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unholy matrimony

“In a world of blind people, sight is heresy.”

Lately, I have come to a rather shocking truth.  It is the kind of truth that hits you square in the face when you realize it, leaving you shaken and breathless. Like suddenly understanding the Earth is round when you have been taught all your life that the world is flat.

Holy matrimony hardly ever happens

Thinking about marriage for many years, I have come to the stunning conclusion that “holy” matrimony hardly ever happens. In fact, it is closer to the truth that the state of marriage in general is “unholy matrimony“. Meaning, God ordains relatively few marriages. People marry, much of the time, through natural minded decisions devoid of God’s Spirit.  Unholy matrimony is at the root of a great deal of evil within and without the family unit.

The truth will appear when you are ready to receive it

God reveals truth to us when we are ready to receive it. For some time now, I have been edging towards this realization, but today it hit me hard.  The church, in particular, props up the idea that whomever we choose, under whatever circumstances we choose them, constitutes holy matrimony.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

God says,

 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

Mark 10:9

Unholy matrimony

In times past, when the children of God operated under the law, when a man lay with a maid under questionable circumstances, they were either stoned to death or forced to wed. Usually, there was nothing like being Spirit led in their choice of mate. Most people married either through their natural inclinations or marriages were arranged by their families. Matrimony was a contract, not only between spouses, but often between entire clans.

However, marriage in such circumstances was, much of the time, not according to God’s will. There is an erroneous assumption among Christians that whomever we choose, for whatever reasons, automatically becomes God’s choice upon consummation. In fact, many believe that once we marry God must accept our choice of mate.  The absurdity of this position is monumental, but oddly enough it is settled dogma in a great portion of Christianity.

Why defend what cannot be defended?

Christians deal with these sorts of inconsistencies by saying, “well, that was before you were saved, but now that you know better, you must stay with your most recent wife.” However, in view of the christian divorce rate of about 42% that also seems absurd. Christians divorce just as much as non-Christians.  So what gives? Why is holy matrimony so unholy?

The stunning truth is that most marriages are not Spirit led unions, but only natural minded choices.  People marry for companionship, sex, security, children, social status, convenience, and many other earthly reasons.  However, hardly any marry because God ordained them to be together.  If you flip a penny enough times, odds are 50/50 that your coin toss will come up heads. Likewise, when you enter into natural minded marriage the chances that you will stay together are about 50/50 too.

Church Dogma vs. the elephant in the room

The leadership of many churches assume that whomever you marry, for whatever reason, is holy matrimony. Therefore, leaders tell us to preserve our marriages at any cost because they are sacred.  A whole industry, called marriage counseling, builds itself around this assumption. Almost any thing is fair game to talk about in “marriage counseling” except the elephant in the room – divorce. That inconvenient pachyderm is the notion that maybe your choice of spouse was wrong in the first place.

Many marriages are, in fact, unholy matrimony

If we entertain the idea, for a moment, that many people are not married in the will of God many problems begin to make sense. Take, for instance, the initial love relationship fading after a couple of years of wedded bliss. Or, consider why people become cut-throat during divorce proceedings. Children become bargaining chips rather than the cherished offspring of their parents. Money becomes the most relevant consideration for most. Divorces take place whether or not their churches approve and many times one or both ex’s continue to attend the same congregation. All these maladies indicate one thing: those marriages were not of God in the first place: they were unholy matrimony.

The lay of the land

I paint with broad strokes in order to outline the problem as a whole. People don’t know precisely what percentage of marriages are made in heaven as opposed to contracted here on earth. What I do know, or strongly suspect, is that a great deal of the marriages on this earth are in fact out of the will of God. These unholy matrimonies stifle the plan of God in our lives.  Unholy matrimony sometimes even causes men or women to miss their callings or, even worse, lose their very salvation.  Yet, bless God, church leaders keep telling their people “what God hath joined together let no man put asunder” even if our Father had nothing to do with it.

Christians go against their beliefs on divorce all the time

Christians, who divorce, have wrestled with the consequences of these types of momentous decisions in the absence of much support.  According to most church dogma, if you divorce your wife, save for the reason of adultery, you force her to commit adultery.  Yet, almost half of Christians get divorced anyway.  How is that number possible given the dire consequences of breaking up their marriages?  After all, adulterers will not enter into heaven.

Many take this extreme step, because on some level, they feel deeply that they must do so. Consequently, they push forward no matter how much opposition they receive from friends, family or church.  The fact is, many break their marriage vows because they can no longer live in unholy matrimony.

Here is a fundamental truth about unholy matrimony,

“God does not have to honor what He does not author.”

No one can make our Creator accept our choices if they are contrary to His will. God is sovereign and He will do whatever suits Him.  If we make decisions that our Father considers rash, He may according to His sole discretion, simply break them apart.  If the spouses in question are willing to serve Him and do His will, God may choose to work with what He has.  Neither of these scenarios are, however, God’s first choice.

God only ordains unions He authors

God must ordain your marriage in the first place, otherwise it is not holy. This means that our choice of spouse must be according to the will and desire of the Holy Spirit. If you do not marry in the will of our Father you do not have His blessing (at least initially). Our choice of mate is God’s decision and not ours. We can pray and ask for God’s permission, but until we receive His blessing, we should not wed.

The consequences of unholy matrimony are both immediate and sometimes far-reaching.  If we marry according to our natural reasoning, we may be unequally yoked. If our spouse does not love Jesus as we do, it may be difficult to heed the call of God in our lives.  Children may suffer because one spouse loves God while the other falls away from the faith.  In fact, the effects that our choice of mate has upon our generations is precisely why God wants to be intimately involved in our marriage selection in the first place.

God is greatly concerned with who we marry

In conclusion, everything matters to God.  For God, who even numbers the hairs on our heads, our choice of mate ranks right up there at the top of His concerns. God redeems us by Christ’s shed blood. Therefore, we are supposed to be servants of the Most High.  Servants do not choose what they do, but simply obey their masters commands. If we do not ask for God’s permission to marry, how can we call ourselves faithful servants?

Finally, both marriage and divorce are big decisions.  We should never enter into either lightly. Allow God to decide your choice of mate. Likewise, let God decide whether or not you should divorce your mate.  These are highly complex issues that only the Holy Spirit is qualified to advise on. What I have shown you today is merely the lay of the land as it truly is.  The journey you choose to take through it and where it leads you is between yourself and God.

Breaking up is always hard to do.  Better to allow God to help you get it right in the first place.

What Hurts The Most by Rascal Flatts with Kelly Clarkson