In order to answer the question of what constitutes a marriage, one must consider the foundation on which the institution is built. Without a proper foundation, the structure of marriage will either collapse into rubble or lose all distinctiveness. This retreat considers the current state of marriage contrasted with the biblical model rooted in creation.
A Foundational Issue
In Luke 6:47-48, Jesus warns against building without the foundation of His word. Romans 1 pictures the descent into chaos that results when human beings disregard God. In the last portion of the session, the current state of confusion over marriage is considered.
Washed Out Foundations
The foundations of marriage have clearly been eroded in contemporary society. Psalm 11:1-3 asks the question, "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?"
A Realistic Approach
For Christians, the first priority must be to defend God's purpose and design in marriage. However, as exiles in this world seeking the welfare of the city (Jer 29:7), we should be able to articulate a principled objection to the redefinition of marriage. The church must also take a share of the responsibility for the current defamation of marriage.
The True Foundation
Both Jesus and Paul ground their teaching on marriage in the creation account from Genesis. A careful examination of the creation account shows that marriage was woven into creation itself. God created male and female to join together as one flesh and be fruitful. This becomes the foundation for society itself.
Christ's Word on the Subject
It is often claimed that Jesus had nothing to say about the current debate over the nature of marriage. However, such an objection is not only overly simplistic but, from a Christian perspective, completely absurd.
The Right Foundation
While knowing and defending a biblical view of marriage is important, the greatest witness is for Christians to proclaim the dignity of marriage in their own marriages.