While watching the Olympics this week I was subjected to all the rest of what goes along with television, commercials and promo's for upcoming programming. There was one preview that simply horrified me. It is an upcoming program where every day people get marriage advice from Hollywood celebrities.
I have to admit, at first I thought they were kidding. Alec Baldwin giving marriage advice? Really? Isn't he the guy who had a horrific divorce from another Hollywood starlet? Why on earth would anyone ask for or take marriage advice from a Hollywood actor or actress? Do they possess some special insight that we should think them qualified to instruct us on how to have a successful marriage?
As absurd of an idea as this television program is to me, I have to say that I see people every day getting their counsel on marriage issues from equally poor places like Oprah and Dr. Phil. While both mean well, neither has the biblical worldview that Christians are to operate from.
“But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE. “FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Mark 10:6-9 (NASB)
Marriages in trouble need a source of authority that is unchanging and not given to bending with the winds of change. Solid marriages are built upon the foundation of the Word of God. Now I realize that in some marriages both husband and wife are not Believers and do not operate under the same set of principles or priorities. If I may, I would like to address today's posting to those couples who both profess Christ as Savior, and who have been enabled by the Spirit of God in regeneration to both hear and obey the Word of God.
It is important for couples to recognize that the Bible does address the specific causes of marriage problems. Because sin or a sinful response of some kind is at the root of all problems in marriage, we can find solutions in the Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16)
I sure wish I could say the usual reason for marital troubles was not knowing what was expected or how to do what was commanded, but unfortunately that is not the usual scenario. All to often the cause of trouble in marriage is that one person knows what it is going to take and they simply refuse to do it (Jas 4:1).
It could as easily be the husband or the wife who is in the grips of willful disobedience, or is refusing to work at overcoming a sinful habit. These are difficult situations to deal with because typically there is one marriage partner who really wants to work at the changes that need to be made and the other may say they words of change and commitment and have no intention to do the work involved.
Another problem is that even among Christians, marriages are made with both people having the wrong idea of what marriage is for and is to be about. Solid pre-marital counseling that deals with every aspect of marriage is lacking in many cases. The couple enters into this life-long covenant with little or no understanding of the biblical roles of marriage.
In every case of marital difficulty there must be solid biblical teaching that corrects wrong understanding and helps the couple to right the marital ship before it becomes a ship wreck!