Sex and Marriage
Tuesday of Pentecost 25
13 November 2018
Our wisdom has its limits. For example, we often counsel young people not to marry until they get through college. Taken on its own merit, this is good advice. I myself followed it, not having married until after I graduated from the seminary. However, this may not be the best advice to those who are succumbing to the powerful temptations of their sexuality.
 
God Himself has given the gift of sexuality to humans so that they may join Him in procreating and for the mutual joy and edification which God gives in holy marriage. God created Adam and Eve with the desire to procreate and gave them a direct command to be fruitful and multiply (Gn 1:28). So it should be no surprise to us that the drive toward sexuality is such a powerful influence, especially among the young. Therefore, we should temper our advice about remaining unmarried with the clear provision that holy marriage is much to be preferred over sexual immorality.
 
Let us honor marriage and encourage it among our children and grandchildren. In this way, we would honor this divinely-given institution and set our posterity on its proper course toward fruitfulness within the blessed estate of holy marriage. God's command about marriage should always trump our own faulty human wisdom. God has granted us holy marriage. It is not for us to flee from it, but to receive it as it is: a true gift of God. Or worse yet, to live an incontinent life outside of marriage. God will not grant his blessing to those who live in sexual incontinence while fleeing the boundaries of holy marriage. As the old pop song once said, "Love and marriage belong together like a horse and carriage." Marriage and sex are joined together by God for our good. Marriage is a wonderful gift of God.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Martin Luther
"Now, I speak of [marriage and chastity] in order that the young may be guided so that they desire the married estate and know that it is a blessed estate and pleases God. For in this way, over time we might cause married life to be restored to honor. There might be less of the filthy, loose, disorderly ends that now run riot the world over in open prostitution and other shameful vices arising from disregard for married life. Therefore, it is the duty of parents and the government to see to it that our youth are brought up with discipline and respectability. When they have become mature, parents and government should provide for them to marry in the fear of God and honorably. God would not fail to add His blessing and grace, so that people would have joy and happiness from marriage.
 
"Let me now say in conclusion what this commandment demands: everyone should live chaste in thought, word, and deed in his condition-that is, especially in the estate of marriage. But also everyone should love and value the spouse God gave to him (Eph 5:33). For where marital chastity is to be maintained, man and wife must by all means live together in love and harmony. Then one may cherish the other from the heart and with complete faithfulness. For harmony is one of the principal points that kindles love and desire for chastity, so that, where this is found chastity will follow without any command. Therefore, St. Paul diligently encourages husband and wife to love and honor one another. Here you have again precious, indeed many and great good works. You can joyfully boast about them, against all...estates chosen without God's Word and commandment."

Martin Luther, Large Catechism,
1.217-220
Song of Solomon
3:1-5

On my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but found him not. I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but found him not. The watchmen found me as they went about in the city. "Have you seen him whom my soul loves?" Scarcely had I passed them when I found him whom my soul loves. I held him, and would not let him go until I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her who conceived me. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases. (ESV)
Prayer
Eternal God, look down from Your exalted throne in heaven upon all marriages and sanctify and bless them with the benediction first spoken to Adam and Eve in paradise, that all married persons may please You both in body and soul, and live together in holy love until life's end. Amen.
 
For Ileene Robinson, that the Lord Jesus would watch over her and strengthen her as she undergoes therapy in the hospital

For John Coulter as he travels to Nicaragua to assess the mission situation with our brothers and sisters there, that God would bless his efforts and that future mission teams would have sufficient manpower to serve
 
In thanksgiving to God for beautiful, temperate weather
 
For all Christians, that they may live in the peace and forgiveness of baptismal grace and daily repent of their sin receiving from God His mercy in holy absolution
Art: Albrecht DURER, The Adoration of the Trinity (1511)
Memorial Lutheran Church
smurray@mlchouston.org
http://www.mlchouston.org
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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