She was in her early twenties and life had already handed her brokenness. Instead of clinging to God, she clung to men. From bed to bed she drowned her sorrows in temporary pleasures. Until one day her prince came along. He was tall and handsome and sure to ride off with her into the sunset. The thought of leaving the brokenness behind blurred any right thinking. They moved in together ignoring the Word that was buried deep inside. It didn't take long before he would slip a ring on her finger and make it "right."
Days turned into years and the couple grew closer to the God that they had snuffed out with the world's sinful delights. Bible studies replaced trashy movies and their circle of friends spent more time in the pews than the bars. One by one, they added tiny little ones to the family and embarked upon their happily ever after.
But it turned out that there was no such thing. Unresolved sin issues in both of their lives had been stuffed down by Bible studies and church attendance, but they hadn't been dealt with. One temptation after another led to a slippery slope straight into the pit. He left, she cried. She wanted to save the marriage and make things right, but he claimed that God would never bless their marriage because it started in sin.
Sound familiar? For thousands of couples, this is the excuse. Somehow we buy this lie that if we didn't start our marriage off right, that surely it's doomed for destruction. We use our former sins as an excuse. I've heard it over and over again. "We slept together before we were married, so God will never bless us. Now the only thing to do is to make it right by getting a divorce."
Maybe it doesn't sound absurd to you, but think of it this way. A young girl walks into a pastor's office 4 months pregnant. She doesn't even know who the father is. The baby was just the result of one of many late night parties with too much alcohol and not enough sense. This pregnancy began in sin. Deep, ugly sin. Now she thinks she should abort the baby to make it right. Seriously? I think we would all agree that killing a baby conceived in sin IS NOT right in God's eyes. He values life and abortion is never permitted. This girl's thinking is clearly absurd.
Saying that God will not bless a marriage that started off in sin is just as stupid. This is a lie straight from the pit. A lie that has been told since the beginning of time. The one that says- we can decide for ourselves what God REALLY said. That's what Eve did. One little temptation and she reframed God's words to fit into her desires. But God never gave us the choice to decide what is right and wrong. He has been clear since the beginning. We just choose to circumvent His words in search for something that satisfies our sinful hearts.
So what does God say about marriages that begin in sin?
- God's word says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). Heaven help us if we think our marriages are exempt! Every marriage is a union of two broken, lost and sinful people apart from God. Knowing that is the first step in reclaiming our marriages.
- Second, we must acknowledge sin and ask for forgiveness. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us from unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). There are no exceptions, including your marriage. True, there may be consequences, but divorce WILL NOT help you to escape those consequences. Instead it will heap more upon you.
- Know that you can not fix your sin by doing something. Divorce decrees, hours of praying, and countless good deeds will never erase sinful behavior... just Jesus. Friend, JESUS paid the price for that sin. You are already free from it! There is no further action to take. (1 peter 2:24)
- Last but not least, love your spouse like Christ loved the church (Eph 5). Be willing to die for your spouse, no matter what his/her behavior looks like. Sacrifice your own desires to love the one that you vowed to love. Forever.
The promise? For in due time, God will lift up your head (Psalm 3:3). He will restore what the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25). He will rebuild the ruins (Ez 36:36). Even if it ALL began in sin.
Friend, may we believe Him for redemption of our marriages with unshakable and unchangeable faith!
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