Speaking biblically and missiologically about intermarriage…
God not only created us in His own image but He also created us male and female, commanding us to establish new and united families ~ Gen.2:24 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Jesus also confirmed this truth through His teaching. (See Matt.19:4-6.)
Thus God’s will is for His people to become joined together in holy marriage both in body and spirit and through their union to fulfil His holy purposes on earth.
Thus it is evident that marriage and family have been integral to God’s plan from the very beginning both for the purpose of procreation and also for spiritual growth and multiplication.
In the Early Church, God’s Spirit brought entire households to faith in Jesus, not just individuals. (Examples: Cornelius, Acts 10-11, and the Roman jailer in Philippi, Acts 16.)
God’s plan is to build His church on the foundation of strong, united, believing marriages – Christian husbands and wives united in marriage for the sake of Jesus and His kingdom.
Therefore, it should not surprise us to witness the opposition of God’s adversary, Satan, to God’s plan. Some of his most vicious and deadly attacks today are focused upon the institution of marriage and the family. But such attacks are not new for even in Old Testament times, Satan sought, even though unsuccessfully, to frustrate God’s plan of redemption to bring salvation to all peoples through the birth of His chosen Deliverer.
Today we are witnessing one of the most insidious and dangerous attacks upon marriage and family: cohabitation of men and women apart from a marriage covenant, and the redefinition of “family”.
It is imperative that God’s people discern Satan’s strategies against the growth of God’s church, and take both a defensive and an offensive stand against such attacks.
One of Satan’s cunning and effective strategies to frustrate God’s plan is lure followers of Jesus away from a true loyalty to their Lord Jesus by tempting them to marry an unbeliever. In this way he seeks to weaken the life and witness of local churches, causing the believer’s life in Christ to become seriously impeded through their lack of spiritual oneness and connectedness, and so sapping the believer’s spiritual vitality as he/she faces the stresses and strains of living in a divided household.
Even more potentially destructive is Satan’s attempts to rob local churches of believers by drawing them away to the worship of other gods.
The biblical truths at the very core of this book are, therefore, not primarily about “how to have happy marriages,” though God delights to bless marriages with His joy and peace. Rather it is about His plan to establish the life and witness of His church upon the rock-solid and enduring foundation of spiritually united marriages and families. These are the marriages and families that God blesses. “Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways.” (Psalm 128:1)
Graham M. Roberts