The second answer to this question is this: marry someone with whom you can keep the WORD of God. Malachi 2:10b-11a: “Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers? Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem.”
Malachi uses three strong terms to underscore the glaring disobedience in marrying unbelievers and disobeying the “covenant” founded on God’s Word. First, he uses the word “treacherously” which means to betray God’s Word. Second, he uses the word “profane” which means to utterly disregard and trample (in this context), God’s covenant Word. Third, he uses the weighty word “abomination,” which means something prohibited and disgusting in light of his clear commands. The Bible uses this word of idol worship, sexual perversions, witchcraft, and engaging in child sacrifice. These are not minor sins! They are sins that would lead to the destruction of a nation. (Deut.7:25, 26; Lev.18:27-30; Deut. 18:9-13). One of the basic ways that those abominations of the land infiltrated into the community of God’s people was by intermarriage with unbelievers. This practice brought Israel a painful harvest of misery throughout her history, such as in the days of Solomon. Those in Malachi’s day should have known better but they were making the same mistakes of Solomon that had brought disaster in the past (1 Kings 11:1-8; Nehemiah 13:23-27).
Do you love Jesus? Then obey Him and marry someone committed to His obedience. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Obedience to God is the test that we have a real relationship with God. We live a lie if we say we know him but do not obey Him. Obedience is also the test that we love Him and are abiding in Him (1 John 2:3-5). Marry someone that will delight in obedience to God such as faithful attendance in church, in fulfilling the Great Commission, and in desiring to do God’s will.
A third answer of Malachi to this question is you must marry someone with whom you can love the holiness of God. Malachi 2:11b says, “an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem: for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.” Holy speaks of that which is set apart and dedicated to God for His service. In this context it could refer to the sanctuary itself, which was holy in God’s sight.
God loves His holiness and all things holy. God is holy and wholly unique, for there is none like Him (Exodus 15:11, 1 Samuel 2:2). He is holy and wholly pure. Holiness is God’s infinite moral perfection that touches and infiltrates all of His other attributes. He is incomprehensibly holy, uniquely holy, absolutely holy, awesomely holy, and eternally holy. He is as holy now as when Moses spoke to Him from the burning bush or when Isaiah saw Him high and lifted up (Exodus 3, Isaiah 6).
One theologian has said, “The holiness of God is not to be conceived as one attribute among others; it is rather a general term representing the conception of His consummate perfection and total glory.” This is why on two occasions in Scripture the angels surround God crying out “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty.” (Isaiah 6, Revelation 4). They do not cry out the attribute of love, omnipotence, or eternality, and although those attributes are vitally essential to God’s nature, His holiness somehow relates to His total glory.
Encountering and experiencing the holiness of God will humble you and transform you into a person on fire, surrendered and dedicated to God. Our personal holiness is highly important to God. Isaiah famously saw God’s holiness in a vision and it made him feel like a vile worm, as it would to any of us. He cried, “Woe is me! I am undone! I am a man of unclean lips!”
We need to marry one who has experienced the humbling holiness of God and then loves to live out His holiness in the home, in speech, at mealtime, in entertainment and recreation choices, and worship. Loving God’s holiness results in a natural hatred for sin and a heart to experience His presence and engage in His service.
Ultimately, a holy home is a happy home, which is what the unsaved world will never understand. Christians must stop buying what the world is selling when we have what the world really needs: Jesus Christ and the Word of God.
Many want to know today: is it possible to have a Christ-centered home full of thankfulness to God, even in this world of trouble, sin and despair? The foundations of the home are shaking and falling today. Yet there is great hope for the Christian home, because we still have the Word from our King and the power of His Holy Spirit available to us. Marry someone who has a heart to seek the Person of God, obey the Word of God, and love the holiness of God!