Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Meditation on the Sixth Commandment

You shall not commit adultery.
What does this mean?
We should fear and love God, so that we lead a chaste and decent life in word and deed, and that husband and wife each love and honor the other.
Marriage is the most beautiful earthly estate that God has established on the earth.  Marriage should be highly treasured and given its proper place.  Just envision the bride on her wedding day, adorned with a glorious wedding garment.  The spotless garment is a perfect picture of what wedded life should be like.  The bride walks into the sanctuary to say her vows to her soon-to-be husband and all eyes are on her.  The beauty of marriage is typified in the garment which the bride is wearing.
Yet it doesn't take long before the wedding garment is soiled.  By the time the festivities are over the garment looks used and dirty.  It no longer holds that glorious radiance which was present just hours before.  Usually the dress is then cleaned and boxed up, it is put out of sight and out of mind.  The glory which the garment displayed is usually forgotten and the cares of life begin eating away at the beautiful estate of marriage, like a mouse eating away at the beautiful garment that was once part of the highlight of a wedding.
Married couples soon forget that glorious day.  They become wrapped up in the cares of life and at times show bitterness and anger towards each other.  Slowly but surely they lose that physical attraction that brought them together in the first place and they find themselves just biding their time together, trying to keep their families together and doing their part to make ends meet.  If their love towards each other is not kindled, it will eventually go out.
If our children are fortunate, their parents stay together until death parts them, but most of them see a much less appealing side of marriage.  Two individuals come together to unite as one flesh, yet they have done things their own ways for so long that they are unable to adapt.  Stress begins to mount and the glorious wedding dress doesn't look very glorious anymore.  Children perceive our thoughts through how we act in our marriages.  The young look to us for guidance, but when we have given them a poor example to live by we destroy the sanctity and beauty of marriage that God had established it to be.
Sure it may keep the marriage bed pure for our generation, but when our own marriages lack the splendor and appeal God gave them we show nothing but a poor example for the next generation to follow.  It’s no wonder people are so willing to try other things that have been condemned by God (co-habitation, homosexuality, or experiential love, etc.).  They see people failing every day in the marriage that God designed, so they think to themselves, why not try something else.
Yet, Christ’s marriage to His Church has never failed.  Jesus united himself to mankind by taking on human flesh and living a perfect life under the law.  He sanctified our bodies by pouring out blood from His side to wash all sin away.  Then He rose from the dead to prove to us that God had approved of His sacrifice.  This is the marriage we are to look to when our own marriage is troubled.  This is the marriage we are to look to when our sins are weighing us down.  And this is the marriage we are to aspire to imitate.  Only Jesus’ marriage to His Church succeeds against all odds.  Every time our wedding garment becomes soiled, we return to Him to be washed and cleansed.  We return to Him so that we are not looking at our own imperfect human examples but aspiring to His willingness to love us, even when we did not deserve it. 
God grant us a willing heart and mind to be chaste in all our thoughts, words, and actions, so that we treasure marriage as we ought.  Help husbands and wives to love and honor each other, as Christ has so loved us, and to set an inspiring example of marriage; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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