Statement on Marriage
Rock Ministry, recognizing the authority of God's word, has carefully considered and adopted the following statement on Marriage.
With a sex-crazed Western culture brazenly challenging the beauty of God's design for physical intimacy, many Christians have lost the significant biblical understanding of marriage. Wrong or insufficient views of marriage, chastity, and fidelity are eroding our ability to live God-honoring lives. Rather than learning and embracing the biblical view of sex, Christians are perhaps unknowingly taking their cues from unreliable sources like television, radio, print media and the internet.
God intended marriage to be a lasting, intimate, personal relationship between a man and a woman. This union is more than a simple agreement to live together. The Bible teaches that a married couple, "become one flesh." This suggests a special relationship of mutual companionship (Genesis 2:18), help (Genesis 2:20), and sexuality (Genesis 2:24).
Genesis 2:23-24; Matthew 19:5-6 - (a) A man is to leave his mother & father, (b) A man is to cling/cleave to his wife, (c) They are to become ‘one flesh’, (d) What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate
Malachi 2:13-16 (a) There is a faith-bond, a vow, a covenant (b) God is there as a witness to your marriage vows
2 Corinthians 11:1-3; Ephesians 5:21-32 - Both the man & the woman are expected to come to marriage as virgins
Genesis 2:23-24; Matthew 19:5-6 Ephesians 5:31-33 - “one flesh” entails a life-long exclusive clinging of one man to one woman in one life fully shared.
Genesis 2:23-24; Mark 12:25 - (a) Marriage includes a giver, a given and a receiver, (b) Marriage pictures a christian’s relationship to Christ - spiritual/heart union/bonding Psalm 34:3; Ephesians 5:31-33, (c) Marriage is an exclusive companionship/friendship romantic union - soul/mind union Song of Solomon 1:15-16 (d) Sexual intimacy is the product or expression of the spiritual and soul unions through physical/body union 1 Corinthians 7:2-3
To break up a marriage is like tearing apart something God has knit together. God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). The Lord Jesus emphasized this when He said, "What God has joined together, let no one separate" Matthew 19:4-6. Where a couple separates on non-biblical grounds both need to be challenged about their disobedience to God’s expressed purpose.
As God's intention for a marriage is that it be permanent we need to do all in our power to help and encourage couples to stay together, working at the growth and deepening of their relationship. The promises made in marriage vows usually include the phases "for richer and for poorer, in sickness or in health, till death us do part" or similar commitments which imply a permanent relationship based on the Biblical model for marriage.
The Biblical model for marriage transcends all cultural norms. To justify a breakdown in a relationship based on the retrospective argument of "bad choice" or "incompatibility" or “I no longer love her/him” runs contrary to the biblical teaching on marriage. Jesus reminds us it is because of “hard hearts” that people want to abandon their marriage (Mark 10:5).
“It will save you also from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words, who has left the partner of her youth and ignored covenant she made before God. For her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. None who go to her return or attain the paths of life. Thus you will walk in the ways of good man and keep to the paths of the righteous.” (Proverbs 2:16-20).
Unfaithfulness need not lead to divorce where there is genuine repentance expressed in tangible ways. Humility, forgiveness and restoration of the relationship is the Christian’s preferred choice.
Key Bible passages: Genesis 1:18; 2:21-25; Mark 10:5; Ephesians 5:1-33; 1 Corinthians 7:1-40; 1 Peter 3:1-9.
What follows, and is available free by clicking on the link below, is a series of statements on marriage we believe encapsulates biblical teaching.
Dr Keith Graham