Marriage: Culture and God’s Word

In just four chapters, the book of Ruth has walked us through what it looks like to be a man or woman of God, how friendships should look, what it looks like to pursue a spouse and lastly, what marriage should look like.

Now, let’s be boring real quick and look at some stats. Looking at first marriages, 45-50% end in divorce, 60-67% of second marriages end in divorce and, lastly, 70-73% of third marriages end in divorce.

Why is marriage, something that is supposed to be so wonderful, so broken today?

I loved how Holland put it: “We distort marriage and sex because we are sinful [instead of] letting God’s word shape our view of marriage.”

I wanted to know what people thought about marriage and living together so I went out and asked about twenty-five people, some who I know and some who I don’t know, of various backgrounds what they thought of marriage to see how we have changed the definition of marriage.

What I heard is the same thing we all hear every day so there is nothing new. Every one said marriage was between two people who loved each other. God did design it to be for just two people. “At the beginning of creation God made them male and female.’  ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’”(Mark 10). The Bible begins with this glorious picture of Adam and Eve as the first married couple working together as one.

All said that marriage vs. singleness says nothing about a person. There are so many who are single that struggle because they haven’t found “the one.” LOOK! No one sees anyone differently because we are all the same, this is amazing. If you are one who is struggling with this please be encouraged by this and remember that God’s timing is almost certainly not your timing, or so it seems!

No one believed that marriage was necessary (once again we are all the same!) and all said that marriage should be forever unless it is an abusive relationship. Lastly, all said living with each other before marriage was beneficial, except for one person. The Lord calls us to be like Christ. To love and obey and to glorify Him in all we do. As hard as this is to say or to read, living together before marriage is not like Christ.

Society makes it very hard to stand up to what we believe in as Christians. I don’t have a hard time giving my opinion so why is it so hard to stand up to the world and say what we are doing to marriage is not right? How can we both honor God and keep peace by saying that God did not ordain living together, sex before marriage or even the belief that people can be “married in their hearts?”

Seeking after God requires sacrifice, it isn’t all peaches and cream, as we say in the south. If you are trying to have a better relationship with the Lord while in bed with your boyfriend or girlfriend it isn’t going to end up the way you want it to. It will just hurt you.

Walking a narrow path is hard so we need to encourage each other as Christians to stand up for what is right and to never back down in fear of losing a friendship, job or the respect of someone else. I don’t mean to go prancing around and shoving this in people’s face, that is not how Christ does it. Instead, he loves on people and always tells the truth. If your friend or boss comes up to you and asks you what you think about marriage, don’t be afraid to lose that relationship or job. God is a loving Father and will always protect and provide for you, you just need to listen and obey.

And remember, if you are trying to live like Christ but struggle in this area and you stumble and don’t get it quite right that is OK! Jesus died on the cross for us because we fail and then fail again and then disobey and lie and cheat and then fail a few more times. Nothing is easy and in our society we are very accustomed to instant gratification which makes waiting so hard, whether that be for the right person or the I Do’s! Instead, let’s remember that we are sinners but we have a God who will not bring about something more than you can handle. Don’t be afraid to stand up for the only real definition of marriage which is that it is a covenant between one man and one woman for life where they become one.

By Grace Prindle

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