The Marriage Tie and the Married Life
Mark 10:2-12
And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.…

The sacred institution of marriage has been fiercely assailed. The attempt is to shake off the authority of the great God who made and rules all things. Thus with regard to marriage, men tell us it is simply an agreement between two persons, which the State takes notice of only for the sake of public convenience, like it does of the lease of a house. This leaves out of view the most powerful part of matrimony — the religious. True, it is a legal engagement; but it is also a solemn engagement before God. "Whom God hath joined together," etc. See, the golden links of matrimony are of heavenly temper. What hand can be so impious as to try to burst them asunder? The law of God has been transgressed of late years by the doctrine of polygamy as boldly proclaimed by the Mormon blasphemy. Everywhere Christ and His apostles speak of one wife; as the great God only created one man and one woman. It is a solemn moment when two immortal beings venture out on life's stormy sea in the bark of matrimony, with no aid but their own to help them. A mistake in matrimony is a mistake for life. Do not Christians find it important to avoid the friendship of the irreligious; what then is likely to be the effect of marriage with the ungodly? Married life is a detector of the real character. After marriage, faults are discovered, perhaps, to be greater than was expected, and excellences less. Disappointment springs up; contempt follows. Do you find much you did not expect? Remember you also are showing much that was not expected, and as you do not like in consequence of your faults to cease to be loved, so also do not let the faults you see kill your own love. Do not gloomily meditate on each other's failings, for that will make them seem greater than they are. If you would see your life partner's faults amended, you should set the example by amending your own. Gentleness, firmness, forbearance, cheerfulness, openness, must be the chains with which husband and wife try to keep marriage love from escaping.

1. The want of experience is often a great hindrance to the happiness of married life; hence it frequently happens that the first years of married life are not the happiest.

2. The married life is often disturbed by the extravagance and folly of the husband or wife; for difficulties arise therefrom, and much bitterness is likely to spring up. Love is the universal law of marriage. Love will not easily find fault or rashly give offence. Poverty cannot quench it. The Christian rule for all applies doubly to man and wife — "weep with them that weep, and rejoice with them that rejoice." Different dispositions and tastes may sometimes make mutual sympathy difficult. The sympathy of love and the sympathy of taste are distinct things. A source of unhappiness in married life is the habit of dwelling on individual right instead of remembering that love should not measure the service it bestows, nor that it receives. If difference of opinion does arise, the Christian duty is for the wife to yield. The marriage life was intended to promote human happiness; but it brings with it peculiar duties, and the happiness marriage was intended to impart will be wanting, if the duties of the married life are neglected.

(A. Bibby, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.

WEB: Pharisees came to him testing him, and asked him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"

The Law of Marriage
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