A Nation on the Way Down
Examine some of the illustrations given in the Bible of departure from God’s original plan of monogamy and the resultant jealousy and confusion—Abraham (Gen. 16:4–6), Jacob (Gen. 29–32), and David (I Sam. 11–21).
Consider the meaning of the New Testament teaching concerning the church as the bride of Christ. What obligations does this relationship place upon the individual believer? Would a clearer understanding of the sacred relationship between God and his people strengthen marriage ties and deepen conviction concerning the permanence of marriage? Does this seem to you to suggest the thought that, in a Christian marriage, the relationship between man and wife is meant to be a demonstration to the world of the mutual love between Christ and his church?
Marriage is a divinely planned relationship. It is the first institution. Marriage is a pure relationship. Man and woman were made one for the other. Absolute loyalty sanctifies their relationship. Impurity comes only in the intrusion of a third party. Marriage is a personal relationship. It constitutes the most personal of all the relationships of life. It involves just two people who agree to become one in sharing every area of their lives. Marriage is a permanent relationship. Sin, and sin alone, breaks it and destroys its permanence. In God’s original purpose only death was to sever its ties.