Marriage, Family, and Beyond - Marriage for a Lifetime – The Framework of Faithfulness

Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Hebrews 13:4

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

Cultivating the ability to be faithful in marriage begins long before you get married and is closely connected with your attitude toward marriage. Today’s Scripture says, “Marriage is to be held in honor among all.” Did you grow up in an environment where marriage was held in honor by the people around you? How did those who were closest to you talk about marriage? How did they treat their own marriages? Did they stay within the boundaries of marriage or were affairs and divorce a part of your growing up? Were you able to enter adulthood holding marriage in honor? Have the sins of the generation before been repeated in your own experience? Are your children growing up in an environment where marriage is held in honor? Will your children enter adulthood honoring marriage?

Those who have learned to genuinely hold marriage in honor before getting married have also developed the ability to be faithful to their marriage partner in marriage. Being faithful to one’s marriage partner is what our Scripture passage is talking about when it says, “the marriage bed is to be undefiled.” If someone shares a bed with someone other than their marriage partner, their own marriage bed has been defiled and the marriage bond of oneness has been broken. We call this “unfaithfulness.” But being faithful and not defiling the marriage bed has wider parameters of restraint than just not ever having an affair with someone outside your marriage.

Imagine a young person who reaches the point of being sexually capable and has the attitude of holding marriage in honor. Now imagine that God blesses them with insight, and they say to themselves, “Someday I am going to be married and even though I don’t know who I will marry, I choose to begin being faithful now to my future spouse. Our passage speaks of “fornicators.” Fornication is a general term for “sexual sin” and is often used to refer to the sexual sins of the unmarried. Keeping the marriage bed undefiled begins with “waiting” for your partner and “waiting” for being married to your partner.

But of course, you are where you are. God is a redeeming God and will show you how to go forward in the best possible way. The sins of fornication and adultery can be forgiven. But they must also be forsaken. Our passage says that those who are “fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” If you have been forgiven and have forsaken such sexual sins, you are no longer a fornicator or adulterer. You are free to go forward in word, thought, and deed as one who fully upholds marriage in honor and keeps the marriage bed undefiled.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, you are “high and exalted” and I wouldn’t expect anything other than for your plan for marriage to be “high and exalted.” I am certainly sorry for how I have personally fallen short, but I am also sorry for the lack of honor that is given to your marriage plan in our world today, even among your people. I commit myself fully today, Lord, to being one who fully upholds marriage in honor and keeps the marriage bed undefiled. Grant that going forward I will be truly faithful to my spouse in word, thought, and deed. Amen!

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