Protecting the Sanctity of Marriage

Couple-Yelling

My friend Kenny Stole just posted a status on facebook about a conversation he overheard in Starbucks in which a man said to his wife, “Seven months ago I made an oath to love, honor, and cherish you, and you have completely lost all my trust.  So now, I’m going to do whatever I want to do and you’re just going to take it.”  Whoa…what?!  Did he not hear what he was saying? “I promised to love you, so now I’m going to make your life miserable”?

“Protecting the sanctity of marriage” is a phrase that we hear a lot in conjunction with protesting gay rights.  But as much as Christian heterosexuals stand for traditional marriage, they seem to be pretty apathetic about their own.  When the reputation of the Christian community has been saddled with heavy divorce rate statistics, it’s almost as if they’re trying to take a speck out of someone’s eye when they have a plank in their own.  Many Christians militantly argue for “one man, one woman,” but in the midst of focusing on the man/woman aspect of the Biblical example, many people miss the part about ONE man and ONE woman.  Just like with everything else in our individualistic, consumerist society, when people get tired of the old model, they trash it for a newer and better version.  “I dropped my iPhone 4 and cracked the screen…time for the iPhone 5! I neglected my marriage and it fell apart…time to start dating again!”

Many marriages that don’t end in divorce still end in misery.  I once heard a woman at a church brag that her grandparents hated each others’ guts and lived at opposite ends of the house for years, but they “respected marriage enough to stay married.”  That is anything but respect; that is legalistic contempt for the sanctity of marriage.  Her grandparents kept their contract, perhaps, but the covenant that they made before God was long broken.

Marriage in itself is meaningless without love.  It’s four empty walls without a foundation.  It’s like God grudgingly offering salvation and saying, “I hate you, you sinful scum of the earth, but because I’m God and I have to, I guess you can come live with me in eternity.  Just keep your distance and please don’t bother me with your problems.”  Am I being too harsh?

Ephesians 5:25 — “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

Marriage is supposed to be a safe place.  But society, and even Christians, have trivialized and ridiculed it into shameful jokes about the “ball and chain,” coexisted in loveless tension, and divorced and remarried and fought over their kids so much that they hardly have a leg to stand on when arguing for a traditional family.  No wonder the gay community sees their opponents as hypocrites: a lot of them are.  Many committed gay couples see the utter disregard for marriage that many heterosexual couples have and think to themselves, “Aaaand…we’re the problem?”  Those who have no standards of their own can hardly impose standards on others; Christians can’t fight to keep the “sanctity of marriage” until they’ve fought to keep their own.

But what if spouses truly loved each other as sacrificially as Christ loved the church?  What if they weren’t content to settle at “I do”, but instead continued to explore the beautiful, endless journey of love?  What if, today, you made the choice to make your marriage one that people would talk about long after you’re gone?

Unless you read this and decide to actively make your marriage more loving, more sacred, and more sacrificial than yesterday — unless you get on your knees and beg God to rekindle cold love in the hearts of His people and in so doing truly protect the sanctity of marriage — unless you set an example for other couples and teach and encourage them to love well instead of gossiping about their discontent — this blog post is nothing more than a rant.  It can’t change the divorce rate statistics.  It can’t protect the sanctity of marriage.  Only the above-and-beyond kind of love can do that.

Also, I would request that no one leave argumentative comments on whether they are for or against gay marriage.  That’s not what this post is about; if you think it is, please reread it carefully.  It’s not about the rightness or wrongness of homosexuality so much as it is about checking your own heart.  I didn’t state my views, so please don’t state yours.  Use the time you would have spent commenting to buy your wife flowers or make your husband dinner.

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The gay argument against gay marriage is basically why would we want that? The distance between fantasy and reality is too great, the pretence and hypocrisy. Better to live together for a bit, or have two houses but see each other.

  2. Sadly, it is far easier to fight for what you believe in than it is to live up to it.

    • So true, Daniel! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. And it is sad — we need to raise our standards and set the example!

  3. Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Today, Good Friday, Christians celebrate and remember that their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered and died. This is the one and only blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin so we can live in heaven with Him forever. You are right, what a perfect opportunity this debate is, to uphold the sanctity of marriage, because it reminds us take a look at ourselves, and not just on Good Friday. Christians should practice daily reflection because Jesus taught us to first ask for forgiveness for ourselves then ask for the strength to forgive others. Though self reflection should be done daily, we often fall short. This debate is not about pointing at sin it is about saying I am a sinner too, but take heart, Christ has overcome the world and He died leaving His power here for us all as He promised, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18). Christ came for the lost and the sinners. If you recall when the woman was caught in adultery Jesus said to the woman, neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more. Matthew the tax collector stopped cheating the people, and Zacchaeus changed paying back 4 times what he owed to others. If we believe than we reach out in faith to others to say, God can work His power. We are all called to, “hold fast,” “fix our eyes,” to “persevere,” while we live in this fallen world and Jesus said to, “Take heart because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). This debate is not about scoffing at the sinner, it is about reminding the world of what God’s truth which never changes and there is power in His word, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to diving soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12). Homosexuality is not new to God, remember what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah? (Genesis 19). What a great thing this is to remind us all to; go and stop sinning. If anyone is a professed Christian I hope the reflection is also within, this could be a great spiritual revival for all. All you have to do is to look at a coin, “In God we Trust” to be reminded of the universal principles in America and we the people need to protect should protect that. If God is alive in our hearts, He will lead us to stand up for His truth…in love. “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But YOU know Him, for He lives with YOU and will be in YOU.” (John 14:15-17). Let us all go and do likewise on this wonderful day. I may shed a tear today as I reflect on the Savior’s suffering because; I once was lost but now I am found. I will, pick up my cross and walk but I take heart knowing that, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3). Read your bibles Christians, and do what it says and thank God for His forgiveness.


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