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Friday, January 05, 2018

The Marriage Bed

Now, this is interesting.
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. (Heb 13:4)
So? Oh, of course, you may not have noticed. It's an interesting thought process. Look, we all get "Let marriage be held in honor" and we all get "let the marriage be be undefiled." Clear enough. No adultery. Spouses ... be faithful. Those outside, don't insinuate yourself into the marriage bed of anyone else. That's all clear ... but it isn't quite what was written.

In Scripture, there is the general "sexual immorality" and there is the specific "adultery". Adultery falls in the category of sexual immorality, but is a specific aspect. It refers to illicit sexual relations within marriage. A married man who has sexual relations with someone not his wife is an adulterer. An unmarried man who has sexual relations with someone else's spouse is an adulterer. The defining component of adultery is that one of the parties involved is married. So we clearly understand that to "let the marriage bed be undefiled", adultery would be right out. Then ... why did the author include the general "sexual immorality"?

I think it's clear. God wanted to warn against defiling the marriage bed during (adultery) and before (sexual immorality) marriage. Sexual immorality that is not adultery would be sex outside of marriage. But sex outside of marriage will eventually defile a marriage bed ... a future marriage bed.

God thinks sex is pretty important. It's for procreation (requiring marriage). It's for mutual satisfaction of married couples (requiring marriage). It is a graphic illustration of the union of Christ and Church (requiring marriage). So any time those who are married violate that structure, it is serious to God. And any time those who are not married violate that structure, it is serious to God. Is it as serious to you? If you are a Christian, it should be.

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