The Sunset pastor on Sunday continued our series, “Covenant Life, Covenant Duties, Covenant Blessings,” with a message, “The Marriage Covenant.” The text was from Malachi 2:14: “The Lord is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.”
The pastor made three points about our marriage covenant: (1) What is marriage? (2) Who to Marry? (3) Nurturing the Marriage Covenant.
(1) What is Marriage? In the early part of the Bible God said, after he had created the man Adam, [Genesis 2] “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
So God made the woman Eve, and from our first parents all peoples on the earth have come.
Marriage and is also a Bible word, occurring nearly 200 times in God’s word.
So what is marriage? Nowadays there’s great confusion on this subject, so let’s look at some Scripture. When God made Eve, Adam had already looked all over creation for a suitable mate. All the animals had passed in front of him, and he had named them, but “no suitable helper was found” for Adam.
Adam needed someone who would fit his needs, so God made Eve.
After he had made Eve, the Genesis text says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
I sometimes make the point that although men may have many good guy friends, and women may have many women friends, they are not made to be married to each other in the same gender. Same gender marriage is not God’s design and not God’s will.
For two men or women to say they are getting married, and for the government to say this is a new right (recently discovered by the Supreme Court in 2015 in a 5/4 majority vote), doesn’t make it so. It simply means they are supremely confused.
In the Bible marriage is the covenant union of one man and one woman, for as long as they both shall live.
(2) Who to Marry? In our text God’s people were divorcing their wives and marrying heathen women. In v11, “Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the Lord loves, by marrying the daughter of a foreign god.”
They had (v14) “broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.” God had said do not marry outside of your faith, because your spouses will lead your hearts astray to worship other gods.
Solomon violated that, with his 700 wives and 300 concubines. Sure enough, his wives led him astray, away from worshipping God. In our day, what should we think?
Paul sheds some light in 2 Corinthians 6:14: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.”
If I am a Christian man, and Jesus is #1 in my life, why would I want to yoke up in a marriage covenant with someone whose first love is not also the Lord?
(3) Nurturing the Marriage Covenant. No marriage is perfect, and a good marriage requires effort on the part of both. The marriage covenant is a commitment, formalized in vows before God and man.
Sometimes we make an oops, and there may be a divorce, even though v16: “I the Lord hate divorce.” Divorce is a sin for which we may be forgiven, but it is not God’s perfect will.
Ephesians 5:33 provides some guidance: The husband “must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Love requires patience, kindness and forgiveness. Respect: Peter talks about the wife’s “unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.”
A good marriage is not always easy but is definitely worth the effort.
Our Sunset Music Director Jerry Hinson brought the great special, “The Touch of the Master’s Hand,” on Sunday.
“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” [Psalm 95:6]
May you enjoy some sweet alone time with your Maker in worship today — our prayer for you from your friends at Sunset Christian Church.