Words of Truth
Pastor Scott Beaman
July 3, A.D. 2010
God Created Marriage
Many today in our culture are seeking to diminish the importance and meaning of marriage.
Chris and Beth, it is a pleasure to be here at your wedding as you honor God's design in marriage. In the Scriptures we find the importance that the one true God places on marriage.
God has a high view of marriage for several reasons. God is the creator and designer of marriage and He established the first marriage between Adam and Eve.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, during His earthly ministry, performed His first miracle at a wedding, demonstrating His blessing upon marriage.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” The Bible begins with these words in Genesis 1:1. During the creation week, God formed out of nothing, everything.
He spoke into existence light, sun, moon, stars; oceans teeming with life; the air, and clouds and birds to fill it; dry land and animals. Everything! including the first man, Adam.
The Bible tells us that God brought before the man, all the animals that he had made to see what the man would name them. God saw that among all that he had made, there was not found a companion suitable for the man.
By the way, Adam noticed that too. You can see that by his response after God formed Eve out of Adam's rib and brought her before him. Genesis 2:23 says, “Then Adam said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."
This is a very sweet passage, for God sees Adam's longing, the need of his own heart, and God meets that need in Eve.
I think it is very significant that, right after establishing the laws of the universe, the earth rotating on its' axis, the orbits of sun, moons, stars, and planets, that right after creation, God ordains marriage between a man and a woman.
It shows us that God values marriage highly and that he has great purposes for marriage.
Creation of the Family
One of those purposes is the establishment of God-fearing family units. God commanded in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
Marriage Pictures Christ and His Church
A second purpose is the picture of the marriage between Jesus Christ and his bride, the Church. The Church is made up of all true believers in Jesus Christ.
Chris and Beth, your marriage is to be a picture of the marriage between Christ and His Church. Chris, God's Word tells you to love Beth, your wife, as Christ loves the Church.
Our Purpose is to Glorify God
A third purpose for marriage is the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” In all of life, we are to do everything for the glory of God.
The Westminster Catechism tells us that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
So, Chris and Beth have invited us all here today, this very special day, to honor God's original design for marriage, believing that they can better glorify God in their life together, than they could alone.
May God richly bless this marriage.
Dr. J. Robert Cosand
July 3, A.D. 2010
Statement of Purpose
We are gathered here today to witness the marriage covenant, before Almighty God, of Christopher Potts and Beth Hackleman. Let us be reverent, joyful witnesses that Christ might be honored above all.
Exchange of Vows
Do you, Chris, before God and these witnesses, take Beth, whom you now hold by the hand, as your true and lawful wife; and, God helping you, will you love, cherish, honor, and protect her, cleaving only and ever unto her, until God by death shall separate you?
Do you, Beth, before God and these witnesses, take Chris, whom you now hold by the hand, as your true and lawful husband; and, God helping you, will you love, cherish, honor, and submit to him, cleaving only and ever unto him, until God by death shall separate you?
Charge to Chris and Beth
Chris and Beth, I have some personal words of encouragement and exhortation. Because of the whirlwind of activity and emotion of everything surrounding this ceremony, you may not remember a word I say, but I'll give you a copy of these comments so you can read them later. It is such a pleasure for me to see your marriage and to be a part of it as your pastor. I have known you both for many years now and have watched you grow in the grace of our Lord. And to see Him honor His name by bringing you together has been a delight.
You know that our society says, "Marry the one you love." The Bible would take it one step farther and say, "Love the one you marry." In fact the Bible speaks unambiguously in revealing God's view of marriage and it's permanence. As simply as it can be stated, the Bible says that God hates divorce. The bond of this union is in place until death.
Contrary to our culture's shallow and sentimental view of love, love is not simply something one falls 'into' or 'out of'. It is not simply a matter of physical chemistry or emotional satisfaction. Much beyond those things, love is something you do. It is an activity of the will. Whether you feel loving or not is beside the point . . . love is something you do. This is God's design for marriage.
The best article I ever read on marriage said there are three factors essential for a good marriage: the first is commitment, and the second is commitment, and the third is commitment. And your commitment to each other rises out of your commitment to the person and word of God. Be diligent to cultivate your passion for the Almighty . . . that is the only safeguard for an abiding passion for and satisfaction in each other. Your marriage is not simply about the two of you. The great and wondrous mystery of marriage is that it is really about Christ and His church. This wedding is a picture of another wedding that will take place one day between Jesus Christ and His church. And the only people who will participate in that wedding are those who truly have faith in Christ.
One way you have honored Christ is that you have kept yourselves pure in your relationship and have not bowed the knee to the destructive lure of immorality. You have exalted God's holy name. May His grace continue to help you be morally pure throughout your marriage.
Chris, I have known you for the past 15 years, watching you grow from an adolescent into a man. It has been a great delight for me. I have seen your commitment to our God and to His church. I am honored to conduct this ceremony and witness this sacred commitment.
And Beth, I have known you for over 10 years now and I have heard your heart as you have talked about the girls you have worked with at Camp Cherith. I have seen your diligence in service for Christ here at Bethel and at Bible Study Fellowship and in many other ways. I know your love for our Lord is genuine.
So Chris and Beth, this is not just a matter of performing a wedding ceremony for me. I have very personal delight in your marriage. So here is my exhortation and my prayer for you.
Depending on how closely you follow the Biblical principles of love, respect, humility, forgiveness, and selflessness, your marriage together will either bring you the most contented ecstasy of the human spirit or, if you neglect these things, it will bring the deepest misery of a broken spirit. Above all, keep in mind the nature of love. It is always forgiving, always hoping, always trusting, always nurturing the one loved.
Your joy in each other will not be the automatic result of the vows you spoke today, in the delight of this ceremony. Your joy will be the result of a lifetime of daily vows to each other. There will be times when you don't feel like you do today. Days when you let each other down and disappoint each other and even cause one another pain.
Chris, there will be times when Beth does not look as beautiful as she does now and times when she does not act with her normal patience and understanding.
Beth, there will be times when Chris is not sensitive and gentle, like he normally is. He may say things in the heat of the moment that he does not mean and it will hurt. And what will you do when the clouds of anger or frustration or misunderstanding gather over your heads? The forgiveness and humility and understanding that are necessary for abiding satisfaction rise from the fountain of your love, not first for each other, but your love for the LORD God.
Seek Him in all your decisions. Pray to Him together. Talk about Him and His great truths over supper and in your bed at night. Always be a part of a community of believers, like you are now here at Bethel. These things are not simply my pastoral advice; they are essential for your growth and joy together.
Take care of each other, hold on to each other. The world around us is impersonal. There is a hardness to it. You will need each other. Your marriage can be a shelter for you both; a warm place where you can be restored when the winds of life blow icy and cold; a place where you can know joy and love and children and peace. And yours can be a marriage and eventual family in which God Himself receives glory because of His creation of man and woman. I pray you make it to be such. You are my dear and beloved friends. I wish you God's blessing in full.
Dr. J. Robert Cosand
July 3, A.D. 2010
MAY THE GOD WHO CALLED YOU TO HIMSELF, AND CALLED YOU TO EACH OTHER GRANT THAT YOUR JOY IN HIM WILL BE EVER INCREASING…
…THAT YOUR DELIGHT IN EACH OTHER WILL SATISFY YOUR SOULS
…THAT GOD HIMSELF WILL BE YOUR STRENGTH AND HOPE
... AND THAT HIS WONDROUS GRACE WILL PURSUE YOU ALL THE DAYS OF YOUR LIFE
…YOU, AND YOUR CHILDREN, AND YOUR CHILDREN'S CHILDREN.
J. R. Hackleman
July 3, A.D. 2010
Blessing on the Marriage: Psalm 127
A Song of degrees for Solomon
1Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:
Except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh [but] in vain.
2[It is] vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows:
[For] so he giveth his beloved sleep.
3Lo, children [are] an heritage of the LORD:
The fruit of the womb [is his] reward.
4As arrows [are] in the hand of a mighty man;
So [are] children of the youth.
5Happy [is] the man that hath his quiver full of them:
They shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.