The tragedy that is sweeping America today is the breakdown of the home. School shootings, teenage out of wedlock pregnancy, drug abuse, abortion, an ever increasing divorce rate, etc., are but symptoms of this breakdown. The one remedy for this unhappy situation is a Christ centered marriage.
A Christ-centered marriage is united in Christ. The Christ-centered marriage is one where both husband and wife are united in Christ. A home that is religiously divided will have difficulties. Often there is a tendency for one to compromise Biblical teaching in order to keep peace in the family. The question of what to teach the children becomes a serious problem. Where will the emphasis be in regard to recreation, giving to the Lord's Cause, involvement in church activities. With which parent will children attend worship services? These are but a few of the problems faced by a religiously divided home.
The Corinthian brethren had problems because of religiously mixed marriages. However, both Paul and Peter make it clear that a Christian married to a non-Christian is not a sinful relationship (1 Cor. 7:12-14; 1 Pet. 3:1-6). Yet, keep in mind Jesus' teaching: "A house divided against itself shall not stand" (Matt. 12:25). Jesus also said, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matt. 6:33). In view of these considerations, it is always best for a Christian to marry a Christian!
A Christ-centered marriage is based on commitment. Jesus' teaching on marriage went back to the "beginning." He said, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Matt. 19:4-9, cf. Gen. 2:24). The word "cleave" means "to adhere to" or literally, "to be glued" to one another (see Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionary). This "glue" is commitment! There is no problem in marriage too great to overcome if two people are truly committed to each other.
A Christ-centered marriage is founded on fidelity. The inspired apostle emphasized the importance of fidelity in marriage saying, "Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband" (1 Cor. 7:2). Sexual relations outside of marriage is termed "immorality" (NKJV) or "fornication" (ASV) from the Greek word porneias, from which we get our English word "pornography." Note what Dr. Henry M. Morris says of this word.
"The Greek word for 'fornication' (porneia) could include any sexual sin committed after the betrothal contract. ... In Biblical usage, 'fornication' can mean any sexual congress outside monogamous marriage. It thus includes not only premarital sex, but also adultery, homosexual acts, incest, remarriage after un-Biblical divorce, and sexual acts with animals, all of which are explicitly forbidden in the law as given through Moses (Leviticus 20:10-21). Christ expanded the prohibition against adultery to include even sexual lusting (Matthew 5:28)." (Dr. Henry M. Morris, Web Bible Encyclopedia).
Fidelity in marriage brings happiness to the family. The Wise man instructed,
"Drink water from your own cistern, And running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, Streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, And not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth" (Prov. 5:18).
Be assured, Solomon is not talking about the plumbing system in Jerusalem! He is teaching his son the importance of fidelity in marriage. Such faithfulness causes married people to "rejoice."
A Christ-centered marriage displays mutual love and respect. Jesus taught and demonstrated love. He said, "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you" (John 15:12). The apostle Paul taught, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it" (Eph. 5:25). He instructed Timothy saying, "Train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children" (Titus 2:4). The kind of love Paul is speaking of is not the perverted, Hollywood type displayed on the Silver Screen. It is a love demonstrated in both word and deed. It is demonstrated when both husband and wife speak to each other in a kind and courteous manner.
This kind of love is demonstrated when words of appreciation and affection are exchanged by husband and wife. It is demonstrated when marriage partners are sensitive and attentive to each other's needs. Little deed of thoughtful kindness and consideration from day to day strengthen the bonds of love.
A Christ-centered marriage is one that is built on the life and teaching of Jesus. These are but a few of the fundamentals. While we live in a wicked world where the home is under constant attack, Christ furnishes us with ample instruction so that we might overcome the onslaught of Satan. May we study his word diligently and follow it in order to have a Christ-centered marriage.