My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Credo concerning marriage

I believe that "we love because he first loved us." (1 John 4:19). I believe that in the Bible there is no command for "romantic" love to precursor a marriage. In fact, it has been far more common in the history of the World that such a thing was not the case. Nevertheless the command is "love your neighbor as yourself..." (Mt 22:39) and in marriage "husbands love your wives...wives submit to your husbands" (Eph 5:25)

I believe marriage is a sacred act, instituted by God. (Gen 2:18) I believe Jesus blessed marriage with his presence at the wedding at Cana (John 2:1) I believe that marriage is not only a legal agreement, before the government...but a spiritual bond before God: "so they are no longer two, but one" (Mt 19:6). I believe the Lord commands, encourages, and sanctifies marriages for many reasons including but not necessarily limited to: Chasteness of life, Companionship, and Childbearing. In addition to those blessings, are the numerous blessings which come from Christian life in general and the ability to share in those blessings with your spouse. (1 Cor 7)

I believe that marriage begins with an intent and then an oath. The Marriage Rite in Christian Worship (The Hymnal of the WELS) states: "...marriage, which consists in your mutual consent, sincerely and freely given." This is then followed by the marriage promises and ring exchange.

I believe that marriage is a bond which God intended never to be broken. There are two permissible grounds for Divorce, adultery and desertion. (Mt 19:9) However, I believe that simply because they are permissible, they are not beneficial (1 Cor 6:12) I believe the Word of God himself when Christ states: "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard, but it was not this way from the beginning." (Matthew 19:8) Therefore I believe that even if there is unfaithfulness or desertion (physical or emotional), divorce is not the only option or the only possible result. Rather, I believe that while such things are allowed, love is commanded.

Love does not put its basis on the object of affection. I believe that, since I love as God has loved me, I am entirely unlovable. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) I believe that if Christ had based his love on my own merits, I would have been found lacking. Rather, love is subjective, it is an act that is sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and can be done only as a result of faith, it is a fruit of the Spirit. (Gal 5:22) Therefore, my love is not founded on the person I love, but rather on the Savior who loved me first. I love not because I choose to, but rather am compelled to by the Gospel. This I do entirely by God's grace, and could not have done so without my savior. (Romans 7:19)

Therefore, If I find that I am "not loving/ not in love with" a person, this is a fault that is inherent in me, not in the object, nor in marriage (an act sanctified by God).

I believe that the same God who created the earth also sustains it. In the same vein I believe that the same God who has blessed a marriage from its inception, can also sustain it as well. He has promised to do so and his promises are sure. (1 Cor 1:9)


Anonymous said...

I like your Credo concerning marriage. I agree with you that there is no command in the Bible for romantic love to precede a marriage. On the other hand, the Song of Solomon seems to me to recommend it, as long as it is kept under control, and the marriage bed kept pure.

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Song of Solomon is very sexual and is an excellent statement on how beautiful sex is within the marriage relationship!!

I also had a question. Do you consider physcial abuse of the woman to be "desertion?"