Why Christians are to Marry

Within the Covenant

By Lindsey L. Hurd

In the Old Testament God made an "everlasting covenant" with Abraham and his descendants after him (Genesis 17:7). In Galatians 3:29, Paul stated, " . . . If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise (promise -- Genesis 17:7)." Therefore all Christians (the Church) are in the covenant that God made with Abraham. Christians, being heirs of the covenant promises of God, are thereby obligated to conform their lifestyles according to God's word. I believe God's word gives us directives about marrying within the covenant. These can be found in the historical evidences, the example given to us by Christ, and specific instructions from the apostle Paul.

We can see the consequences of Solomon's marrying pagan women and allowing them to have influence over his spiritual activities. 1 Kings 11:1-13 records, " . . . And his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God . . . " Because of Solomon's unwise actions God turned his face away from him and took half the kingdom from his son. Deuteronomy 7:1-4 tells us, "Nor shall you make marriages with them [the unbelievers]. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor their daughters for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly." If Solomon had only obeyed the voice of God how different Israel's history might have been. For after him rose up many kings who followed his example and married heathen women who, in turn, taught their children to worship their pagan gods. When the children became kings they encouraged their subjects to do the same. Thus, the nation suffered the consequences of their disobedience as God allowed nations to capture them for their idolatry and unbelief.

Jesus and the church portray the perfect marriage couple. Rev. 19:7 says, "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." Rev. 21:2 says, "And I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband . . . " Both verses suggest that Christ will "marry" within the covenant, i.e., the Church.

Paul instructed the Corinthian believers, "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial [Satan]? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God." (2 Corinthians 6:14-16) These verses do not mean that we are forbidden to associate with covenant breakers, for Jesus himself ate and drank with publicans and sinners, but "we are told not to be ‘yoked together' in such a way that the unbeliever has significant influence over our moral decisions or spiritual activities" (The New Geneva Study Bible, pg 1836, study notes).

Deuteronomy 17:15 says, "You shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethern you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother." Fathers should be just as unwilling to allow an unbeliever to marry their daughters, thereby allowing him to be head (or king) of their family. 1 Corinthians 7:39 says, " . . . but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord." I think that this is a general rule for marriage, for why would widows alone to be required to marry Christians?

Since we know that Jesus is perfect and without sin (2 Cor. 5:21), marrying in the covenant must be "perfect." Or do we think that we know better than God? In Proverbs 14:12, Solomon said, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death." Which shall we choose, the straight and narrow path or the wide and easy path? Shall we stand for truth or stand for what is most convenient? Choose this day whom you will serve, God or your heart. As for me, I will marry within the covenant.

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Patrick L. Hurd
Weatherford, Texas
PHurdWford@AOL.com

EST. 01/01/01