Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Wedding and Reception

I posted last week that I was asked to sing at a young couples wedding. This couple have been members of our church for at least 3 years. I discipled the young lady for at least a year when her in her husband now, were going through a spiritual battle. A man that use to attend our church discipled Jimmy at the same time. This young couple got married yesterday and I have to say I think that was the sweetest wedding I have ever been a part of.

The Bride was beautiful and the groom looked very handsome too. The vows were great! The song that Jeff and I sang went off without a glitch and finally after dating for 5 years they were married.

As Becca walked down the isle you could see Jimmy starting to tear up. It was the sweetest thing I have ever seen. (O.k. maybe not but it was sweet yesterday) He had told our Pastor when they were in the room waiting to come out that he had waited for this day all his life. He couldn't wait to be married to Becca. He told Pastor what a lucky man he was to find someone like her. (I'm tearing up just thinking about the wedding again) Jimmy stayed up last night and wrote Becca a two page love letter and stuck it by her door for her to find before the wedding. (How romantic is that?)

To see, to Godly young people get married, was just so awesome.

One of the sweetest things of all was when Becca handed off her promise ring to Jimmy. This promise ring told a story of how a young girl made a commentment to God to remain pure until the day she married. She is 25 and Jimmy is 23. This is saying a lot for a young couple dating that long in this day and age.

The wedding was at Kensington Community Church in Troy, Michigan.
The Reception was held at the San Marino Club on Big Beaver Rd in Troy. Good food, fellowship, and fun.

I thought I would do my devotional on marriage today.

January 7th, 2007 Devotional

I will be married 21 years on Valentines Day. The story of how we got married on that day is a bit funny as I look back on it now. My husband proposed to me on Christmas 1985. He said, he wanted to get married in the summer of 1986. My younger brother was getting married at the end of January. My sister who is 1 1/2 older than I am, had been married for many years. I just could not believe that my younger brother was going to get married before I did. I told my husband if he didn't marry me right away I wasn't marrying him. My goodness, what a bossy woman I was. (He would probably say, you mean "AM" Hee, Hee) Well, I guess he wanted to marry me because two months later we were married on Valentines Day.

Now I will start my devotion.


What is marriage?

Marriage, as instituted by God, is a faithful, exclusive, lifelong union of a man and a woman joined in an intimate community of life and love. They commit themselves completely to each other and to the wondrous responsibility of bringing children into the world and caring for them. The call to marriage is woven deeply into the human spirit. Man and woman are equal. However, as created, they are different from but made for each other. This complementarity, including sexual difference, draws them together in a mutually loving union that should be always open to the procreation of children


"And the Lord God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him'" (Gen. 2:18).

"Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: 'This is now bone of my bone And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.'

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." (Gen. 2:22-24)

This text contains several beautiful statements.

Adam received his wife as a gift from God. In a sense it is still true that a man receives his wife from God.

Solomon says: "Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the Lord" (Proverbs 19:14).

We also see that marriage is good. Solomon says in another place:

"He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favour from the Lord" (Proverbs 18:22).

We also see how strong the marriage bond is, so strong that they are no longer two but are melted together as one flesh.

This bond is so strong that it is broken only by death. As long as they live they are one together. They may not separate. Jesus quoted this passage when He was asked about marriage:

"The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?' And He answered and said to them, 'Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning "made them male and female," and said, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh"? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.' They said to Him, 'Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?' He said to them, 'Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery'" (Mat. 19:3-9).

In Genesis we also see how dependent man and woman are on each other. They need each other.

Paul says: "Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as the woman was from the man, even so the man also is through the woman; but all things are from God" (1 Cor. 11:11,12).

Marriage is an institution of God and is a continuation of His work of creation. Sexual desires are God-given. We should view our manliness or womanliness as a gift from God which we receive with thankfulness and strive to keep holy and pure in accordance with His instructions.

In the Scriptures, marriage is an institution in society that is of divine origin. It is governed by the laws of God and by the regulations of the society in which one lives to the extent that they do not conflict with the laws of God. A marriage may take place in a church building, and it is certainly in order for Christians to pray and ask God's blessing on a marriage. But a marriage is not in and of itself a religious ceremony.

Nor is marriage a private agreement between a man and a women. This idea is often used as an excuse for unchastity before marriage. The argument is made: "Although we have not been officially married, we have agreed between ourselves to be married, so actually we are already married." I have heard this statement made more than once to me. In our day in age people just want to live together until they are ready for marriage. In the Bible a marriage always takes place according to certain norms of society and always involves other people who serve as witnesses. A marriage is an occurrence before God and before man. A Christian is obligated to abide by the laws of the society in which he lives to the extent that they do not conflict with the laws of God. Paul says:

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgement on themselves" (Rom. 13:1,2).


What is required, according to Scriptures, to preserve the sanctity of marriage?

First, men and women are to remain virgin until marriage. All sexual relations outside of marriage are forbidden by God and are referred to as fornication, a sin which had the death penalty under the Old Covenant. Under the New Covenant one can be forgiven and purified by the blood of Christ. It is a sin, however, which is extremely damaging to those concerned, to society and to marriage as an institution.

After marriage one is to have sexual relations only with the marriage partner. Sexual relations with any other is adultery, which also earned the death penalty under the Old Covenant. We read in Hebrews 13:4 that God wants marriage to be preserved from the damage caused by these two sins:

"Marriage is honourable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Heb. 13:4).

From this text we see once more that marriage is pure and holy. Fornication and adultery damage marriage, however, and God will hold those who engage in such practices responsible on the day of judgement.

The marriage contract includes sexual responsibilities. Paul says:

"Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control" (1 Cor. 7:3-5).

The wife is to submit to the authority of her husband and the husband is to love his wife as his own body: Oh boy, this is hard for me to follow at all times. I say "I submit as much as I can". My husband says, "I submit when I want to". Sounds a lot different than what this scripture teaches.

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Saviour of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband" (Eph. 5:22-33).

This does not mean that a man may misuse his authority, because if he loves his wife he will sacrifice for her as Christ did for the church. It does mean, however, that he is the head of the family. As head he also bears the first responsibility. He can provide the needed leadership only if his wife respects and submits to his authority.

God's regulations relative to marriage are strict. This is because He values marriage highly for the well-being of man. God's laws and regulations have no other purpose than the ultimate happiness of man. Let us follow the word of God in this matter. Marriage is a gift of God. He will help us to have a good marriage if we obey His word and if we pray for His blessings, help and guidance in our lives.

I was so very blessed to be a part of Jimmy and Becca's wedding.

9 comments:

PEA said...

The marriage ceremony between Becca and Jimmy does sound like it was absolutely beautiful. And in this day and age, to think that they stayed chaste in the 5 years before they got married, is saying a lot about their love. I enjoyed reading your devotional and I agree with everything you say but sometimes things just don't turn out the way you would like them to. I've been married 30 years but we only share the house now, we have each gone our separate ways otherwise. For those couples who can make it work, I wish them all the best! xoxo

lori said...

Oh Pea,

That is so very sad!

Linda said...

The wedding sounds beautiful. It is wonderful to see God's design for marriage carried out. I pray they will have a truly blessed marriage.

lori said...

Linda,

I have been praying for this young couple for years. It is wonderful to see God's design carried out.

donna said...

ditto to pea except only 23 years for me...sad is not a big enough word for me sometimes...

lori said...

Donna,

I am so very sorry to hear that. Do you every wonder why after all of those years your marriage fell apart?

Jessica said...

It is great to see the right couple be married isnt it?!?

My husband and I will soon be celebrating our anniversary in a few months and I love him so very much!

e-Mom said...

What a beautiful story... and you've really posted some wonderful teaching here. Have you thought about counselling younger couples? Marriage mentoring is another route you could go. (Wait until your schedule is less full though!)

We've been married for 28 years. Both our parents were divorced and we consider our happy union a gift of God. It's been like one long lovely afternoon....

lori said...

Jessica,

It is so nice to hear you say how much you love your husband!

emom,
Thank you! If I am asked t disciple anyone I normally can set aside time and do it.

28 years!!Way to go!