The Way God Intended

Song of Songs 8:6–7

Recommended Reading: Genesis 2:18–25; Matthew 19:1–9; Hebrews 13:4

This passage, perhaps as powerfully as any other in the entire Bible, defines and describes for modern readers God’s intentions when he invented and defined the institution of marriage.

Marriage as a concept lies deep within our collective psyche. Preschoolers role-play the family unit as part of their playground fun. Preteen girls dream of the day when they’ll walk down the aisle in a flowing white gown. Matchmaking businesses and Web sites thrive as people look for that elusive one perfect person to know and love for the rest of their lives. The vast majority of adults who live in Western cultures either are, have been or someday intend to be married. Such hopefulness in the face of a consistent 50 percent divorce rate! And yet, despite the well-publicized antics of the Hollywood set, marriage remains one of the key building blocks of family life and society as a whole.

And that’s just what God intended. The language in this passage is powerful as it speaks to the implications of marriage. One scholar has said that this passage “characterizes marital love as the strongest, most unyielding and invincible force in human experience.” Now that’s saying something! Despite the failure of individuals, the bar of God’s expectations for marriage is set sky-high. And note the implications of the last part of verse 7: True, lasting marital love involves deep integrity on the part of both parties. To paraphrase: “Money can’t buy me love.”

The power of marriage lies in the power of a promise, sealed with God’s stamp of approval, that one man makes to one woman. The promise to love another person “until death do you part” is as deep a commitment as one can make in this life. As one pastor put it, “The power to make and keep a promise is one of the strongest in the world, for it brings the promise maker within a millimeter of what it means to be like God, who makes and keeps his promises to his people.”

True, enduring, lifelong commitment is God’s expectation for marriage, and it has been since the Garden of Eden. That’s not to say that God expects us to be perfect as we relate to one another; we are, after all, still living under the effects of sin. But despite our failures, the goal for the respect we are to show toward the institution remains the same, “for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave” (Song of Songs 8:6).

To Take Away

  • Are you married? If you answered yes, how does your marriage stack up to God’s expectations for the institution?
  • If you’ve never been married, what is your perspective on what this passage could mean for your future?
  • If you’re not married now but have been in the past, how can this passage influence your opinions and actions?

 

Reference: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Gen.2.18-Gen.2.25,Matt.19.1-Matt.19.9,Heb.13.4

Why Christians should never Marry Non-Christians By: Dave Willis

Apart from your relationship with God, there is no moreimportant and more intimate relationship in the universe thanthe relationship of Marriage. It is a beautiful gift, designed byGod, to bring one man and one woman together in a physical,emotional and even spiritual bond. What I’m about to say might offend you, but as your Brother in Christ, I love you enough to offend you with the Truth, so heregoes…If you are a Christian and you are dating a Non-Christian, you need to break up! If you are already married,that is a completely different scenario, but if you aren’t married, I can say with Biblical certainty that God’s Will is NOT for you to commit your life to someone who is not following Him. Don’t take my word for it, listen to what God says on thesubject…

 

“Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers…How can abeliever be a partner with an unbeliever?” 2 Corinthians6:14-15

 

“The men of Judah have defiled the Lord’s beloved sanctuary by marrying women who worship foreign gods” Malachi 4:11“

 

You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons,nor are you to take their daughters in marriage for your sonsor for yourselves. Was it not because of marriages like thesethat Solomon king of Israel sinned?” Nehemiah 13:25-26

 

This Bible has a lot more to say on this subject and I encourageyou to study it on your own. This brings up some importantquestions that you might be asking…

 

1. But I really “love” this person. Isn’t that enough? No.

God is love and God loves you. He wants what is best for you.You might need to read just your view of love and marriage from what we see in Romantic Comedies to what we see in God’s Word. If you are willing to disobey God for somebody you want to marry then what you feel isn’t real love.

 

2. But doesn’t God want to me keep dating this person so I can lead them to Jesus? No. There is a much better chance that they will lead you to bed. I’m sure you have good intentions, but God never intended you to be a dating evangelist.

 

3. But we’re so compatible! We have so much in common? Isn’t that enough? No. If the most important relationship in your life is Jesus and the most important relationship in their life is something else, you’ll be pulling in two separate directions. That is an irreconcilable difference that trumps thefact that you really like the same movies and music.

 

4. So I should just break their heart and my own? Yes. If that’s what it takes. Too much is at stake to do anything else.You need to trust the broken pieces of your heart to God and know that He is pleased when our faith leads us to tough choices. As for your boyfriend/girlfriend, keep praying for them and believing that God will reach them. Before you jump into a new relationship, make Jesus the first and foremost relationship in your life and then trust Him to bring the right person in the right time.

 

5. What if I can’t find somebody else? Trust God. Pray and be patient. God will often ask you to wait for His Best, but He will never ask you to settle for anything less than His best!

 

6. What if I’m already married? Pray. Pray for your spouse and for yourself. The Bible is clear that if your spouse is willing to stay married, then you should stay married.

 

The bottom line is that we should all be willing to trade in our own opinions and our own feelings for God’s Truth.Following Him means that we are willing to trust Him evenwhen our feelings and emotions are telling us to do somethingelse. Know that God has good things in store for you.

 

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the LORD; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

The Jesus Memo

 “I don’t know how many of you have heard of The Skit Guys, but I really like them. Their videos are really deep, and they get their point out well. The video I want to reflect on is called The Jesus Memo.” –  fourtwentynineblog


There’s hurt in the world. A lot of it. When someone is hurt, they hurt someone else, who hurts someone else, who hurts someone else, and so on. And believe it or not, you are part of this cycle. But what if we decided to reverse the cycle? What if we decided to stand up to it?
It’s time for us to stop and reflect, to be honest with ourselves. There have been times when we felt like an outsider. There have been times when people have made fun of us.But, whether we’re in 1st grade, 6th grade, high school or college, we need to ask God to lead us so we can speak up for those who don’t have a voice. Be kind. Love others. Be kind toeveryone, because their day is probably worse than yours. Don’t just use your words. Use your actions. Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve.  Look for the person with no friends, you know who they are. Be their friend, they’re waiting for you. Today can be different. Today will be different.

Be Jesus to everyone. After all, it’s not about being a good person. It’s about being like Christ.

Link to the video: http://skitguys.com/videos/item/the-jesus-memo

Joy! to Your World! A Countdown to Christmas (Day 19)

The Magi specialized in astronomy which is the study of the stars. These learned, cerebral men were not Jews – they were pagan astrologers from the East. Today we would term these wise men “diviners” or “magicians”. They are probably the types of people that you and I would stay away from today. Perhaps, in the 21st Century, we would call them “humanists … “the left side of academia” … “weirdos”.

 

These magic men came to King Herod asking where they could find the new king, because it was their ultimate plan to worship Him who was born King of the Jews.

 

King Herod became perturbed at this news and gathered the scribes and priests to figure out where the Messiah was to be born. These leading church scholars of the day were able to quote to King Herod a prophetic word from Micah that confirmed that the heaven-sent Ruler would be born in Bethlehem.

 

King Herod then called for a second meeting with the Magi and sent them to Bethlehem, telling them to let him know when the Messiah was found because he also desired to come and worship this new born King.

 

Was King Herod actually going to worship Jesus? Absolutely not! King Herod was plotting to kill the Baby who had come to bring peace on earth! The worship of King Herod was mere lip service. His heart had no intent of worshipping the Christ Child, even as his mouth formed the evil lie meant to manipulate the plans of the Magi.

 

What is your plan this Christmas? Will you only give him your lip service? Will you say that He is Lord while acting quite a different way?

 

Christmas is a time when the motives of our hearts are laid bare. Will you worship Him with only your mouth … or will your heart and your life join in the high praise that He deserves? Only you can determine this type of worship. You choose whether to worship Him with lip service alone or bring to Jesus, the Baby in the manger, the worship that is accompanied by a lifetime of loving actions.

 

Oh come! Let us adore Him!

Mateo 2:1-8

I’ve been reading the Joy! to Your World! A Countdown to Christmas Reading Plan at YouVersion.com. You might enjoy it, or one of the many other plans that are available. Check it out.

Joy! to Your World! A Countdown to Christmas (Day 18)

Angels are an intrinsic and dynamic part of the Christmas story. Christmas simply would not have happened without these God-sent messengers from heaven. We don’t know whether or not the angels were clothed in flowing, white robes, whether they had a halo that was sparkling or even whether or not they flew with wings into the Christmas scene, but what we do know is that these angels carried the heart of God concerning the momentous event that was about to take place!

 

Angels appear four times in the traditional Christmas story and each time, although they carried different pieces of information concerning what was to happen, their message is always the same, “Do not be afraid!” It was what the angel said first to Zachariah, then to Mary, then to Joseph and finally to the shepherds on the hillside.

 

“Do not be afraid!”

 

I believe that this may be the message that heaven is sending to your heart this Christmas season. Christmas plainly declares that Jesus and fear are mutually exclusive. When Jesus arrives on the scene, there is no reason to be afraid. His presence powerfully removes any reason for fear.

 

It is time for you to step away from your fear and into His presence. I pray that this Christmas, and for every day of the coming year, you will realize that when Jesus has been birthed in your heart, there is absolutely no reason for fear or worry. The message of Christmas has not changed much in 2,000 years and I can guarantee that the words of the angels are still ringing clearly into our 21st Century world, “Do not be afraid!”

 

When your circumstances are falling apart, remind yourself, “Do not be afraid!”

 

When there is not enough money to pay the bills, remind yourself, “Do not be afraid!”

 

When you are dealing with disappointment, pain or loneliness, remind yourself, “Do not be afraid!”

 

God has promised that He would give His peace to those whose hearts and minds are fully stayed on Him. Peace is not the absence of trouble; it is the presence of God. And because of Jesus, this Christmas, and every Christmas, you can rest in His overwhelming and satisfying peace!

Mateo 1:20

I’ve been reading the Joy! to Your World! A Countdown to Christmas Reading Plan at YouVersion.com. You might enjoy it, or one of the many other plans that are available. Check it out.

Joy! to Your World! A Countdown to Christmas (Day 17)

David Taylor came home from school sad and discouraged one day in early November. With tears rolling down his freckled cheeks, he told his mother that his teacher told him that he couldn’t sing in the Christmas program.

“She said that I am awful and that I sing too loud,” David explained between sobs.

David’s father was sitting in the living room reading the afternoon’s paper and overheard his son’s heartbreak. Mr. Taylor was indignant and furious. How could any teacher do this to a child?

Mr. Taylor decided to help his son learn how to sing. After dinner that night, he took David into the living room and had him stand beside the family piano. Mr. Taylor began to play the familiar melody of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”. As David opened his mouth, a cat-like screech came out.

“David, part of singing is listening. Listen … then sing,” instructed the patient father.

David’s second attempt was worse than his first! But when the father was tempted to give up, he thought of the unfeeling teacher and realized, “If a father doesn’t do this, who will?”

The days of November faded into December, while Mr. Taylor and David spent every evening at the piano going over and over and over the melody to the song. “Peace on the earth good will to men …”

When the day came that David sang for his teacher, she said that he could be in the program! David was front and center in the third-grade Christmas concert. He was angelic and on pitch as the song ended with the glorious thought, “The world in solemn stillness lay to hear the angels sing!”

On Christmas Eve, Mr. Taylor looked out the window and saw his pajama-clad boy in the front yard looking toward the sky.

The father quietly walked out the front door and put his arms around David without saying a word. The son leaned into his father’s chest and said, “The world is lying still, Dad. Just like the song says.”

“Do you hear them, Dad? Do you hear the angels singing? I hear them … do you, Dad?”

The father thought that he was teaching a little boy to sing a sweet song at Christmastime, but what had really happened was that the little boy had taught them both to listen … to listen for the angel’s song.

Lucas 1:13-14

I’ve been reading the Joy! to Your World! A Countdown to Christmas Reading Plan at YouVersion.com. You might enjoy it, or one of the many other plans that are available. Check it out.