WHAT GOD HAS TO SAY ABOUT MARRIAGE
by Dennis L Wingfield
Dennis L. Wingfield
Rejoice Marriage Ministries
“God heals hurting marriages!”
Every week I receive emails asking questions on God’s will for a particular marriage. Each person responds that they know what God’s Word says concerning marriage BUT their circumstances are such and such, therefore they can do such and such, all contrary to the Word of God.
These comments have me wondering if these individuals really do understand what God’s Word has to say about marriage, divorce and remarriage. In view of the volume of mail I receive on the subject, I feel that a view of God’s commands concerning marriage is in order.
The first obstacle I encounter is the notion that God’s laws do not apply to non-believers. God is the creator of the universe and everything in it. His laws concerning His creation are not dependent upon the state of a person’s heart. God’s laws apply equally to non-believers and believers. Using the excuse, “I was a non-believer when I was married three times” does not exempt this individual from the laws of God concerning marriage and divorce.
Given this understanding of the applicability of God’s laws, what does He have to say about the covenant of marriage?
The Lord God said,”It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18
As God created man for fellowship with Him, He also created woman so that the man would have a suitable companion. She is not just a man with a womb, she is a totally different creation yet equal with man in God’s eyes.
“But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman for she is taken out of man.” Genesis 2:20-23
God instituted this one-flesh marriage as a gift to Adam and Eve. They were made perfect for each other. Marriage was not a creation of man or any culture, but a creation of God to bless His children. God takes marriage very seriously. The next verse states God’s view concerning His wishes regarding the marriage covenant He created…
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,
and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24
In the Old Testament divorce, remarriage and multiple marriages had crept into the Jewish culture.
Jesus addressed this issue by saying…
“‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,”‘ and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?” So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.'” Matthew 19:4-6
The individuals questioning Jesus were trying to trick Him into speaking against Jewish laws and customs, so they pressured Him about Moses allowing divorce…”Why then,’ they asked, ‘did Moses (a man ) command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?’
Jesus replied, ‘Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife…and marries another woman commits adultery.'”
In just a few sentences, Jesus reinforces God’s original plan for marriage…
Marriage is one man, one woman, for life!
He also says that divorce and remarriage is the SIN of adultery. Lest you think that remarriage is a one-time act of adultery, which can be repented and then continued, consider the story of the woman that was to be stoned for the act of adultery…”The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The Law of Moses commanded us to stone such a woman. Now what do you say?’ Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’ At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time…until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared, ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.'”John 8:3-11
This story most often is used to show that we all are sinners and we are not to condemn others for their sins. It also shows God’s mercy to sinners through His forgiveness of our misdeeds. However, do not overlook the words of Jesus in the last verse of this story, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” Jesus did not tell this woman, “Your sin of adultery is forgiven, go continue as you have been doing.”
No, Jesus expects us to turn from our life of sin when we come to the realization that our actions are not in keeping with the commands given to us in God’s Word. So if marriage is a permanent covenant according to God’s Word, what does God have to say about divorce?
“I hate divorce,” says the Lord God. Malachi 2:16
“By law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.” Romans 7:2-3
So we see God hates divorce, and only death can break the marriage covenant, and remarriage while a spouse is still alive, it’s adultery. Why is this so difficult to understand? Why are the divorced being remarried in the church when scripture specifically prohibits it? God is not happy with those in the church preaching theology contrary to His Word.
“But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 18:6
In spite of clear doctrine to the contrary, divorce still happens. What does Gods Word have to say concerning those that are divorced?
“To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.” 1Corinthians 7:10-11
God gives the divorced two choices: reconcile or remain single. The only exception allowing a person to remarry is if their spouse has died. Why are pulpits silent on this clear teaching from the Word of God? Lord forgive us for our disobedience of your Word.
In closing, many say that the Lord has told them to give up on their marriages, to stop standing, and often to remarry. The test to see if what you are hearing is in fact from God, check it out against His Word. God cannot contradict himself. If what you are hearing disagrees with the commands in God’s Word, it is NOT from God. Satan wants nothing better than for you to give up on your marriage. Why does he wish this? Because He knows by breaking up your family the battle is not over if you continue to stand for your marriage. He knows that in the end, he will lose when you are standing in agreement with God for the healing of your marriage. Anything he can do to sway you away from Biblical teaching will help ensure his victory. The only way Satan can get at God is through the disobedience of His children.
Remember, that you are only defeated when you give up. Continue to fight and pray for your home. Do not be deceived by the evil one into giving up. Do not believe in the falsehood that God has someone better for you. God has someone better for you; your one-flesh mate when He cleans her/him up and brings her/him home like He did with Gomer.
I am standing in agreement with you, praying for you and your spouse.
Many blessings are in store for you when you are obedient to your marriage vows and God’s Word.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15
God bless you, O faithful and obedient men and women of God!
Dennis L. Wingfield
Rejoice Marriage Ministries
“God heals hurting marriages!”