The following article was publish early in 2012.
Bishop Joey Johnson is one of the contributors to And He Restoreth My Soul and the following article is very insightful and will refresh your heart and maybe help you refresh someone who is having difficulties in their marriage.
The Four S’s of Marriage
By Bishop Joey Johnson
Over my career as pastor, I have married a lot of couples. Instead of using the traditional marriage vows, I have sometimes created new vows, based on concepts and verses from the Bible. The following are adapted from one of those vows.
On this sacred occasion, there are four things about marriage that I would like to remind us of:
Marriage is Special.
The writer of the book of Hebrews speaks on the subject in
Hebrews 13:4, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
Much of the symbolism and imagery of marriage comes to us from the Jews and the OT. Paul picks up this symbolism in the NT. and makes some Christian applications:
1. Marriage is special and should be held in high esteem among all. Paul seems to mean the saved and the unsaved.
2. Marriage is so special that the marriage bed is undefiled.
Many believe that this language refers to marital intimacy. The Bible is not prudish about marital sex and the Song of Solomon has been written to highlight the physical and romantic side of marriage.
3. Marriage is so special that God, Himself, will judge those who engage in illicit sex.
4. Marriage is special for two people who know Jesus as their personal Savior.
Jesus becomes a partner in their marriage and acts as the third leg of a three-legged stool.
5. Marriage is special, because it is for two people who love each other with an earthly love and a heavenly love.
6. Marriage is special; because it is for two people who have saved themselves for a special person and a special relationship.
7. Marriage is special; because it is for two people who have sought God’s will and are certain that they have found it.
Marriage is Sacred.
The word “sacred” means sanctified, hallowed, or holy. Marriage is sacred, because God ordained it for a sacred purpose. It was God who performed the first marriage. It was God who first said, through Moses,
“For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
Marriage is sacred, i.e. it is set apart from all other human relationships as the ultimate that a man and a woman can experience together on earth. Therefore, because of sacredness of marriage, it is not to be entered into lightly or irreverently.
Marriage is Serious.
Marriage is a lifetime commitment. It is until the death of one of the participants. It permanently bonds two people together. Jesus spoke about the permanence of marriage in Matthew 19:4-6. The Pharisees had asked Him this question:
“‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause at all?’ And He answered and said, ‘Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?” Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.’”
Even if divorce should occur, a transcendental relationship has been established and both people must remember for life what could and should have been.
Therefore, the seriousness of marriage should be given much thought.
Marriage is Spiritual.
Marriage is a picture of the spiritual relationship between Jesus Christ and His Church. Paul said in
1 Corinthians 6:17, “But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.”
The Scripture expresses a spiritual union and relationship between Jesus Christ and the Believer. Likewise
Ephesians 5:31-32, says, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.”
Paul is using the spiritual union that is created when two people get married to illustrate the spiritual union that is created when a person accepts Jesus Christ. Obviously, when two people get married they do not occupy the same flesh body, so they must become one flesh in a spiritual sense. They are bound together in love and begin to think and walk in spiritual harmony.
Therefore, Paul is saying that his reference is not really to human marriage, but to the relationship between Christ and His church.
Let these 4 S’s of marriage set the backdrop for your wonderful, exhilarating, covenant, marital relationship!