The preacher turned the bottle cap, holding the soda bottle close to the microphone. A hiss could be heard as carbonation escaped. Satisfied, he closed the bottle and moved the microphone back to his mouth. “If I go to drink that soda three days from now, is there going to be any fizz left? No, there will not. I opened it too soon. All the fizz is going to escape. Don’t you want fizz in your marriage? Well, don’t let the cork out too soon.”
His topic was pre-marital sex. The soda bottle fizz was just one of a number of illustrations the preacher used to try to convince his audience to save sex for marriage.
The illustration didn’t work for me. Surely there can still be pleasure in a marriage even if one or both partners had pre-marital sex, right? Mustn’t there be a better reason not to have pre-marital sex?
I believe there is. The reason to save sex for marriage is that marriage is intended as a symbol of Christ’s union with the church. Sex is a way of demonstrating and cementing that union. God doesn’t want us to have sex with anyone but our spouse because that would tarnish the marital union. That would be infidelity and God is supremely faithful.
We’re doing “Ex-seminarians on” the attributes of God. The attribute I’m interested in is faithfulness. God is perfectly faithful.
Sadly, as fallen humans we lack perfect faithfulness in our relationships. We enter and leave romantic relationships. We are inconstant within those relationships, not providing consistent love and support for our partner. An act of grievous sin (adultery, for example) can cause us to permanently withdraw our love from that partner and direct it elsewhere.
Yet, God, our bridegroom, is not like this. He is perfectly, eternally faithful.
James says that with God there is “no variation, no play of passing shadows.” (1:16-17)
Paul says that “there is nothing in death or life, in the realm of spirits or superhuman powers, in the world as it is or the world as it shall be, in the forces of the universe, in heights or depths – nothing in all creation that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus out Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
What’s more, that love was there “while we were yet sinners and that is God’s own proof of his love towards us.” (Romans 5:8)
I experienced God’s faithfulness in real and vital ways last year. Even when I strayed far away in sin, He was close and constant. He blessed me immensely even after my rebellion – with a new start, a new job and a wonderful boyfriend – but the most important blessing was his unfailing, unbreakable faithful love.
An important, precious attribute of God is His faithfulness. God is good.