Getting married is one of life’s most revealing, most character making (or breaking) decisions. In Malachi’s day God’s people were dealing “treacherously” against God and one another. (This word appears five times in Malachi 2:10-16 and means to betray) How? By marrying unbelievers or those who worshiped “strange gods” (Malachi 2:11), and divorcing the wife of their youth (Mal.2:13-16). Yes, Israelite men were divorcing their wives, some in order to marry Gentile girls who maintained their pagan idols. This was an inarguably clear violation of God’s Word (See Deut.7:3), yet it was one of the biggest problems in Israel when they came out of exile. Ezra 9-10 and Nehemiah 13:23-31 also deal with this widespread sin during a time similar to the days of Malachi.
By marrying pagans, believers were essentially inviting idols into their home and national life. This problem still lives on as many who profess to know the Lord Jesus Christ marry those who do not have this faith. While some may minimize this and say it is no big deal, God’s Word says that it is important and even vital in order to maintain faith in our homes, churches, communities and in coming generations. Marrying unbelievers invites worldly abominations into the home (Ezra 9:1, 2, 11, 12).
Still others may say, I know that as a Christian I should marry a believer, but why? How does marrying another Christian look different than marrying an unbeliever? What kind of person should you be looking to marry? I believe Malachi 2:10-12 has keen insight into who we should marry and why. When two become one, things should be different. This blog will share the first point in answer to this question.
First, you should marry someone with whom you can seek the PERSON of God together. Malachi 2:10a says, “Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?” God Himself is our Father, who is good, and our Creator, who is all powerful and wise (Deut.32:6; Isaiah 63:16; 64:8). There is none like God! We need to build our marriages on the platform of truth in the one true God, and husbands and wives must seek our Lord Jesus Christ together.
God is One and marriage pictures this unity. Marriage to an unbelieving spouse is equal to embracing a false god, disrupting unity in the home. This oneness begins with Him. If we have two deities represented in the home, a married couple cannot truly come together in oneness. Marriage is a covenant relationship of two before One God who then makes two, one (Genesis 2:24). If they have different deities, they cannot make a true covenant together before our One God who is Father and Creator.
Intermarriage with unbelievers violates the intimate bond a believer has with our good and powerful God. It was essentially equal to inviting and embracing false gods into the home and into the wider society.
While books are written about communication between husbands and wives because communication breakdown is a reason for so much marital conflict, the principle of seeking God together is a very simple yet absolutely essential communication principle in the marriage relationship. Seeking and talking to God is the starting point for our communication in the home. As one talks to God with their spouse and with other family members, communication improves. Seek Him together! This is why you must marry a believer. Communication with God can help accomplish at least three essentials in the home:
1. Seeking God opens up the lines of communication with one another.
Why? Because when you talk to God in spirit and in truth you will become transparent and experience His presence and love. You will receive His forgiveness, grace, and so much more. Truly seeking God will bring God’s love, presence, and forgiveness into your home. Homes are starving for prayer and the Word of God!
2. Seeking God and putting Him first gives you the wisdom to prioritize other things in their proper order.
Many spouses feel like this: “I feel like everything on earth is more important to him (or her) than I am!” In other words, many lives are out of order. Some put work first and others are prone to put children first. Still others over-prioritize entertainment, recreation, television, sports, or social media. Marry someone who seeks God and seeks Him first! Homes are starving for godly priorities.
3. Seeking God and praising God will help you be thankful for those around you.
As you become truly thankful to God, you will start encouraging one another and not criticize each other. After you talk to God and praise Him, praise your wife and your children. Praise your husband and show him honor. Many married people put one another on a starvation diet of praise with three full meals of criticism and unrealistic expectations!
Many homes are starving for Word of God, prayer, proper priorities, praise and encouraging words. By marrying a believer who seeks the true Person of God, this will establish a foundation of faith for the family to endure these secular days of spiritual delusion.