupting this world so far.
Our enemy is not our spouse, the divorced man or woman, the homosexual fighting for their rights, its against satan. And it's personal..choose to duke it out with him by living your life being obedient to God loving him deeply, and considering others better then yourself. 


The majority of people who claim to love God are not motivated by hate when disagreeing with homosexuality, premarital sex, or divorce but they have love for those individuals.
If we are going to have this relationship with God then we need to be all in...no more hanging out on the fence because he makes it clear in Revelation 3:16
"But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold. I will spit you out of my mouth!"

God lovingly laid out his plan for our salvation and we've touched on it many times together.
He invites us into a relationship with him through Jesus Christ's death on the cross paying our debt.
No matter what our past choices have been, he offers to make us white as snow.
I hope you will stick around for more of my story.  That you will see how I was guilty of sins and how God redeemed a very broken girl.  I haven't lived righteous all the days of my life.
But this has never about pointing to myself, its pointing to a perfect God.
As a christian it is my mission to witness the hope I have in Christ. 
Its time we all start to protect marriage and aim to walk as righteous people loving God and others.
It won't always be this heavy around here but trust this message comes from a tender place in my heart.
If your opinions differ then what was all stated here I do hope you'll return and that we can simply agree to disagree. :)
This is my answer to all of the ridicule I have received in the last years over these issues, people have demanded an answer and this is what i've discovered to be God's truth based on His word. I've prayed all day you'd receive this message well.
Laura


4 comments:

The White Wave said...

These issues are so very relevant, and sin and misunderstanding are so prevalent. Thank you for being bold in sharing the truth of God's word on these weighty matters.

Molly Huggins said...

That was brave. I appreciate you speaking truth in love.

Laura said...

Thank you ladies for leaving a comment, isn't this stuff hard? Thank you for reading all of that post, I know it was long! Learning to be bold from a place of love is important while we are figuring out how to navigate through this world as followers of Christ.
~Laura

The White Wave said...

Rereading this post was refreshing to my soul, as I have been discouraged of late over the many Christians who have given in to worldly ways of thinking. My last few blog posts deal with that.