Value Of Marriage

The Impact of Forbidding Marriage: Religious and Societal Perspectives

Let me tell you what I'm after:
The forbidding of marriage, to forbid what God allows, is a pathway that leads to false piety (like a monk) or swings on the opposite side of this pendulum, sexual immorality. The Greek word is “Pornea”. Pornea is fornication, any sexual sin outside of the divine design of sexuality in a marriage. What do I mean by that?

Well, forbidding marriage, let's just say for a priest, when they weren't called to singleness, and they just entered the ministry and the doctrine said you cannot marry. For whatever reason, that abstinence led to a perversion, which generally speaking, has led to wild sexual scandal in the Roman Catholic Church. And if you have Catholic roots, I'm not bashing Catholicism. I'm telling you general history.

Pedophilia, and other sexual sins are the result of forbidding what God allows.

But there's also this other forbidding of marriage that is occurring before our very eyes. Not sure if you're aware of this, but every state has incentivized welfare programs, and the benefits fall upon the home: Usually when a mother with children does not allow the father back into the picture. “Wait, you mean to tell me the state actually incentivizes welfare programs and applies massive penalties if the couple decides to get married? Why in the world would they do that?”  - To not see that there's a dark force at work behind the scenes.

The enemy knows that if he can tear families apart, if he can divide a marriage, he can cause single-parent households to attempt to raise the children on their own. Yes, it's possible. All things are possible in Christ. God bless single moms and single dads, may He endow you with an extra blessing to do the work of two. And He will, I’ve seen it.

But the consequences that have fallen upon our land because the government has sought to incentivize singleness, the kids are impacted while these programs are of course intended to help low-income families and individuals, their design greatly contributes to the decline of the family in America, either by malice, or ignorance. The American welfare state is on a whole egregiously anti-marriage. Anti-marriage? Who would not want marriages to be healthy and vibrant? So now we just went from the church and the doctrine that would forbid marriage, and we went to the state and the unspoken doctrine that is forbidding marriage.

The Forgery of Marriage:

Allowing What God Forbids

And we, of course, move to a different category. And what we see is the forgery of marriage. What do I mean by that? Well, the forgery of marriage is this:
“To allow what God forbids.”
 We just went from to forbid what God allows, now we're moving into:
“To allow what God forbids is a pathway that leads to deception and damnation.

When I say forgery, you know what forgery is? Forgery is counterfeiting, falsifying documents, fraudulently copying, falsely representing someone else, either a state, their authority, or signing a document without their consent. It's forgery. Now, let's put this together:

 Putting any other signature than God's on a marriage is the forgery of marriage.

God has one signature for marriage and it's male and female, man and woman, husband and wife. That is the only signature, that is not just for believers. Marriage is sanctioned universally. Everywhere, civilization flourished and thrived, it was because the marriage was between man and woman. And when the enemy was able to sneak in, creep in and forge and put his signature on the marriage. Romans 1 is the culmination of humanity reaching its reprobate state. And what is the relationship that is recorded in Romans one? It's that men would lay with men, and women were laying with women. It's Satan's signature. 

Now, we all know that. In our land we have legalized unholy unions. But that's not the only forgery of marriage that I'm going to address. There's another forgery of marriage, and it goes unaddressed often at times.

The other form of forgery is when a couple is playing marriage before marriage.
Playing marriage without the power and purity of marriage.

It's couples who are moving in together before the holy union at the altar. And the justification that exists, “Well, I'm going to eventually marry them.” It's couples that are sleeping together. Premarital fornication (Pornea). I'm here to tell you there is a best in God's economy, and my responsibility is to always present the best, the absolute best, the pinnacle of God's best.

And I've had people be offended by me saying, Hey, if you want God's best, this is what it takes. This is the direction I want you to move in. So for young couples here, I'm asking you to consider where you are with the Lord. 

If there be any pre-marital sexual interaction, 
you cannot expect God's blessing upon your marriage. 

And I'm not telling you in a position where I was once engaged to my fiance, Sarah, where we had it all figured out. To want God's best and not putting any other signature on the marriage, would each of us in this room, whether we're currently living with our significant other, our boyfriend or girlfriend or our fiance, I would advise and of course, we at Landmark would love to sit with you and spiritually advise you on God's best and help you in making those decisions.

There's an interesting dynamic that occurs before marriage. Doesn't it seem as if whether it's flesh or there's an enemy driving the flesh, the enemy wants to get us together sexually before the marriage. And isn't it something that the moment we get married, it's as if that same force, that same flesh, that same enemy, drives us away from our spouse.

So before marriage, he's trying to get us together. After we're married, he's trying to drive us apart.

See, we need the word of God to help govern our relationships.

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The Forsaking of Marriage: Upholding the Covenant

We talked about the forbidding of marriage in context (exegete). I moved into an area where I isolated the text, talked about the forbidding of marriage from the state. We moved into the forgery of marriage and its two forms, putting any other signature than God's on a marriage. Each of us has to search our own hearts with where we are.

And I want to land in a more important category, and it's the forsaking of marriage. And we are seeing there are several things that are happening simultaneously and through the decades. The first is the marriage rate, the rate of marriage: How many people are getting married, is on the decline (that's one stat). At the same time, children being born out of wedlock is on the rise at an astronomical rate. And like I said earlier, the state intervenes and gets involved and they work overtime to keep those two people apart. And the children in that dynamic often suffer.

Now we're going to look at the forsaking of marriage, and there's reasons why at the altar we pledge our vows. Yes, in human form, as broken people, we still pledge our vows.
Your vows may have went something like this:
“I ______ take you _______, to be my _________. To have and to hold for better or for worse. For richer or for poorer. In sickness or in health. To love and to cherish.”
 What's the final part? “Til' death do us part.

 This is the language of covenant. When we marry, we are engaging in a covenant.

Now I want to tell you what's happening in many Christian marriages. One spouse or both are not treating the marriage like a covenant, they, of course, begin to treat it like a contract.

To treat a covenant like a contract is a pathway that leads to unforgiveness and irreconcilable difference.

“Because you're not living up to your end of the bargain, I'm taking my goods and I'm going home.” And the quit option, which has never been thrown out, is often the first option that we hold on to. And I'll tell you the truth, if you're in a marriage right now and I get every one of us have uniquely different marriages, like a fingerprint, I'm up here giving you the generalization of what God's Word says about marriage.

I cannot properly exhaust every scenario of marriage in a message. So while I get each of us are coming with different frames of reference in context, I would never sit up here and tell you to not come talk to myself or Pastor Terence, or the congregational care team so that we can help you work out your marital strengths and your problems.

But if for a second you think that you won't be able to find online, or somebody out there, who will affirm you where you're at and give you every reason to forsake your marriage, I tell you the truth, brothers and sisters, you will find somebody who will tell you what you want to hear about your marriage.

The question is, are you willing to hear what 
God wants you to hear about your marriage?

See, the Bible is explicit. God hates divorce. And he doesn't hate those that got divorced, He hates the consequences of divorce. He hates what it does to the family and the children. He hates it and it breaks his heart. My intention is not to pull off any healed over wounds in your life. We know that there is no sin that Christ has not died for and forgiven us from.

I'm thankful personally, when my wife and I, in the first three or four years of our marriage and the onus was on me as the man, we began to hit rocky places. And of course, I was able to justify in my mind that I was serving the Lord. “She needs to understand that where I spend my time matters, and when I get home after a long days of work, I'm exhausted.
Does she not see that I'm pouring out onto the people?”

And all of that was backwards. Ladies and gentlemen, your pastor is telling you "I got it wrong."  And I came back from a Sunday service one day and my wife Sarah was gone, and she had departed and went to Florida with her sister, and all of my ideas of ministry came crashing down.

And you know what we're both thankful for? Right or wrong, however I conducted myself right or wrong, however she conducted herself?: That we had a family, a couple named Scott and Amy Reef, who come to this church. And Amy was willing to tell Sarah the hard truth, that she has no right to forsake her marriage, biblically speaking. And Scott told me the hard truth that I needed to hear.

And if it weren't for their voices of truth speaking into our marriage, we would not be approaching our 10th year. I think it's ten, I better do my math! Ten years with two precious gifts from the Lord. As you all know, Willow and Zeke.

So I'm telling you that to say, marriage is hard.

And for whatever the reason, the Lord has led me to this moment and this message for this audience, He wants us all to see how He values the covenant of marriage.

If you think with me for a second, one of the major reasons that often finds itself on a divorce certificate, it says, “irreconcilable differences”. That really covers pretty much anything. Now, the reason why the marriage relationship is so valuable to God is because He sees his covenant relationship with His people as unbreakable.

Christ calls Himself the bridegroom. The church is His bride. Did you know the only irreconcilable difference that actually makes sense is a holy God and sinful man. And sin is what separated us, if there were ever irreconcilable differences. Yet the Lord Jesus Christ decided to extend Himself in mercy and grace, reconciling us unto Himself.

Now, here's the punchline: The greatest love story of all time involved reconciliation.

And your testimony in your marriage, wherever it is right now, I'm telling you, with prayer and putting your faith in Jesus and opening up your life with vulnerability, God is able to do the impossible. I know some of you are thinking even right now, your marriage is in a position and it cannot be recovered, and I'm telling you, that is a lie from the devil himself.

And it's going to take work. And I can't put a timeline, but God's heart is reconciliation and restoration. They say, as Terence taught years ago, that the moment a Navy SEAL makes up his mind, that he's going to quit the program, the percentages of him walking to that bell and ringing it and quitting the program are higher than the Navy SEAL who makes up his mind that
no matter what they put me through, no matter what I'm about to encounter, I am not exercising the quit option, and they throw the quit option away.

And I'm thankful that my wife and I have made a commitment together, post our marital strife, that we threw away the quit option.

Come what may, we are going to work this thing out.

And that is why you need godly biblical people in your life to hold you to account. 

This study was pulled from one of our sermons.

To learn more, watch the full sermon below.


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