Is the Church Hypocritical About What Marriage Is?

Bride and groom hold hands
A godly marriage is the best place to raise children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. (Flickr/Creative Commons)

I was honored to participate in a very precious, and rare marriage ceremony. Rare because not only were the bride and groom both virgins—the two had even gone so far as to save their very first kiss for one another—on their wedding day.

Yes, the command, "you may now kiss the bride" carried great significance for the these two!

It was a blessing to see two individuals who had never been in another relationship brought together in holy matrimony. By God's grace they had fully saved themselves for one another. I celebrate them because they have established a firm foundation upon which to build a very blessed family.

Before you ask ... no, they weren't socially awkward kids who came from strict religious homes. In fact the bride was a blonde haired, blue eyed beauty with the voice of an angel. She was highly respected and well known in her high school. The groom was an all-star athlete with an infectious personality. Both came from two godly families with parents that had modeled before them what marriage looks like.

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They had both independently chosen to do things different from the world. They trusted that the Lord would bring the right person at the right time. Their faith was finally rewarded on their wedding day as the Lord brought His best into their lives.

Their story is an exception in today's culture, I wish it were the norm. As a parent of three, my hope and prayer for my kids is to find this kind of blessed lifelong union one day. For their sake, I am fully convinced marriage is worth fighting for!

These two will enjoy something so few will ever find. Their children will grow up in a different home than the majority of their peers. They chose to honor God's Word and will reap an incredible blessing.

I share this story because as we have spent the past several years debating what marriage isn't we've failed to demonstrate what marriage is. The world knows what the church is against, but does it know what we are for?

Marriage is something very special and very sacred. It is not a state right, it is a divine right established by God Himself. The truth is, marriage isn't for everyone—it's for the right one.

What is marriage?

Marriage is a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman who selflessly love one another. Marriage is a covenant between God and man, not a contract between a state and man. A godly marriage is the best place to raise children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Marriage is the foundational building block of family, community and culture. Marriage as designed and defined by God is essential for our continued peace and prosperity as a nation.

Why is this a big deal? Consider that before God established the church or crowns He first instituted the covenant of marriage. It was God who gave the first bride away and God who officiated the first ceremony. This was God's plan to build civilization. Change this and you remove the underpinnings of what has made us great.

As a believer I cannot waver. I understand that man didn't create marriage, we simply recognize it. Regardless what the president or the Supreme Court says, they are not the supreme voice. Marriage is what it is—it simply cannot be changed.

The writer of Hebrews said, "Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery" (Heb. 13:4).

In so many ways the church has lost the cultural argument because we've failed to honor our own marriages. When more than one-third of Christian marriages end in divorce, and our own homes are a dysfunctional mess it is impossible to conclude that we really value marriage. How can we claim the moral high ground when we ourselves have treated marriage as something so common? Is it too late to change this?

The day these two married, I couldn't help but see a greater significance. The couple had chosen a beautiful outdoor venue for their wedding, which is always a risk. I say "risk" because no one can control the weather—and it was spring in Texas. This year the Lone Star State has received record amounts of rain. That day was no different. Severe weather was once again in the forecast and it looked like the venue was in the center of the storm. There was even a tornado five miles south wreaking havoc on a small town, but not here. Miraculously when the time came for the bride to make her entrance the sky overhead was clear while everywhere else around the storms raged. The couple had picked the perfect location, safe and secure from the threatening storms.

We now find ourselves in an environment where moral storms are literally raging all around us. The forecast is grim as political forces and cultural winds seek to fundamentally transform the institution of marriage. Very few understand the full implications of what is coming. Are there any who are willing to boldly brave the storm and defend marriage?

In the days and weeks ahead everyone will be forced to articulate where you stand. Will you comply with culture or will you stand upon God's Word? So many are already conceding.

As the political storms rage, it is imperative that we stand in the open and lift high holy matrimony. The nation only sees what we are against. Change the argument. It's time we show them what we are for. It is our desire to see each man and woman find God's best for their life. That doesn't come by happenstance, but by following God's word.

I may stand alone, but I must brave the storm! I mentioned my three kids, one of which is a seven year old little girl. I'm already thinking about the day I will walk her down an isle and give her hand to another man. On that day, I want both her and him to understand that I stood when it counted and fought hard to preserve marriage for their sake. Marriage must continue to mean something, or else it means nothing. The stakes are high, but it is worth fighting for.

If you are a minister consider taking a stand with 70,000 other Christian leaders in the Black Robe Regiment.

50,000 believers have signed the Defend Marriage pledge asking the Supreme Court not to force us to choose between the state and the laws of God.

Daniel K. Norris is an evangelist who worked alongside Steve Hill bringing the message of revival and repentance to the nations. Together, they co-hosted a broadcast called "From the Frontlines." Norris also hosts the Collision Youth Conference that is broadcast all over the world. He can be contacted at danielknorris.com.

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