Straight, Bible-Believing Christians Can Undermine God’s Plan for Marriage Too

Erik Raymond —  April 9, 2013

It seems that everyone has an opinion about Gay Marriage, and these opinions are rarely ambivalent. Christians have (and rightly so) been outspoken in their opposition to a redefinition of marriage. This recasting of the institution of marriage is not, we would argue, a progressive and healthy advancement but rather a disastrous detour from what biblical, therefore, right and good.

At the same time and while marriage is on the front burner, particularly the undermining of God’s plan for it, let me ask a question. Are Gay and Lesbians the only ones who undermine God’s plan for marriage?

The answer is, “Of course not!” Just because you are hetero-sexual does not mean that you are reflecting God’s plan for marriage. You don’t get a pass just on marriage because you are not Gay. The basis of a marriage reflecting God’s plan is how it reflects the gospel. In other words a marriage is reflective of God’s plan in so far as it reflects the marriage between Jesus the husband and the church the bride.

This is where it gets quite personal for us inside the Christian camp. God’s plan for marriage includes the following:

Love: Your marriage is to reflect the joyful sacrifice and service of your spouse in order that they might be blessed. This service and sacrifice is to reflect Jesus’ sacrifice and service of you in the gospel. This obviously excludes the selfishness that plagues far too many of our marriages.

Confession: This is the willingness to call sin what God calls it and to admit that we have done it to one another. Confession of sin is the precursor to the display of mercy and grace. Christian marriages are to be characterized by humble confession of sin rather than prideful defending of ourselves.

Forgiveness: This is a hallmark of Christianity and so therefore a hallmark of Christian marriages. How can a marriage that is characterized by anger, bitterness, resentment, and strife be reflective of the gospel of grace.

Distinction of Roles: Husbands and Wives have equal access to God, standing before God, joy in God and acceptance from God. There is no distinction of status (Gal. 3.28) but there are distinction of roles. The Christian husband is the loving leader of his wife who willfully lays his own life down for her while serving his wife in sanctification (Eph. 5.25-33). The Christian wife is to lovingly submit to her husband in a manner that reflects Christ’s willful submission to his Father (1 Cor. 11). This respectful, honoring, posture of love between joint heirs of grace is to be continually reflecting Christ’s love in the gospel.

These are just *some* of the distinctivess of Christian marriage. In so far as we do not love one another, blur roles, or deal unbiblically with sin—then we are undermining God’s plan for marriage. Far too many Christians are sharpshooters, adeptly able to pick off the various cultural perversions upon marriage without taking inventory of their own house. This does not mean that we should be silent until we have the perfect marriage, it just means that we should not act like we are all about God’s plan for marriage when we ourselves, are not. Because it vividly promotes the gospel, Christians are to passionately promote God’s plan for marriage, starting with our own.

Erik Raymond

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Erik has been writing at Ordinary Pastor since 2006. He lives in Omaha with his wife and kids while pastoring at Emmaus Bible Church. Follow regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/erikraymond

15 responses to Straight, Bible-Believing Christians Can Undermine God’s Plan for Marriage Too

  1. Thanks for your article – I think our marriages can be a beautiful reflection of God’s love and design and we should focus on that more – but are you saying that a heterosexual marriage may be able to not reflect God’s plan for marriage at all?

    Because I think that a marriage, by virtue of being between a man and a woman, does reflect the base or foundation of God’s plan for marriage in the Bible, from the verses you’ve quoted. If it embodies the characteristics you have mentioned, then a marriage not only reflects the foundation of God’s plan but also his intention that it be full, satisfying and joyfully Gospel focused. I think there are two levels, or intensity of reflection there.

  2. This is so good, man. Thanks for this post.

    • It is. So many marriages between a man and a woman occur on the basis of so many selfish reasons (lust, control, fear, money, etc.), losing all revelance to the purpose God has for it and us. I am guilty of this sin and grateful for the devastating ending of my ignorance and selfishness (divorce), as it pointed me in the right direction. To God.

  3. I often quip that homosexuality didn’t destroy my marriage–adultery did. I think back to when I got married in 1980 at age 25. I was a pew-sitter without a solid relationship with and knowledge of God. I did not choose my marriage partner well. He was cute, fun to be with, financially sound–and I figured any problems that would come up would be worked out. After our first child was born, my husband’s behavior became mentally, emotionally, and sexually abusive. I noticed a pattern with other relationships where someone would be his friend, but then it would fall apart, my ex claiming the person was “worthless.” I began to feel I was worthless to him, and after 18 years of marriage, he left me for a younger woman.

    I still struggle at times with my part in the destruction of my marriage. I wasn’t a godly wife and did not treat my husband the way he should have been treated. For most of my marriage, I tried to be the wife he wanted me to be instead of the wife God wanted me to be. When I finally made the decision to be a godly wife, it was too late to salvage my marriage.

    God has blessed me with several friends whose marriages are an example of what a godly marriage is like. While I am happy for them, it also grieves me at times that I was not able to experience that because of my own willfulness, lack of wisdom, and not putting God in the center of our marriage.

  4. Hi there Erik

    Considering that a non-Christian couple are not actively seeking to mirror the life of the Christ-Church distinctive and all that follows from that, in your further points; what could be said about these marriages in light of your title?

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