In my last post I looked at the sins of pornography, premarital sex and cohabitation. In this post I will now consider three more sins that are an attack on marriage.
Number seven of the Ten Commandments is “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). Without question, the Word of God is very clear concerning the sin of adultery. Adultery is an attack on marriage because it violates the precious and exclusive union between the married by sharing it with another person. It is terrible that adultery can be a means of entertainment in a movie or novel. There are even services designed to provide married people with a discreet affair. Such practices not only undermine the beauty of marriage, they are blatant attacks on marriage. It is also important to understand the danger of committing adultery in one’s heart. The Lord Jesus Christ stated with great clarity,
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you thateveryone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:27-28).
By quoting the 7th commandment (Ex. 20:14; Duet. 5:18), Jesus reveals that the prohibition is not limited to the external act. Jesus goes right to the heart of the problem when it comes to adultery. This wicked act is sourced in lustful intent that takes place in the heart (Matt. 5:28). Jesus goes on to provide the remedy of radical spiritual surgery (Matt. 5:29-30). If this is an area that has attacked your marriage, God provides a way of hope through His grace and His Word.
When marriage isn’t understood and affirmed in the light of God’s blueprint, there are sad and devastating outcomes. One horrid outcome (and an attack on marriage) is divorce. Let us be clear that “God hates divorce” (Mal. 2:16), yet due to man’s rebellion God provided a process in which divorce could be regulated, thus providing protection of the woman being divorced. Sadly, people were getting divorced for trivial and unscriptural reasons. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reveals the devastation of getting divorced on unbiblical grounds (Matt. 5:32). Later on in this gospel (Matt. 19:3-9), Jesus offers further teaching on this topic. Our Lord Jesus Christ taught, “what therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt. 19:6). Divorce not only causes problems within the relationship of the couple, but also extends to children, friends and it gets more complicated when the husband or wife remarries and there are even more children involved. This is certainly not a topic that a husband and wife should ever joke about. If a marriage has suffered due to divorce, like it was said before, hope can only be found in the provisions of the Lord’s grace and His Word.
Homosexuality is another attack on marriage. It is an attack because it strips from marriage the Divine design of a man and a woman joining together as one flesh (Gen. 2:24). What do the Scriptures say on the matter of homosexuality? There are a number of key passages in the Scriptures that directly address this. These passages span over many years and at varying stages of God’s progressive revelation indicating a continuity of thought on this issue. Here I will just look at a few. The first passage of consideration is that of Genesis 19. This chapter recounts the wickedness of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Their wicked sin of homosexual lust (Gen. 19:5) manifested itself in desperate and depraved actions (Gen. 19:11). Due to the sin of homosexuality (Jude 7) the Lord judged these cities. In a series of moral law codes against sexual sin, the Lord commanded, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). A third passage is Romans 1:26-27. Here the sin of homosexuality is described as “dishonourable passions” in which “natural relations” are exchanged for those “contrary to nature” (Rom. 1:26). This reveals that the homosexual desire (not just the act) is sinful and is “contrary to nature” because it goes against the natural order of creation. In addition to the passions being dishonourable, the act of homosexuality is called “shameless” (Rom. 1:27). The consequence of such activity is that they who practice this receive “in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Rom. 1:27b). This penalty can be manifested spiritually, emotionally and physically. A final example is 1 Corinthians 6:9. Here Paul makes the clear statement that “the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.” He goes on to give specific examples of unrighteousness. He says, “neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality” will inherit the kingdom of God.
This is what Scripture teaches concerning homosexuality. But there is hope for the homosexual, as there is for all those struggling with any sexual sin. Regardless of your sinful condition, you can benefit from the saving power of the gospel. You can be forgiven and be transformed!
To think that we are at the point where attacks on marriage and family are flaunted and defended shows how far we have departed from the mandate that God has set in His Word at creation. We have gone so far from the Divine declaration of a man leaving his father and mother, and joining with his wife and becoming one flesh. The biblical blueprint for marriage and family is being cast aside quickly. How should we respond as the people of God? We must be concerned with what God has said – even if it means that we are going to be mocked by the world and be considered a minority. It is not uncommon for people to make comment and note that it is unusual to see a husband and wife fulfilling their God given roles (Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18-19) and to see children respecting and honouring their parents (Eph. 6:1-4). We are to do all we can to give God the glory in our marriages and contribute to an influence that will fight against the evil trend of society. But we are also to be compassionate toward those struggling as we point them to powerful hope found exclusively in the gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:16).