The Idols of Marriage and Weddings

Posted on April 16, 2012 by


We don’t really relate much to the concept of idolatry in America today.  We think of people bowing down to statues and making animal or human sacrifices to wooden/stone/metal statues.  Most of us are not remotely tempted to bow down to a ceramic figurine, pray to it, sing praise songs to it or have religious ceremonies trying to seek its favor.  The very idea of worshipping a piece of wood, metal or stone seems laughable to most of us – and it is certainly not something we think about doing.

THERE IS IDOLATRY TODAY?

Idolatry is alive and well in our hearts today, too, though!  According to Wes, our Bible teacher on Sunday nights, we are created by God to be worshippers.  The question is not, “Will we worship something?”  but rather, “What/whom will we worship?”  Wes talked about that worship involves placing something/someone in the “place of preeminence” of our lives – the “glory place.”  And he also described that when we worship something, we make sacrifices for that thing/person in order to give them first place.  We give up our time, our money, our efforts, sometimes even our families, careers and health in order to worship that thing.

WHAT DO PEOPLE IN AMERICA WORSHIP OTHER THAN GOD?

We can put almost anything in God’s place in our hearts, sadly.  Wes said, “The human heart is an idol factory.”  We are always coming up with new dreams, schemes, plans and things to idolize and things that we easily slip into God’s special place of worship in our hearts.  And we can definitely have more than one idol at a time.

Some examples of idols people worship today include:

  • power
  • control
  • money
  • career
  • boyfriends
  • husbands
  • children
  • hobbies
  • health
  • beauty
  • weight/thinness
  • clothing
  • material things
  • false religions
  • friendships
  • approval of people
  • popularity
  • fame
  • travel
  • a beautiful house
  • a super nice car
  • jewelry
  • marriage
  • a college degree
  • the earth (environmentalism)
  • creation or created things
  • things that we make ourselves or that people make
  • movie stars/singers
  • drugs
  • alcohol
  • any addiction
  • comfort
  • a human ie: leader, president, boss, famous person
  • the media/computers/email/cell phones/technology
  • Star Wars…. ANYTHING!

None of these things are inherently evil.  Most of them are good things.  The issue is when we make these things the center of our lives, when we replace God with something like this.  God calls this the sin of idolatry – and it is an EXTREMELY big deal to God.

GOD’S DESIGN

Wes described how God made us to be able to worship Him – He created us as humans to be worshippers, made in His image.  He doesn’t need us to worship Him – He has no needs that we can provide.  But He does desire us to fellowship with Him, worship Him, praise Him, follow Him, trust Him and have an intimate spiritual relationship with Him.  He alone is worthy of this position.  He alone deserves our praise, worship and adoration.  He alone deserves to be Lord of our lives and in charge of our destiny.

I love how Wes said that when we properly worship God in a way that honors Him

  1. He receives great glory and honor
  2. We are satisfied, fulfilled, joyful and happy.

WE EXCHANGED THE TRUTH OF GOD FOR A LIE

When we trade God for something He has made or we have made and worship that thing, we are sinning against God.  Idols cannot satisfy us at all.  In fact, every idol will eventually destroy us!  Idolatry destroys our spiritual life, our financial life, our physical health and sometimes even leads to death.

Wes suggested that when a person is an alcoholic, they don’t have an “alcohol problem”  they have a “worship problem.”  Think about what happens when someone puts alcohol as the center focus of their life.  The addiction becomes more important than anything else to the alcohol worshipper.  The addict is willing to sacrifice a LOT of money, time, family relationships, friendships, marriage, children, career, safety, health and even life itself in order to worship alcohol and glorify and serve alcohol.

Every idol has a similar destructive pattern that permeates the idolator’s entire life and causes destruction.  Idols cannot satisfy!  They leave us empty, wounded, hurting, alone, broken and desperate.

HOW DOES GOD VIEW IDOLATRY?

God sees a believer in Christ who puts something else first in his/her life and worships/serves/sacrifices for something else instead of for Christ with even greater offense, repulsion and disgust than a husband would have for his wife if he walked in and found her in the arms of another man.  To God, idolatry is the same as or even worse than adultery in the holy covenant of marriage!

IDOLS DESTROY THOSE WHO WORSHIP THEM

Whether it is food, drugs, alcohol, sex, money, fame, power, children… anything we worship other than Christ will destroy us in the end.  When we are willing to do ANYTHING to get or have something or someone – that person or thing has power over us and we are their slave.  We will give up all of our money, our time, our energy, our efforts, our family, our relationships, our health and ultimately, our lives, in order to serve our idols.  In the end, idol worship always leads to death – physically and spiritually.

When I say, “I will NOT be happy unless I have X.”  “I WILL HAVE Y and nothing will stop me from getting it!”    That is a warning sign that we are treading on idolatrous ground.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MARRIAGE IS AN IDOL?

When a  girl puts marriage as her idol… there is a progression of destruction that begins to occur.  Of course, when we put marriage as the focus and goal of our lives, we don’t have room for God to be the center of our worship, praise and sacrifice.  So we forsake Jesus and begin to serve and worship the concept of being married or even the wedding day itself.

A girl who idolizes marriage may not even care WHOM she actually marries, just that she can get married.  BEING married is the key to her, not which groom is waiting for her at the end of the aisle.  Guys can definitely smell this attitude from a mile away.  They HATE it!  If they are going to be married, they are usually going to take the institution of marriage seriously, and they want a girl who genuinely respects them as a man, one who really loves them as they are, not just any girl who wants to be married to anyone.

She may dream (or maybe – obsess) about her wedding day – the ceremony, the beautiful flowers, the gorgeous wedding gown, the decorations, the beautiful bridesmaids dresses, the handsome groom, the heavenly music, the lavish wedding ring, the expensive honeymoon and being the center of attention for that day.  What is most important to her if marriage is her idol is that she gets to have a beautiful, amazing, spectacular, expensive, lavish wedding ceremony.

The fall out of marriage/weddings being an idol:

  • A girl may not choose her groom wisely at all – and give little thought to what kind of husband he will actually be and give very little thought to what kind of wife God wants her to be in the future and how to prepare well for marriage.  She may also give little thought to marriage, only planning the wedding day.
  • A girl may be so obsessed with all the details of the wedding that she may be hateful, rude, condescending, prideful and offensive toward her fiance , family and friends that are trying to help her plan.  Because – in her mind – all that matters is what SHE wants and that everything be PERFECT!  It is the WEDDING she is serving, not anyone else.
  • She has the illusion that everything will be a fairytale if she can just get married – all her problems will go away.  A man will rescue her!  She’ll never be lonely again!  She’ll be loved and FEEL loved all the time.  All HER dreams will come true!  She will never have a need or problem once she is married.
  • If anything goes wrong, it will seem like the biggest disaster ever  – and the bride may have a very hard time overcoming problems that can occur during a ceremony.
  • She may be willing to sacrifice to her idol of a wedding ceremony by causing herself or her parents or her fiance to go into serious debt in order to make her dreams come true for a few hours during the wedding.
  • She may experience SERIOUS let down once she is actually married and the glorious wedding is over, all the attention is gone and the romantic honeymoon is history.  She may not have her reason for living anymore and might feel very depressed now that all the glory she dreamed of is past forever.
  • When she realizes that marriage or a wedding doesn’t keep her happy – she will have to find a new idol to fill the void, or she will think a new wedding or new marriage will fix her broken, discontent, unsatisfied, empty heart.
  • She might be willing to have sex with a guy, thinking she’ll make him want to stay with her if she does what he wants that one night. (That is NOT how guys work!!  It usually backfires!  They don’t bond quickly through sex the way girls do.  They commit by having a girl be a challenge to get, not by being easy.)
  • She might try to get pregnant to try to keep a guy in her life when he doesn’t seem willing to commit to her.  This guy probably won’t be a great husband or father and there will be  a LOT of heart break, drama and pain later for everyone involved, especially the child.

Marriage can’t save us, make us be happy, prevent us from being lonely, make us always feel loved, change us into better people (without God’s help), or satisfy our deepest longings.  Marriage is a gift from God to be treasured.  And He does use it to make us holy.  It is a good thing – when we marry for the right reasons and with godly motivations.  But a wedding can’t meet all our spiritual needs!  A beautiful wedding ceremony and a diamond ring won’t be enough to satisfy our deepest longings and the aching emptiness in our souls.  A wedding can’t replace God.  Marriage can’t replace God.  A husband can’t fill the needs in your soul that only God can fill.

We’ll discuss what happens when we make a man (a boyfriend, fiance or husband) our idol next!

Lord Jesus,

Help us keep You and You alone in the glory spot in our lives!  Let us be willing to sacrifice and serve only You!  Open our eyes to the things that we think we cannot live without.  Help us to see the idols and dig them out by the root!  Convict us of our sin.  Cleanse us!  Let us repent and be made right with You again.  Let us find the joy of worshipping You alone, serving You alone and sacrificing only for You.  Let us find the joy of obeying Your Word and living wholly for You!  Help us to put other things in their proper places in our lives!  Help us to develop a spirit of humility and seek Your will above our own, knowing You are trustworthy and looking out for our ultimate best interests.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

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