Holy marriage is from God. So why do fifty percent of Christian marriages fail? WITS member Rev. Eric Hodge offers several reasons in this thought-provoking article.
Other than the gift of ‘Eternal Life,’ there isn’t anything much greater than God’s creation of Holy Marriage. And other than the choice to be saved, there’s not a greater choice than who you marry. That beautiful commitment when man and woman come together before God, taking their mate, to love and cherish for a lifetime. There’s not a greater human relationship and commitment.
Then why are close to fifty percent of marriages failing today? We’re also being told that slightly more Christian marriages are failing now than non-Christian marriages. How can that be?
There are several reasons we can think about…
1. Marriage Requires “Grown-up-ness.“
So many men and women that step up to the altar are just babies. Not necessarily in age. But they are babies in attitude, emotions, and perspective. Many Brides’ and Groom’s who step to the altar of marriage are selfish and arrogant, thinking only of themselves and what everyone is going to do for them. They haven’t grown up yet!
Marriage isn’t about ME! Marriage is about my mate and how I can live my life for her. My prayer is that every Christian that steps to the altar in the future is relatively mature and ready to give themselves away. And when both husband and wife have that desire and understand that choice, each other’s needs are met.
Remember this…marriage is not ’50-50!’ Marriage is ’80-20!’ If both husband and wife will GIVE 80% to their marriage and only TAKE 20% from their marriage…then blessings will come.
If you’re not a grown-up when you step to the altar, trust me…you will be before long.
2. Marriage Starts Long Before You Get to the Altar.
So many folks will decide to start looking at who they are and who they’ve married after they tie the knot. Most aren’t real successful in trying to change their husband or wife after they’re married.
So the marriage process should start long before we ever step to the altar!
a. We do everything we can to make sure we are right with God and that we are who He wants us to be. We make Him the No.1 thing in our lives.
b. We have to love ourselves and who God made us to be before we can fully love someone else! The only way we can fully love ourselves is to accept God’s love into our heart and life. We are able to love others because God first loved us.
c. We begin to pray for the person God will lead us to. He has a plan…and that plan normally includes a husband and wife. Trust Him in this process. God always knows best.
3. Marriage Requires a “Pure Spiritual Genealogy“
In other words…at the altar, Christians are supposed to marry Christians! Children of God are supposed to YOKE themselves to Children of God. God desires nothing less than that for His people.
I asked the question not long ago in one of our worship services…“If you truly believe that Christians should marry non-Christians, please raise your hand.” Not a soul raised their hands. That’s because most Children of God know that that’s not what Jesus Christ desires for His people. I mean, we know it deep in our hearts without a doubt. Yet, so many of God’s people are making the choice not to “marry in the Lord.”
Do you remember these verses?
+ 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Not technically a marriage verse. But it does apply to marriage. A born-again person has no business yoking themselves in ‘binding relationships’ to a non-Christian in many areas…especially marriage.
+ Genesis 6:1-3
This is a verse that in my personal interpretation is not really about ‘fallen angels having sexual relations with human women.’ This passage is really about the godly descendents of Seth intermarrying with the evil descendents of Cain. Once again…the godly were marrying the ungodly. God’s people were not’ marrying in the Lord.”
Not the best game plan for God’s people. No matter how you try and make it fit, it just doesn’t work for the true Christian.
+ 1 Kings 11:1-6
King Solomon marries many foreign women who worshipped foreign Gods (read the passage). Because of that, his heart was turned away from God.
My main point is this – marriage is not the area in which we need to begin trying to practice our personal evangelism. Our marital lifetime mate should and must be a true born-again believer who has given their heart and life to Jesus Christ. DON’T COMPROMISE!!
That’s what will honor the Lord. Don’t CLOUD your Spiritual Genealogy. Ask God to guide you and help you find your mate in the family of God.
4. If You’re Married…Give God Total Control in Your Marriage
Seek God and His perfect will before you get to the altar. Ask God to lead you to the right person for you. Believe He’ll do that! Because He can and will.
I tell couples who are getting married and who are single-again that there is something worse than being single…and that’s being married to the wrong person. Please seek God in this matter.
Then, after God has blessed you with the very best person…don’t put Him up on a shelf or in a closet. Keep allowing God to have first place in your life and marriage and allow Him to continue to guide your marriage in all things.
It’s been said, “That marriage is like an old 45 record. You buy it for one side but unfortunately you get the other side also. And divorce is like the hole in the middle.”
Let’s commit to getting back to doing things God’s way…especially when it comes to marriage. And may God bless us!
Copyright © Eric Hodge 2012