honoring marriage

I find a certain blogger provides good fodder to get my writing juices going. For some reason, Dr. Tony Jones, an adjunct theology professor at Fuller Seminary, who has demonstrated his dim view on marriage by refusing to legalize his union with his partner, quotes without comment, another culture watcher who asserts that marriage is not holy because quickie divorces desecrate the institution. The quotee may not be a Bible reader, but I expect Dr. Jones is. Here is what I read in Hebrews 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Because some do not honor marriage, does not mean marriage is not honorable, nor sacred, for believers. In the same way, some gnu atheists have had fun desecrating communion hosts, sneaking into the service under the pretense of being a believer, then sneaking out, with the host, in order to post pictures of their attempt at desecration. This desecration did not result in invalidation of the holy ceremony of communion. It exposed a heart hardened to holy things. For the secular person, when someone steps on a United States flag or burns it, that action did not harm the ideals of this nation that the flag represents to its citizens at large. Nor should laws against flag desecration be repealed because some continue to break those laws. It's a childish opinion held by the essayist Dr. Jones honors by quoting.

Because the ideal fails, ten states in the US have enacted laws requiring pre-marital counseling. In the same article at Divorce.com, the authors suggest pre-divorce counseling may be even more effective and should also be legislated. How can marriage be honored? By honoring the bed, a euphemism for sexual purity and fidelity. My previous post discusses these topics in more detail. Sexual fidelity starts before one even starts dating. The pre-spouse devotes their sexual expression to the marriage bed, and abstains until they are in the bed with their spouse. It honors their own bed and all other beds as well. Certainly, those who do that still get divorced, but virgin wedding nuptials are not the only thing that keep a marriage together. Even after marriage, the spouse must still endeavor to keep their purity, by keeping their fidelity, abstaining from the physical affections of others or mental attractions to others (lust and pornography). It's the pre-marital efforts to do the same things that assist in the post-marital state. That sacrifice of self-satisfaction is an ideal expression of holy love that honors marriage. This kind of love runs counter to our culture's norms, so it needs support within a holy community, not criticism by those in the same holy community.

Jesus says marriage is something God does and should not be undone except for severe reasons, see Matthew 19. Marriage should involve preparation, see this great article. As Bradley Wright shows, divorce among Christians who demonstrate their faith by doing Christian things regularly, is nowhere near the level of the culture. More of this can be found in his first book, Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites...

Jesus says that marriage is only for this life, and not the next. Let's honor it while we can.

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