Love and Marriage
Malachi 2:15 Didn’t the LORD make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.
I will get back to the beatitudes next week and continue the “blessed” series. Last week, I did something I have never done. I helped officiate a wedding. In preparation for this, I studied as many scriptures as I could find on the subject of marriage. This verse in Malachi has really stuck with me, so this is what I thought I would write about for today.
Being a school teacher, I get to see more than my share of relationships come and go. It is not uncommon for me to see a new couple holding hands. I might say something like “I didn’t know they were together.” Then, I get a response like “You didn’t know that? They’ve been together forever!” I usually find out “forever” means they got “together“ last week. Most of the time, just a few weeks later, one of them is holding hands with a new person.
I have seen a lot of school kids grow up into adults. It is not so amazing to me that the same teenagers who trade boyfriends and girlfriends like trading cards begin to trade out husbands and wives. Somehow, society has made marriage simply “one step up” from being boyfriend and girlfriend. Therefore, when a person simply becomes the least bit unhappy, they simply do like they did in high school…they “break up.” However, the Bible teaches us that “breaking up” in marriage isn’t possible.
In Matthew 19 the Pharisees sought to trick Jesus. They asked Him if it was okay for a man to divorce his wife. The reason they thought they had Jesus was because in Deuteronomy 24 Moses allowed a “certificate of divorce.” Since Moses said it, the Pharisees believed that settled it. However, in His response, Jesus took them back to the beginning. He told them that because their hearts were not right, Moses allowed the certificate of divorce. In the beginning, God made the two become one…and it can NEVER be undone, or “un-oned.” The disciples were so shocked by this they said “it is better to not even marry!”
So, what is my point in all of this? Marriage is a really serious thing! The couple in the wedding that I helped officiate did the traditional “sand ceremony.” They took those two separate containers of sand and poured them together. Those grains of sand can NEVER be separated back into their individual bottles…it is impossible. When two people say “I do” to marriage, Malachi says “in body and spirit you are his.” The Lord has made the two of you become one. Why did God do this? What does God want out of this? Malachi tells us that God wants Godly children from the union.
There used to be a time where couples stayed together for the sake of the kids. Those times are gone. One person in the marriage ALWAYS justifies their decision by saying things like “well, at least the children won’t see us fight any more,” or “we get along much better this way.” In the case of most “Christian” marriages, one partner has convinced themselves that God Himself is okay with the divorce. In other words, God no longer wants us to guard our hearts and remain loyal to our first husband or wife, but wants us to divorce because it would make us “much happier.”
For me, I get two major things out of this. First I wish I had spent my high school and college years really learning how to honor the Lord with my life. I wish I hadn’t wasted all that time with the dozen or so girlfriends that I thought that I “loved.” I REALLY wish I had reserved the sexual relationship for marriage. I will NEVER buy in to the “try on a pair of shoes before you buy them” theology. Shoes are made to wear out and be thrown out. A new pair of shoes can be bought when you simply don‘t like the other pair. Unfortunately, that is what WAY too many people do with their spouses.
Lastly, I like the reason we are to stay together. God wants “Godly children from our union.” Now, I realize that there are couples who can’t have children. For a couple of years, Tonya and I thought we were going to be one of them. God only gave us children when we told Him together in prayer that HE was enough, and we would honor Him if he NEVER gave us children. Believe me, it was no easy process to get us to that point. But, now we have children. Contrary to the popular opinion that Tonya and I have the “perfect“ marriage, we have had a few major trials over the past 10 years that have required a major heart change toward one another. Here is my major take away from Malachi 2:15 that concerns our kids:
No matter what problems arise in our marriage, we will honor the Lord and His word. As long as BOTH of us truly seek to love and honor Him, we will work out whatever disagreements and hurts we may have. I would like to believe that we will do this because we love God If we do not do it for Him, we will do it for the sake of our kids.
I do not want my children to see Mama and Daddy happier because we split up. I want my children to see that when Mama and Daddy are not getting along that they seek the Lord. I want them to see that we pray together for His Holy Spirit to come and touch our hearts. I want them to see us come out better on the other side than we were before. I want them to see that through Him…reconciliation and restoration are always possible.
Isn’t that what Jesus came to do? He came to bring dead things, even dead marriages, to life!