MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Pastor Sid Phillips joins us to talk about a marriage involving God. Here’s a look at our conversation:
Anchor: Why is marriage important in the Bible?
Guest: Marriage was instituted by God at the beginning of creation with Adam and Eve. He said in Genesis 2: “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh.” This is God’s blueprint for a good marriage and to fill the earth. God loves His creation and provided a loving plan to enjoy life with a partner. This blueprint is also mentioned in Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7 and Ephesians 5:31. Upon analyzing this verse, we see marriage takes total commitment to each other. It involves leaving your parents and making your spouse your primary relationship. Partners must cleave to each other, vowing to be faithful until death. And weaving occurs when the couple consummates their bodies in a spiritual physical union. It’s a total unselfish sharing of the total person.
Anchor: How does marriage and a covenant with God relate?
Guest: God planned for marriage to be a permanent relationship. When God makes a covenant or promise, He always keeps it. The married couple is promising to each other and to those in attendance and before God to make this marriage work and stay together with God’s help. In Malachi 2:14 it says, “She is your companion and your wife by covenant.” Verse 16 then says God hates divorce. Marriage is “for better, for worse, for richer or poorer, sickness and health, until death.” Couples must be committed to this or not get married.
Anchor: How can couples make their marriage a sacred bond with each other and the Lord?
Guest: They need to realize that a good marriage takes hard work and obedience to God’s Word which tells us what our responsibilities to God and each other are. They must individually focus on their relationship to God and pleasing Him. As they do this, they will grow closer to God and to each other. God knows our needs better than we do and knows our weaknesses. He knows we tend to be self-centered and self-seeking. Keeping our eyes off ourselves and on the needs of our spouse and what God desires will result in a deeper loving relationship that we all long for. I have learned that love is giving 100% instead of 50% as some teach. This is the highest form of love and the most rewarding.
Anchor: Why is counseling important before marriage?
Guest: Most people don’t have a good understanding of what a marital relationship involves nor know about God’s beautiful blueprint. Counseling lets the man and woman know the purpose of marriage and the high level of commitment regardless of what problems arise. Couples need to know there are responsibilities for each of them, how to better communicate, discuss topics such as money, children, maybe unrealistic expectations and what real love is. They need to know if they really do love each other or if they’re just infatuated. Lust is taking; love is giving. Counseling can help bring possible problems to the surface before they happen so they can possibly be avoided. In our counseling, we discuss these issues and find out how to deal with them in God’s Word.
Anchor: How can a married couple persevere through hard times instead of bailing on the marriage?
Guest: I have been married for 46 years this Valentine’s and can say that we have had plenty of problems, hard times and even times we felt like quitting. But we can testify that by focusing on and depending upon God and following His ways, our love has deepened and our relationship has improved. God’s Word has the answers to all our needs because He knows us and has provided a way to help us. It’s actually the opposite of what the world says. God tells us to focus on making the other person happy, not ourselves. Don’t look to your spouse to make you happy. The way to be happy is to make someone happy. Of course, this seems absurd to most and goes against our selfish nature. But the highest form of love is selfless and giving, like the life that Jesus Christ lived on this earth. He gave us the greatest example of agape love by paying the penalty for our sins that we might be with Him. That’s sacrificial love. That’s the kind of love that we should strive for and that will preserve our marriages.