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What Makes a Marriage Christian?

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
August 1, 2021 8:00 am

What Makes a Marriage Christian?

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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August 1, 2021 8:00 am

What was God’s intent when He created the institution of marriage? Was it primarily a means to reproduce mankind and provide an outlet for sexual desire? Was it to provide companionship in this earthly life? Furthermore, what is it that makes a marriage a Christian marriage? Join Dr. James Boice on The Bible Study Hour as he explores the deeper purpose of the union of man and wife

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There are many purposes for marriage, companionship, sexual intimacy, procreation, building a family. All of these are good, and part of God's plan for the union of man and wife. But what was God's primary motive in creating marriage, all welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. We tend to view the marriage relationship as horizontal an institution created to help and please the parties involved God's view of the relationship as more of a vertical nature, and he is a very special intention for that is often overlooked. Join Dr. Boyce as he reveals the spiritual purpose behind the establishment of marriage from Matthew chapter 5. What is it that makes a marriage Christian. What does it involve what are God's purposes in marriage.

These questions may be answered correctly by saying that God is the author of marriage and that he established it is the most important illustration in all of life of how God joins true believers to the Lord Jesus Christ in faith and how he does so forever. I suppose that I perform between half a dozen and a dozen weddings each year and each of them might begin by calling attention to the truth that God has instituted marriage. This truth comes first in the marriage service, the groom and the best man and I come out bride and her bridesmaids advanced down the aisle when the wedding march stop send the people are seated. I begin, I say dearly beloved we are assembled here in the presence of God to join this man and this woman in holy marriage. Marriage is instituted by God regulated by his commandments blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ and to be held in honor among all men. Let us therefore reverently remember that God is established and sanctified marriage for the welfare and happiness of mankind in the prayer that follows.

I give thanks to God for the estate of marriage and ask his blessing on the ensuing service God has established marriage. That is the point and it follows from this that marriage must be governed and directed by his rules, especially if it is to result in the happiness and joy that all men acknowledge should belong to it that we ask these questions. Who is it that originally made the race male and female.

The answer is God who is it that commanded, be fruitful and multiply God who is it who said it is not good that the man should be alone I will make a helper fit for him. God was God who brought the first bride to the first husband and thus established the first human family. God's Word declares therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh. In the New Testament, Jesus himself reinforced the teaching that marriage is a divine institution. It is for this reason that the church speaks of holy matrimony for what we do not believe that some do, that marriage is a sacrament of the church. We do believe that God has established. It that his laws should regulate it and that it is far from being a merely civil or social arrangement will very practical consequence follows up on this roof.

It is true that God has established the state of marriage that we must never make fun of it or anything connected with the marriage relationship.

Dr. Donald Ray Barnhouse used to say bite your tongue before you will ever say well I want you to meet the old ball and chain order. Here's the jailer Dr. Walter Niemeyer, who produced the most valuable book on marriage that I have ever read is written to speak disdainfully of married life to invoke upon it sophisticated sarcasm is to exalt the puny errors of pygmy mines over the eternal truth of heaven to blaspheme God. Both of them are right, and consequently neither you nor I should ever joke about marriage.

Moreover, the fact that God is established.

Marriage means that you and I are to get our ideas about it from the books we may reader from the movies but from God himself, and from the Bible. I suppose that over the years I've read perhaps 10 or 20 books about marriage and sexual problems in the general impression I have had from the non-Christian books and sometimes the Christian ones is that marriage is primarily a matter of sexual compatibility and adjustment.

That's part of the truth. Of course, but it bests its one-sided by itself. It's only slightly less misleading than the marriages in movies where marriage is either a force or else the institutionalization of romantic love. Neither of these is right and what the Bible teaches about marriage is quite different. For instance, as far back as in the early pages of Genesis we read that a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh. What does this mean well, we must make the mistake of thinking that this refers only to a sexual union for the Bible uses the word flesh in the far broader sense than the meanings we give to it word means the person as a whole.

Thus, the union in a certain sense makes one person of those who work to persons before CS Lewis has argued that marriage results in something a bit like a two-part mechanism like a lock and key, or a violin in its blow. I would much rather call it a single organism in which the relationship of a wife to husband. Her husband, wife is like that of the hand to the head of a person nor the heart and the mind. Another way of saying the same things to point out that man is a Trinity is God is a Trinity man has a body soul and spirit in the union of one man one woman in marriage must be a union on each of those three levels marriage is to be what God intended it to be in the union is to be lasting must be a union of body with body first of all this is to say that there must be a valid sexual relationship. This is important for this reason all of the branches of the Christian Church of acknowledge that marriage has not actually taken place until the sexual union is consummated does not take place or if it cannot take place. For some reason, then the marriage can be annulled as invalid. I always tell couples that this is a vital aspect of the marriage relationship.

According to the Bible. Neither the man or the woman is to defraud the other of the sexual experience.

The quickest way for the marriage to end up in trouble is for the wife to have a headache every night than to go to sleep early to avoid the sex act or the husband to lose interest in. His wife romantically to spend his nights elsewhere or with the boys sex must be a regular expression of the relationship. On the other hand, if the relationship is based upon nothing but sex.

In other words, it's a marriage of body with body alone and not of souls, soul and spirit with spirit, then the marriage is weak and inadequate and is headed for the divorce courts, and many are when the glamour wears off, as it always does. Of there's nothing more to sustain it. The relationship is finished and there is either a total indifference divorce order adultery. This is the result of a marriage that is based purely on physical attraction a better marriage than this is a marriage that is also union of soul with soul. In addition to being a union of body with body.

The word sold is a word that had almost passed out of use in the English language, but it's a good word and we would've been poorer for its loss refers to the intellectual and emotional side of a person's nature, involving all of the characteristics that we associate with the functioning of the mind, hence the marriage involves a union of souls is a marriage in which a couple shares an interest in the same things in the same books. The same shows the same friends and seeks to establish a meeting of the minds as it were both intellectually and emotionally. Such marriages will always last longer.

I believe that this point a special word must be said to Christians who were married, whatever minister speaks like this to Christians. Many are already racing ahead of them to .3 Merck concluding that because their marriages are ones of spirit with spirit. Therefore, the worry very much about a union of their minds or their soul. This is not right in the lead. Do we need to worry about it at times. We also need to work toward it for an emotional and intellectual union does not in itself come naturally does a girl have in her mind when she marries a young man, what is her vision of this new husband. Well it is something to do with her father, whether she liked him or rebelled against him is a little bit of Cary Grant mixed up in it. Perhaps a little of James Bond or Johnny Carson nor her minister. What is the vision of the husband. Well, Keith Miller, who wrote the best-selling book the taste of new wine, said that his vision was probably a combination of St. Teresa Elizabeth Taylor and Betty Crocker and men. You know that we each put our own set of names into those categories. What happens when the girl with the vision of Cary Grant and demand with the vision of Elizabeth Taylor get married and begin to find out that the other person is much like their vision, one of two things. Either they center their minds on the differences between the ideal and what they are increasingly finding the other person to be like then try, either openly or subversively to push the other spouse into that image or else by the grace of God, they increasingly come to accept the other person as he or she is including his or her standards of how they themselves should be and then under God seek to conform to the best and most uplifting of those standards, it must be one or the other of those ways.

Keith Miller is written, the soul of a marriage can be a trysting place where two people can come together quietly from the struggles of the world and feel safe, accepted and loved. Or it can be a battleground where to egos are locked in a lifelong struggle for supremacy, a battle which is for the most part invisible to the rest of the world. If you and I are to have the former in our marriages, then we must work toward it, and we must do it by cultivating the interests send the aspirations of the other party.

Wife said that a true marriage must be a marriage of body with body and soul with soul, but it must also be a marriage of spirit with spirit and it is for this reason that the only marriages that can approximate the kind of marriage that God intended to exist in this world are Christian marriages. What does this mean a marriage of spirit with spirit primarily, it means that both the husband and the wife must be Christians. The unsaved person possesses a spirit only in the sense that he supports of vacuum at the center of his life that can only be filled by God. He has a spirit, but the spirit is died. Just as Adam spirit died when he disobeyed God and ran from the only persons who possess alive spirit are those who have been touched by the Holy Spirit of God and of entered into God's family by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence, only these can be married in the full sense of the word which means body with body soul with soul and spirit with spirit. If you are Christian you must marry another Christian or else you must not marry at all. If you do marry a non-Christian, then you are willfully choosing much unhappiness for you will be unable to share that which is most real and most precious to you what will happen to you, can be illustrated from the case of Solomon.

Solomon had been the recipient of many blessings from God first because of God's promises to his father David, and then because of the fact that Solomon had himself determined to walk in the Lord's way. However, after the temple was finished.

And Solomon was at ease in Jerusalem began to get ideas, one of which was to marry the daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt. This was not God's will for him because the Princess of Egypt did not worship Jehovah, and it was one step in his downfall.

Nevertheless, he did it and he did it, even though he knew it was wrong. Someone will say or how do you know it was wrong. The answer is that one verse in the story tells us so and indicates that even Solomon knew it, and second Chronicles chapter 8 verse 11 we read, and Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David under the house that he had built for free, said my wife shall not dwell in the house of David, King of Israel because the places are holy, which the ark of the Lord has come.

In other words, Solomon was saying. I recognize that this woman does not fit in with the things that I know to be true about God. And whenever I bring around the palace of David or the temple. I feel guilty and my conscience bothers me. The only solution is to build another house and hereafter to live my life in his nearly separate but equal compartments as possible.

If you marry a non-Christian fact is, what will happen to you. Do not think that you will lift the non-Christian up that he or she will become a Christian. That may happen eventually because of God's great grace. But even if it does, it will still be years of heartbreak and sorrow, and it may not happen at all. If you are obeying God make sure that it happens before the wedding or do not get married for the other person is not a Christian does not become one sometime before the engagement of the marriage. I tell you, on the authority of God's word that he or she is not the husband or the wife for you.

The Bible says be not on equally yoked together with unbelievers, what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness, what communion hath light with darkness, you will have a marriage of body with body and sometimes even of soul with soul, but you will never have a marriage of spirit was spirit that is what God wants your marriage to be the final and conclusive proof of all that I've been saying the truth that when God created us male and female, and establish the state of marriage. He did so for a definite purpose. What was his purpose it was to provide the best illustration in life of how God joins a man or a woman to Jesus Christ and how we joins them to him forever. I know someone's going to say over.

Didn't God create marriage in order for there to be children is a marriage for reproduction no it is not all.

I know that that's one sideline of marriage. But it's secondary. If it works secondary. Well, then a marriage without children would be incomplete. It would be a failure and that is simply not true. Well then why did he establish it. The answer is that he established it as an illustration of the relationship between Christ and the church. Paul says in Ephesians 5, a chapter that will be discussing further next week. The wife is to submit herself to her husband, as unto the Lord.

He says the husband is to love his wife even as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it and he concludes by saying of marriage.

This is a great mystery but I speak concerning Christ and the church. In other words, God established marriage so that a Christian husband and the Christian wife could act out in their own relationship. The relationship that Christ is to you and me and thereby point men to him as the supreme lover bridegroom husband protector and provider of his people to marry, as God intends men and women to marry is to illustrate this most sublime of relationships.

The relationship of the Lord Jesus Christ to those who believe on him, his church, and the relationship of the church to Jesus, the one who loved us and who gave himself for us. You see it. If you do if you really see it, then you are well on your way to a blessed and happy marriage. You will have the spiritual motivation and the overall orientation to make it possible in our father we ask you to be with those who were listening today if they are married. Bless their marriage and help it to become more and more the kind of marriage that you would have it be that they are not married, then guide them in order that your highest will may be done in their lives in the Jesus Christ might be honored.

We pray in his name. Amen. Listening to the Bible study hours featuring the teaching of Dr. James boys passages from God's word regarding marriage, divorce and remarriage have been taken out of context and used to support a variety of air and perspectives. How, then, should these texts be accurately interpreted and applied in order to be consistent with Scripture.

Find out more in our free CD offer entitled Christian marriage.

By the late Dr. Donald Ray Barnhouse. This free offers sour way of saying thanks for listening. Simply call 1-800-488-1888 will be happy to send you a copy of Christian marriage that number again is 1-800-488-1888 we hope you're enjoying the series on the sermon on the Mount last broadcast over 50 years ago. You know these timeless messages are useful and relevant whenever there and that's why the alliance of confessing Evangelicals can move confidently into the future as the Bible study our and our other broadcast ministries continue to grow.

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Reformation 21 and a place for truth are websites of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals, proclaiming biblical doctrine to foster a reformed awakening in today's church, find blogs, articles, and podcasts from today's most influential reformed thinkers you can connect to it all from the Bible study, you know, marriage is a wonderful institution but not an easy one, and raising a family adds to the pressures and responsibilities of the home, adding to those pressures are the secular views of those relationships that run counter to the Christian model. Join Dr. James boys as he examines the relevance of God's rules for marriage and the family and the changing world in which we live. That's next time on the Bible study hours preparing you to think and act biblically

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