The Cultural War On Marriage

The cultural war in America includes the current war on marriage. The normal definition of marriage is, "the formal union of a man and a woman, by which they become husband and wife."

This traditional definition is certainly in harmony with what God revealed in Genesis. First of all we note, contrary to what some teach today, "God created man (both male and female) in his own image," according to Genesis 1:27.  In Genesis two, we learn God placed man in the Garden of Eden (verse 15).  Realizing it was not good for man to be alone, God decided to create a helper suitable or "meet" for him (verse 18).  As most, but not all, know - that helper was woman.  God then stated, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Genesis 2:24).  Traditionally, the marriage ceremony consists of a man and woman exchanging formal vows with each other in the sight of God and man. 

These formal vows usually include a promise to live together in the state of matrimony. They also vow to love, comfort, honor, and keep each other; in sickness and health, for richer or poorer; and forsaking all others keep themselves to each other until they part in death.  Looking back, those early years were often rich in a shared struggle to keep the family in food, clothing, and shelter.  The divorce rate in America indicates an ignorance of the divine prohibition against the dissolving of this sacred covenant, except for death or unfaithfulness (adultery Matthew 19:9). It also, unfortunately, suggests diminishing sense of honor in regard to our word. 

The Christian concept of marriage is revealed by Christ during His personal ministry - and elaborated on by His apostles in such passages as 1 Corinthians 7, Ephesians 5, and 1 Peter 3.The Christian doctrine on marriage is well outlined by Christ in Matthew 19:1-12.  The observance of which, unfortunately, is ignored more often than honored. The context is frequently encountered - the Pharisees are trying to tempt or entrap Jesus by asking him, "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?" (verse 3).  Christ than lays down the basic facts of marriage in the sight of God:

 1. God made the male and female in the beginning. Verse 4 based on Genesis 2:24
 2. The man is to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife-they shall be one. Verse 5
 3. God has joined them together - man is not to separate or divorce them.  Verse 6
 4. Divorce for any cause did not exist in the beginning. Verse 8
 5. Divorce, except for fornication, causes both parties to commit adultery.  Verse 9

God has made His will clear through His only begotten Son.  Will we as a people turn back to the Book or continue to depend on man's wisdom.  The false prophets of old cried "peace" when God was about to deliver them into the hands of their enemies.  Let us embrace the hymn, "I am on the Lord's side."

 Dale I. Royal, Elk City OK