"Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for God will judge the immoral and adulterous.” (Hebrews 13:4)
The word, “honor,” used to describe marriage in Hebrews 13:4 means, “precious.” It is used in 1 Peter 1:19 speaking of the, “precious blood” of Jesus Christ. In 2 Peter 1:4 it refers to the “precious promises” of God. So, when we read that marriage should be held in honor, this means that marriage should be regarded as precious. Marriage should be protected, esteemed, respected and treasured as a priceless gift from God.
I think most of us would agree that our Western culture does not hold this view of marriage. The sad thing is, I would venture to say, that even among evangelical Christians marriage is not treasured in this way. As the Body of Christ, we must align ourselves with God in His view and intention for marriage. He created it to bring honor and glory to His name.
The context of this passage in Hebrews is not a list of do’s and don’ts, but rather the freedom we have in Christ to be light in the darkness. It is not unkind or judgmental to define and honor marriage the way that God does. In fact, it is the most loving thing we can do, because all of God’s commands are good and trustworthy. They are life giving, not confining.
Sexual impurities like adultery and pre-marital sex dishonor marriage. Why? Because God ordained marriage, and marriage only, as the place for the gift of sex. If we step outside of God’s plan in any way, we defile what God intended for joy.
Think about your view of marriage, whether it is your own, or marriage in general. Do you see it as precious? Do you honor it as a picture of how Christ relates to His Bride, the Church?
Prayer: Dear Father, please forgive me for not treasuring marriage as a precious gift from You. Please give me the compassionate courage to stand, by Your grace and for Your glory, on Your truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.