Divine revelation has declared marriage to be honorable. It is an institution of God, ordained in the time of man’s innocence, before he had sinned against his maker. It was given in wisdom and kindness to repress irregular affection, to support social order and to provide that, through well-ordered families, truth and holiness might be transmitted from one age to another. The marriage vows traditionally taken are:
I take you to be my wedded wife/husband; to have and to hold; from this day forward; for better or for worse; for richer or for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish; ‘til death do us part; according to God’s holy ordinance. Therefore I commit myself to you.
My wife Judy and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary next year in July. Such a celebration is becoming a rarity in a culture where the family unit is in trouble. The marriage relationship is, of course, the cement that keeps the family together. It is a well-known fact that approximately one half of marriages fail in today’s world. The average duration of a marriage today is around five years. What is wrong? It seems as though marriage vows are not as sacred as they once were. It is frightening when you realize how easy it is to end a marriage today. Worse yet is how easy it is to get into a marriage today that God doesn’t condone whatsoever. Considering those sacred vows we took at marriage, were we cognizant they were for better or for worse?
As we observe our world and our nation, we see that Satan attacks everything that God has proclaimed holy, including marriage. As Christians, we have a great opportunity through Scripture that God has made available to us, showing us how to live, love and keep what he has made holy and sacred, like our vows to each other. Our heavenly Father had our interest from the beginning. We read in Genesis that God created the heavens and the earth and then God said, “Let us make man in our image.” God gave Adam authority to care for and rule over the earth that he had made. He gave him Eve to help him and equipped them to reproduce what God had made. “For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh.” He blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number.” This method is still efficacious today, over 6,000 years later.
Finally, marriage is more than your love for each other. It has a higher dignity and power, for it is God’s holy ordinance. In your love you see only your two selves in the world, but in marriage you are also linked with God, the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. The love that existed before the creation of the world in the inner being of God has now become yours. The Father loved the Son and it is because you have been created in the divine image that you are now able to love each other. It is because God is love that love exists (taken from a wedding ceremony.)
For better or for worse,