Q. What does the seventh commandment teach us?
A. That God condemns all unchastity (1), and that therefore we should thoroughly detest it (2) and live decent and chaste lives (3)
within or outside of the holy state of marriage.
Read: (1) Lev. 18:30; Eph. 5:3-5; (2) Jude 22-23; (3) 1 Cor. 7:1-9; 1 Thess. 4:3-8; Heb. 13:4.
When was the last time that you watched a movie and were shocked by the sex in it? Probably not often enough. I mean unless you are watching straight up porn sex scenes no longer bother you. You probably watch Rom-Com or general mainstream movies which have sex innuendos all the time and yet you probably see them as ok…not ideal, but who are you to judge? And yet these sexually charged plots are deeply offensive to God. Why? Because any instance of sex outside of marriage is wrong in the eyes of God. Let’s study question 107 of The Heidelberg Catechism to see why.
When Adam and Eve were in Eden, God established the institution of marriage as one man and one woman together till death do them part (Genesis 2:24). Marriage as taught by The Bible is monogamous and heterosexual. God made everything good…very good. He made everything to show His glory and to show us His bountiful goodness. Marriage is a part of that. Marriage is the building block, the foundation of society. Marriage is the way in which the earth is filled by procreation. Marriage as God intended it, is, therefore, important. And when someone in that covenantal relationship breaks this institution by committing adultery, the goodness that God intended for our lives, breaks. And society breaks. And sadly, this is what we are seeing in our society. Looking for pleasure outside of the way God instituted marriage leads to destruction: individually and as a society.
Jesus later teaches the same (Matthew 19:5). And Paul teaches the deeper meaning of marriage. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church” (Eph 5:31-32). Marriage among Christians is even more important because it is a depiction of Christ and the church. Holding fast to one another even when things are tough and you don’t like each other and you are arguing about everything and it is hard to keep the faith and you don’t see eye to eye and irreconcilable differences seem to be the only way out is what God does for us every single day.
When we sin and we don’t think that God’s way is best and we do things on our own and our flesh pulls us to do that which we shouldn’t do and we fall into a deep dissatisfaction because we find ourselves in a place that we don’t want to be and we want to escape and we are angry with God… God doesn’t divorce you. When you repent, He forgives you in Christ. When you are angry, He is patient. When you fall, He picks you up. Even when you are unfaithful to Him and go behind idols, He still chooses you. He remains faithful. So when our marriage seems impossible and what we are called to do goes beyond our own strength God is simply calling us to do what He does with us, His bride; His church and remain faithful so that others may see a glimpse of God.
Regarding divorce…cases of sexual immorality (Mt. 5:32) and abandonment by an unbeliever (1 Cor. 7:15) have Biblical grounds for divorce. But they should never be taken lightly. Cases of violence or physical abuse require you to call the authorities for you and your family to be protected. If you are in any of these situations, my heart breaks for you. This is not what should be. Please talk with your pastor and walk with your church family through this time.
If this is not you and you are walking through hardship because you are not seeing eye to eye and have conflicts, you should talk with your pastor and consider getting counseling (if this is a possibility within your budget). Many times we get bogged down with all the different hats we wear; life is hard and busy and we don’t have time to stare at each other’s eyes as we used to when we first fell in love with our spouse. But dear sister don’t give up. What you are fighting for is Christ and the church. May you walk in the confidence that though hard right now, marriage, the way God intended it (monogamous, heterosexual, till death do you part) is good…very good indeed.