C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

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Friday, March 16, 2007

From Sin, To Marriage

Scripture clearly teaches to flee youthful lust [2 Timothy 2:22] and flee fornication [1 Corinthians 6:18], which is to remain pure till the wedding bed. Although in this modern age of feel good, do it mentality it isn’t very popular, it still remains a clear biblical teaching from the Word of God.

My question today lies more with the moments following such an act of fornication takes place, than actually with the act itself. With this, I would like to consider three different situations, if you will, and finish by asking the question why do we treat each differently.

[1] We have a husband and wife in which one goes outside the marriage and commits fornication (also adultery). Once discovered, there of those of us which would tell them to forgive and reconcile, and those of us which would tell them to just leave the dirty party. Yet, if by chance, the fornication brings forth a child, do we ever tell one to leave their spouse to marry the father or mother of the child from fornication? I don’t recall such advice being given.

[2] We have a boy and girl that are submitting to their lust and committing fornication. Most of the time this may remain secret, but “be sure your sin will find you out” [Numbers 32:23]. Oftentimes by the slip of the tongue this is expose, but sometimes not for years down the line. Do we give counsel that these two should then be married? Usually we are disappointed or upset by the sin of fornication, and would rather wish it had never taken place and we usually pray that they will learn not to do it again until they are married.

[3] A baby is conceived by a boy and girl through the act of fornication. Neither is married and whether they are in love or not really has no bearing on the outcome. A baby will be born, unless there is an abortion which we are not considering at the moment. This is the same sin as the other two situations mentioned before, but we have two single people with a baby on the way. Does the sin of fornication between two single people, that brings forth the birth of a child, biblically demand or call for marriage?

All too often they are forced to get married while in the mist of so much bitterness and turmoil from family and friends. Ashamed and afraid, their lives have been forever changed by sin, fornication, sex outside of marriage.

I am not totally convinced that marriage is commanded biblically in such an account. I am not saying that they can not, but is it always the correct biblical counsel? What do you say?


leslie said...

Jesus seemed to say 'go and sin no more' in situations like these, did he offer to walk them to the courthouse for further redemption?

sexual purity is something we don't know how to address separate from the physical evidence of failure, and then we throw on a band-aid over a possible festering wound if impurity has been found out. there is little to no counseling. we want our churches shiny? or do we do it to protect the 'family unit'?
is it: 'we are protecting the child from a social stigma.'..is that still a concern?

David compounded one sin with another, i'm sure he had good reasons, possibly even to a point of protecting Bathsheba. but it went wrong. could it have gone differently?
we act in the heat of the moment and compound our troubles, or someone else's. we don't see these people as those whom God loves and forgives and provides for, we see them as situations.

we encourage pre-marital counseling for a reason. and why that reason doesn't appear to apply to your third situation is of interest to me.

to answer your question:
no, i don't believe marriage because of pregnancy is always the correct counsel. there are options.

Anonymous said...

Concerning Question #1: I do believe forgiveness and reconciliation is
the proper Biblical course. Divorce was because of the hardness of
men's hearts. If the transgressor realizes his error, repents, and
dedicates himself to the task of being a good husband, it can and has
worked out. When the transgressor is a serial transgressor, I still
would not counsel divorce,, rather I would counsel following the course
of Hosea and committing that one to God, and being ready to receive the
transgressor at that point where conviction is affected.

Even should a child come from the infidelity, I don't think divorce is
the answer. Now both my answers presuppose the aggrevied as being a
confessing and practicing Believer who wants God's best. If not, I
would try to lead that individual to faith in Christ.

Question #2
The social consequences of sexual immorality are such in today's world
that no girl or boy is considered unfit for marriage because of previous
sexual activity, so the I don't think marriage is even an issue.

Question #3
I think that most "shotgun marriages" are much more successful than we
are lead to believe. The question is whether or not the couple is
willing to learn to love each other. What they have not had is love,
because love does not seek its own, but rather the welfare of the
other. They have had lust. I would probably not discourage marriage,
but I'd want both to understand the consequences. I would not
participate unless I felt they were committed to making it work.

Anonymous said...

Duet. 22:28, 29 which states that if a man has sex with a virgin, he is
obligated to take her as his wife and he cannot ever divorce her.

That would apply to someone who fathers a child. I think a man ought to do the
right thing and assume responsibility for the woman he made a mother and for his
child. He ought to marry her, but as a pastor I wouldn't "require" it or even
suggest it. It is, after all, a part of the mosaic law which includes such
things as levirate marriage.

Marriage, sexual intercourse, accountability, responsibility for one;'s actions
are all taken lightly today.

Anonymous said...

I'd go with the no. I think it's compounding the tragedy of an unplanned,
unwanted pregnancy with an unwanted, unplanned marriage usually involving
two people who are not mature enough to handle either situation.

Splinters of Silver said...

I believe some good points have been made here. I appreciate the comments.

I didn't realize there was the verse you quoted.

Deuteronomy 22:

28 - If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;

29 - Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.

Interestly a payment had to be made for her also.

This is OT law, so I am not sure where this would be in the NT.

Maybe if we could develop better character in children and adults today. I agree with Leslie that there is a lack of counseling. And it shouldn't wait to take place till after the fact. It should be taught in the home before it ever becomes an issue. And the church should bare the burdens of its people and not just sweep it under the rug.

John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.