In Sunday's message entitled "The Gospel & Your Marriage," we thought about 5 of God's purposes for marriage . . . (if you missed, you're going to need to hear it so you're ready for part 2 this Sunday!)
1. Marriage is given by God for procreation and the survival of human society.
2. Marriage is given by God for the protection of and provision for women and children.
3. Marriage is given by God for our mutual and complementary help.
4. Marriage is given by God as a crucible for life-transformation.
5. Marriage is given by God as a Gospel mirror.
Because of these things, biblical marriage matters. Marriage as an institution matters. Your marriage matters. Marriage is worth fighting for and defending.
Obviously I chose to tackle this topic because it's vital that we understand that marriage is God's thing, not a malleable, redefinable human construct or social convenience. There is so much propaganda and so many voices speaking at us, it's easy to get lost and confused by it all. I think the first question we must ask as believers is, "What does God think and say about this subject in the Bible?" I am concerned that the voice of God in the Scriptures be heard on this vital issue of our time.
I promised I'd post some additional resources to talk about this topic. Sorry it's taken me so long to do it.
I'm convinced that "because the Bible says so," is an inadequate answer for someone who asks "why marriage is important?" We need cogent, reasoned arguments from history, sociology and the other sciences. That's not easy.
S. Michal Craven over at the Center for Christ & Culture has articulated some of the clearest and best arguments that I've heard in defense of marriage. His six part series "In Defense of Marriage" is available in print or audio versions. Here are the links:
In Defense of Marriage, Part 1: text audio
In Defense of Marriage, Part 2: text audio
In Defense of Marriage, Part 3: text audio
In Defense of Marriage, Part 4: text audio
In Defense of Marriage, Part 5: text audio
In Defense of Marriage, Part 6: text audio
I was shocked to hear how Craven ended his series in part 6 with some reflections on 1 Peter 2, which we looked at under the heading "The Gospel & Your Politics" a few weeks back.
It's a great time to make the point: there is a method to my madness. . . . . the order of these messages is intentional . . . politics, enemies, marriage. All these messages are interwoven really. We need the Gospel to shape every area and sphere of life. It's so vital that we "honor (respect) all people" (I Peter 2:17) and "bless those who persecute you" (Romans 12:14), even as we defend marriage. The Gospel shows us WHY we defend marriage. The Gospel also shows us HOW we defend marriage.