Monday, September 14, 2009

Daily Devotional Thought--For the Family (What God Has Joined Together)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Three ingredients are necessary for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich: peanut butter, jelly, and bread. If you remove any of the necessary ingredients, the sandwich suffers.

The same is true for Christian Marriage.

We've all been at a wedding and heard the pastor speak these words near the end of the ceremony: "What God has joined together, let no one put asunder." If any of the ingredients are removed, separated, put asunder, Christian Marriage suffers, for it is no longer what God intended.

And what are those ingredients?

First of all, companionship. "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a helper fit for him" (Gen. 2:18). The rite for Holy Matrimony reads as follows: The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for the mutual companionship, help, and support that each person ought to receive from the other, both in prosperity and adversity.

No couple would say, "We want to be married, but we don't want companionship yet. We'll wait for that until we're ready."

The second ingredient, sexual intimacy, is joined to Christian Marriage so that "each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband" (1 Cor. 7:2). Speaking about this ingredient, the marriage reads: Marriage was also ordained so that man and woman may find delight in one another. Therefore, all persons who marry shall take a spouse in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust, for God has not called us to impurity but in holiness.

Again, no couple would say, "We want to be married, but we don't want to enjoy sexual intimacy yet. We'll wait for a few years."

The third ingredient is a bit more tricky. In the garden the Lord said, "Be fruitful and multiply" (Gen. 1:28). The marriage rite includes these words: God also established marriage for the procreation of children who are to be brought up in the fear and instruction of the Lord so that they may offer Him their praise.

Like companionship and sexual intimacy, God has joined procreation to Christian marriage. Unlike companionship and sexual intimacy, however, there are many couples who say, "We want to be married, but we DO NOT want to have children...yet. In fact, we will stop the possibility of procreation until we determine that we're ready, and then after we've had the number of children we want."

What God has joined together, let no one put asunder.

Is the Lord the author of life? Is it God that forms us in the womb? Is it not He that opens and closes the womb?

There are three necessary ingredients that make Christian Marriage: companionship, sexual intimacy, and procreation. When any ingredient is intentionally removed, Christian Marriage suffers as a result.
Unfortunately, many couples have had an ingredient removed from their marriage by no choice of their own: infertility, for example, or another physical limitation may cause a married couple to be unable to conceive. Our hearts break for these husbands and wives, and we cry out with them, "Lord, have mercy!"

Let us not decide for God what ingredients He should include in the gift of Christian Marriage. Let us receive the gift by faith, and pray "Thy will be done." And then receive the fruits of our marriages with humility and thanksgiving.

What God has joined together, let no one put asunder. Amen.

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