Why Get Married?

Text: Genesis 2:18-24


I.         Society’s attitude toward marriage has changed drastically over the last few decades.

            A.        Fewer people are marrying while at the same time homosexuals are demanding the right to marry.

            B.        I’ve been told in recent years:

                        1.         “My parents divorced. I don’t want to put my kids through that, so we’re going to just live together.”

                        2.         “It’s just a piece of paper.”

                        3.         “It gives government control over my life.”

                        4.         “It is for the tax benefits.”

            C.        I was reading a book, not an impressive one, but the author did mention that a problem is that we haven’t really explained why people should get married and what is it is purpose.

            D.        Significantly fewer people are married or getting married (see charts 1 and 2)

II.        How marriage has been undermined

            A.        You get married so you can have sex and kids

                        1.         The problem is that the social restraint against having sex outside of marriage is gone.

                        2.         So many are having kids without being married

                        3.         So if the argument is you have to wait until marriage to have sex, then it appears laughable because there is nothing physically that prevents it.

            B.        Marriage is for a lifetime

                        1.         That is what it should be, but divorce has been out of control for nearly a hundred years now.

                                    a.         50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce, according to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri.

                        2.         Finding people married for a long time is becoming harder and people are assuming that it is rare because it is too hard to do.

                        3.         Marriage is being seen as a contract that can be broken at any time.

            C.        Marriage gives financial benefits

                        1.         The stated reason homosexuals are demanding marriage is so that they can receive the same benefits as married couples.

                        2.         What is being ignored is that those benefits have already been extended to unmarried couples.

                        3.         The focus is on tax right-offs and other minor differences in expenses.

            D.        Marriage is for happiness

                        1.         But happiness doesn’t always last. There are always bad times.

                        2.         So people abandon marriages because they tell themselves they deserve to be happy – God wants them to be happy.

                        3.         And the grass always seems greener in someone else’s yard.

            E.        What is lost is what makes marriage special. It is simplified and trivialized and then people ask why can’t it be extended to others – the unmarried and the sinners?

III.       What marriage is for

            A.        Marriage is for companionship - Genesis 2:18-24

                        1.         You have family and friends, but somewhere in youth many of us realize that you want something that is more intimate and long lasting - Malachi 2:14; Proverbs 2:17

                        2.         Marriage is about sharing life, encouraging another and receiving encouragement, and having someone by you who understands

                        3.         Such a level of intimacy takes time to develop - Song of Solomon 2:7

                        4.         The marvel of marriage is that two genders - male and female - blend together to make one new whole.

                                    a.         Men and women don’t think alike. Yet together they are able to reason better than either individually

            B.        Marriage is about stability

                        1.         What creates a marriage is a covenant, while similar to a contract, a covenant is a permanent commitment – an idea people are trying to forget.

                        2.         Matthew 19:4-6

                                    a.         Governments come and go. Man constantly changes his mind and his laws. Government doesn’t provide stability.

                                    b.         God, however, is unchanging. He is behind marriage and gives it permanence

                        3.         The reason why sex is restricted to marriage is because

                                    a.         It forms bonds between the people, which work better in a stable relationship - I Corinthians 6:16

                                                (1)       Binding in an unstable relationship or in one night stands only leads to heartaches or a calloused character.

                                    b.         Children are the natural result of sex - Genesis 1:28

                                                (1)       Children raised in a stable marriage always do better (See chart 3)

                                                (2)       Notice that only one situation gives the best outcome

                        4.         Remember the excuse: “My parents divorced, so I don’t want that for my children.”

                                    a.         It is a recognition that a child wants stability in his or her life.

                                    b.         But instead of seeking a better stable relationship, people seek out alternatives known to be less stable!

                        5.         A side-effect of that stability is health - Proverbs 5:15-20

                                    a.         Limited sexual partners means less disease

                                    b.         It also means better sex because expectations are known

                                    c.         But having someone there just makes you healthier (see chart 4)

            C.        Marriage gives meaning and purpose to life

                        1.         It isn’t coincidental that the highest suicide rates are among the unmarried (see chart 5)

                        2.         Marriage is about caring for and respecting someone else - Ephesians 5:25-33

                        3.         Providing for - I Timothy 5:8

                        4.         Caring for - Titus 2:4-5

                        5.         Understanding - I Peter 3:7

                        6.         It shows up, not just between the couple but also in their raising of children - Proverbs 1:8-9

                        7.         Marriage causes people to move out of selfishness and into selflessness.

                        8.         It is a joint effort - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

                                    a.         This is why married couples do better economically

                                    b.         Married men earn more than cohabiting men. Married men with families earn even more.

                                    c.         Married people are more likely to own homes and have investments

                                    d.         Married people are less likely to default on a debt

            D.        Marriage is divinely sanctioned - Matthew 19:4-6

                        1.         This is why living together (fornication) and same-sex unions can never be the same as marriage.

                        2.         Theses are founded on sinful behavior and those cannot have God’s approval.

                        3.         Marriage has never been defined by government – and it never can alter it.

IV.      Married people are happier for all these reasons

            A.        Not because they chased after personal happiness, but because a happier life results from being married.

            B.        Married couples become something different, something better than two individuals who happen to live in the same place or share a bed. They become one – a new unit that is greater than the parts.

            C.        It can’t be artificially created or duplicated, though men may try.

            D.        Society benefits from marriages and it is unfortunate that they are undermining the very thing that stabilizes society, reduces crime, and improves the condition of its people.

                        1.         All of this has been documented. They are known facts.

                        2.         Yet, marriage continues to be undermined and trivialized.

V.        Marriage is honorable - Hebrews 13:4

            A.        Christians need to be vocal about why marriage makes sense. They need to set the example of what God intended marriage to be.

            B.        We are the lights in this dark world of sin - Philippians 2:14-16

            C.        When you know the benefits of marriage, all the arguments against it crumble

            D.        When you know the benefits of marriage, the efforts to redefine it are sadly laughable.

Chart 1 - Percent Married in the United States
Chart 1 - Percent Married in the United States
Chart 2: Marriage Rate in the United States
Chart 2: Marriage Rate in the United States
Chart 3: Abuse by Family Structure
Chart 3: Abuse by Family Structure
Chart 4: Marriage and Health
Chart 4: Marriage and Health
Chart 5: Suicide Rate by Marriage Status in 1990
Chart 5: Suicide Rate by Marriage Status in 1990
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