Pagans gasp and say Old Testament death penalties for adultery and rebellious sons were so barbaric. But we’ve killed 65 million babies and counting. Who are the barbaric ones exactly?
But far too many Christians are still slightly embarrassed (or a lot embarrassed) by the Old Testament penalties. Instead of being embarrassed, we should trust that God knew what He was doing.
When you see flashing lights and barbed wire and “trespassers will be shot” signs, don’t you figure it’s for a reason?
Moderns, and even many modern Christians, have reduced marriage to a glorified roommate situation with sexual benefits. And for some reason the man is in charge, and the woman is supposed to submit to him. But why? If a family is just a glorified roommate situation and a house is just a place to eat and sleep and watch movies, why does he get to be in charge?
But what if the stakes are actually enormously higher? What if marriage is more like a nuclear reactor? What if marriage and family is where the most potent power in all of creation is being made?
Well it is.
Marriage and family is where people are made — people made in the image of the immortal God, people who will live forever.
As C.S. Lewis once put it, people are “no mere mortals.” People are preparing for and growing into everlasting horrors or infinite splendors.
And therefore marriage is the workshop, a factory, a nuclear reactor where everlasting life is being created and honed and encouraged (or not).
Sin has released a fallout that has left centuries of radiation and destruction. But Jesus came to reverse the curse, to restore fallen men and women and raise them to infinite glory and joy.
The stakes are high, but the gospel is true.
Obedience is not just something we do. Obedience is not just something you have to do (or else). Obedience is practicing for heaven. Obedience is building legacies that will (literally) last forever.
Obedience in marriage is the process of making people who will live forever. We do not just make people through biological conception, we are helping people toward their eternal destinations all day long in everything we do: schooling, working, writing, singing, laughing, reading, eating, and everything in between. We are immortals who leave permanent marks on this world, and we are making more immortal people who will leave permanent marks on this world and the world to come.
Immortals do no insignificant things. There is no extraneous dirty dish washed, no floor scrubbed, no encouraging word given, no comforting hug extended, no day of hard work offered that goes unnoticed, that gets lost in the cosmos — in Christ, none of it is in vain. It is all potent.
We are building a Kingdom that cannot be shaken. That Kingdom is principally built out of people. But many of those people were made out of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches prepared with Christian love.
I’m really thankful to let you all know that my new book is out: No Mere Mortals: Marriage for People Who Will Live Forever. I hope it will be a blessing to many.