Some Couples Are Only Married On Paper

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Water for people who are Married On Paper

by Dr. Gloria Shell Mitchell

A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook(Proverbs 18:4 NLT).  The author provides biblical insight for persons who are married on paper (MOPs) and those who lack understanding of the real intent for marriage. The move to legalize same-sex marriages is deemed the equivalent of unwise parents handing a stack of papers and a box of matches to their unsupervised children. Everyone around them will be in the line of fire or directly impacted by the fallout of bad decisions made by the uninformed and misinformed.

What Marriage is Not

Marriage is not to be entered into lightly. Marriage is not the result of an emotional experience or a business deal.  Marriage is not a game to be played or a trump card to be  tossed to secure your financial status, benefits, reputation, tax break, career, or citizenship.  Marriage is not a fad to adopt for a season, or a word that can be redefined as the wind shifts its direction.  Marriage is not for the faint-hearted.

What Marriage Is

Marriage is the oldest institution known to humanity.  So God created human beings, making them to be like himself.  He created them male and female, blessed them, and said, “Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth and bring it under their control. I am putting you in charge of all the fish, the birds, and all the wild animals”(Gen 1:27-28 TEV). God looked at everything he had made, and he was very pleased (Gen 1:31 TEV).

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed (Genesis 2:7-8 NKJV) And the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable [suitable]to him.”  Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was it’s name.  So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field.  But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.  And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.  And Adam said: ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed (Gen 2:18-25 NKJV). Understanding“One flesh” can be enhanced by connecting a male and a female screw to see how snugly they fit together.

He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord (Proverbs 18:22).  Marriage is a good thing, to be enjoyed by a man and woman who are anatomically and physiologically created to be joined together as one.

Although God view of marriage is unequivocally a relationship between a male and a female, some people’s thoughts have become nonsense and they’ve turned away from God and adopted them own views.  They say they are wise, but they are fools, instead of worshiping the immortal God, they worship images made to looklike mortals or birds or animals or reptiles.  And so God has given those people over to do the filthy things their hearts desire, and they do shameful things with each other.  They exchange the truth about God for a lie, they worship and serve what God has created instead of the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever!  Amen.

Because they do this, God has given them over to shameful passions.  Even the women pervert the natural use of their sex by unnatural acts.  In the same way the men give up natural sexual relations with women and burn with passion for each other.  Men do shameful things with each other, and as a result they bring upon themselves the punishment they deserve for their wrongdoing.

Because those people refuse to keep in mind the true knowledge about God, he has given them over to corrupted minds, so they do the things that they should not do (Romans 1:22-28 TEV). There’s nothing new about homosexuality except the thrust to legalize it by obtaining a piece of paper called a marriage license.

Marriage is a relationship which challenges men and women to practice self-control.  In the following passages, a father urges his son:  Be faithful to your own wife and give your love to her alone.  Children that you have by other women will do you no good.  Your children should grow up to help you, not strangers.  So be happy with your wife and find your joy with the woman you married – pretty and graceful as a deer.  Let her charms keep you happy; let her surround you with her love.  Son, why should you give your love to another woman?  Why should you prefer the charms of another man’s wife?  The Lord sees everything you do.  Wherever you go, he is watching.  The sins of the wicked are a trap.  They get caught in the net of their own sin.  They die because they have no self-control.  Their utter stupidity will send them to their graves (Proverbs 5:15-23 TEV). 

What Marriage Has Become

Although more than fiftypercent of marriages between a man and woman have become divorce statistics, this is not an invitation to find a same-sex companion or even a different spouse. Same-sex marriage has become an alternative lifestyle that likewise ends in failed relationships.  Being a MOP does not gain God’s approval regardless of how good you strive to be.  God speaks against the wickedness of the people of the city of Sodom saying, “And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me, therefore I took them away as I saw fit” (Ekekiel 16:50 NKJV).  What was the abomination?  “As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7 NKJV).  God himself used the word “abomination” for same-sex (strange flesh) relationships.

How did humans come so far from where we started in the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve became one flesh?  Obviously, more attention has been focused on created beings than on the Creator God.  MOPs need water in order to serve their purpose. Water for MOPs is the living truth as stated in the Bible.  In addition to same-sex unions, MOPs  include adulterers, individuals in marriages that lack intimacy, and separated couples whose marriage certificate is the only indicator that they are married.  It’s time to saturate MOPs with water and clean house.

What Marriage Should Be

There is a clear difference in the gender of husbands and wives.  Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered (1 Pet 3:7 NKJV).  A husband should consider the lesser physical strength and vulnerability of the wife.  Women may try to appear masculine but their strength does not match that of men.  Effeminate males have been endowed with strength even if they don’t utilize it.

The Greek definition of the term “marry” means to form an affinity group.  Given the definition of “affinity” as a natural liking for or attraction to a person, thing, or idea, it follows that married on paper does not constitute a marriage in the true sense of the word because God says attraction to the same sex is unnatural.

God presented Adam with his wife named Eve – not Steve –  and there is a clear difference between those who are married on paper and those couples who have formed a marriage union.  If you’re a MOP, remember, “Marriage is to be honored by all, and husbands and wives must be faithful to each other.  God will judge those who are immoral and those who commit adultery (Hebrews 13:4 TEV).  Marriage should be a joyful union between a man and a woman.  God has declared the sanctity of marriage and he delights in conjugal relationships that are not polluted by perverse practices in a lewd society.

What Marriage Requires

Christ gave us a model for marriage.  So, Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He mightpresent her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:25-27 NKJV).  “God overlooked people’s former ignorance about these things, but now he commands everyone everywhere to turn away from idols [anybody or anything you love more than God]and turn to him.  For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him [Jesus] from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31 NLT).

Jesus had this conversation with a woman at a well:

“Those who drink this water will get thirsty again, but those who drink the water that that I will give them will never be thirsty again.  The water that I will give them will become in them a spring which will provide them with life-giving water and give them eternal life.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “give me that water!  Then I will never be thirsty again, nor will I have to come here to draw water.”

“Go and call your husband,” Jesus told her, “and come back.”

“I don’t have a husband,” she answered.

Jesus replied, “You are right when you say you don’t have a husband.  You have been married to five men, and the man you live with now is not really your husband.  You have told me the truth” (John 4: 13-18 TEV).

Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully (Matthew 5:6 TEV).  What does God require?  May all MOPs – like the woman at the well who confessed that the man she was living with was not her husband – respond likewise.  Jesus requires obedience to the word of God.  Males and females who are married on paper – and all persons who condone same-sex marriages – now is the time to come to Jesus, drink his life-giving water, and never thirst again.

Dr. Gloria Shell Mitchell, a divorce intervention and recovery counselor and author, documents concerns for failed marriages and hurting couples in her dissertation, “Compassionately Addressing Divorce: A Redemptive Model of Ministry to Divorced Christian Leaders,”


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