The Serious Matter of Marriage

God takes marriage and adultery seriously.  Jesus’ teachings on adultery and marriage tell us that this is so.  Here are some of Jesus’ teachings:

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.​ – Matthew 5:27-28 (NIV)​

It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.​ – Matthew 5:31-32 (NIV)​

Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.​ – Matthew 19:8-9 (NIV)​

…at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.​ – Mark 10:6-9 (NIV)​

In this passage immediately preceding, Jesus makes it clear that it is God who joins husband and wife together.  So why are we so flippant about marriage?  I believe that it is because we have taken God out of marriage.  He is the Designer and Definer of marriage.  He designed marriage to be one man and one woman for life.  That takes more than just mushy feelings of infatuation.  That requires commitment – to God and to each other.  We do not live in a world that is big on commitment, though.  We are surrounded by liars who don’t keep their word.
I recently had the honor of performing my best friend’s wedding.  Here are the vows he repeated to his wife:
I, take you, to be my wife.  To have and to hold, from this day forward; for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish until we are separated by death; as God is my witness, I give you my promise.
I think about our world today and it seems like we want to rewrite the vows.  Take out the “in sickness” and “for poorer” parts.  Take out the “God is my witness” part.  That makes me accountable to God as to whether or not I keep up my end of the bargain.
Think about the vows you repeated (or may one day repeat).  Are you keeping your vows?  Or are you looking for loopholes out of them?  God takes marriage seriously and so must we.
Luke 16:18 (NIV)
18 “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

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