Holy Matrimony

April 25, 2014

Holy Matrimony

            We don’t find the words “holy matrimony” in the Bible.  However, the fact that it is an institution instituted and blessed by God gives us reason for calling it sacred.  We are failing God if we don’t defend it.

Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” It should be clear in our minds that cohabitation and marriage are not the same thing.  Marriage begins with a legal contract and a public ceremony in which a man and woman recite their vows publicly, promising to be faithful to one another until death separates them.  Cohabitation begins with a mutual agreement between a man and woman with no legal or public commitment. In this article we are going to give you reasons why marriage should be a legal and public commitment.

Your wedding day should be a highlight in your life.  It should be a day that young people dream about and that married people look back on with fond memories.  Girls dream about their wedding dress, the flowers and the candles.  They think about how they would word the invitation and the words to put on the napkins at the wedding reception.  The bride will be the star of the ceremony.  The eyes of everyone will be on her and they will wait in line afterward to congratulate her.  Those who attend the wedding share a few happy moments with the newlyweds. Young men think about who they will ask to be their best man and how they will dress.  They think about where they would like to spend their honey moon.

Why is it that some young people are willing to deprive themselves of such a special day?  Perhaps some say, “But we couldn’t afford to have a wedding.”  Most often that is just an excuse.  You just need to announce your engagement.  Your friends will be happy for you, unless they have reason to think you made a poor choice of a marriage partner.  One of their first questions will be, “When will the wedding be?” That’s when it’s time to say, “Well, I don’t know.  We don’t have much money for a wedding.” My guess is that some of them may be willing to help you with some of the expenses.  If money is a problem, then make it simple.  After the civil ceremony ask your friends to come to a designated place to hear you recite your vows.  Many weddings have been, and continue to be, held in the home of the bride.  Your parents will be happy to open their home and serve some inexpensive refreshments.  If that isn’t even a possibility, then ask them to gather at a public park and have the ceremony under a tree.  I Corinthians 14:40 says “Let all things be done decently and in order.” That doesn’t demand that it be done with a big show of luxury and splendor.

Cohabitation begins by giving in to sinful passions which the Bible calls adultery.  Rather than wait to do it decently and in order they say, “Let’s do it now.”  Cohabitation begins with a feeling of guilt and shame.  Biblical matrimony begins with a feeling of satisfaction and the approval and well wishes of relatives and friends.  Young lady, if your lover doesn’t love you enough to want the best for you, and wait until after the wedding to have you, then he doesn’t deserve to have you

Many times cohabitation begins without the approval of the parents.  Parents are broken hearted when they hear what their son or daughter has done.  You need the approval of your parents on your marriage.  A young man needs to win the respect of the parents of the girl he wants to marry.  Then he needs to ask them for permission to marry their daughter.  Cohabitation robs the parents on both sides of the satisfaction of giving their approval and blessing on the marriage of their children.  Parents want the best for their children.  That includes their marriage.

Cohabitation is a rejection of the will and blessing of God.  Anyone who professes to be a Christian is bringing disgrace and shame on the name of God by entering into cohabitation without a marriage ceremony.  They are saying, “It doesn’t matter what God says.  We are going to do it our way.” It is a lack of respect for your parents and friends.  If you attend a church, it’s a lack of respect for your church.  It is also a lack of respect for your pastor who should have the honor of conducting the wedding ceremony.

I also want to address a few words to those of you who are living in cohabitation.  So you have made a mistake.  So you have done wrong.  That doesn’t hinder you from making it right.  You can’t go back and do it like it should have been done, but if you are willing to recognize that it should have been done God’s way, it’s not too late to make it right.  I have conducted a number of wedding ceremonies for couples who were living in cohabitation; even for some who had children.  Consult with your pastor.  I’m almost sure he will be willing to help you.

The first step is to complete with the civil ceremony and make it legal.  Then you can invite your friends, family members, and church family to a public ceremony to hear you recite your vows.  Don’t expect it to be done with all the glitter and luxury of that of a couple who waited until after the wedding ceremony to live together.  The best should be reserved for those who do it right the first time.

After the public ceremony there is often a reception.  If the wedding is performed at the church, the reception can be in the fellowship hall at the church.   It is a time of rejoicing because a couple has been willing to recognize the error of their way and enter the path that God has marked out for them.  Psalm 37:3-4 says, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.   Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”

Our E-mail address is rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net




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