Another common misunderstanding is that marriage exists for the purpose of legitimizing sexual relations. Marriage should never be equated with sex because sex is not the primary purpose of marriage. Sexual union is not and never has been the same thing as marital union. Marriage is a union that implies and involves sexual union as the establishment of a blood covenant, a central obligation, and a pleasure (see 1 Cor. 7:3-5), but the three are not the same.
First of all, marriage involves commitment. Sex has very little to do with commitment; it is a 100-percent physical response to physiological and biochemical stimuli. Sex is one expression of commitment in marriage, “but it never creates commitment. By itself, sex neither makes nor breaks a marriage. Marriage is broader and deeper than sex, and transcends it. Marriage is perhaps one percent sex; the rest is ordinary, everyday life. If you marry for sex, how are you going to handle the other 99 percent? “For many years it has been a common belief that adultery breaks a marriage. That is simply not true. Sex does not create a marriage, so how can it break a marriage? Adultery is sin and, according to the Bible, the only legitimate grounds for divorce for a believer. Even then it is not automatic. Divorce is not mandatory in such instances. Adultery does not break the marriage. Breaking the marriage is a choice.
Recognizing that sexual union and marital union are not the same is absolutely essential to any proper understanding of marriage. It is also essential in understanding divorce and remarriage. Marriage is bigger than, distinct from, but inclusive of “sexual union. Absence of sexual activity will never unmake a marriage, nor will its presence alone turn a relationship into a marriage. Marriage and sex are related but they are not the same.
Faith that works is faith rightly placed. In other words, the object of our faith—who or what we believe—makes all the difference between success or failure and life or death. Faith to live beyond the tests “kingdom faith—is strengthened by conviction in the power of God, not His works. I’ve said this several times before, but it bears saying again because it is so important. Many believers today are so performance-oriented, so entertainment-focused, that the strength and continuity of their faith depends on regularly seeing God do something wonderful in their lives or the lives of people close to them. If God fails to act in some kind of tangible, visible manner, they become confused and doubtful, and their faith wavers.
The way to avoid this trap of self-deception and pseudo-faith is to make sure we put our trust not in the works of God but in the fact that God has the power—and the right—to do anything. Even if God doesn’t always act the way we expect, we still must trust in Him and His power. God has both the power to do and the power not to do. He has the power to help or not to help, and sometimes we forget that. Our faith must be in God and His power because “His power is more important than His works. Just because God’s power is not at work in a visible, tangible way does not mean His power is not present.
Faith in God (not His power) activates His power. Jesus steadfastly refused demands that He perform a sign to “prove” who He was because such a demand revealed that true faith was not present. And where faith was lacking, little of God’s power manifested. Matthew 13:58 says that when Jesus visited His hometown of Nazareth He “did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” Miracle power was present, but the unbelief of the people shut it down. Their lack of faith cut off their access to the miracle-working power of God.