"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan" - Prov. 29:2

"...that we may live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness" - 1 Timothy 2:2

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people" - Prov. 14:34

To receive email updates about current legislation and candidate views about family and moral issues click here to join our email list

Friday, December 14, 2012

God's Plan for the Family

Introduction

Who can possibly doubt that sexual immorality is increasingly practiced and accepted in our society?

All you need to do is turn on your TV or read your paper and you know our society faces an epidemic of sexual immorality. Consider how this affects God's plan for the family.

New Morality and Free Love philosophies defend premarital sex and often even extra-marital sex.

Each year in this country there are approximately half as many divorces as there are marriages.

AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases are epidemic.

The Gay Liberation Movement is determined to force people to admit that homosexuality is socially and morally acceptable.

Contraceptives are distributed at government expense to unmarried teens, often right in the schools without parents' knowledge or consent.

Abortion is legal with few restraints so women can cover up the consequences of fornication.

Pornographic bookstores and theaters are found in nearly every city.

The entertainment industry justifies and popularizes all these practices in music, TV, and movies, showing movie stars and sports heroes participating in all forms of sexual immorality and assuming that "everybody does it."

Public school sex education in effect justifies all forms of sexual immorality as simply a matter of personal preference.

Many clothing styles and recreational activities tempt men and women with sexual suggestiveness.

The purpose of this study is to consider whether these various activities are morally acceptable or unacceptable. In particular, we want to examine how these practices affect modern families and home life.

From the outset we face the issue of what standard we should use to determine right and wrong.
==========================================

Many people assume that, if the government allows a practice, then it must be morally all right. But millions of Jews and Christians were murdered with government approval in Nazi Germany and in Communist countries. Nations have often allowed conduct that God forbids. We must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).

Others think a practice must be all right if large numbers of people approve of it. But consider the multitudes that opposed Galileo, or the multitudes who demanded that Jesus be crucified. History shows that people who were right have often been in the minority. The majority view is often displeasing to God (I Pet. 3:20; I Cor. 10:5). Jesus said most people are on the road to destruction (Matt. 7:13,14).

Other people will justify a practice simply because they or some loved one is involved in it. But if we admit that people are fallible, then we must admit that maybe we and our loved ones are wrong. We must obey Jesus even if this means we must disagree with loved ones and family members (Matt. 10:34-37; Luke 14:26).

Acts 17:24 -- Right and wrong are determined by the Creator of the Universe. Because He made us all, He has the right to rule over all. Men will be judged according to whether or not we have conformed our lives to His will (John 12:48). Man's will often differs from God's (Prov. 14:12; Isa. 55:8,9; 2 Cor. 10:12,18; Lk. 16:15,18). Since the Bible is the revelation of God's will, we need to understand what it says about sexual morality (2 Tim. 3:16,17; I Cor. 14:37; Eph. 3:3-5; 2 Pet. 1:21).

This is actually the heart of modern disputes over sexual morality. Most disagreements occur because people do not use the same method to decide what they believe. If you believe the Bible is the infallible word of God, then it is inevitable that your conclusions about moral issues will conflict with the views of those who do not believe in the Bible.

There are clear and convincing proofs that the Bible is God's word: Jesus' resurrection, fulfilled prophecy, miracles, etc. If you doubt that the Bible is from God, we would be glad to study these evidences with you. But that study is outside the scope of the present discussion. For the sake of this study, we will assume you accept the Bible and will proceed to examine what it teaches.

I. GOD'S PLAN FOR MARRIAGE
====================

It is a fundamental fact that all of God's laws regarding sexual morality are related to His plan for marriage. All forms of sexual immorality are, in one way or another, violations of God's marriage law. To understand God's will regarding sexual morality, we need to start by studying His will for marriage, then we can see the relationship to sexual morality.

A. The Origin of Marriage
================

Genesis 1:26-28 -- Man was created by God. God, as our Creator, has power to make the rules that govern us. God created both male and female and gave them the responsibility to reproduce and populate the earth.

Genesis 2:18-24 -- Further details about the creation of woman. Woman was created to be a companion for the man. God then ordained marriage saying man should leave parents and cleave to his wife. Man and woman were to become one flesh.

Conclusions:

Marriage is a relationship defined and ordained by God. Therefore, it must follow His rules. Man has no right to change those rules or to violate them.

Further, marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman: male and female.

It is a relationship between one man and one woman: the TWO become one flesh.

It is intended to be a permanent relationship: the two CLEAVE to one another. The new relationship is stronger even than the man's ties to his own parents.

The sexual union is to occur within this marriage relationship: the two become one flesh. God told the man and woman to reproduce, then He gave a relationship within which they are to participate in the act the results in reproduction. Whenever the sexual union occurs there is the possibility of a child resulting, and children need the security of two parents to raise them.

B. Other Passages that Confirm These Conclusions
===============================

Matthew 19:3-6 -- Jesus expressly confirmed the account of creation of male and female at the beginning and He quoted the original marriage law. He said this proves God intended man and woman to continue together: God joined them so they must not sever the relationship. [Ephesians 5:31]

Note that, in answering a question about divorce and remarriage, Jesus appealed to God's original intent regarding marriage (Matt. 19:3-9). This is exactly why we are beginning with a study of God's marriage law. All sexual immorality violates God's marriage law, and we need to understand the marriage law so that, like Jesus, we can apply it when questions of morality are raised.

Malachi 2:14-16 -- God explains that the reason He hates divorce (v16) is that marriage is a COVENANT between a man and his wife (v14). God is a WITNESS to that covenant, and He holds men to it (v14). If a man violates the covenant, he is dealing treacherously with his wife and God will hold him accountable. [Prov. 2:17; Ezek. 16:8]

Marriage is, by God's definition, a solemn mutual agreement between a man and woman to live together as husband and wife. God holds them to that covenant bond and will not free them from it, even if people declare them to be free.

This passage also confirms the concept that God joins the two making them "one." His reason is that He seeks godly seed -- i.e., it is for the good of the children. God expects both mother and father to raise the children (Eph. 6:1-4). Children need a home with a mother and father who love them, care for them, and train them. Divorce creates single-parent families and defeats God's plan for the raising of godly children.

Hebrews 13:4 -- The marriage covenant includes the right and obligation to have the sexual union ONLY with the companion to whom we have Scripturally made the marriage commitment. To have relations with anyone else is "fornication" or "adultery."

[Ezek. 23; Jer. 3; Prov. 5:15-20; 6:29,32; 7:18-20; Ezek. 16:32; I Cor. 7:1-9].

(Next study: Sexual Marriage and the Family)

(c) Copyright 1999, 2012 by David E. Pratte - We copyright our material, not to prevent its use, but to prevent its misuse. You have permission and are encouraged to save this article for future reference and to email copies of it to your friends and acquaintances, provided no fee is charged and no changes are made in content.