by Joe Alain

This content is part of a series.

Keeping the Holy in 'Holy Matrimony (2 of 4)
Series: Rekindling the Fires of Faith
Joe Alain
Malachi 2:10-16

The words are probably familiar to you. "We are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this company, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony" (From an Episcopal Wedding Ceremony).

We might ask today, "Whatever happened to the holy in "holy matrimony?" Statistics today tell us what we already know, the institution of marriage is in serious trouble. According to the Barna Group, among adults who consider themselves born again Christians, 33% have been married and divorced. This doesn't take into account whether these divorces occurred after becoming a Christian or not. However, the statistical rate between Christians and non-Christians is roughly the same.

In our culture marriage and divorce is often trivialized. People now throw divorce parties with a special cake to celebrate the occasion. A Chicago law firm got quite a bit of attention with their new ad campaign. Their billboards featured sexually-charged images of a man and a woman with the words, "Life's Short. Get a Divorce."

Marriages do take a lot of work. Sometimes we let our differences get the best of us. Others learn to appreciate the differences between men and women and work to make their marriage successful. Our Scripture passage today is a tough one to deal with because it strikes such a raw nerve among us. And yet we need not fear addressing the subject of marriage and divorce because the meaning is clear in this text and God has a word of grace for us even from this Old Testament prophet, Malachi. The prophet is speaking to God's people who have failed to respond to His love. Because they have spurned God's love (2:10-12), they find it natural and even easy to spurn their partners in marriage.

The behavior of the people was symptomatic of deeper spiritual problems. As we look at this Scripture passage we want to b ...

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