Words To Live By: The Marriage Vow – 3B

The following program
is a production of Truth For The World. ♪ Day by day and with each
passing moment, strength I find to meet my trials here. Trusting in my Father’s wise
bestowment, I’ve no cause for worry or for fear. ♪ Hello and welcome to the
program Words To Live By. In this series of programs
we are examining the home and the family. And while this topic is too
broad and vast for us to be able to cover every scenario or
potential idea for discussion, we do hope to give you God’s
instructions for the home and family and thus give
you Words To Live By. You can then take these words
and use them as your rules and guidelines to follow
when making decisions about your own situations
regarding the home and family. In a previous program,
Curtis Cates began talking about the vows of marriage. He pointed out that how we
follow through on our vows of marriage gives others an
indication of our truthfulness. We need to be truthful
to other people, and they will realize pretty
quickly when we are lying or do not fulfill what
we say we will do. The marriage vows are not
to be treated differently. We need to be truthful to them like we should be
with other things. This includes the vow to be
together as husband and wife until death do you part. In this program, Curtis
Cates will continue to look at the marriage vows by talking about what impact those
vows may have on our family and on society in general. Why are the marriage
vows important and not to be treated lightly
as so many appear to do? What lessons will we teach
our children and grandchildren about love and the home if we
do not take the marriage vows seriously and follow
through on them? If we do not treat our
marriage vows properly, will the home collapse,
and if so, what impact will
that have on society? Those few little words may
have a far-reaching impact on not only our family,
but on society in general. So let us continue today
looking at the marriage vows, why they are important
and what it means to us, as we continue studying these
lessons about God’s plan for the home and the family. Later, we’ll be looking
at lessons on the roles that each person can
play within the family, and then later we’ll look
at attacks and threats against the home and what
we can do about those. But in the meantime, let’s
continue looking at the plan that God has for the family, in
particular, the marriage vows. Man shall leave father and
mother and cleave unto his wife and they two shall be one flesh. So God instituted marriage. Therefore God has the
right to govern marriage. He instituted it. It is the oldest of God’s
three institutions: the home, the church and the nation. So since God instituted it, He has the right
to govern the home. There are laws, there are
eternal laws regarding the home. We read that law
in Genesis 2:24, “For this cause shall a
man leave father and mother and cleave unto his
wife,” didn’t say wives, “and they shall become
one flesh.” One. Let me say a
little bit about oneness. It used to be in this
country that people kind of looked out for each other. I remember when I was born,
people were pretty neighborly. They’d spend time together. If you had a need, someone
would come over and help you. If you were sick, they would
be right there helping you. And so kind of like what
President Kennedy said, “Ask not what your
country can do for you but ask what you can
do for your country.” Society, early, was not
built on selfishness. It was built on neighborliness,
helping each other, striving together and so forth. But I’ll tell you what, to a great extent this
nation has departed from the principles
of the Bible. People used to talk a lot
about the Golden Rule. I don’t know when I have heard
the major new networks talk about the Golden Rule. Can you remember how long
since you heard that? What is emphasized nowadays
is individual liberty. “I want what’s coming to me.” A lot of times I hear lawyers
get on the television set and they say, “Make sure
you get your check.” And everybody wants their check. President Kennedy said, “Don’t
ask what people can do for you, your country, ask what you
can do for your country.” My, that has changed hasn’t it? Tremendous amount of
emphasis on individual rights. “I want mine. I want what’s coming to me.” Selfishness. Now, please notice
that God said, “For this cause shall a
man leave father and mother and cleave unto his wife and
they two shall be one flesh.” Togetherness, sharing,
mutual burden bearing, helping one another,
making sure that the needs of each one is met by the other. I’ll tell you what,
this emphasis today on individual rights
has destroyed a lot of our marriages. I am here to tell you. You don’t have, and you
don’t see in a lot of people, the loyalty to your mate
that you used to see. The Bible teaches that if we
love somebody, we want to seek after their good first, make sure that their needs
are met, and so forth. My friends, a lot of
times that has been lost in a very selfish
society of persons. So when everybody demands
their “rights,” and the nation, as far as citizenry, is built on selfishness, then
it endangers us. One of the great presidents,
as I recall, years ago, stated that our country
is in great peril, when our nation will come to
realize that they can vote for themselves the country doing
much for them, and demanding that the country help them. The country will no longer be
the country that it used to be. The Bible’s principles
teach hard work. “If a man will not work,
neither shall he eat.” Now, if I want to build my
marriage then I am going to need to think about my
partner, I am going to need to think about my mate. I am going to need to think
about my wife and her needs. We have heard that today. Now marriage is the foundation
of society, but I do not have to tell you that our marriages
are in difficulty today. Our homes are in difficulty. Half of the marriages
today are ending in divorce, probably over half. A hundred and fifty years ago, out of a thousand marriages
maybe twenty-five would end in divorce. Fifty percent today? What has changed? Atheistic, secular humanism
has done its best to chase God out of the universe, out of
the schools, out of the media. And you know what, if you
mention God in some circles, you are going to
get in difficulty. Our nation used to be
based upon the principles that are found in God’s word. And nowadays, the word
of God is ridiculed, Christianity is ridiculed,
and there are people who want to get rid of every
foundational principle upon which this nation was built. Now what does that mean? That means that the home is
one of their chief targets. If you can do away with the
home, then you can do away with the foundation of society. If you can undermine the
principles that are taught in the home to our children,
then they will handle the rest. They will teach them
socialism, Marxism, atheism, secular humanism, and other
doctrines that are opposite to what the Bible teaches. Now, I want us to notice
something in the book of Ruth. Turn over to Ruth and you’ll
notice, “It came to pass in the days when
the judges ruled, that there was a
famine in the land.” It is interesting what
was happening in the days when the judges ruled. Notice the last verse
of Judges 21:25. Last verse in chapter 21, “In
those days, there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right
in his own eyes.” That’s characteristic
of some people today. You look at Memphis with
multiple murders each day, and you see, you know, people are doing what is
right in their own eyes. That’s right. Judges 21:25. “It came to pass in the
days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in
the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem Judah went to
sojourn in the land of Moab, he, his wife, and his two
sons” and so forth. Now, what happened? Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, she
was left and their two sons. Verse 3, “Took them wives
of the other women of Moab, the name of the one Orpah, and
the name of the other was Ruth, and they dwelled
there about ten years. And Mahlon,” my grandad was
named Mahlon, “and Mahlon and Chilion died, both of them. And the woman was left of her
two children and of her husband. She arose with her
daughters-in-laws that she might return from the
country of Moab” and so forth. But she tried to say – Naomi
said to her daughters-in-law, “You stay here, this is
your home” and so forth. Well, Orpah took her up on that. Verse 14, “And they lifted up
their voice, and wept again, and Orpah kissed
her mother-in-law but Ruth clave unto her.” I want you to notice verse
15, I wish I had time to talk about this, “And
she said, Behold, thy sister-in-law is
gone back unto her people and unto her gods. Return thy after
thy sister-in-law. And Ruth said, “Entreat me not
to leave thee and to return from following after thee: for
whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest,
I will lodge; thy people shall be my
people, and thy God, my God. Where thou diest will I die,
and there will I be buried: Jehovah do also to me
and more also if ought but death part thee and me. When she saw she was steadfastly
minded to go with her, she left off speaking unto her. And the two went til
they came to Bethlehem.” Annette and I had Dad to
read this wonderful statement in our wedding and we
repeated it together. “Entreat me not to leave thee
nor to return from following after thee: for whither
thou goest, I will go; and whither thou lodgest, I
will lodge,” and so forth. That is the vow or the attitude
that everyone of us should have in contemplating marriage. If every person, you think about
in this country, if every person who married, in this country,
had this kind of commitment, would that revolutionize
our nation? Indeed it would. Now let me just say
several things about this, and then the lesson is yours. What does that mean to us
as parents, grandparents? I’ll tell you what it means. It means that we are going
to have to teach principles that are found in God’s word to
our children and grandchildren. We are going to have to
teach honesty and integrity. And we are going to
have to teach them to date people whom they might
consider marrying and not to date others because
we marry whom we date. I never dated a young lady who
was not a member of the church. I remember dating one lady one
time, a friend of mine said, “You need to date her. I went up, I picked her up at
her house in my Model A Ford. I let her in her side
and by the time I got around to the other side in that
automobile, she was on my side. And as soon as I got in, her
arm was around me like this. That date didn’t last very long,
because I didn’t move that fast. In fact, I thought that
was rather ridiculous. I kind of stayed places
that were lighted. I took her to the
Dairy Queen and then to a gospel meeting somewhere and right afterward
I took her home. My friend said, “She is going
to expect you to kiss her when you take her home.” Not I. Date somebody whom you
feel like that you can be true to for your life and
who will be true to you, and whom you can depend on and
whom you can have confidence in, who will be true to you and
help you rear your children in the ways of God. We need to teach that to our
children; we need to teach that to our grandchildren. Now, do you take this woman to be your lawfully
wedded wife or husband? Lawful, that means in
the eyes of God, lawful. Someone eligible to marry,
you are eligible to marry and that person is
eligible to marry. That means they are not
unscripturally divorced , this type thing like this. And you promise to
be faithful to her. I am not a perfect husband but I’ll guarantee
you I am faithful. In sickness and in health, and let me tell you something
we have had some sickness. I remember when I had prostate
surgery back in February of ’03, when Annette, when she
let me out in front of the waiting room
there, the emergency, well, not the emergency, but the
operating waiting room, she went and parked the car. Well, she came in
and she had a box. And I said, “What is that?” She said, “That’s for you.” At about four o clock in the
morning, I opened that box and there was a little
elephant and it had hope on it. She said that’s hope. That’s hope. That’s the kind of encouragement
and help she has been to me and now that I have been
diagnosed with chronic leukemia, she is going to have
to encourage me more. Health, we had many
years of health, but there comes those
times of sickness. A lot of people flee at
that time, don’t they? In joy and in sorrow –
we’ve had our sorrows. She has been true to
me in joy or in sorrow. In prosperity and adversity
– I guess, compared to some in this world, we have been
prosperous but we are not rich by any stretch of
the imagination, and sometimes we wondered where
the next meal was coming from. She has been true
in that situation. Folks, I want to ask us,
what is our word worth? Curtis Cates has pointed
out the importance of being truthful
to the wedding vows. The Bible teaches us to be
truthful and not to lie. This would include
everyday things such as meeting someone
somewhere when we told them we would, but it would also include
living your life in a way that you are truthful to the
vows you made in your wedding. The wedding vows are to be
upheld, including the one that states the husband
and wife are to be together until death do they part. This should cause
anyone who is not married to carefully consider these vows if they are considering
marriage. The wedding vows are a serious
commitment to cleave and submit to each other and
truthfully uphold the vows until death should separate
you and your spouse. Those that have already been
married should constantly remind themselves that the
vows are to be upheld. When we allow laziness,
selfishness or whatever to get in the way of fulfilling our
wedding vows to our spouse, we become liars and
endanger our salvation by rebelling against God in sin. Well, even though we are
looking at the physical home and family during the
course of these programs, we must not forget to
mention the spiritual family. Are you a member of
God’s family today? Would you like to
become a child of God and be part of his household? You can do so by following
these simple steps for the plan of salvation: Believe in Jesus
Christ as the Son of God. Believe that he died for your
sins, to pay the penalty. And believe him enough to follow
him, to repent of your sins, to turn and follow his ways. Put aside your old ways
of sin and follow Christ. Then confess your
belief, rather, in Jesus Christ before others. Confess stating that you believe
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Next, be immersed in water for
the forgiveness of your sins, that you might wash them away. And then live faithfully,
knowing that you are a child of God, put into the church,
his household and his family. For continued growth, you
can also take advantage of our resource online if you’d
like to visit our website, www.truthfortheworld.org. Make sure to join us next
time as we continue to look at our study on the
home and on the family. Thanks for joining us.

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