Think Plan A

God has only one Plan A for marriage. Christian marriage is a commitment to a monogamous relationship for better or for worse until the death of a spouse. Commitment is what makes marriage unique of all relationships. It is not a contract, it is a covenant. Good pastors encourage a couple to take seriously their marriage vows, but we should do more than that. We should warn them not to entertain any thoughts contrary to that, because that will be the temptation. It starts by thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to be married to him or her?” From that moment on everything is pure fantasy. You don’t have a clue what it would be like to be married to someone else.

Suppose a boss has a “perfect” secretary. She looks after his every need. She is submissive and supportive. So he starts to think, “She would make a really good wife.” So he divorces his wife and marries his secretary. The first morning after the wedding he wakes up and says, “Make me a cup of coffee, would you?” She says, “Make it yourself, I’m not your secretary anymore!”

We received a letter at our seminary from the wife of a former student who was a pastor. She wrote, “I knew I was in trouble when I saw a book on his desk entitled, Creative Divorce.” He was considering Plan B. If you are devoting that much time to an alternative plan, you will likely need it. Many people are getting married with something less than a 100% commitment. They get married thinking, “If it doesn’t work out I can always get a divorce.” That marriage has almost no chance of surviving. The modern trend is to opt out of marriage, preferring to live together without any commitment.

The concept of God’s way versus our way is not limited to marriage. We are facing those choices every day of our lives. On one hand, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 16:25). On the other hand, Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn. 14:6). It was so important to the early church that they knew and followed God’s ways that the church was even referred to as the “Way” (Acts 9:2; 24:14). We have a choice, and it is easier to make if we know and think God’s way.

Dr. Neil

For Spanish, see

9051 Executive Park Drive, Suite 503 • Knoxville, TN 37923 • 865.342.4000