Our site is about helping people recover their marriage after an affair. But how can we talk about adultery without first knowing the origin of marriage?
This series will focus on erroneous views of marriage that lead to wrong expectations, attitudes, and practices. Many bible-believing Christians go wrong because their concept of marriage is an illusion. So we’re going to spend the next four weeks studying the blueprint of marriage: 1) the origin of marriage, 2) the purpose of marriage, 3) the obligation of marriage, and 4) the commitment of marriage.
Most Christians have a simple understanding of the origin of marriage. “Adam and Eve–Garden of Eden” is a typical response. But many are unaware of the significance of that origin. So here is one of the basic concepts in the blueprint of marriage: MARRIAGE IS OF DIVINE ORIGIN! The practical relevance of this basic concept must be considered!
1) God designed marriage as the foundational element of all human society.
God formally instituted marriage before there was a church, a school, or a business. If marriage were of human origin, then humans could change or alter the terms for whatever reason they wish! However, if marriage is of divine origin, then marriage should last until God ordains otherwise. The rules and ideals of marriage are to be those which HE sets forth. Marriage must not be redesigned by political correctness. Individuals may marry, divorce, and remarry without sin only if, when and how God says.
2) Marriage is a foundational institution.
It was first to be instituted formally as a sphere of human society (before schools, business, even religion). Society in all its forms depends on marriage. Marriage is the foundation upon which the Church, as God’s family, rests. The covenant community is weakened as marriages are weakened. It is a group of individuals living under one roof, under one human head, and is a separate decision-making unit.
3) Marriage is not “for the propagation of the species”
Humans (like gerbils, rabbits, monkeys and other mammals) can propogate outside the bounds of marriage by mating. While it is true that God ordained that righteous procreation must be one duty of marriage, it is not the FUNDAMENTAL feature of marriage. Marriage is not “mating.”
4) Marriage must not be equated with sexual relations.
People can and do have sinful sex before marriage, but their sex does not translate into a marriage! Furthermore, the first sexual act of the honeymoon does not solemnize the marriage. Marriage AUTHORIZES moral sexual relations. Thus, adultery, while exerting tremendous strain on the marriage, does not DISSOLVE it. Marriage is bigger than and inclusive of sexual union. Sex doesn’t CREATE a marriage and sex doesn’t dissolve a marriage. Divorce, following adultery as a consequence, is not merely an outward formalization of an inward reality, but a new and further step beyond the adultery.
So if marriage is not sexual union, and if marriage is bigger than and distinct from “sex”–we have to ask: “What IS marriage?” Tune in next week as we examine the PURPOSE of marriage!