What the Maker says about marriage
by John Crotts
Marriage is one of God's kind gifts to humanity.
When God made man, he said it wasn't good that he should be alone. After showing Adam that there were no suitable companions for him in the entire animal world, he gave him Eve.
She was like Adam and she was different than Adam. They became corresponding companions for the rest of their lives.
The beautiful gift of sex illustrates the union between a man and his wife, and creates a spiritual bond between the couple. It is like spiritual super glue. The Bible says the two become one flesh. This physical and spiritual relationship is designed to lead to children. Of course, not everyone can have children, but that is God's general design.
God designed children to be conceived, and then brought up as part of that committed relationship of marriage illustrated by the very sexual union that produced the children. A marriage is made by two bonds, the bond of covenant and the bond of sexual union. In our culture the bond of covenant looks like a marriage license and sacred vows said before a minister or another officer of the state. The sexual bond doesn't make people married in and of itself, but it is a powerful bond. Sex is so powerful that God says it must only be used by two people within the covenantal commitment of marriage. Then sex is to be shared generously without any guilt or regret.
Jesus said about marriage 'what therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.' These words are found in a section of the Bible about divorce in Matthew 19. When challenged, Jesus took his opponents back to Adam and Eve in Genesis – which he apparently believed in!
I love that idea that God himself seals the bond of every marriage. Even for those couples who don't believe in God, God blesses their marriages with his seal. Marriage is his gift to humanity.
In Ephesians 5:22-27, the Bible also reveals that marriage visually depicts Jesus Christ and his relationship to the church. A wife is like the church submitting to her husband. A husband is like Jesus loving his wife sacrificially, even at the cost of his own life. When Jesus comes back and heaven comes down to earth in Revelation 19:6-8 and 21:9, it is compared to a bride and groom.
From Genesis to Revelation the point of marriage always includes its distinctive parts of the male and the female, that come together to make a whole. Recently the Supreme Court of the United States opened the door wider for those States that want to change God's gift of marriage to include two people of the same sex. This goes against God's clear design.
Although the Bible teaches that homosexual acts are sinful, those sins are included in lists which include lots of other sins, like having unmarried heterosexual sex, stealing, drinking too much – and even being greedy. The Bible says that we have all sinned and fallen short of God's glorious standards (Romans 3:23). Ever since Adam and Eve sinned everyone has been born sinful, and we live that sinful nature out (Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:10, 11).
Each of us tempted differently. Each of us sins differently.
But the Bible and our experience teaches us that we all have sin issues. Those tempted by same-sex attraction are not sinning just because they are tempted any more than a married man who is tempted to have sex with other women than his wife. Lust is a sin (Matthew 5:27, 28). Sexual immorality is a sin, and homosexuality is a sin (I Corinthians 6:9, 10).
So, if you are tempted to do things God forbids, it won't do to say, 'I was born that way,' or to think, 'Since God made me this way, it is OK for me to follow through with my desires.' If a man wants to have sex with multiple women, for example, he can't just say, 'I guess I was born this way, so God must want me to go for it.'
No, God clearly spells out what he wants for each of us in the Bible. If you want to enjoy his great gift of sex, you must first marry someone of the opposite sex, and then celebrate it only between yourselves.
Sex is a great part of marriage, but it is only one part. Marriage is a covenant of companionship. You share life together. You care for each other. You bring up children together, where each partner contributes different strengths to the healthy development of the child.
I realize that healthy families like this seem to be an endangered species, but that it God's ideal.
Some of our state governments and the governments of other countries are acting like marriage is just about who you have the most sex with for that part of life. 'Who is the government to say who you have sex with?' they ask. The exact same arguments for legalizing same sex marriage can – and will – be used for polygamy, group marriage, child marriage and other types.
The homosexual lifestyle, although this part is minimized in the media portrayals, is known for multiple partners and often misery. In countries where homosexuals can legally marry, most homosexuals don't want to. When they do, their divorce rates are much higher than the already too high divorce rates of heterosexual couples. A leading homosexual activist has said that people will need to allow for more adultery for same-sex marriages because of their lifestyle.
The legalization of same sex marriage will end up further damaging God's great gift of marriage to humanity.
It is time to begin by taking care of your own home. Our culture needs to see many more healthy homes. Our neighbors and co-workers need to interact with real people trying to live out what the Bible says, recognizing that they are not unloving or bigoted.
Certainly, there have been hateful things said against homosexuals, even in the name of Jesus. If that is you, you need to repent. Jesus is the friend of sinners, and he expects his followers to represent him faithfully.
Finally, if you have struggled with same-sex attraction or have committed homosexual sins, the Bible offers you solid hope. Just after Paul listed those sins in I Corinthians, he said these words, 'And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God' (I Corinthians 6:11).
All of us are sinners and all of us need a Savior. Jesus, the friend of sinners, offers you hope, forgiveness and the power to change to become pleasing to him.