It’s no secret that half of all couples who marry now find the wedding knot to be a slip knot. It’s no secret that half of those couples launching onto the sea of matrimony now end up sailing into one another. It’s no secret that any married couples who need to see a marriage counselor choose, instead, a marriage canceller. It’s no secret that many a woman who once perceived her husband as “Mr. Right” now sees him only as “Mr. Right Now.” It’s no secret that in many marriages the difference in courtship and marriage has been like the difference between the pictures in a seed catalog and what eventually comes up.
But it should also be no secret that God intends a marriage to be something better than what it has become for many. In the words of Genesis and Jesus, husband and wife are to become “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5). What God has joined with a yoke, man must not divide with a chasm (19:6).
God has not left the necessary maintenance for marriage a secret. It requires a mutual submission of self to the interests of the other (Ephesians 5:21) the wife to her husband in her God-appointed way (5:22-24) and the husband to his wife in his God-directed manner (5:25-29). The motivation for this maintenance must come ultimately not from subjective viewpoints but from sacred vows. This is why Jesus links His teaching on marriage and divorce (Matthew 5:31-32) to His teaching on the necessity of carrying out sacred oaths made to and before God (5:33-37).
We long have counseled, “Put your money where your mouth is.” We would do well to put our marriages where our mouths once were on the day we made vows and called upon God to witness.
But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes… (Matthew 5:37).
Smithville church of Christ, Smithville, TN