It Matters Whom You Marry

“And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange (pagan) wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning (in spite of) this thing. Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.”

Ezra 10:2-3

It is clear from scripture that God hates divorce, and there are several passages that speak about this. He ordained marriage and He designed it to be a life-long union between a man and a woman. He gave one reason for divorce in the New Testament, but it is not a requirement that one spouse divorce another due to idolatry. God is able to forgive even idolatry, and so is a spouse able to forgive the other that offends in this area. Marriage is not an easy thing, but it always works when done God’s way as God is the author of marriage. He is the ultimate marriage counselor and it is amazing the results when both spouses agree to do what the Lord says. We stress to our children the importance of picking the right spouse as it is a decision meant for life, and it can be a great hindrance or a great blessing. I would like to say I put a lot of thought into marriage when I entered into it, but that would not be a true statement.

I was attracted to Rebekah physically, and I enjoyed spending time with her. I was not the greatest boyfriend, but she stuck with me and told me things that I did not always like to hear. She never threatened to dump me, but told me in uncertain words that I needed to get my act together. I oftentimes put the creature (Rebekah) before the Creator, but there were two things I was certain about our relationship: I was deeply in love with Rebekah, and I was committed to her through thick and thin. She had broken up with me two prior times in junior high and high school, and I did not want that streak to be extended. I did not fully understand all of my marriage vows, but I did understand that this was a lifetime decision, and that I was forsaking all others for the rest of my life. I understood we would face challenges, even though I did not know what life would bring as only God knows the future. I thought I knew what love was, but my knowledge of it seems to grow by the day as my spectrum on the subject is broadened through experience.

I believe Rebekah and I both understood what love was to a certain extent because we were both saved, and we knew that one can only know and truly understand love through a personal relationship through Jesus Christ. I John 4:8 states, He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. We both had parents who were still married and committed to each other. We both knew Christ, which was the key in our relationship. We had heard all about God being the center of our marriage, although the execution of that is not as easy as it sounds. There are many that know what to do, but don’t actually do it. We have been married for over 23 years now, and I would say the key to it all is having the anchor of God in our lives. We know we are accountable to God first and that the closer we get to Him, the closer we get to each other. When we both seek God’s will, the less we seem to fight or have heated discussions. God’s truth is always right and if we get on the same page as Him, we will be in unity. I cannot imagine how different my life would be if I would have married an unsaved person as we would not have had the same common bond of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

The children of Israel had gone after the pagan women of the land and entered into marriage with them. They eventually realized their sin and instead of continuing to follow their own way, they desired to follow after their God. This was the Old Testament, so the laws were different than the New Testament, but it was clear that the law forbade them to marry those who did not hold to their religious beliefs and values. We are warned as well about being unequally partnered with unbelievers, and there are countless stories where Satan has wreaked havoc through such a marriage. It does matter whom you marry, and the person you are considering should have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and they should also be seeking God’s will for their lives. Life is a tough teacher, and it is always better to adhere to the Word of God rather than take the hard-knock path that life will take you on due to your disobedience and the consequences of your sin.

Are you seeking God’s will in your life? How about in the arguments or disagreements you get into with your spouse? Does God have the preeminence or does one party seek their own way and will? The Bible tells us that pride brings contention, so when we fuss and fight with each other, we know that is the evidence of pride. Are you looking for that right partner? Are you someone that YOU would marry? Are you thinking of leaving your spouse? God forbid, but may we surrender to His will and not our own will when it comes to every aspect of our life, including marriage. Marriage is a beautiful thing when we live in obedience to God, and a godly marriage is a shining light to a dark world. May our marriages honor and please God, and if you are not married, I encourage you to align with God when seeking to spend the rest of your life with a potential spouse. God has something to say on every matter of life, so may we be doers of the Word and not hearers only. To God be the glory!

Stay in the Fight!

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