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Why the Institution of Marriage is Not Dead

bible verse cross wedding band ringMarriage as an institution has in recent years come under severe attack as society attempts to redefine what constitutes a marriage to accommodate its sinful desires. Yet since society did not create marriage, it cannot change what it means to be married, however hard it tries.

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Marriage is, first and foremost, a covenant between one man and one woman, instituted by God in the Garden of Eden when He created Eve for Adam.  Genesis 2:24 tells us, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” It is about as straightforward as you can get. It means that man is not free to redefine what God ordained, but is obligated to honor and keep that which God has designed.

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But because we live in a fallen world, it took only six generations after Adam for mankind to corrupt the concept of marriage to include multiple wives. Lamech, in Genesis 4:19, was the first man recorded to take two wives. Yet, Deuteronomy 17:17 clearly states of a king, “Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away.” In that Scripture, we see one of the reasons God said for man to have but one wife—in order that his heart not be turned away.

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The covenant of marriage originated as a picture of God’s covenant relationship with His people. Christ is said to be married to His Church, who is His bride. Now, 2,000 years after Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and the establishment of His people as the Church, again man has decided to corrupt the meaning of God’s holy word and attempt to redefine what marriage is.

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In June, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States decreed that all American states must permit and recognize same-sex marriages. However, same-sex marriage had already been legalized in two-thirds of the states by judicial order. This in opposition to a large segment of American society who did not agree with the change in definition. This simply shows that some judges had a personal preference and not necessarily that Americans had significantly changed their values or understanding of marriage. One of the repercussions of this ruling was that the public has lost its respect for the federal court system, no longer considering it a bastion of independence or trustworthiness.

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Society in America (and worldwide) is in flux. Marriage is considered only one of many lifestyle options that are equally “good.” In fact, some cultures have degraded marriage from the state of respect it formerly enjoyed to one of less desirable or undesirable states. Cohabitation (taboo only a generation ago), out of wedlock births, and single parenthood are considered “normal” today. So is society better off now that the restraints of the institution of marriage have been cast off?

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The US Department of Health/Census shows that youth suicides are five times the average in fatherless homes. Homeless and runaway children are 32 times more likely from single parent families. 80% of rapists with anger problems (14 times the average) are from fatherless homes, and 85% of all children who have behavioral disorders have no father at home.

That’s some of the bad news. Here’s the good news!

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Matthew 5:18 assures us: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” This means that no matter how far out of whack our world seems to be, God’s law will stand. As He instituted marriage, He will sustain it until the very end. Though 2 Thessalonians 2 reminds us that a “great falling away” will occur, Romans 11:5 tells us that God will keep for Himself a faithful remnant, who will uphold His laws and live in His grace.

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As time winds down and we come closer to eternity, things are going to get worse. Yet God has not changed, and His word remains true. Jesus also said that the harvest was plentiful (Matthew 9:37), meaning that there are many ready for the sowing of the seeds of righteousness and consequential salvation.

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Even as God’s original design for marriage and the family has been damaged, it is not irreparable. Ephesians 1:10 tells us that God’s purpose is “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him.” Therefore, marriage is part of God’s restoration in the end-times of all things in Jesus Christ. Paul talks about the subject of marriage in the latter part of this letter, defining the roles of both men and women in the covenant. All evil powers, which work to destroy the works of Christ, will be brought under control and submitted to His authority (Ephesians 1:21-22).

While contemporary culture is currently suffering profound crisis regarding marriage and family, a spiritual return to biblical foundations addresses the root cause. Since marriage and family originated with God, and since they are divine institutions not up for human revision, the attempt of a godless world to reject His plan and fashion a myriad of God counterfeits to try and fill the void, it is doomed to failure.

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Our world is increasingly chaotic. Yet the truth of the Christian message and the grace which it shares continue to resonate with Americans who are bone-weary with the lies and deceit of post-modern relativism. Because of that, the institution of marriage is not only NOT dead, it can never die.


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