Of What Does Marriage Consist?

TEXTHeb. 13:4

INTRODUCTION:

A.      CONFUSION OVER WHAT CONSTITUTES MARRIAGE.

B.      LET'S NOT MAKE DISTINCTIONS THE BIBLE DOESN'T MAKE.

C.      AGREE TO LOOK OBJECTIVELY, DISCOUNTING EMOTIONS AND

          PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS.

I.      GOD HIGHLY ESTEEMS MARRIAGE.

A.      GOD'S WISDOM REFLECTED( Isa. 55:8-9;  Gen. 2:18 ).

B.      Eph. 5:25-32.  COMPARISON - MARRIAGE/CHRIST AND THE CHURCH.

C.      HOW IMPORTANT IS THE MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP?

          1.       Marriage is sacred, ordained by God( Mat. 19:6 ).

          2.       The unmarried state is undesirable( Gen. 2:18 ).

          3.       Yet, in some instances, the celibate state is demanded by God in order to

                    avoid adultery( 1 Cor. 7:10-11 ).

          4.       Difficulty in understanding this last point results from a materialistic, social

                    view held by many toward the marital union.  Society determines acceptability.

          5.       Such a view regards marriage as the most important relationship, absolutely

                    vital to happiness.  Therefore, some are even willing to relinquish eternal life

                    to preserve a marital union, though it be unscriptural.

          6.       Is the marital relationship the most important?

                   a.       Luke 14:26...Our relationship to God is most important.

                   b.       The greatest source of happiness is seen as being achieved in men and

                             women's relationship to God, not to each other( Mat. 6:33 ).

                   c.       Marriage is important, but not "vital."  Certainly, it is not vital to eternal

                             life( Mat. 19:12 ).

                   d.       What it all boils down to is this:  Am I more interested in the present

                             gratification of this temporary life, or am I more interested in my

                             relationship to God?

II.     TO BE MARRIED, THESE ELEMENTS ARE INVOLVED:

A.      AGREEMENT.

B.      CIVIL SANCTION.

C.      COHABITATION.

III.    THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN "MARRIED" AND        "BOUND."

A.      "BOUND" REQUIRES THE SANCTION OF DIVINE LAW.

B.      ONE CAN BE MARRIED IN VIOLATION OF GOD'S LAW, THEREFORE NOT

          BOUNDIS HE MARRIED?  OF COURSE, BUT UNDER CONDEMNATION OF GOD'S LAW.

C.      ONE CAN BE BOUND TO ANOTHER, THOUGH NOT ACTUALLY

          MARRIED TO HIM.  SHE MAY EVEN BE MARRIED TO SOMEONE ELSE

          ( Rom. 7:1-3 ).

D.      TO BE PLEASING TO GOD, IF ONE IS MARRIED, HE SHOULD BE BOUND

          TO THE ONE HE IS MARRIED TO.

IV.   IF ONE IS MARRIED, HE IS MARRIED "IN GOD'S EYES."

A.      SOME BELIEVE THAT IF ONE IS MARRIED OR DIVORCED WITHOUT

          GOD'S APPROVAL, THAT GOD DOES NOT RECOGNIZE IT.

B.      IS THERE SUCH A THINGS AS "MENTAL PUTTING AWAY?"

          1.       Where is the Biblical reference?

          2.       All passages deal with "writings of divorcement"( Mat. 5:31;  19:7 ).

          3.       Is God concerned about "what goes on down at the county courthouse?"

                   a.       Who established the "county courthouse?"( John 19:11; Rom.13:1-2 ).

                   b.       "The powers that be" were established to regulate society, including the

                             legal aspects of marriage.  What is our disposition toward

                             civil authority to be?( 1 Pet. 2:13-17 ).

C.      IF ONE HAS BEEN DIVORCED WITHOUT "SCRIPTURAL CAUSE,"  HE IS

          DIVORCED AND CANNOT WAIT FOR HIS EX-MATE TO COMMIT

          FORNICATION AND "MENTALLY PUT HER AWAY."

CONCLUSION:

A.      WE NEED TO HAVE A REALISTIC VIEW OF WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS

          ABOUT MARRIAGE AND WHAT IT IS.

B.      WE CANNOT CHANGE THE TRUTH BY CHANGING DEFINITIONS.