Marriage is the union of one man with one woman, voluntarily entered into for life, to the exclusion of all others. This explanation of marriage has been written on the wall of our town-hall registry office for as long as anyone can remember. Although intended to be a secular statement, it fits very well with biblical principles, simply because that was where this definition of marriage was rooted (Matthew 19:4-6). The world may choose to re-define marriage but the Bible remains an unchanging plumb-line of what God says is right.
God sees marriage as a special and sacred covenant, to deeply join two lives of the opposite sex, bringing precious companionship when honoured, but huge damage when abused (Malachi 2:14). Marriage is not just a negotiable human contract to meet perceived needs, however loving and well-intentioned the participants.
Recognising the different attributes of men and women, God calls a wife to respect the leading of her husband, and for him to love his wife, with a heart of sacrifice (Ephesians 5:22-33). After careful consideration of these commitments before God, the covenant of marriage should be initiated by public ceremony (John 2:2), and then sealed in private through sexual intercourse. Marriage is the only safe place, spiritually and physically, to give oneself to another in this intimate way. God also intended that a faithful marriage of a man and a woman would be an ideal and safe environment for the procreation and nurture of children, where they can be unconditionally loved, and wisely taught the ways of God.
Sadly, the true meaning of marriage is being lost in these days. This precious institution was given to us by God as a foundation for a healthy society and we tamper with it at a huge cost.
Prayer: Father, upholding the true meaning of marriage is so important to the well being of all our lives. Teach us to trust Your wisdom rather than our own. Amen.
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