Dear Church Family,
Living in love and faith / a better story – join the discussion
The Church of England has asked us to discuss marriage and what we think about human sexuality. It probably isn’t your preferred topic and it isn’t mine either. But it is what the media regularly raises and it is what our denomination is asking us to discuss in a project called ‘living in love and faith – LLF for short.
One of the positive things about this is that it gives us an opportunity to remember the importance of marriage in the Bible: Hebrews 13:4 says:Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure …
In the words of Ray Ortland:it’s “falling to our generation to raise up a prophetic counterculture in the face of the sexual revolution’s direct attack on marriage.” To do this we have to understand that:
- God’s plan for marriage is to reflect his image (Gen 1:26): The Trinity is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; they are one and yet still individual persons. When a couple gets married, they are meant to demonstrate this. Marriage demonstrates two individual people becoming “one” for the rest of their lives while maintaining their individuality.
- God’s plan for marriage is to raise godly children. It is not God’s will for everybody to have children. Physical issues keep some from having children. Yet, one of God’s reasons for marriage is to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28). It is not just children He wants but godly children. He wants children who are holy and who want to see His kingdom advance. One of the parents’ highest purposes is to teach their children the Bible, to help them grow in character, and to help them find their spiritual gifts and calling in serving the Lord.
- God’s plan for marriage is for joyful, intimate companionship. God has put a desire in humankind for intimate companionship. The intimacy of the physical and emotional relationship of a couple in a good marriage is an illustration of the depth and passion of the love God has for us, his Church. God calls us, His Church, His beloved bride (Hosea 2:19), and whether married or single, this is how He loves us.
- Marriage is important for our discussions this autumn. Come along to: LLF / ‘A better story’ on Tuesday 21 September in the Parish Hall. After the separation of lockdown this is a great opportunity to get together for this important 5 week series!
Your brother in Christ,
For more on marriage in the Bible – Understanding Marriage is a great twenty minute introduction to the biblical teaching on marriage from Dr Kirsten Birkett, with an accompanying printable handout.