Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
In this race of the Christian life, we continually have to make a choice: Do we keep our eyes on Jesus and run toward the finish line, or do we follow our desires that will take us off track?
One of the detours that will destroy your relationship with God is sexual immorality. Hebrews 13:4 says, “The marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” That word “undefiled” means “free from contamination.” According to the verse, one way to contaminate the marriage bed is through fornication–that is, sex before marriage. When you come to a marriage relationship with sexual baggage, you are going to have a difficult time in your marriage. You cannot help but engage in comparison or even boredom. Now, I am not saying it is impossible to have a fulfilling marriage if you have already had sex, but frankly, you have to work harder at it. And marriage is hard enough as it is!
If you think this is just a Baptist preacher talking, then look at the research. For example, a well-known study in Canada revealed that couples who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce than those who do not live together. God gave us the command “no sex outside of marriage” not to restrict us from happiness but to enhance our happiness.
Another way to defile the marriage bed is through adultery. And that means you have to continually renew your commitment to your mate. The truth is, it takes more than sexual passion and romance to keep a marriage together. Those things are important, yes, but they are not enough. It takes commitment–commitment to your marriage vows and to your mate.
I remember performing the funeral service for a woman who had been married for fifty-eight years. During the last ten years of her life, she wore a colostomy bag. For the final five years, she was in a nursing home, and her husband took care of her for five hours every day. What kept that marriage together? In the end, it was not sexual passion; it was the bedrock commitment they had made to each other. I will never forget what another pastor said at the funeral service: “In my life, I’ve been to many Promise Keepers conferences where I’ve heard man after man stand up and talk about remaining faithful to his wife. But watching this husband take care of his wife for ten years is the best Promise Keepers conference I’ve ever attended.” If you are going to say no to immorality, you need to renew your commitment to your marriage and your mate.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Detours That Destroy” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2020.
David R. Hall and John Z. Zhao, “Cohabitation and Divorce in Canada: Testing the Selectivity Hypothesis,” Journal of Marriage and Family 57, no. 2 (May 1995): 421, https://doi.org/10.2307/353695.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org