Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY MATRIMONYHeb 13:1-6
“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” Heb.13:4
In this dynamic world, many changes are happening every so often in all areas of life. Contrary to the Biblical concept, marriage and family are redefined by the world and have become the new normal. Statistics show that the number of failed marriages is increasing at an alarming rate everywhere. It is important to have a strong foundation upon the clear instructions in the Word of God for an honorable and stable family life.
The book of Hebrews primarily teaches us about the fulfillment of God’s promises in Jesus Christ for mankind, but the last chapter is focused on the practical applications of the Christian life. Today’s text exhorts believers to live in brotherly love, treat strangers well, be compassionate to others in their needs, and maintain a marriage in the divine plan.
Verse 4 appeals to keep marriage honorable among all. Marriage is esteemed in divine perspective itself; hence we are called to uphold its values of it. This important sacrament of Holy Matrimony was instituted by God as the pinnacle of mankind to fulfill His plans, designing every aspect of it in creation itself. God saw that it was not good for man to be alone, created a woman taken from man, and united them to become one entity to complement each other and to be fruitful. Marriage becomes honorable when two people form the oneness God commanded by uniting in love, committing their lives to each other, and growing together to fulfill the divine purpose.
God has entrusted us a responsibility to keep the marriage bed undefiled and pure (Vs.4). Physical relationship within a marriage is divine but outside is destructive and is against the will of God. Fornication generally refers to sexual sins without the commitment of marriage and other sexual irregularities. Adultery refers to the sexual sins from unfaithfulness to the partner in a marriage. Beyond its literal meaning as sexual sins, the emphasis is on the loyalty and purity in a relationship between two persons. Anything that will distract and destroy the unity among a husband and wife should be avoided to enjoy the fullness of divinely ordained family life. The pattern of an honorable, committed marriage relationship is portrayed with an example of the relationship between Jesus Christ and the church (Eph. 5:25-32). This is the highest level of any relationship where we can see sacrificial and selfless love and unity.
This passage ends with an encouraging word, promising the everlasting presence of God to help us in all our needs. (Vs.6) This is very relevant in marriage as well. In our weaknesses and failures, we must seek Him to attain what He has intended for us.
Lord, we bow our knees before you from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. Help us to enjoy the fullness of it depending on you to fulfill the divine purpose in us.
Thought for the Day
Marriage is a beautiful gift of God; a successful married life is the result of solid commitment between husband and wife with total dependence on God.
Abey Cherian, St. Thomas MTC, Yonkers, NY