by Roger Thomas

This content is part of a series.

The Mystery of Marriage (4 of 7)
Series: Family-Raising the Future
Roger Thomas
Ephesians 5:22-33; Proverbs 30:18-19

This week we celebrate marriage, especially those faithful, long-term marriage examples set by so many of our folk. Let's have everyone who has been married twenty-five years or more to stand. Let's give honor to whom honor is due. Those who have been married fifty years or more remain standing. Those married sixty years or more remain standing. Couples, we salute you. Your devotion to one another inspires us all. Your example sets a standard to which the rest of us aspire.

Let me say a special word to some of you who didn't stand. I know that some of you are single. Others of you are widows or widowers. Some of you are or have been divorced. I am well aware that it is not always comfortable for you when we start talking about marriage in church. But I hope you understand that we all, regardless of marital circumstances, have a stake in good, long-term marriages. We need to honor that even if it is not always our personal experience.

I want to read two scriptures today. The first (Ephesians 5) is probably the New Testament's most definitive statement on Christian marriage. First, we need to note the context. Ephesians divides into two big sections. The first outlines what Christians believe; the second how Christians behave because of those beliefs. Our text is part of that second section that begins back in the fourth chapter. The theme throughout the last half of the book is about how to live a Christian life in a world of conflicting values. "As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received" (Eph 4:1). Chapter five continues on a related note. "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God" (5:1). The immediate context of our pass ...

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