God ordained marriage in the second chapter of the first book of the Bible. He knew it "it is not good for man to be alone" (Gen. 2:18). What Jehovah joined together (husband and wife), man should not "put asunder" (Matt. 19:6). But, in the past thirty years -- in America alone -- we have the sad statistic of over a million divorces a year. In many towns and states, about 50 percent of all marriages begun have resulted in separation or divorce. Psa. 34:3 is a beautiful passage that ought to be honored by all young couples at their weddings: "O magnify the Lord with me, let us glorify His name together."
Why do so many marriages fail? Here are some of the reasons: Selfishness. Money Matters. In-laws. Failure to Meet Physical Responsibility. Lack of Spirituality. Differences on Use of Money. Flirtations at Work. Pornography, on TV and Movies.
Selfishness manifests itself in many ways. To seek one's own pleasure and not working at pleasing one's mate drives a self-centered husband or wife to forget that marriage demands a 100 percent effort from both parties. Spoiled children do not form the basis for a successful marriage. When both parties are Christ-centered, it is indeed a blessing and an omen of brighter days. When the home is based on materialism or the pursuit of things, or the desire for money, the lack of spiritual ferver is very evident.
Money, and its use, is at the top of the list of most counselors who deal with marital problems. Credit cards and their misuse would certainly reflect on the breaking up of many homes. When parents fail to teach the importance of paying debts, they do greatly err and help to form the grave problems that will plague their children's future. The greedy concept of covetousness has overwhelmed so many young couples. Col. 3:5 calls this idolatry! When we apply the principle of Psa. 85:10 to the way young couples should think, we find ingredients of godliness that should conquer desire for grandeur: "Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed."
Wise parents, rather than wanting for their offspring a big house, fine cars and social standing, should say with 3 Jno. 4, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." More and more today we see the break-up of marriages due to flirtations at work, that destroy trust and often lead to adultery. Internet romances and the hedonism promulgated by television, Hollywood and the pornography business also play a major role in the breakup of marriages. A lack of Bible reading and indifference toward worship and active participation as members of the church of the Lord cause many couples to have very little convictions in the realm of godliness. It is of monumental concern by godly elders, Bible teachers and gospel preachers to observe the decline in spirituality in our day.
Young couples need to know that the proper place for sensual desires and fulfillment is in marriage. 1 Cor. 7:1-5 distinctly teaches this, and we need to honor this as we honor all Bible lessons. Here is another realm that demands tender and loving care for each other, rather than just selfish gratification. Marriage should be the vestibule of heaven (Eph. 5:22-33), but sadly, it is all too often "hell on earth." Let's make our home a foretaste of glory divine!
By Johnny Ramsey in Gospel Minutes, Vol. 54, No. 21, May 27, 2005.
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