Epistle to the Hebrews (13:4)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the Hebrews

Epistle to the Hebrews

Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.” Hebrews 13:4

Our author has brilliantly presented to us Christ exalted and argued magnificently about doctrines. The author is not only concerned about our relationship to Christ but also about our attitude towards men. He wanted to exhort the readers to persevere in the faith while going through trials.  In the last chapter of our epistle, our author is briefly listing down some important recommendations about loving one another, doing good works and caring for the needy. Our epistle is in itself a complete kit for Christians to know God’s will.

In such a hugely doctrinally packed epistle, our author does not miss to give a short recommendation on marriage. Marriage was instituted in Eden by God Himself. God blesses marriage and hates divorce (Mal 2:16).

The amplified bible renders this verse as such:

Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous.”

Let respect be given to those choosing to follow God’s guidelines as male and female. Let families, parents and the society praise such an honorable act. Jesus honored a wedding in Cana by His presence and also performed His first miracle there. Marriage is not a banality or a certificate like acquired at college. Marriage is an honorable act before God. Christian couples should be the happiest on this earth because the 2 individuals have the Holy Spirit indwelling them. The Holy Spirit makes these 2 individuals develop divine love like the one described in 1 Cor 13.

Marriage is a lifelong commitment between 2 individuals. Every sexual union involves life and God has His say in it. Adulterers and homosexuals dishonor God but those who follow rightfully His plan honor Him.  There is a mystery which happens when 2 bodies unite together. This is why adultery and polygamy are not within God’s plan. Sexual union is divinely approved and blessed only within marriage. Sexual relations outside marriage make you a rebel against God’s authority.

Paul tried to portray marriage as such:

As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Eph 5:31

When a husband and wife unite themselves together, there’s a bonding which occurs in the spiritual realm. Though we do not physically see it, the wife has been knitted to the husband through marriage by God. If the husband understands Jesus’ love and submit to His authority, his wife will not find it difficult to submit and respect him.

The husband’s body is no longer his own but also that of his wife. The wife’s flesh is no longer hers but also that of his husband. The 2 become one flesh and if the 2 separate, they are no longer one but half.

Paul described it as such:

In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.” Eph 5:28

Sexual purity and fidelity are therefore adamant in such bonds. Paul portrays the relationship of a husband to his wife as of Christ with the church.  The husband should treat his wife as his own body like Christ cares for the church which is His body. Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. Christ is the groom and the church is represented as His bride which He dearly cherishes. Jesus went to the extent of purchasing her through His death. Christ is faithful to His bride and does everything for Her. Such should be the husband’s attitude towards his wife. Esteem highly the act of marriage for it honors God to see a husband committing himself to his wife.  Do you understand how a serious engagement it is? Let the man cleave to his wife and the marriage bed be undefiled says the author. Some people marry for the wrong reasons and eventually find themselves unhappy. It is always better to remain single than marrying the wrong person and struggle. Think well before you take that step.

Sexual immorality should not be even mentioned in the church Paul said in Ephesians 5. However, in the Corinthians church it happened and Paul said:

But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” 1 Cor 7:2-5

It is the responsibility of husband and wife to fulfill their marital duty. Paul also described the husband as not having authority on his own body but should rather yield his body to his wife and vice versa. The bible encourages sexual relations between husband and wife but heavily condemns fornication, adultery and homosexuality.  The sexually immoral will not inherit God’s kingdom (Rev 22:15, Gal 5:19, Eph 5:5).

Though I am not yet married and don’t know much about it, I believe that God is involved in it and He will stand as Judge to the vows said before Him. Give your congratulations to a newly married couple. Shake the hands of these genuine lovers. Watch also over them when they struggle.

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