All through the Book of Hebrews the writer has worked to demonstrate how Jesus Christ is to be honored, worshiped and served because he is God in the flesh and the Messiah that had been promised down through the ages but is now here. In the closing chapter of the book he turns to apply the greatness of Christ to living for him in the different aspects of daily life. In Hebrews 13:4 he said, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” It is a powerful point that needs to be made clear constantly that living by faith in Jesus isn’t just about attending church and communing with Him in the Lord’s Supper each week. If we are going to live for Jesus, we must live for him in our home and family all the time.
Recognize that from God’s point of view marriage is something that must be honored always by all people. Every time a nation begins to travel down that road of devaluing marriage it leads to the total downfall of the nation. There are tons of ways a person can show dishonor to marriage. It can be by changing it from what God intended it to be. God set the parameters for marriage in the beginning when he had Adam say, “This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman and for this reason shall a man leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.” God’s plan was simple, one man married to one woman for a life time. We dishonor marriage when we promote just living together pretending to be husband and wife without marriage. We dishonor it every day when we act like it is simply something to be discarded any time a problem arises in our relationship. We dishonor it when it becomes the butt of every joke that we can think of. We dishonor marriage when every TV show that presents marriage to us seems to glory in picturing a wimp for a husband or an airhead for a wife and mother and too often the children are pictured as strange creatures that no one would ever want in their house.
But focus on how he said we dishonor marriage. He said we are to honor marriage by keeping the marriage bed pure. How are we to fulfill such a command? First, we are to be loyal to each other in the marriage so that sexual relationships are kept only between the husband and wife. In I Corinthians 7 Paul talked about the marriage bed in such purity when he challenged both the husband and wife to give themselves freely to the other one realizing that when we marry our bodies no longer belong to just us but to our wife or our husband. He said that when we withhold ourselves from each other sexually we are defrauding each other. The sexual relationship between a husband and wife needs to be so full, complete and normal that no one would ever need to think of sex with anyone else and would certainly not go out looking for such.
We destroy the purity of the marriage bed when we bring pornography into the bed. The man or woman that looks at pornographic material can no more think of sex in the marriage as something that is pure and holy than they can think of God as the devil in hell. Pure marital sex is utterly impossible for the person who looks at the perversion of sex to become aroused. Porn devalues the woman to such a major degree that she is no longer my equal companion of love, but a tool to be used or an animal for my pleasure. Try reading Paul’s description of love in I Corinthians 13:4-8 and imagine putting that love alongside a pornographic relationship and if you aren’t already addicted to porn you will see the total impossibility of such a mix. Pornography becomes more prevalent in our society every day because it is within reach of every person with a phone, computer or TV set. It warps the thinking of the person who watches it and destroys their ability to even look at their own daughters through eyes of purity. Paul had such in mind when he wrote Titus, “Unto the pure all things are pure but to the wicked and defiled, nothing is pure but even their mind and their conscience is defiled.”
Sex is meant to be something pure, right and precious to be had inside the marriage bed with the one person you love and cherish with your whole self. Outside that marriage bed sex is adultery, immorality and filthy. It defiles the marriage and the person involved. The problem is such a serious one that the writer said, to the one involved in such sexual relationships, “God will judge you for that.” “The adulterers and the sexually immoral, God will judge.” We try to dress such immoral behavior in a better looking dress when we call it an affair or premarital sex. Let’s call it what it is. It is breaking your vow or covenant to the one you married. It is sexual immorality that takes something God planned as the blessing of marriage and throws it around in every alley or motel room. If you somehow get it into your head that sex outside marriage is innocent and a sin that doesn’t hurt anyone else, open your eyes and see all the children in this country growing up in homes where the father of those children aren’t even known much less there to help bring them up for good.
Judgement is coming. And God will judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral both in eternity and in the right now. It is a sin against God, against our marriage partner and against society as a whole. Marriage is to be honored and it can only be so when the marriage bed is pure.