“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” (Reference: Hebrews 13:4 )
Lest you think otherwise beloved, this verse is one in a list that the writer of Hebrews recommends that his audience do. He also says let mutual love continue, offer hospitality to strangers, remember those who are in prison and are being tortured, keep your lives free from the love of money being content with what you have; the writer of Hebrews continues on adding admonitions and reminders. That it should blaze out so prominently to us means, well . . . I am not sure what it means.
This verse from Hebrews touched on an issue for the historic Anabaptists that I had not considered. The editors of Reading the Anabaptist Bible tell us that because Anabaptist met and worshiped in secret that they did not have their marriages sanctified. But that was not the case. Historic Anabaptist Jan Wouterss wrote in his confession of faith “I . . . confess that I did not marry my wife secretly, that no one should see it, but before the church of God; for marriage is honorable. but whoremongers and adulterers God will punish. Heb. 13:4.”
As we read yesterday, historic Anabaptist loved their spouses with great emotion and depth. I think there have been one or two other letters between spouses earlier in the year where the bonds of affection are evident. Wouterss also wrote, “O my God, count it not sin to him who took me away; for it is a bitter cup to me to part from wife and child, because we love one another so much.”
A common thread running through much of these verses and the opinions of the historic Anabaptists is that we many, if not all of us in some way or another, need someone special in our lives. Someone to who we cling and bond with with from the day we speak the words of commitment before others to the day that someone passes away. We look for someone who will make us feel complete, and in the completeness we know contentment that endures all other things.
Do we honor marriage as we should? I don’t think so. The problem is, as I said yesterday, there are so many different ways to look at and define marriage. And I think it is the conflicting definitions of marriage that hurt the institution of marriage the most. When we get caught up in conflict of defining marriage we lose sight of putting our best efforts into marriage.
Beloved, may you honor all the best things in a marriage relationship. And may you find that one person with whom marriage is bliss likened to heaven. Selah!