The breakdown of society in the beginning of this last quarter of the twentieth century is nowhere more apparent than in the breakdown of the home and family. In the Communist Manifesto, Carl Marx wrote, "The family will vanish as a matter of course with the vanishing of the capital". The Biblical concepts of the home and family were denied by Marx as being in the best interest of society. And yet it is a fact of Communism's checkered history that easy divorce and sexual promiscuity were once encouraged, but when it was found that the State was in danger and strong family ties were desperately needed, there was a complete change of attitude towards marriage and divorce. We are confident that Soviet leaders are taking fiendish delight in the knowledge that one marriage in every four in America, in some sections, one in three, ends in divorce, and with each divorce, our nation gains momentum on a collision course with disaster.
Whereas most of today's problems can be traced to the breakdown of the home, it's likewise true that homes built on the solid foundation of God's word represent the strongest possible bulwark against a rising tide of evil. It's our firm belief that both the spiritual and material welfare of our beloved country is wholly dependent upon faithful Christian homes and upon concerned and consecrated Christian families. Our nation was founded upon Christian principles. Let it be said just here, that divorce is completely contrary to those principles.
We live in a dangerous, wide-open, "anything goes" era. A time in which the wife of a President of the United States intimated she'd not be surprised, and we presume not particularly concerned, if her daughter were to have what she described euphemistically "an affair". The Bible uses to word fornication in warning against the sin. It also states unequivocally that fornication is the only ground that God accepts for divorce (Matthew 19:9), and that fornicators shall not inherit the Kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21).
Not long ago a woman who has been giving out advice on all manner of situations, including advice to those who were having marital difficulties, admitted in her syndicated column that her own marriage had fallen apart. When pressures begin to build up in marriage, there are all too many who look upon this situation as a sign that the marriage is hopeless and that it must end immediately in divorce. Not so. In his great sermon on the mount, Jesus said, "It hath been said, whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement. But I say unto you that whosoever shall put away his wife saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery, and whosoever shall marry her who is divorced committeth adultery" Matthew 5:31,32. Now the point is this. Divorce, the seemingly easy way out of marital problems, opens the door to even greater difficulties in this life and a far greater consequence, often leads to situations which close the door to the blessings and glory of God's eternal kingdom.
In order to make marriage work, it must be recognized by both partners that it is a two-way street. The seventh Chapter of I Corinthians gives a detailed description of the obligations of a husband towards his wife and of a wife toward her husband, with regard to the most intimate relationships in marriage. It would be well for every married man and woman to read carefully the first five verses of the seventh Chapter of I Corinthians. A careful consideration of these matters would do much to save marriages that apparently are in danger of breaking up. But note that the love and consideration advocated by the apostle in regard to these most intimate aspects of marriage hold equally true in all other relationships of marriage.
There are definite ways of achieving a happy, successful and rewarding marriage. A smile rather than a scowl. A kind word rather than a reprimand. The exercise of patience rather than petulance. These are requisites of a happy marriage; the staunch foe of divorce. Above all, since trials and troubles are the common lot of us all, there is need for absolute dependence upon God and a determination to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a passage in the Galatian letter, which though not expressly written for the purpose of admonishing men and women about marriage, nevertheless is most appropriate. The apostles inspired words are these, "Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not" Galatians 6:9. It takes a tremendous amount of well doing to make a marriage work. The alternative is unhappiness here and misery hereafter.