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A Little Ocean Ambiance
WHAT ARE WE DOING TO MARRIAGE?
Dr. Richard Flanders
Juniata Baptist Church
"For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be
joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh." (Ephesians 5:31)
Fifty years ago Americans had no clue that the very definition of
marriage would be seriously questioned. Yet here we are in 2004, and the
age-old, universal definition of marriage as between people of the
opposite sex is being challenged in American courts, in city halls, in
the media, and even in churches. The fact is that the movement to rob
marriage of its meaning threatens to destroy the family as an
institution, and send our society down a dark path no great nation has
ever tried to travel before. However, this latest assault on marriage is
definitely not the first attack on it in our country. It comes as the
next step in a century-long trend to undercut the marital relation.
Back at the first part of the twentieth century, the opinion began to be
voiced that children are more of a curse to a home than a blessing! They
didnt use those words, but the dangers and horrors of large families
were expounded and emphasized by the more "progressive" women of the
feminist movement of those days. Widespread contraception was presented
as the great health need of this nation. They saw overpopulation looming
on the horizon as the forerunner of poverty, ignorance, and disease. This
attitude arose in contrast to our thinking of the past. Americans of the
previous century saw large families as a good thing. And the Bible views
the question in the same way. To some degree, having children is the
purpose of marriage.
In the Bible, husbands of barren wives prayed for God to open their wombs
and give them children (Genesis 25:21, 30:1). Having children is always
regarded as a blessing.
". . . the Almighty . . . shall bless thee with . . . blessings of the
breasts, and of the womb . . ." Genesis 49:25).
"He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of
children. Praise ye the LORD." (Psalms 113:9)
"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is
his reward." (Psalms 127:3)
". . . happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife
shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children
like olive plants round about thy table." (Psalms 128:2-3)
The Book of Malachi says that God makes a man and a woman into "one" in
marriage "that He might seek a godly seed [offspring]" (2:15). A major
goal of marriage is children. Of course, God doesnt give children to
every couple, and the partnership of husband and wife is designed to
bless them both whether they become parents or not. But it is also true
that when Americans began to think of marriage as better with fewer
children, they rejected to some degree the very purpose of marriage.
In time our country increasingly denied the permanence of marriage. Jesus
"Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and
shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is
put away doth commit adultery." (Matthew 19:9)
The divine plan was for a man and a woman to be joined by a legal
commitment for life before they moved in together. In this way, the
offspring produced by the relationship would be born into a stable
situation. Although divorce has always occurred in this country, it was
less and less discouraged as the twentieth century moved along. We all
know about our rising divorce rate. The marriage covenant is about the
least secure of any legal contract in any state. No reason, no fault, or
no circumstance must be proven in court to obtain a divorce decree. As we
denied the permanence of marriage, we undermined its foundation further.
When we passed through the 1960s, our nation increasingly denied the
importance of marriage. To many couples, a marriage license was "just a
piece of paper," without any serious significance. They moved in together
and then moved out for any reason at all. Illegitimate births have grown
in number year by year. Whether or not there has been a wedding means
little in the question of whether couples cohabitate today.
One of the strangest aspects of the recent stir over the issuance of
same-sex marriage licenses was the picture of homosexual couples crowding
city hall demanding the right to be married, while hundreds of
heterosexual couples lived together in the same city absolutely refusing
to get married! The pronouncement of God in Genesis 2:24 calls for a
life-long, legal commitment to institute a marriage. A marriage license
is not "just a piece of paper." It is what makes a couple married! When
our country began minimizing the importance of marriage, we were
accelerating its demise.
So now we are debating the definition of marriage. We have come to this
low point through a series of unfortunate steps taken by the culture over
a hundred years. After denying the purpose, the permanence, and the
importance of marriage, we are now questioning even what it is! If the
trend is to be reversed and sanity restored to Americas collective mind,
God-fearing people must undergird marriage in every way, as well as argue
for its correct definition. Let us restore the Biblical importance,
permanence, and purpose to our own marriages, as well as preach the whole
truth about the home every chance we get! Happy homes built on solid
marriages formed on sound principles are the only hope of our nations
future happiness and survival.
by Dr. Rick Flanders
currently Pastor of
Juniata Baptist Church
Juniata Baptist Church|
5656 Washburn Road
Vassar, MI 48768
Dr. Rick Flanders Biographical Data
Converted in 1963 through a radio ministry.
Earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Bob Jones University.
Honorary D.D. from Pensacola Christian College.
Pastor at Juniata Baptist Church since 1973.
On BCPM Board, (Baptist Church Planting Ministry)
and also MACS. (Michigan Association of Christian School)
- Articles published in the;
- Sword of the Lord
- Baptist Preacher,
- Christian View of the News,
- Pulpit Helps,
- Maranatha Watchman
- Church Bus News,
- and other national periodicals.
His Majesty's Service
In His Service,
Teaching the Word
To Glorify Our Lord
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