Marriage Should Be Honored By All
Most Bible scholars would agree that Hebrews is one of the two deepest theological letters, along with Romans, in all of Scripture. I find it very interesting that near the end of this profound text on Christ completely fulfilling the Old Covenant in the New Covenant, we find this verse, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Hebrews 13:4
Let’s see—all means all, right? So The Holy Spirit is not just saying that all those who are married, have been married, or are planning on getting married, should honor marriage. All means all!
Why is this important? Simple. God had a perfect design from the beginning and the only way we can honor it is if we are willing to walk according to His design for relationships, sexuality, marriage, and family.
This doesn’t mean that everyone has to get married but it does mean that everyone is to honor marriage in his or her relationships and sexuality. Simply put, sex is reserved for marriage…period. All other sexual activity is sin or porneia (sexual immorality). Romans 1 speaks to this…
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.Romans 1:18-32
This includes promiscuity or fornication (sex before/outside of marriage), cohabitation (seldom if ever done sans sexual activity) adultery, pornography (from the root word “porneia” – all sexual immorality even in the mind according to Jesus)…lust (Matthew 5:27-28), polygamy, homosexuality, transgenderism, bestiality, and pedophilia (think of the new Netflix movie, Cuties, and the direction it takes…clearly sexualizing young girls making them even more vulnerable to be used or abused as tools for the pleasure of others) to name a few among the ever-increasing depravity of our sexual culture. We have justified and excused sexual immorality (porneia) in the name of “love” leading to our culture of licentiousness (sin and degradation) disguised as liberty or freedom!
There are grave consequences personally, relationally, socially, and even eternally as the writer of Hebrews points out in God’s judgment of the sexually immoral and as evident in our pornified culture today.
But there is also grace and forgiveness. As with any other sin, forgiveness is free in Christ but it is not to be abused and mocked.
Honoring marriage begins long before you say, “I do,” and extends throughout marriage and beyond. God’s truth about honoring marriage is about honoring His creation in relationships, sexuality, marriage, and family and that is not for His sake, it is for ours!
Our Creator God began everything in time and history with a relationship of love known as marriage. This is the closest we can come in human experience to His agape love and it must be done in covenant commitment. Relationships are His design for living out His love in His image in covenant marriage between one man and one woman, through family and friends, and even loving our enemies. It’s all in line with His sacrificial, selfless kind of love—AGAPE!
Remember, porniea is the exact opposite of AGAPE. Porneia comes from pursuing and fulfilling our own selfish desires and pleasures for our own sake…even if others may temporarily enjoy it. AGAPE is always rooted in selfless, sacrificial giving of our self with no expectation of anything in return!
Allow me to tie all of this together as we move from Lordship, discipleship, and relationship to unpack all that God has packed into Marriage.
First and foremost, we must understand that the perfect model for marriage is Christ and His Bride, The Church. Ephesians 5:25-57, 31-32 make this clear,
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for herto make her holy, cleansingher by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless… ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.”
One side note with more later: Husbands, vv. 25-27 place a great responsibility on us presenting our wives holy before God in the way that we live our lives and love them. We would be wise to take this responsibility with all the weight that He intends for it to have in His design and purpose for marriage.
The goal of every relationship is to imitate Christ. The only way we can do this is if He is our Lord. That makes discipleship the key to every good relationship and especially the most important earthly one—marriage.
Are you content to place other worldly relationships ahead of your marriage? Or are you making it the priority as God sees it? You will be blessed if you do.
God has shown us how much He values marriage in His design and highest desire for its sanctity, His command that all should honor it, and its reflection of His image and our relationship with Him. With this in mind let’s connect the dots with regard to His Lordship, our discipleship relationship with Him, and all loving relationships, finding the highest expression in the marriage relationship.
When we willing and lovingly obey His commands regarding life, love and relationships, He blesses and fulfills us in our marriages, families and all relationships, and strengthens His Church so we can shine the light of His Truth and Love to a world that desperately needs to know Him!
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Make it a great day and God bless in Christ!
Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – Marriage is the first, highest and most important of human relationships. Marriage reflects God and His people, Israel in a Covenant relationship of agape. Marriage reflects Christ and His Bride, The Church in the agape Covenant relationship of His blood shed for us on The Cross. Is it any wonder that God plainly states, “Marriage should be honored by all?”
Love and Lordship…Action Item(s) – 1) Spend time with The Lord and seek His Word and wisdom for your life and relationships; 2) Remain pure (abstinent and chaste) in your sexual relationships outside of marriage; 3) If single, consult The Lord about any and every potential partner before pursuing deeper relationships in courtship and beyond leading toward marriage; 4) If married, continue to ask The Lord to strengthen you to honor your marriage and spouse with purity, integrity and holiness in Christ to reflect the relationship of Him with His Bride, The Church.