I had the privilege this last weekend of conducting the wedding ceremony for my younger sister. It was a privilege and not something I really ever expected to have the opportunity to do. As part of my preach to the couple and their friends and family present, I spoke about the virtues of marriage which I would like to share with you here.
There are some who would say – why are they getting married at all? There are many who have either personally or through friends and family experienced heartache and hurt when marriage has broken up. There are a thousand different views on marriage in the world many of which actually tarnish the image of marriage in society. But here are some of the virtues of marriage:
- 1st marriage is the way that God has ordained as the foundation for the family unit which is the foundation of society. It is God’s way that 1 man and 1 woman should leave their respective parents and be joined together in one flesh.
Gen 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
The reason that marriage is to be highly esteemed is because God has established it and he has determined that this is the way for men and women to live together and to create families.
- The 2nd virtue of marriage that we can extol is that in marriage there is a public commitment made between the man and the woman. There is a selflessness in marriage, a giving of ourselves to our spouse by promises that we make. In marriage we cut off from ourselves the convenience of being able to slip in and out of the relationship depending on what we are getting out of it, but rather we commit ourselves to what we are going to put into the relationship in order to preserve it and nurture it even when it costs us. There is a change in legal status that happens. The husband will no longer be a bachelor under the law, nor will the wife be a spinster under the law. They will each become a married person under law – there is a seriousness and a weight to becoming married.
- The 3rd aspect of marriage that I want to extol this afternoon is the picture that it give us of God’s relentless love for us. Every time we witness a wedding, we are reminded that God has committed himself to us. Every time we witness an anniversary we remind ourselves of the faithfulness of God’s commitment – he will never break his vows. The picture we have before us today is a picture of the love that Jesus has for the church and the total commitment in his heart to be together with her for all eternity.
Son 8:6-7 Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised.