Sunday, November 14, 2010

Godly Marriage - Part 3 : How it Works

Part 3 - How It Works
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |



a.      The way the Jews handled marriage

b.     Betrothal was not written in stone

                                                             i.      Although this was a custom for families, the bride to be had to accept the wedding contract offered.  She had the final say.

c.      From start to finish
                                                             i.      Boy meets girl

                                                          ii.      He and his father write a contract for communion

                                                       iii.      Woman (and her father) hear the contract

                                                         iv.      They then agree on a “Bride Price” (or what we call dowry)

                                                            v.      The groom then pays the bride price

                                                         vi.      Although no marriage ceremony has taken place, the two are considered married when the contract is agreed upon, and the woman drinks from the glass set before her.

                                                      vii.      This “engagement” time can last from 1 to 2 years

                                                   viii.      The groom leaves the bride and goes to his father’s land where he will prepare a place for his bride
                                                         ix.      Once the Father approves of it, the groom with his friends go and snatch the bride, this usually takes place in the middle of the night, and with no warning.

                                                            x.      The groom blows the shofar, and snatches the bride and all her family

                                                         xi.      they go back to a designated place and have a wedding ceremony, and feast which lasts 7 days

                                                      xii.      at the end of the 7 days, the bride is brought out before all, adorned and covered in jewels and fine linens


a.      Why dating is a problem

                                                             i.      It is not scriptural (what more do we need?)

                                                          ii.      It leads to sin

1.      God says, you are either in a relationship with me, OR you are in a relationship with CANNOT serve two masters.

2.      What sin?  Pre-marital sex

a.      God’s law is not to control or enslave us, but to set us free from the things of this world that would enslave us...sin.

                                                                                                                                     i.      There are reasons God does not want us doing certain things.  Just because you may not understand the “why” does not mean there isn’t one!

b.     “If one gives in to moral temptation before marriage, what's to stop him or her from giving in to moral temptation once married?” (Why)  If couples cannot control themselves before marriage, who is to say they will be able to control themselves, when they are married, from getting involved with other relationships? “The more promiscuous you are before marriage, the more likely you are to commit adultery after marriage. (The sexually self-indulgent have had no practice in self-restraint.)”

c.      Studies also show that those who have premarital sex are most likely not to get married and if they do get married; they are more likely to divorce than those who have not had premarital sex. “Columbia University found that ‘only a scant 19 percent of men' married the person they were living with.  That is less than 2 out of every 10 people living together.

3.      What other sin?  Pregnancy out of wedlock

a.      Again, there is a reason God wants the family structure to be the way He designed it.

b.     We’ve spoke last week about the woman and submission to the godly man, who must be submitting to the Lord.  Look at the chart.
c.      Lord - Man - Woman
                                                                                                                                     i.      God - Christ - Church
1.      Father - Son - Holy Spirit

d.     Marriage represents the relationship between Christ and the church, and that relationship is a foreshadowing of the Godhead.

                                                                                                                                     i.      Everything God does is for a reason, and to teach us about who He is.

4.      Another sin? Living together without being married

a.      Not to mention sexually transmitted disease.  Chances are, if you are having pre-marital sex, you or your partner have done this before, and may have contracted something.

b.     Another study showed that even if they do marry, couples who begin their marriages through cohabitation are almost twice as likely to divorce within 10 years compared to all first marriages.”

c.      The U.S. Justice Department found that women are 62 times more likely to be assaulted by a live-in boyfriend than by a husband. Those who cohabit in college have twice the rate of violence and twice the rate of physical abuse than in marriage.

                                                                                                                                     i.      Are you seeing a pattern?  Do you see how the effects of sin can be plainly seen when we look at the statistics?

d.     “A survey conducted by the U.S. Justice Department shows that of all crimes against women by their relatives or intimate partners, about 65 percent were committed by either a boyfriend or ex-husband, while only 9 percent were committed by husbands.

e.      “Researchers have found no benefits of cohabitation. Some speculate that cohabitation has harmful effects because it teaches a couple they can have the benefits of marriage without full commitment, which in turn fosters a type of independence that is not compatible with a healthy marriage.”

                                                                                                                                     i.      How many are living separate lives in the very same house?

f.       Cohabitation results in two independent people, almost like roommates, who have sex, instead of a commitment to one another for the rest of their lives.

5.      When there is no marriage, there is no true contract, and where there is no commitment, or contract, there is no true union.

                                                       iii.      Virginity: No greater gift

1.      Virginity is the greatest gift you can give, but you can only give this once.

2.      God wants it to be a sign to your mate, that your love is everlasting, your commitment is everlasting, and your contract will be everlasting.

3.      This is why after the marriage contract is accepted by the bride, and she drinks from the covenant cup, at the Jewish wedding that cup is placed on the ground and represent that another covenant will never be made between either of the two again, and they will be one from that point onward.

4.      God takes covenants very seriously.  The New Testament is His covenant to us, and He illustrates this covenant to us through communion and in the form of a marriage, calling Himself the Groom, and the Church the bride.

a.      Do you think the Lord is taking this covenant seriously?

Illustration on the covenantal contract

         Try to make an insurance claim when your house burns down and you have no contract with the insurance company.

o   If your house burns down, simply walk into the office of the insurance building and tell them you want your house replaced.

§  That is what they do after all.

o   If they argue you have no contract with them, simply explain yourself, and why you didn’t have time, or couldn’t afford to do so, I’m sure they will give you what you deserve.

         Or, try to collect a weekly payroll from a large corporation when you have no contract to work for them.

         Many today think they can get into heaven the very same way.  They have not put forth the time nor the effort to accept Christ’s contract, and have a relationship with Him.  When you have no contract with Jesus Christ to be a member of the church (the body of Christ), you will still stand before Him on Judgment Day, but you will not hear “Welcome my good and faithful servant.”, no, you will hear;

         Matthew 7:21-24  21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”    24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

o   There are many today who are hearers of the Word, but not doers of that word. 

         Without a contract, a covenant, there is no commitment, and without a commitment, there is no union.

o   If you are not committed to obeying all the Christ teaches, you have no relationship with Him.

o   If you are not committed to following His instruction on marriage, then you do not have a union with the other person, no matter how long you live, sleep, and say you are together...because there is no commitment, and no contract, and therefore, no union.


A man asked me once, “What about Adam and Eve, they weren’t married in a church?”

Read the Bible!

Genesis 2:18 “and the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.”

God created a woman specifically for Adam to have union with.  This theme of God choosing the perfect mate for us is continued throughout scripture!

Genesis 2:22b “and (God) brought her unto the man.”

God brings those whom He wants united together!  He brought Eve to Adam.

Then the marriage takes place!

Genesis 2:23 “And Adam said (before God who officiated the ceremony), This is NOW bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh (they have become ONE!)”

Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his WIFE (Because they had just been married before God) they shall be one flesh.

                                                         iv.      These situations before a marriage (pre-marital sex, pregnancy out of wedlock and living together before marriage) not only cause all of the problems we have already talked about, but they can also lead to trouble after the couple decides to get married down the road.

1.      This can be observed and is recorded in many marriage counseling sessions across the United States...the numbers don’t lie!

2.      There are many reasons God has laid a plan out for us, and many reasons we need to follow this plan


a.      Follow God’s plan!

                                                             i.      Be a godly man or woman of God

                                                          ii.      Seek GOD for your future spouse

                                                       iii.      God will provide in His time

                                                         iv.      How will you recognize “The One”?

1.      They will put God even before you

2.      They will be a true follower of Jesus, displaying the signs and fruits of a real follower

3.      They will NOT compromise your purity for their self indulgences

4.      They will honor the sanctity of purity in your relationship


Too many times, I see couples who jump the gun in relationships, thinking the first great person who comes along is “The One”, only finding out later that they were deceived.
My guess is, those who are currently in an unfulfilling, and unloving relationship can look at their situation in hind sight and see “The Signs” that should have warned them of what was to come.
It is never too late to turn back to God.
Like any sin, confess it to the Lord, repent and there will be forgiveness.
Until there is forgiveness, you are NOT in a contract with the Lord Jesus Christ as long as you are living in that sin, and without that contract, there is no union, and you have no relationship with the Lord.
We cannot live in sin, and belong to the Lord at the same time...Jesus makes that clear when He tells us in scripture we cannot serve two masters.
To the husbands and future husbands, I say, read the scriptures, study the word of God and discover your responsibilities God has given you.  Do not fail to submit to the Lord and be a faithful true follower of Jesus Christ.
To the wives and future wives, I say, wait on the Lord, NEVER submit to a man who is not a true follower of Jesus Christ in any way!  NEVER surrender what you know the Lord has instructed you.  Be pure and holy, living as one who wants to please the Lord Himself.