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Acceptable by man vs. approved by God

Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 11:32 am

To the Editor:

There is much discussion these days about what marriage truly is. Since it was instituted by God Himself, it makes sense to look at God’s own definition.

I do not think most readers of the Bible would deny that there are some fascinating arrangements for relationships in scripture.  You can find “everything under the sun.”  But it is necessary to discriminate between what is described in the Bible and what is actually approved by God.

Surely no one would use the historical accounts of fallible men in scripture as their standard for marriage.  If so, they will quickly find themselves slogging through a bog of contradictions.  Even Solomon the Wise did not shine quite so brightly when it came to marriage. Scripture is clear on that in 1 Kings 11.

Does anybody really think that one man having seven hundred wives and three hundred “concubines” is really the right way to ensure a happy family and stable society?  (I can imagine the scene now: “Mommy, where is daddy?”  “Up there, dear.  He’s the one in front of this parade we call a ‘family.’  Maybe you’ll get to meet him some day!”).

For all his great wisdom, Solomon blew it in a big way when it came to the most important part of life.  He started well, but he soon got well off course.

Pharisees will take you on a dizzying spin through various passages of scripture to show you how “complex” the issue of marriage really is.  And, of course, you need a “professional” like themselves to sort out this maze of supposed contradictions.

But those seeking truth will cut to the chase.

The real question is this: what kind of marriage does God approve?  The answer to that is a simple one.  All you have to do is look at God’s original plan.  And that’s easy to find.  It’s at the very beginning of the book.

God was clear on this when he inspired Moses to put pen to paper: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24, NKJV).

That’s it: one man and one woman.  That is marriage.  It is God’s best for all who choose marriage. It is his best for all who sincerely seek to live God’s way.

Will men and women fail to live in the best way?  Yes, but it does not mean the standard has changed; only the men and women have changed.

Try as others may to re-write God’s definition of marriage, the bite of reality soon kicks in.  Humpty Dumpty tried it once: “When I use a word…it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” And we all know what happened to him.

James Moody, pastor

Cornerstone Pentecostal Church