Today’s post is a guest post from Pastor Jim Buckman. Pastor Buckman serves as an urban missionary in New Jersey and is the author of iPray. His latest project is ahouseofprayer.net – an online web app to help you find a church to pray with you. You can also download the iPrayU app on your iPhone or Android.
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. (Genesis 6:1-2)
In our culture today, most young people believe that marriage is a completely personal decision. Even on the topic of same-gender relationships, many young Christians feel that this is a personal decision that everyone makes for themselves.
This is not new.
After Cain killed Able, the Bible records in the end of Genesis chapter four that Cain’s descendants grew progressively more and more sinful until they boasted that their sins would incur eleven times the wrath from God that their forefather Cain had (see Genesis 4:24).
After Able was murdered, God blessed Adam and Eve with another son, his name was Seth. Genesis 4:25 begins the account of Seth’s descendants and takes up all of chapter five; what is really important to catch is this- it is regarding Seth’s branch of Adam & Eve’s family tree that Scripture says, “At this time people began to call on the Name of the Lord.” The nine generations between Seth and Noah initially had a healthy relationship with God.
We don’t know the exact year. Scripture simply says, “When man began to multiply… they took as their wives any they chose.” (Genesis 6:1-2) What was wrong with marrying anyone you wanted? In this case, it was wrong because the people they were marrying did not walk in the fear of the Lord. In the New Testament, this is called being “unequally yoked” (2 Corinthians 6:14).
Usually, when we look at the storms that come into a marriage we find that there is a Spiritual conflict underneath it. When neither spouse is a Christian, then there is a complete absence of God’s Word; they are walking in total darkness without the benefit of God’s word which is given to us as the lamp unto our feet and the light for our path (Psalm 119:105).
When one spouse is a Christian, but the other is not; the spouse who is an unbeliever will typically say when they are in an argument, “Don’t try to force your ideas on me. Who are you to judge?” If God’s Word is not the foundation for the entire house; the house won’t be much good when half of it breaks apart in the storms of life.
Being married to an unbeliever does not alter the sacredness of their marriage; and God’s word specifically teaches Christians not to think their faith gives them a God-pleasing reason to walk away:
If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. (1 Cor 7:12-13)
Two wrongs don’t make a right and the ends do not justify the means in God’s mind.
For the marriage between two Christians there will still be difficulties, but if these couples will mutually submit to God’s word as authoritative for their relationship; then there is hope. Prayer is such a tremendous blessing for Christian couples in marriage difficulty.
Jesus’ disciples did not know how to pray, so they asked Jesus and He taught them the Lord’s Prayer. Scripture tells us that we must be in agreement when we pray, but when we are on the verge of a heated argument even prayer can be difficult. At times like this, the Lord’s Prayer is a very practical tool God has given us; two Christian spouses may feel like there is absolutely nothing they could agree on with their spouse, but neither will say that they don’t agree with how Jesus taught His disciples to pray. And what a blessing that Jesus taught us to pray, “… Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us…” What a blessing for two Christian spouses trying to control the burning fire in their tongues (James 3:6)!
Where have you strayed outside of God’s plan for marriage? Come to Him in the sure and certain name of His Son, Jesus. Confess your sin, ask for forgiveness, pray for His word to guide you in paths of righteousness. Whose marriage do you know that needs prayer? Lift them up in your prayer time, your Father sees what you do in your prayer closet.