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The Marriage Lifestyle

Posted by Job on March 1, 2007

Genesis 2:24 – Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 

In Marriage I, we discussed the disturbing tolerance for divorce in the church; a problem which I view as even bigger than the much more talked about one of people having children out of wedlock. In fact, were more people in the church staying married and living in obedience to God while married it would lead to more men and women who have children out of wedlock ultimately getting and staying married. It does not matter whether you start in obedience by marrying and enter into disobedience by divorcing, or whether you start in disobedience by having children out of wedlock. What matters is that you both end up in the same place, being disobedient. If anything, the person who started out obedient with the knowledge and public appearance of righteousness through a union that was entered into before God and respected by man and then turns from righteousness to corruption by breaking the contract that he made with God and his spouse for all of the righteous and unrighteous to see will be held to a higher standard than the person who was unrighteous to start with. The never – wed mother who is supposedly the scourge and bane of civilized society never stood before a preacher or a judge and swore before God that she would dwell with her mate until death parted them, and that what God joins together no man can put asunder (Mark 10:9)!  

That such is viewed otherwise in the church is so absurd it is sickening. It shows just how much the church has conformed itself to the views of the wicked world; caring more about appearances of man and upholding social, cultural, legal, and economic conventions than with God’s righteousness. This is a clear example of what Christ was talking about when He stated that the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees were outwardly clean but inwardly dirty, like a filthy cup that had been washed on the outside. Being an out – of – wedlock parent is in and of itself not a sin. Rather, it is the FORNICATION that is the sin. The child that results is totally separate from the sin of fornication and is rather a blessing. Further, an unmarried woman who is raped and has a child is therefore blameless (despite many “Christians” who claim that rape is an exception that would make abortion “acceptable.”) Meanwhile, a married man or woman whose adulterous relationships produce children are not justified by the fact that they are married; rather quite the opposite is true and it would have been better had they never been married at all. In the same fashion, a Believer who divorces apart from the Will of God is not any more righteous than an unwed mother or father just because that Believer was married at one time. Only our internalizing the world’s value system makes us think so, but the world’s values always contradict God’s righteousness! 

And the church’s tolerance for divorce is one of the reasons why the church is so weak and scattered today. God created the institution of marriage before He created the church. God created the institution of marriage before He created worship. God created the institution of marriage before He created children, family, or parenting. And God created the institution of marriage before He created any system of work or economics. When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, they did not have children. They did not have to go to church or worship. They did not have earthly mothers, fathers, or in – laws to deal with. And they did not have to work. They were in the presence of God, who was providing all of their needs. And yet, they were married. God created man, and then He created woman for man to marry. It starts and stops right there. 

Yet, we put all of these things before marriage, and we allow all of these things to break up our marriage! Look, if a church is putting a strain on your marriage, you need to leave that church. I am not saying that the church is an evil apostate church, but rather that it is obviously not the church for you. Your marriage is more important than that church! That is right, I said it. Your marriage is more important than that church. How can I say that? Because there are millions of other churches all over the world! Find one where you and your spouse can continue in marriage. If a church is going to cause you to disobey God, then you need to leave, because the very purpose of a church is to help you obey God anyway.  

And if that goes for church, it goes for everything else too. If your family is threatening your marriage, leave them. Did not Abraham leave his family behind? Did not Jacob? Did not Moses? As a matter of fact, did not God punish Miriam for speaking against the wife of Moses? The same goes for your friends. The same goes for your job. There are even times when a couple should send their children away to live with relatives or church members if you need to get their marriage straightened out. Do not gasp in shock. Is your child better off living with another family member for 6 months or living with the effects of your divorce for their entire lives? That people think otherwise just shows how selfish they are. They know that sending the child away for the short term is better for them in the long term. They are just too selfish to be without the child for the short term! They are not thinking about how the divorce will mean that one parent will basically be without the child, and the child will be basically without one parent! No, they tell themselves that the best interests of the child is for the child to be with ME! No, parent, the best interests of the child is for the PARENT to obey God! Or did you miss the Bible story where Abraham was going to sacrifice Isaac on an altar? Or did you think that it only applied to Abraham, and not to you and your marital problems?  

The problem is the lack of faith and commitment to God. You are unwilling to give up your old self, your old person, your old life before you got married and before you gave yourself over to God. You are not willing to leave all that you had before and become one flesh with your spouse because you are not willing to leave everything behind and TRUST GOD. You are not willing to lay all of your cards on the table: you want to keep one hidden up your sleeve and another one under your thigh. You are afraid of giving your all to your spouse, your spouse taking it all and leaving, and you being left broke and alone. You want to make sure that you will always have a church to go back to, a job and a bank account to lean on, parents that you can stay with, and friends that you can go out and have a good time with. You even want to stay in good graces with your old flame so that you will have someone ready and willing for you to financially, socially, emotionally, spiritually, and sexually exploit should your need arise. You would say “Well of course I need a backup plan, because if I give my everything to my spouse, what happens if it doesn’t work out? It does not even have to be a divorce; it could be a tragic early death or something! Then what happens to me? Who takes care of me if that happens?” And that is your problem. It is not that you have to give up all and give all to your spouse because your trust is in your spouse to always be there with you and treat you right. You are supposed to give it all up and give it all to your spouse and become one flesh because GOD will always be there with you. It is because GOD will never leave you or forsake you!
Realize that your spouse will never ask you to give all that up in the first place, especially if your spouse loves you and loves God even more, and hence your spouse was given to you by God. Your spouse will want what is best for you, and will not want to deprive you of your family, friends, church, and financial security, and will even be willing to sacrifice a lot in order to keep those things in your life to try to make you happy. No, it is GOD who asks that if you. It is GOD’S WILL that you do those things!  And by doing GOD’S WILL you will always be blessed, no matter what your spouse does or does not do! You need that realization to have a happy, successful, and productive marriage to be pleasing to God. You will not be losing your backup plans, your reservations, your inhibitions, your self, your very flesh before your spouse. You will be giving them up before God so God can take you, your wife, and put the two of you together to make something that is pleasing to Him.
 

That is not going to happen while you are holding something back. And that is not going to happen so long as you have the mindset that divorce is in any way an acceptable option. No matter what the world says, no matter what your parents say, no matter what the preacher says, save you hear from God Himself that He is releasing you from your marriage, divorce is a sin. So divorce should be no more of an acceptable option to you than adultery. Than murder. Than witchcraft. Than homosexuality. Than bestiality. Than rape. Than child molestation! Oh yes, you go tell the world that in God’s eyes divorce is the same as being a child molester or rapist. They will reject it and you with it. Go tell most churches that, and they will put you out. But that is God’s Word, and God’s Word is true. That is why you can’t be a True Believer and be conformed to the world or to any church that is worldly! But that is not what is being preached today. That is not what is being spoken of today. Instead, you have people who are saying that they just had to leave their spouse because things had gotten so bad that they feared that had they stayed in the marriage they would have committed adultery or murder. Well, by leaving all you did was trade one sin for another, and what was more you still have what was causing those adulterous or murderous tendencies in you! So even if you have to separate (recall that Moses lived separate from his wife for many years while leading the children of Israel out of Egypt, and David lived separate from his first wife while running from Saul), stay married and allow God to work on whatever is in you and/or in your spouse that introduced the spirit of adultery and murder into your marriage.  

Am I saying that marriage is more important than anything else in the world? A thousand times no, for it is not even the Will of God that all should be married. Rather, I am saying that the Will and Word of God is more important than anything else in this world. Being obedient to God is more important than anything else in this world. Living in a continual state of obedience to God is more important than anything else in this world. That means that if it is God’s Will for you to stay married, then you have to stay married. Being obedient to God is not just a one time thing. It is not merely God telling you to go pick up a rock and you go pick it up. It is not merely God telling you to go pick up a million rocks and you pick them up. It is not an act that you have to do, or even a series of related acts that you have to keep doing for your entire lifetime. It is not an act, it is a LIFESTYLE, a WAY OF LIFE. Religious people turn serving God into a series of legalistic acts and traditions; Believers merely turn themselves over to God on a continuous basis. So, you don’t just obey God when you committed the ACT of getting married so that your SEXUAL ACTS will not be considered fornication. You obey God with your LIFESTYLE of STAYING MARRIED.

Go back to the out – of – wedlock mother (or father). The LIFESTYLE of being a single parent, of raising a child alone and having never been married is not a sin for the woman. Neither is the LIFESTYLE of sending the check every month and visiting the child and maintaining civil respectful relations with the mother a sin. No, the only SIN was the FORNICATION that created the child! Having the child and raising the child is a BLESSING, EVEN IF THEY NEVER MARRY! Meanwhile, if a married person divorces without God’s approval, that ACT is the same as the ACT of fornication! It is so terrible that we do not have any real church folk around here anymore to explain that! 

Where so many people mess up is that they think that continuing in marriage is a commitment to the spouse. They do not know any better because that is what the church is teaching these days. The church has adopted the same humanistic value system and discourse on marriage that is in the world. By doing so, they have made marriage into just another contract that is entered into by two individual people for their individual benefit that can be broken any time that any individual perceives the contract as being no longer beneficial. The church has played a major role in making marriage into just another contract that was made to be torn up because the church uses the language of the world instead of the language of faith to describe, counsel, and guide married couples. Marriage is NOT a commitment to a spouse! How could it be, when God Himself tells us not to rely on temporary, fallible flesh? Marriage is NOT a commitment to a spouse, but a commitment to GOD! When you make your marriage vow, you not only make them before God, but you make them TO GOD! Sure, your spouse is standing there and you are speaking to your spouse, but when you say I do, you are saying “I do” to God with your spouse just taking up space as a stand – in!  

Am I saying that you are marrying God? Go ahead, why not. I have no problem with making that extrapolation, for it is to God that you are making your marriage promise to, and if you break that promise, you not only break it to your spouse, but you break it to God as well. Now fortunately for all of these divorced Believers out there, God is a forgiving God. He will forgive a divorce just as He will forgive a “white lie.” But do not deceive yourself: you will have fallen short on your promise.  

So you must realize the challenge before you. You must embrace the task at hand. You must be willing to do anything to fulfill your marriage obligations because fulfilling your marriage obligations is obedience to God. You cannot let anything stand in your way; not your hobbies or habits, not your job or wealth, not your friends or family, not your church or beliefs, nothing! You can feel totally comfortable discarding everything in pursuit of obedience to God; in your zeal for God and His Righteousness. Those things that you lose are not worth anything anyway. Either they were barriers to your obeying God and corrupt, or if they were good and being withheld from you for a time or reason they will either be restored or something else even better will be given to you.  

It would be better for you if your mindset changed. Why? Because in this modern world, one where it has almost gotten to the days of Noah where the imaginations of man are only evil continually, the term “marriage” has even been corrupted; given a negative, inhibiting, repressive, oppressive, and temporary connotation. So do not even call it “marriage” anymore if it is helpful. Call it “obedience to God lifestyle.” Call it “submission to God lifestyle.” Call it “dependence on God lifestyle.” Call it “reliance on God lifestyle.” Say “I am with my spouse and letting God take care of me and us.” Say “my giving up everything to be with my spouse so that God can take care of us and me lifestyle.” A lot of people have forgotten that one of the reasons why God gave us in marriage is to help us to crucify the flesh: so that the old man would die. Part of the old man HAS to die if you are going to have a successful marriage! You are going to have to share your space, share your resources, consider the feelings of your spouse, and that speaks nothing of children!  

Marriage is supposed to facilitate our giving up ourselves, and once the process of giving ourselves up has started, then we soon find out that we might as well give ourselves over to God! But the world tells us that we are supposed to stop the process before it starts. That we are to retain our own selves, and that our mates have to “accept us and love us for what we are.” If they fail to do so, then it is they who do not truly love us, and we are to leave them for someone who will, and even be willing to go through one marriage after another for the rest of our lives. Of course, the world’s way is only about yourself and never about God. And you know what? It has always been that way. Even in “the good old days” when divorces were rare, it was not about pleasing God. It was about social convention and economics. Divorce was “shameful.” The women and children of divorce were often left without economic support or prospects, and even men had a difficult time finding a suitable second wife (unless they were wealthy). So married couples stayed together out of a lack of other options, not out of love for God, and since they had no love for God they obviously had no love for each other. Even an arranged marriage between two people who never met each other but both love and dedicate their lives and marriages to pleasing God will work out far better than a couple who marries out of pure romantic love after having spent years working on compatibility and familiarity but makes the goal of their marriage to please themselves or even to please each other.
Believers, your marriage is all about God. Obey God, and God will take care of you. Knowledge of that fact is a requirement for both spouses to have peace and security in a marriage, and it is a requirement for marriages to be happy, stable, and lasting no matter what.
 

Prayer:

Father God in the Name of Jesus Christ, may your Believers dedicate their marriage to you and live in their marriages to please you alone. In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen! 

Deliverance:

The demons that work in this area are selfishness, worldliness, and false doctrines. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!

http://www.healtheland.bravehost.com/Archives/Devos/MarriageII_61.htm

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