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IS MARRIAGE EXCLUSIVE OR OPEN?

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MarriageExclusiveA Facebook question popped up on my Facebook over the weekend: “What's your take on guys and girls being friends? Even best friends? Can a girl be friends with a guy who isn't friends with her spouse and just be friends? Vice versa too? Can it be a purely platonic relationship?”

I was grieved in my spirit by the answers to this question. Most answered saying they thought it was healthy and beneficial to have friends of the opposite sex who were not their husband.

I beg your pardon! What has happened to God’s ideal of marriage? What has happened to the sacredness of marriage? What has happened to keeping our solemn marriage vows?

The marriage officiant asks the groom: “Do you take [bride’s name] to be your wedded wife, to live together in marriage? Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, and FORSAKING ALL OTHERS, BE FAITHFUL ONLY UNTO HER, as long as you both shall live?” The bride is asked the same question.

We know that “forsaking all others,” means to keep sexually pure in marriage. But I believe it means more than that. It means forsaking personal friendships (without including your husband) with the opposite sex. I don’t care what all these young marrieds say, it is not in God’s plan for marriage. Now that doesn’t mean you can’t have friendship with men. My husband and I have many friendships with couples and families. Our lives have been given to hospitality through the years and we have enjoyed the rich blessing of many couples at our table as we fellowship together.

But I wouldn’t dream of going out to eat or going somewhere on my own with the husband of that couple. Why do I need to do that? Why do I need another guy apart from my husband? Isn’t he enough? My husband is my best friend. I have vowed to forsake all others and be faithful only unto him—sexually, emotionally, mentally, and because of my scared marriage vows. And this is not dependent upon feelings, but upon commitment.

And how does this affect our children, the next generation? As I write my thoughts, I stopped and talked to my Above Rubies helpers in the office, young girls in their twenties. I asked them how they would feel if their father or mother went out on their own with someone of the opposite sex. They were aghast. They felt it was wrong. They said it would make them feel very insecure. One girl mentioned that before she came to Above Rubies, she was coming home from work and saw her mother with another man in the car. Her heart fell. She arrived home to find that her mother was taking the builder home who was working on the house! But just seeing another man in the car upset her.

The Bible tells us that love is jealous. What kind of love does a husband have for his wife if he is happy with her being with other guys? Or vice versa.

One comment from the Facebook stated: “Psychology has proven that relationships thrive when both parties maintain friendships outside of the relationship (meaning with the opposite sex).” I’m tired of listening to man-made wisdom. I’d rather adhere to God’s Word!

Song of Solomon 8:6: “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death: jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.” It’s not wrong for a husband or wife to be jealous of their spouse giving attention to another man.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians and said: “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2, 3).

God states emphatically in Exodus 20:3-5: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me . . . Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am jealous God.”

Marriage is a mystery. It is a picture of God and His people Israel. It is a picture of Christ and the church. God’s first commandment is to love Him with all our hearts and souls and minds and strength. And to cleave to Him. God is jealous when we love other things more than Him. He wants us to have the same commitment to Him that has to us. Hosea 2:19, 20 says: “I will betroth thee unto me forever: yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness.”

The marriage relationship is an exclusive relationship. We do not share it with another, apart from couples together.

Be blessed, Nancy Campbell

Nancy Campbell

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Nancy Campbell is an internationally known author, speaker, and authority on Biblical Motherhood and Family.


Called to the encouragement and lifting up of wives, mothers, and women throughout the world as Director of the Above Rubies Ministry, she is the author of 6 books, as well as,  numerous teaching CDs and several DVD's.


As author and publisher of the Above Rubies Magazine with a circulation of over 130.000 issues per printing, this wonderful magazine is provided at no-cost to subscribers in over 100 countries around the world.


Ministering to wives, mothers, and women with Godly counsel and encouragement, this magazine is a God-send to many. Nancy often speaks at numerous women's seminars and retreats throughout the year also.


Believing God’s plan for mothers is "building godly generations", she seeks to impart God’s truth to the next generation and their children too.


Nancy invites you to study all of the materials offered and to thoroughly comb the website for articles and stories that will encourage, motivate and build up your desire to fulfill God's plan for your life.

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