[Feb 17]--Valuing Marriage

Exodus 20:14

To say that marriage is under assault in our time is a classic understatement. In fact, it seems that it’s under attack from several quarters. Trying to expand the definition to include homosexual unions is just one of the more overt attempts by the Enemy to undermine it. Every divorce in which at least one Christian is involved is a victory for his dark kingdom, but that’s just the end-product of people believing his lies. Watch most TV shows and they tend to present marriage as boring at best, abusive at worst. Adultery is still usually presented as a bad thing, but sex before marriage is presented as the norm, and the idea that someone would actually stick to God’s standard (wait until marriage and then be faithful to your spouse) is apparently unthinkable. Worst of all, they play into the stereotype that marriage is the killjoy of your sex life, while singles are having sex on every day of the week that ends in “Y" (which is a complete lie, by the way).

Less than fifty years ago I could assume that every Bible-believing Christian would know that sex before marriage is wrong, but unfortunately I can’t do that anymore, so here goes. Of course some smart aleck can start by asking, “If I’m single and only have sex with other singles, that’s not adultery, so how's it wrong?” In Mark 10:1-12 when Jesus was asked about divorce, he sent his questioners right back to the first two chapters of Genesis (remember what I said about those wonderful three chapters?). In other words, God’s standard is one man united with one woman for life. Anything other than that (apart from a specific calling from God to singleness) is less than what he has planned for us. In 1 Corinthians Paul warned against several different lifestyles which are unacceptable for God’s people, and he listed both adulterers and the “sexually immoral”--meaning these are two different offenses. The word for “sexual immorality” is porneia from which we get the word “pornography.” It’s a catchall term for any sexual activity outside of the Lord's plan.

Nevertheless, I want to get past all the “don’ts” of sexual immorality to a positive outlook. As a youth minister told me as a teenager, God is pro-sex, the Bible is pro-sex, and the church ought to be pro-sex. In fact, I thoroughly believe that one of the main reasons why the Lord is so against sexual immorality is because he is so much pro-marriage and wants to see his people in healthy relationships. In order for a husband and wife to truly bond together emotionally and physically, in order for them to even approach the intimacy the Lord desires for them, they need to come into their marital bed with as few “extra” people as possible. Of course, God forgives any sin which is confessed, and none of us (especially guys) can claim that we always hold to Jesus’ standard of "no lust for anyone but your spouse." But it’s also true that the closer we stick to God’s plan, the easier marriage turns out to be.

Father God, I really need to change my thinking on this. Please help me.

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