Marriage is Part of God’s Calling
We need to be disciples before God – and focusing on marriage.
God calls us as believers in Christ to be disciples. Not only do we trust Christ as our Savior, but we are to bow before God and obey God. What we see here on marriage is that if we are believers in Christ – and especially if we are disciples of Christ – we need to have consistent “oneness in marriage.”
What we can see here in this article is that both discipleship and oneness in marriage are God’s callings. Discipleship is one of God’s primary callings toward us, and an aspect of discipleship is pursuing God versus ourselves. And having oneness in marriage is an aspect of pursuing God versus pursuing our own thoughts or feelings toward our spouse.
So – here are two aspects in this article:
- Being a disciple is a forward aspect of trusting Christ as our Savior.
- God’s calling is for us to focus on “oneness in marriage” – versus divorce or any opposition in marriage or any separations.
So let’s take a look on each of these two things – (1) discipleship and (2) marriage oneness.
Discipleship has steps for us to take before God
It is possible for any of us as believers in Christ that discipleship is not well-known. Here is a helpful short list of understandings that we need to focus on as disciples:
- We need to understand that obeying God is not what provides our salvation. A salvation is not a result of our works. Rather, salvation is a result of faith in Christ’s gift to us due to 2 things: (1) His payment of our debt, and (2) a provision of His righteousness as a gift.
- So our obedience is a submission to Christ in response to His grace toward us. When we trust in Christ we are to move our hearts toward God. We bow ourselves before Him and we sacrifice ourselves to Him in response to God’s grace.
Another way of saying this about salvation is that our obedience does not cause salvation. Rather, obedience (and discipleship) is a response to salvation.
And so as disciples we are saviors who are bowing before God, obeying God, relying on God (versus a reliance on ourselves), and having a daily worship before God – and serving God.
This is a basic description of our discipleship, and discipleship is one of God’s callings to each of us as believers in Christ.
4. We pursue two basic aspects in response to God’s grace.
- As believers we try to avoid sin. We do still sin over life, but when we sin we confess before God, apologize to God, and pursue going right directions.
- Responding to God’s grace we “sacrifice” before God.
Romans 12:1-2 displays a form of “sacrifice” before God in response to His grace:
Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
He calls us to “sacrifice” ourselves before Him and toward others – especially a sacrifice to our spouse. So let’s see next the focus on marriage – and to see marriage oneness as a form of being disciples.
What does discipleship have to do with marriage?
- “Oneness in marriage” is one of God’s callings and a design for His kingdom.
- There should be a pursuit before God versus submission to our flesh.
- Romans 12:1-2 calls us to “sacrifice” before God, and since marriage oneness is God’s calling we are to sacrifice toward our spouse.
Why is marriage so important? Why is it that we are not supposed to have anything like divorce or cohabitation . . . or any forms of sex outside of marriage or pornography, or homosexuality?
Our current culture thinks that we are allowed to do any of these things, but as believers we should not be doing any of them. The national government – and state governments – think it is OK for men and women to pursue any of these feelings of the flesh. But we see that it is not acceptable to do any of these things, nor should we have a divorce or even lose a focus on “oneness” with our spouse.
Understanding biblical marriage ideas is an importance before God. There is a series of different marriage views in the world. The idea is whether we can understand biblical ideas of marriage, no matter what situation we have. And it is important for us to know the biblical ideas on marriage.
So here are 2 basic suggestions for us to see the importance of oneness in marriage:
- There are many Bible verses in which God is opposed to flesh pursuits. He is opposed to divorce, cohabitation, sex outside of marriage, pornography, and homosexuality. And He is opposed to personal pursuits within a marriage.
- One of God’s displays throughout the world is both stability and oneness in marriage.
- In Genesis 1:28, raising children is a form of extending God’s kingdom.
- In Genesis 2:24-25, oneness in marriage is God’s design.
- In Ephesians 5:21, all believers are to submit to each other. So there is a marriage relationship of submission. In verses 5:22-24 the husband is the leader and the wife is to obey her husband.
A basic knowledge for us is that when we have oneness in marriage we are displaying God. And the reason we are displaying God is that oneness in marriage results from “sacrifice” – sacrifice first to God and also to our spouse.
Are you willing to do God’s works?
So here is a question: Do you believe in God?
You say “Yes!”
Here is another question: Do you obey God?
You say “Yes!”
SO – Do your give yourself up to the pursuit of oneness in marriage?
You say, “Oh, well, that is pretty tough.”
So let’s go back to the 2 questions: Do you believe in God? Do you obey God?
If you do, you will pursue oneness in marriage – as God’s design and calling.
And if you are a believer and a disciple, you will obey God. And if you obey God you will pursue oneness in marriage (versus pursuing your own feelings or thoughts).
Tom Clark is a Family Life Ambassador with the Family Life Ministry and on the Advisory Board of the Virginia Christian Alliance.