Marriage; August 9, 2021

Matthew 19:6 “So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

Because I use this passage every time I do premarital counseling, I have it essentially memorized in Japanese. As I tell the couples, some people get married thinking, “If it doesn’t work out we can always get divorced.” Such thinking is almost invariably a self-fulfilling prophecy. I could easily go on and on about this, since it is a regular part of my ministry, but I will limit myself to saying that God ordained marriage not just to ensure progeny but because men and women need each other in far more ways than the simply sexual. Despite what some are sadly insisting these days, men and women are fundamentally different in more ways that we are even aware of, and we are aware of a lot! Medically speaking, it’s somewhat remarkable that they can donate blood and organs to each other. The thing is, all those differences tend to be complementary, with each having strengths that match the other’s weaknesses. That’s one of many reasons why same-sex relationships are simply not the same as Biblical marriage. The fact that John was shown the Church as the Bride of Christ puts the absolute crown on this whole concept, and it’s why the devil works so tirelessly and vehemently to try to tear down marriage and family. The founders of the BLM organization were so honest as to state that one of their goals was the dissolution of the “traditional family!” And sadly, that’s just one example. Treating marriage as no more than a tradition, or even a convenience, leads to the serial polygamy we see in many entertainers, and the overall degradation of marital happiness and satisfaction in society as a whole. Failure to work out communication and conflicts is directly equivalent to cancer, because the body, that is the marriage, is fighting against itself. I’m not at all saying that people should never get out of abusive relationships, but this is more fundamental than that, even. The relationship should never be abusive in the first place! (I’d better stop, because I could literally write a book on the subject!)

Of course, this applies to me as much as it does to the people I counsel. It is always very sad when people involved in marriage counseling get divorced themselves. That doesn’t necessarily mean that their advice was bad, but just that they didn’t apply it fully to themselves. It’s always a temptation for an “expert” to think they are above the rules they espouse – as a look at politicians will tell you immediately! For myself, I am very grateful to have married at the age of 20, 52 years ago. I was so eager to get married because I had watched my parents’ relationship, and it was extremely attractive to me. I entered marriage with the expectation that it would be the biggest job of my life, and have the greatest rewards. That expectation has certainly been fulfilled! Today, people look at my wife and me somewhat in awe, but I don’t think God intends us to be an anomaly. Our relationship isn’t perfect, despite what some people think, but we are still growing, and expect to keep doing so as long as we are on this earth. It is a high privilege to point other couples in the same direction.

Father, thank You for marriage, and particularly for the marriage You have given Cathy and me. May our relationship be the open channel of Your grace and love that You intend it to be, not just to each other but to all who observe us, destroying the lies of the devil and bringing You glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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