051108 - The Serious Business Of Marriage
Title: The Serious Business of Marriage
Text: “And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell” (Gen. 24:3).
Our text makes it plain to see that Abraham considered that the proper marriage of his son Isaac was of great importance. He put forth every possible effort to secure a wife for his son. Intelligent consideration and earnest faith in God should be combined in searching for a companion.
Failure to realize that marriage is serious business is one of the tragedies of our day. It is the chief cause of broken homes. There is no step pertaining to our earthly life more solemn or burdened with deeper meaning than choosing a marriage partner. Yet that step is often taken with little consideration of what is involved.
A real marriage doesn’t just happen; it is the most difficult achievement in the field of human relations. Marriage demands every ounce of ability and effort that one man and one woman can put into it. Marriage is the one career above all others that demands prayerful consideration and careful preparation. A circuit Judge of Chattanooga, Tennessee, who handled more than twenty-five thousand divorces in his long career, declares that over 40 percent of those divorces resulted from hasty marriages of physically and mentally immature couples; couples that did not realize that marriage is serious business.
I. Marriage is serious business because so many people are involved.
Marriage is not a game; it is not an adventure for the carefree days of youth. It is a decision that will affect one for life and perhaps for eternity, and not only oneself but also one’s partner and any children God may give them. Consider the people involved…
A. The parents of the couple are involved.
B. The community has a stake in every marriage.
C. The schools are involved.
D. The church is affected by the success or failure of marriage.
The marriage of Adam and Eve gives us a vivid picture of how the failure in marriage can affect people other than the marital couple. Eve was unfaithful to Adam. She yielded to a voice outside of the marriage. Adam was unfaithful toward his responsibilities as the leader of the family. He joined his wife in sin. They were both unfaithfulness toward God; an act that brought death to the human race.
Adam and Eve failed to realize that marriage is serious business.
II. Marriage is serious business because of the heavy obligations involved in the marital relationship.
Since marriage is such a serious business, it follows that the same rules govern its success that govern other careers. Every successful career demands adequate preparation, intelligent earnestness, persistent diligence, and the will to succeed.
A married man may possess the power to rule an empire, master difficult sciences, and write immortal volumes of books, yet if he fails in his marriage career, he is a failure. A married woman may win the approval of the world for her contributions to medical or scientific research, art, poetry, or music, yet if she fails in her marriage, she is a failure.
God commanded the first couple to be fruitful and multiply; to responsibly populate the earth and maintain a faithful stewardship over it.
God intended for us to realize that marriage is serious business.
III. Marriage is serious business because of the suffering involved in its failure.
A happy and successful marriage is one of life’s greatest blessings. On the other hand, an unhappy marriage is among the cruelest afflictions that can befall anyone.
A. The parents of the couple who fail suffer.
B. The children who are deprived by divorce of the love of both parents suffer.
C. There is no way by which a marriage can fail without both husband and wife suffering a shattering experience. The pot, Elizabeth Barrett Browning said, “A woman finds heaven or hell on her wedding day.”
The symbolism of Jesus marrying the church paints beautiful word pictures of the seriousness of marriage. Jesus, the bridegroom claims the church as His bride. Then, to show His love for her, he dies the worst death known to His generation to demonstrate the seriousness of marriage. Then He rises from the dead to save His bride. Having saved her, He goes home to His father and prepares an eternal dwelling place for her.
IV. Marriage is serious business because God has given specific guiding principles to insure its success.
A. Monogamy – the oneness of marriage. It is the divine plan that one man and one woman be united as husband and wife (Gen. 2:18, 22–23).
B. Fidelity - The faithfulness of marriage. God would have the husband and wife to live together in steadfast faithfulness to each other (Matt. 19:4–5).
C. Permanency – The eternal nature of marriage. In God’s plan marriage is a permanent and responsible relationship that is to continue as long as life lasts (Matt. 19:6–9).
D. Mutual love – The togetherness of marriage. The husband and the wife are to maintain a steadfast, unbreakable spirit of goodwill toward each other (Eph. 5:22–23).
God defined marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman. David, a man that God called a man from His own heart, failed to respect this principle of marriage and took another man’s wife for himself, resulting in indirect murder, and the life of a child born from their sin.
It is important to acknowledge that the God’s guiding principles make marriage a serious business.
V. Marriage is serious business because success is so wonderful.
A. Successful marriage creates a home where security and affection are provided.
B. Successful marriage makes possible a creative relationship in which husband and wife and children experience growth toward their greatest possible potential.
C. Successful marriage can be a little bit of heaven on earth because it is a place of holiness and happiness.
The good news is that marriage is serious business because it describes the church’s relationship with Jesus Christ, and the great price He paid for the freedom of all mankind.
It is expedient to desire and to determine that since marriage is so serious, you will put forth the necessary effort to make your individual contribution toward mutual fulfillment in marriage. Moreover, it is important to realize that your best efforts are impossible without first seeking God’s face.