Category Archives: Marriage

MARRYING A NON CHRISTIAN:

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For a Christian, dating a non-Christian is unwise, and marrying one is not an option. Second Corinthians 6:14 (KJV) tells us not to be “unequally yoked” with an unbeliever. The imagery is of two incompatible oxen sharing the same yoke. Instead of working together to pull the load, they would be working against each other. While this passage does not specifically mention marriage, it definitely has implications for marriage. The passage goes on to say that there is no harmony between Christ and Belial (Satan). There can be no spiritual harmony in a marriage between a Christian and a non-Christian. Paul goes on to remind believers that they are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, who inhabits their hearts at salvation (2 Corinthians 6:15-17). Because of that, they are to be separate from the world—in the world, but not of the world—and nowhere is that more important than in life’s most intimate relationship—marriage.

The Bible also says, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Having any kind of intimate relationship with an unbeliever can quickly turn into something that is a hindrance to your walk with Christ. We are called to evangelize the lost, not be intimate with them. There is nothing wrong with building quality friendships with unbelievers, but that is as far as it should go. If you were dating an unbeliever, what would honestly be your priority, romance or winning a soul for Christ? If you were married to an unbeliever, how would the two of you cultivate a spiritual intimacy in your marriage? How could a quality marriage be built and maintained if you disagree on the most crucial issue in the universe—the Lord Jesus Christ?

Prophet Nathan Emol

PURPOSE OF MARRIAGE:

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Is it necessary for a Christian to marry? What is the purpose of marriage? The Bible has a lot to say about this topic. Since the first marriage was between the first man and the first woman, it is assumed that marriage is God’s will for most people. It was instituted in the dispensation of innocence and is therefore a holy institution. The first reason that the Bible gives for the existence of marriage is simple: Adam was lonely and needed a helper (Genesis 2:18). This is the primary purpose of marriage—fellowship, companionship, and mutual help and comfort.

One purpose of marriage is to create a stable home in which children can grow and thrive. The best marriage is between two believers (2 Corinthians 6:14) who can produce godly offspring (Malachi 2:13–15). In Malachi, God tells the Israelites that He will not accept their offerings because they have been unfaithful to the wives of their youth. This shows how much God cares about marriage being kept intact. Not only that, but He tells them He was seeking “godly offspring.” This is a puzzling passage, and has been interpreted to mean a) that godly offspring are the purpose of marriage; b) that a good marriage between two godly people will mean that any children they have will tend to be godly as well; c) God wanted the Israelites to be faithful to their wives instead of leaving them for foreign women who would produce for them ungodly offspring because of the idolatry of those nations; and d) that God Himself was seeking His own offspring (the people) to exhibit godliness by their faithfulness. In any of these interpretations, we see a common theme: the children of faithful people will tend to be faithful, too.

Not only does marriage teach children how to be faithful and give them a stable environment in which to learn and grow, it has a sanctifying effect on both marriage partners when they submit to God’s law (Ephesians 5). Every marriage has difficult moments or difficult dynamics. When two sinful people are trying to create a life together, they must submit to God’s command to love each another as God has loved us—selflessly (1 John 3:16). Our attempts to follow God’s commands in our own strength tend to end in failure, and that failure tends to make the believer more aware of his dependence on God and more open to the Spirit’s work in him, which tends to result in godliness. And godliness helps us to follow God’s commands. So, marriage is very helpful for the one trying to live a godly life; it helps to scrub the heart clean of selfishness and other impurities.

Marriage also protects individuals from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 7:2). The world we live in is full of sexual images, innuendo, and temptation. Even if a person doesn’t pursue sexual sin, it pursues him or her, and it is very hard to escape it. Marriage provides a healthy place to express sexuality, without opening oneself up to the severe emotional (and many times physical) damage that is caused by casual, non-committed sexual relationships. It is clear that God created marriage for our good (Proverbs 18:22), to make us happy, to promote a healthier society, and to produce holiness in our lives.

Finally, marriage is a beautiful picture of the relationship between Christ and His church. The body of believers that make up the Church are collectively called bride of Christ. As Bridegroom, Jesus gave His life for His bride, “to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word” (Ephesians 5:25–26), and His selfless act provides an example for all husbands. At the second coming of Christ, the church will be united with the Bridegroom, the official “wedding ceremony” will take place, and with it the eternal union of Christ and His bride will be actualized (Revelation 19:7–9; 21:1–2).

Prophet Nathan Emol

GOD HATES DIVORCEE:

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Malachi 2:16 is the oft-quoted passage that tells how God feels about divorce. “‘I hate divorce,’ says the Lord God of Israel.” But this passage says much more than that. If we back up to verse 13, we read, “You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. But you say, ‘Why does he not?’ Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.”

We learn several things from this passage. First, God does not listen to the pleas for blessing from those who have broken the covenant of marriage. First Peter 3:7 says, “Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered” (emphasis added). There is a direct correlation between the way a man treats his wife and the effectiveness of his prayers.

God clearly explains His reasons for esteeming marriage so highly. He says it was He who “made them one” (Malachi 2:15). Marriage was God’s idea. If He designed it, then He gets to define it. Any deviation from His design is abhorrent to Him. Marriage is not a contract; it is a covenant. Divorce destroys the whole concept of covenant that is so important to God.

In the Bible, God often provides illustrations to teach spiritual realities. When Abraham offered his son Isaac on the altar, it was a picture of the day, hundreds of years later, that the Lord God would offer His only Son (Genesis 22:9; Romans 8:32). When God required blood sacrifices for the forgiveness of sin, He was painting a picture of the perfect sacrifice He Himself would make on the cross (Hebrews 10:10).

Marriage is a picture of the covenant God has with His people (Hebrews 9:15). A covenant is an unbreakable commitment, and God wants us to understand how serious it is. When we divorce someone with whom we made a covenant, it makes a mockery of the God-created concept of covenant relationship. The Church (those individuals who have received Jesus as Savior and Lord) is presented in Scripture as the “Bride of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7-9). We, as His people, are “married” to Him through a covenant that He established. A similar illustration is used in Isaiah 54:5 of God and Israel.

When God instituted marriage in the Garden of Eden, He created it as a picture of the greatest unity human beings can know (Genesis 2:24). He wanted us to understand the unity we can have with Him through redemption (1 Corinthians 6:17). When a husband or wife chooses to violate that covenant of marriage, it mars the picture of God’s covenant with us.

Malachi 2:15 gives us another reason that God hates divorce. He says He is “seeking godly offspring.” God’s design for the family was that one man and one woman commit themselves to each other for life and rear children to understand the concept of covenant as well. Children reared in a healthy, two-parent home have a far greater likelihood of establishing successful marriages themselves.

When Jesus was asked why the Law permitted divorce, He responded that God had only allowed it “because of the hardness of your hearts, but from the beginning it was not so” (Matthew 19:8). God never intended divorce to be a part of human experience, and it grieves Him when we harden our hearts and break a covenant that He created.

Prophet Nathan Emol

DEFILING MARRIAGE BED:

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Chapter 13 is the concluding chapter of the book of Hebrews and ends with a series of final exhortations to Christians. Verse 4 says, “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (NASB). The Greek word translated “undefiled” is only used in this exact form four times in the New Testament, and it means “uncontaminated” or “set apart.” Hebrews 7:26 uses this word to describe Jesus Christ, our high priest, and James 1:27 says that “undefiled” religion is that which helps widows and orphans and remains unstained by the world.

The marriage bed is to be kept pure or undefiled. In other words, the sexual intimacy shared between a husband and wife is to be reserved for that couple alone. God created the sexual union to be between a husband and a wife. Period. Only. No other use of sexuality is ever condoned in Scripture. To abuse or misuse God’s gift of sex is to defile the marriage bed.

A marriage bed can be defiled in several ways:

1. Fornication. When unmarried people engage in sexual intercourse, they are defiling God’s good gift of sex. Even if no marriage is involved, two people who have not vowed themselves to each other in a binding lifetime union have no right to exploit the culmination of such a vow. Sex was designed to be the final act of consecration when a couple pledges their lives to each other in a sacred covenant. All forms of sexuality outside a marriage union are bringing dishonor to the honorable institution of marriage (1 Corinthians 6:18).

2. Adultery. When one or both parties in a sexual union are married to someone else, God calls their sexual acts adultery. Adultery was punishable by death under God’s Old Covenant with Israel (Deuteronomy 22:22; Leviticus 20:10). Even though we no longer live under that covenant, adultery is still high on God’s list of moral evils (Matthew 5:28, 32) and is always named as a sin that keeps unrepentant offenders from inheriting the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19; 1 Corinthians 6:9).

3. Homosexuality. Another defilement of the marriage bed is the perversion of men having sex with men or women with women. Despite our world’s current embrace of homosexual practice, this vile act has never been and will never be sanctioned or blessed by God. Homosexuality is a distortion of God’s gift of physical unity between husband and wife and is the only sexual activity labeled an abomination (Leviticus 20:13). The prohibition against homosexuality carries right into the New Covenant, as it is listed with those sins that keep the unrepentant out of the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:9–10; Jude 1:7).

4. Prostitution. Proverbs 7 gives a detailed look at the destruction that comes upon a young man who allows himself to be seduced by a harlot. The sin of harlotry is often used as a metaphor for unfaithful Israel (Hosea 4:15; Jeremiah 3:8; Judges 8:33). Christians are warned to avoid such immorality because of the sacredness of the marriage bed (1 Corinthians 6:15–16; Ephesians 5:3).

5. Pornography. Using pornography for sexual gratification is a more modern way to defile the marriage bed. Pornographic books, videos, sexting, and the use of other sexually explicit materials also defile the sanctity of the sexual union between a man and wife. Porn has the effect of bringing strangers into the bedroom, even if only through the eyes. Jesus warned that lust associated with looking at a woman is equivalent to adultery before God (Matthew 5:28). Pornography has elevated sexual lust to an art form, but it is still corrupting to the heart and a sinful defiling of the sexual act.

God created human beings to be pure in body and spirit. Sexual union between a husband and wife was a part of that purity (Genesis 2:24–25). When Adam and Eve sinned, sexuality was tainted along with everything else. Jesus purchased the power to reclaim that purity through His sacrificial death on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21). No sin, including sexual immorality, is too great for the power of that atoning death and resurrection to pardon. Even though we may have defiled the marriage bed in many ways, God can restore sexual purity and holiness when we repent and commit our lives to following Him (Psalm 51:7; 1 John 1:7).

Prophet Nathan Emol

IS IT OKAY FOR MARRIED COUPLES TO GO TO DIFFERENT CHURCHES?

A husband and a wife attending separate churches is a situation that is more common than one might think. It’s also common for the children of such a couple to be divided between the two churches, thereby creating a rift in the family that is never healthy. In order to determine whether or not it is “wrong” for a husband and wife to attend separate churches, we must first look at marriage as a relationship instituted by God.

Genesis 2:24 tells us God created man and woman to become “one flesh” when they marry, not two separate beings who go their own separate ways. There is a unity in marriage which is unique and holy. Moreover, marriage is the picture of Christ and His church (believers) as described in Ephesians 5:31-32. The marriage covenant between a man and a woman is symbolic of the covenant between Christ and those for whom He died. His is an everlasting covenant and one that is holy and sacred, just as marriage is to be holy, sacred and unbroken. This unity of two people into one reaches its most sacred in the spiritual realm, where the two are to be of one mind regarding the basic doctrines of Christianity – God, Christ, sin, salvation, heaven/hell, etc. This unity of understanding through the ministry of the Holy Spirit unites a husband and wife in a bond unlike any other on earth.

While it’s possible for a husband and wife to have differing tastes as far as music, preaching or worship styles, children’s programs, etc., none of these things are significant enough to break up the family into two parts so they can attend different churches based on tastes. It is clear that if both churches are Bible-based and Christ-honoring, there is no reason why one spouse can’t bend a little and put his/her personal preferences aside. An even better alternative is for the couple to join together to seek a church where the Word of God is preached as the only guide for faith and practice, where the entire family can learn the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and where the family can fellowship with like-minded believers. In this, the husband, as the spiritual head of the family, should take the lead and make the final decision, lovingly taking his wife’s input into consideration.

Sadly, the two-church family most often crops up in marriages where one spouse was raised Roman Catholic and the other was raised in a Protestant denomination. In situations such as these, it would have been wise for the couple not to marry. Please read the following article: Should Christians of different denominations date or marry? If a marriage has already taken place, the couple should strive for spiritual unity. Two people entrenched in their different doctrinal positions often find it very difficult to compromise and reconcile, but with God, all things are possible. A couple in such a situation may be forced to attend different churches, especially if one or both spouses consider the other spouse’s beliefs to be unbiblical. In such a situation, both spouses should commit to praying that truth be revealed and spiritual unity be achieved.

These doctrinal conflicts must be resolved in a family before true unity can be achieved. A couple attending different churches must be willing to hold everything they are taught up to the light of Scripture and be ready to discard anything that is contradicted by the Bible. They must “test all things and hold fast to that which is true” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

Prophet Nathan Emol

Email: nathanemol@gmail.com for any support or inquires