The PAIN When God’s Family Turns Away from HIM
History has treated the family as a state within a state attaching to the family a certain “sovereignty.”6 G.K. Chesterton. Two people must agree to marriage; only one is necessary to guarantee a government facilitated divorce. Divorce cedes authority to the state, assuring increasing dependence on the state and perpetual domination of the wealthy over the poor and middle class. Consider that most people go to church to be married, but go to the government to be divorced. Marriage costs the state very little, but a huge tax payer-funded bureaucracy is required to support divorce. We pay billions in taxes to support the sinful choices of others. Marriage preserves freedom from government control. Divorce cedes freedom and control to the government.
Limiting sexual intimacy to the confines of marriage contributes to the permanence of the marriage. True sexual intimacy reflects the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual intimacy (bonding of two souls), which become the mortar that holds together the structure of the marriage. Physical intimacy before marriage allows two people the shallow transient pleasure of a rub and a tickle, rather than unfettered soulful bonding. But that transient experience is so powerful, so all-consuming that it becomes virtually impossible to clearly discern whether or not that partner is the best one to become an irrevocable, lifetime, “til-death-do-us-part” marriage partner.
Multiple intimate partners before marriage weaken or damage the soul and seriously inhibit the ability to make and sustain a lifetime commitment to a marriage partner. Following a series of temporary “bonds,” it becomes increasingly difficult to form the pervasive holistic bond that God intended with the one special marriage partner.
Similarly, extra-marital intimacy following the marriage creates the potential for destroying the marriage and family. The devastation painfully damages the spouse, children, siblings of the couple, and many friends. In addition, there is an immediate ripple effect among many people and an extended ripple effect through at least three or four subsequent generations. Is it worth it? Of course not! There is no way that the momentary pleasure even when repeated numerous times can justify the extended sphere of subsequent pain and suffering.
“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” [Hebrews 13:4 NAS] “Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not covet.” [Exodus 20:14 & 17 KJV] Hosea repeatedly forgave Gomer even though she was adulterous and a prostitute. [Hosea 3:3 KJV] As always, God’s moral law is an expression of His love established for our benefit.
Tasting the original forbidden fruit carried a high price. (1) “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” [Genesis 3:6 KJV]. Sin entered the world. Similarly, (2) “The path of the adulteress leads to death.” [Proverbs 2:16-22 KJV] “What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder.” [Matthew 19:6, Mark 10:9 KJV] The command is non-optional and non-negotiable.
“Lord, grant that I might not so much seek to be loved as to love.” St. Francis of Assisi “…in everything worth having, even in every pleasure, there is a point of pain or tedium that must be survived, so that the pleasure may be revived and endure.” G.K. Chesterton.
For troubled Christian marriages, counseling is not likely to be productive unless and until both parties genuinely agree that the Bible is the inspired inerrant word of God and that divorce is NOT an acceptable option under any circumstances. The agreed upon mutual view solidifies the common goal to save the marriage. In addition, the husband and wife both have an incentive to resolve troublesome issues because they both desire to enjoy the fullness and richness of the human experience. Since they have both agreed that divorce is unacceptable, the only remaining alternative is to resolve the issues. Often the resolution is facilitated if the effort is framed by the memory of why they originally chose to marry.
What does it take to wake up the body of believers?
What does it take to wake up the clergy?