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Marriage: A Covenant, Not a Contract (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
June 13, 2022 4:00 am

Marriage: A Covenant, Not a Contract (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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June 13, 2022 4:00 am

Romantic love’s great, but it’s not the foundation for marriage that Scripture established. Listen to Truth For Life as Alistair Begg explains why there’s more freedom and security in a covenantal commitment than in an emotionally charged legal contract.



Romantic love.

Certainly wonderful when the Bible talks about love in marriage are talking about something that goes much deeper.

Today on Truth for Life.

Alastair beg explains why there is more freedom and security in a covenantal commitment and there is an emotionally charged relationship were in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 19 verses one through 12. Many Christians are living confuse life's recent surveys reveal that as many as two thirds of those interviewed in the Christian population saw divorce as quotes a reasonable solution to a problem. Marriage allow him to be surprised by that kind of perspective amongst non-Christians is absolutely tragic to realize the extent to which the external framework of our culture has bled into the heart and soul of the Christian church.

So is losing its saving two thirds of those interviewed were prepared to regarded as an easy out. Now, in contrast to that kind of thinking the way to live and manage the way to be successful through difficulties in marriage is to settle clearly in our own minds. In the very beginning that when we enter into this divorce is not an option. You see, and we need to teach this, especially to young people because my heart is so exercise for our teenagers being overwhelmed by rubbish on mixing gated nonsense supplemented by all kinds of confusion in magazines and songs and everything else and being offered as an alternative, just a form of moralism.

Just say no that's moralism what our teenagers need is the transforming power of a new affection as a result of the divine influence of the spirit of God and then as a result of the spirit of God, thinking of the things of God and making them real. They then have a submission to the Lord of God for the spirit of God always comes to underpin and underscore and unearth the truths of God's word and we need to be saying to them again and again that our submission to the design of God in relationship to marriage in particular as to be total and wholehearted irrespective of whether we can see the pragmatic benefits that are not one man one woman forever. That's the plan when we become captive to the word of God, then we discover true freedom. The freedom of a lifelong commitment. The freedom of marrying a believer in the Lord. The freedom of the husband's joy, including his wife first. The freedom of the wife's fulfillment in becoming husband oriented in all she does. The freedom that comes from the security of having rejected divorce as an option for this reason, is far better not to evolve than to make those and not fulfill one of the funnest times for me is in meeting with couples and asking them about the vows they plan to use in their wedding sermon because in Scotland it was familiar for me simply to be doing the same thing all the time and I never come across the set of novelty factor that is part and parcel and creativity fighter that is part and parcel of life here. It's not a bad thing is just a different thing. And so it is that I always asked the question, are you planning on using the traditional vows or are you going to write some of your own and every so often you come across this some real beauties you know and it is a very delicate dialogue because often that is the girl who has in the late hours of the evening in her college dorm put together all of these wonderful statements of our love and affection for betrothed and she just can't wait to memorize them or read them or disburse them on every listening year, not least of all her fianc with every got to hear them before it happened would be sorely embarrassed to say the least. But in most cases they do not fulfill what is necessary in the vows because they're all expressive of feelings and the values are not about feelings. The vows are about acts of the will and many times the couples have never conceived of the because so much of what is preparing them for this time has been the discovery of romantic love, and so on the basis of this romantic feeling they have written these you know things over the first time ever I saw your face: I felt the air moving my hands enough times it. I don't know if you honestly want to say that you know this may be another way of going at it in and it hasn't always been, if it hasn't always been a fun time but I have but I said in the couples you know there's a reason why these values have lasted so long. You know I'll see them give me a synonym for the word cherish to love and to cherish, it is virtually impossible for people to quickly come up with a single cinnamon so they'll use phrases or multiple phrases to say I cherish you.

I said that's why we use the word cherish as it is taking you 17 words to try and say the same thing. Languages use the word cherish the good work. Try it, you'll let the last time insert your wife and say I cherish the great work. Now this addresses the fact that nowhere in the Bible to be discovered. Romantic love is being made. The foundational basis for marriage and find in the Bible, the more biblical model is akin to that of arranged marriages in arranged marriages in those cultures.

The family members determine just who is best suited to their son or daughter brother or sister is hold that thought for a moment you get together and breakfast one morning and you say sometime in the next month as and as a result of family dialogue. I'd like you to choose my partner in life.

For me, would you trust your brother to choose your husband for you. Would you let your sisters pick your wife and since you think your father's knots. Are you really going to listen to his idea of who would be a good way for you, you know, we're something really good job here is these children grow up under our care.

And it become loudly say this does this go okay with this. Should I get this will I get back. Could you help me with this. I'm interested in that can have your advice on this. And then all of a sudden he walked through the door and they say this is Jane and she's going to be my wife to where the world did you come up with you. Give me a chance to. I know I know you so intimately you aim like much. I know you outcome wall hanging here with Jane or Fred Bill or whoever it is.

This is not a good idea and you see it is at that point, many parents Bartlett. This is on the site now because their instinctive reaction is this is by but then they have always cozy feeling towards their kids. You know all that poor Fred's injury really isn't many girlfriends and I saw the way he looked at her.

A limitation on the day that happens just hit your head right off the kitchen door firmly just like really hard because the chances are you are about as a parent to make a major mistake that you will live with through all the years of what is about to ensue with your children. Believe me, I can count on my one hand, the parents have been brave enough to intervene. I could name them for it was one of the most painful experiences that I've ever been involved, and they worked on the principle crying out smile later rather than smile now in world cry later.

Now obviously we trust our children after having been reared to make choices. We don't really believe in arranged marriages but we do want to say that when marriages are founded and grounded on emotional surges and physical attractions than they are wide open to the possibility of disintegration when the feeling is gone and the body succumbs to the ravaging effects of gravity when a marriage is grounded in friendship and companionship and the awareness of an unending covenant no matter what than the possibilities of survival are markedly improved. So you see the vows are very very important because the aptly summarized the commitment that is involved, and they provide the necessary walls of protection when the winds and waves begin to beat up on the house. Husbands and wives have an abiding responsibility to live in faithfulness to those vows which one day they made in the presence of God and before the congregation of the family and their friends is a lady who sings songs on the CD. I always have to ask my wife, who she is. I can remember even now that she has a wonderful song with the words faithful heart. What more can one life. Ask one hand to hold along life's path share with me this vile and for all time.

Our souls will be entwined. I give this love I live this love no greater joy is mine. Storms will, but we will never part for each of us bequeath a faithful heart. That's why you see the minister asks in the new in the marriage ceremony. These questions of intent he's asking them. Do you want to get married. And since that only about three minutes away from being married. Everyone's hoping that the answer is yes, but that's where those questions are before they make their violence to one another and the questions of intent need to be pondered carefully, because many marriages could be avoided purposefully if people understood what it was they were about to get into. For that reason. What I determined to do was then to work through these questions that are addressed to people. I'm just going to give you two of them and then I'm going to stop. I'm not even going to take them in order of just going to pick two of them. For example, both of them harassed, will you love, honor and keep her, or love, honor and keep him now again is absolutely imperative that we understand what love means in a circumstance like that. If we view live simply in terms of the words of the pop culture. I kind of secondhand emotion that will be constantly in danger of throwing in the towel. However, if we understand love as it is conveyed to his in the Scriptures as being expressed in actions which fulfill our vows and will move we will be freed from the tyranny of the constant emotional ups and downs. He sees very very hard for a couple on their marriage day to believe that this is this is even part of the question.

Will you stand this course, the couples my colleagues would confirm this and you said and will you love her. It's Like the guys Isaac got here. I got a question is never going to say let's get on to another question.

Yes yes yes it's inconceivable there bursting with all kinds of desires to express their emotional romantic feelings towards one another species on a cold rainy afternoon somewhere in the outback of Toledo when the when the gas is gone off on in the car won't start and when the rent isn't paid and when the kids are not close and went all everything is coming down on your head's plan question really kicks in. Because you see the love is accompanied by honor and by keeping that's why these things are so very very crucial husband fulfill the requirement of honoring his wife simply by being a good financial provider while at the same time serving his own selfish interest in the pursuit. It is always somebody wrote to me, not so long ago and said that in 20 years of marriage. The pattern has has been has reached the point where the husband's approach is to give his wife, five days a year in New England and that is supposed to compensate for the fact that he has spent his last 20 wedding anniversaries fishing with his father and his brother. He has not been with his wife in 20 anniversaries.

After all, he said, I think you New England don't I I like to punch his nose very graciously.

I hit his head on the kitchen door passionately and purposefully. Your knots your wrong.

The Bible says you're wrong and too many wife. Simply put up with that can nonsense year after year after year and some crazy crackerjack husband is got the idea that he can justify this by some weird manipulation of the Bible, not for a moment. For the husband to honor his wife means putting her first considering her interest before his own finding his greatest joy in seeing her blossom within marriage to the fullness of all that God intends for and for the wife. It will mean becoming husband oriented in all that she does when a man and woman commit to that kind of honoring of one another. It saves them from the contemporary idea of being my own person and allows them to discover the wonderful dimensions of the two becoming one.

See, this is the covenant of companionship.

The hedge of protection saving our spouses from foolish choices. Taking responsibility for each other's well-being. We love her and honor and keep and how about in sickness and in health, for some of us, this may prove in the totality of life to be little more than dealing with routine sickness. For others, the challenges may appear to be almost overwhelming eventually will grow old wear-and-tear will affect us. We will sag in Dragon where I recognize that is a fact of life, Bombeck the great commentator says illness has to be one of the tests of a marriage. That's why they put it in the manage valves. Everyone's razor blades over, but it's important for the first time you're caught naked with your pretenses down your vulnerable and you are dependent neither of you married to have the partner quotes take care of you. You were supposed to be a team and now you are being seen in a compromising scene with your head hung into a toilet bowl at 2 AM while another person stands over you taking away any shred of modesty or mystique that you might have left Street is not to diminish in any way to particular strains which are placed upon a marriage relationship in later years to minimize the financial impact which can be devastating, but the fact is that the airily onslaught of illness when our hopes are high, our dreams are fresh and our children are rich with potential is a great and sore trial. Not everyone doesn't, I could introduce you to people in our church who is a result of the onslaught of illness have not only lived with the illness, but of live in isolation from their marriage partner ever since. Because as soon as it became apparent to the wife or husband would no longer be the provider and the performer she was gone in an instant, leaving him behind in a wheelchair to live as a quadriplegic while my best friends with whom I played soccer for all the years that we were together in college who seldom showed up at lectures at L BC before 10:30, whose hair was well down his back and his fingers moved evenly over the France of a guitar with the with the expertise of abutting Eric Clapton who was one of the funniest kids you could ever meet in July I went to his house purposefully with one of my other friends to find him in his wheelchair crouched absolutely double like this and when he spoke to me. He had to raise his head in this way. Glenda, his wife cutting his food, putting his drink in the right place.

Moving the straw for for 10 solid years out of 22 years of marriage. She has been an absolute treasure. And that guy's life and some of you who sit out here have entertained thoughts of making a run for because your porridge was burned because he was working 70 hours a week.

Don't be so silly that are others who live with partner superbugs of depressive illness, blindness, multiple sclerosis, and they remain to this a living testimony to their commitment to covenant companionship and Jesus Said Ave., Herod that at the beginning he made them male and female, and for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh.

That's marriage is not fornication's not adultery is not homosexuality. It's God's divine mandate and here in this book we have the plan and pattern for living life in a way that I believe is going to be so radical in its implications. The one of the greatest statements for the transforming power of the risen Christ in our life and in a whole will be in man and one prepared through thick and thin mountains and valleys. Failure and success to say no to the slick roads and yes God's plan.

There is certainly a lot for us to consider as we think about the differences between romantic love and the marriage covenant. Today's teaching from Alastair big is the conclusion of a message titled marriage covenant or contract and Alastair will return shortly to close today's program. If you been enjoying this series titled, we too are one.

You can only complete study on the USB there are four additional series from Alastair included so this collection of studies covers topics like family life, parental priorities, the workplace, and more compact in all there are 42 messages on the USB it's titled God's design for life together and you'll find it a Truth for for five dollars. Don't forget about Alistair's book lasting love.

How to avoid marital failure. It's another excellent supplement to our current series on marriage. I think most of us up heard the statistics on divorce or have been affected by divorce in our own families in this book, lasting love, Alastair shows that with God. Failure is never final fact as we learned in today's message God didn't design the marriage covenant to be broken when you read the book lasting love. You learn how to avoid the pitfalls of marriage or how to make repairs when they're needed. You'll also learn how to build and protect your relationship with your spouse so that it will last a lifetime and the discussion questions of the back of the book will help you apply those lessons right away there were only offering the book lasting love for a couple more days, so be sure to request it. When you donate to the ministry by the way, there are nearly 3000 audio and video messages available to be accessed for free on our website and you can also read articles drawn from Alistair's teaching new articles are posted each week.

The articles cover a wide variety of topics. And just like Alistair's sermons that are all free to share, you'll find the most recent articles a Truth for Now here's Alastair to close with prayer God our father, we thank you for the extreme practicality of your word that it addresses our life's teenager sitting here thinking about the prospect of, and healing all the horror stories reading the magazines watching as various marriages crumble in the dust and saying to themselves. I don't know I just don't know Lord God, I pray that you will fill them with such a desire to live in purity before that Mattie that they may live in fidelity during and that they may know the joy and the freedom and the fullness that comes in getting themselves up unreservedly to your flying pattern and plan less as we pray to this helps for Jesus sake Bob Lapine. Thanks for listening. The Bible assures us that husbands and wives are spiritually why did God assign the leadership husband. The answer when you join us tomorrow Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life with the Learning is for Living

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