Caring for Family
4 Marriage is to be honored by all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, because God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers. 5 Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for he himself has said, I will never leave you or abandon you. 6 Therefore, we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Hebrews 13:4-6)
After the exhortation for Christians to care for others, specifically those in special circumstances, such as traveling missionaries and imprisoned believers, the author then focuses in these next three verses on caring for family. At the time, Jewish and Gentile marriages both were suffering from promiscuity and immorality. The author states that Christian marriage must be different: “Marriage is to be honored by all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, because God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers.” In order to uphold strong Christian families, two aspects of marriage are listed. First, that marriage is to be honored by all. Believers must hold marriage in high regard, as it had been established by God. Second, that “the marriage bed kept undefiled,” meaning that those who are married must remain faithful to one another. As motivation, God is the One who will be personally judging those who succumb to the temptation of infidelity.
After focusing on fortifying marriages, in verse 5, the author focuses on keeping the family unit stable by avoiding materialism: “Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, “I will never leave you or abandon you.” Like previous, there are two actions to avoid this temptation. First, do not fall in love with money. Do not make your life’s goal to be the acquisition of money. The focus should be on God solely. Second, “be satisfied with what you have.” God being with you and His promise of never abandoning you should give us complete contentment. As Asaph wrote in Psalm 73:25-26, “Who do I have in heaven but You? And I desire nothing on earth but You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever.” What else do we need but God?
The final threat to the family unit that the author wants to focus on is anxiety. The author quotes from Psalm 118:6-7, “The Lord is for me; I will not be afraid. What can a mere mortal do to me? 7 The Lord is my helper; therefore, I will look in triumph on those who hate me.” With external pressures from the world, it is easy to succumb to fear. Yet, the truth that the Lord is there to help in times of trouble will give us the hope we need to overcome that fear, that anxiety. What is the answer to the question with God as our helper, “What can man do to me?” Absolutely nothing.
May we uphold marriage as God had ordained it. May we love God and pursue Him only instead of materialism that fades away. May we remain steadfast, clinging on to the truth that God promises to never abandon His children.
Isaac De Guzman