“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1). Shortly after God finished His marvelous and amazing work, God designed and ordained the beautiful institution of marriage. “The Lord God said, It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (Genesis 2:18, 20). “Help”, Hebrew EZER, means “aid” and is translated “help.” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, p. 478). The aid or help taken from man’s side was a “woman…her” (Genesis 2:22), a “female.” (Genesis 1:27). She, the woman, not he, not a man, was brought to the man, Adam. The female became the male (man’s) wife. (Genesis 2:22, 23). Cf. Matthew 19:4. God said of this man and woman, “They shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24). We do not read of this being changed anywhere in the word of God. Only man has made a change.
This beautiful God-designed and God-ordained union is used by the inspired apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 1:1; 2; 2 Peter 1:20, 21) to picture “Christ and the Church.” (Ephesians 5:21-33, especially verse 32). Paul also used marriage to show that the law of Moses ended, and the law of Christ became the law. Notice, that the “law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth. For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law to her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.” (Romans 7:1-3). In verse four, Paul shows that similarly, those who were under the law are now to be married to Christ. In these four verses, Paul teaches two things: (1) All are now dead to the law, and rightfully married to Christ; (2) Anyone married to one who has died may now be remarried. The Hebrew writer said, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled:….” (Hebrews 13:4). Paul told Christians, “I have espoused (joined—JP) you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin unto Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 21:2). “Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” (Ephesians 5:25). What joy could exist if the church loved Christ as much as He loves her!!! What blissful marriages there would be if each husband and wife loved the other like that described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8!!! Cf. also Ephesians 5:25, 28, 33.
Please consider other things God designed and ordained for the lovely and charming institution of marriage. The Master Creator designed and ordained that marriage be life-long. Jesus said, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:9). “The Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away:….” (Malachi 2:16). God, however, gave two reasons for a husband or wife to enter into a second marriage. First, “It is appointed unto man once to die,….” (Hebrews 9:27). When a wife’s husband is dead, she “is loosed from the law of her husband…she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.” (Romans 7:1-3). The same would be true of a husband. Second, Jesus said, “Whosoever shall put away his wife, and shall marry another committeth adultery against her.” (Mark 10:11, 12). That is the law. However, Jesus gave one exception to that law when He said, “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” (Matthew 5:32; Cf. 19:9). According to these verses, Jesus allowed or permitted an innocent marital partner to remarry IF (1) one’s spouse actually committed (not lusted) fornication, a general word, including any sinful sexual act(s), whether between a male and female, two males, two females, bestiality, or other sinful sexual practices, or (2) if one’s marital partner died. (Romans 7:1-3).
The Great Creator admonished husbands, “Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none of you deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.” (Malachi 2:15). Paul’s statements in Ephesians 5:21-33 would demand that the wife be as careful not to deal unfaithfully with her husband. This would solidify marriages. A normal body cannot have two (2) heads. Paul wrote, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church:….” (Ephesians 5:23). He also said, “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” (Verse 24). These are not divine suggestions, but designs and ordinations of God. Faithful Christians will follow these laws. “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:21), lovingly. (Verses 21-33).
Questions the writer has been asked over sixty (60) years. (1) Are people who became Christians after entering into unscriptural marriages in violation of God’s law? Answer. Yes. The Corinthians were amenable, subject to God’s law prior to becoming Christians. That is why they were lost. Could one steal another’s car, money, and wife, but keep the wife, while having to return the car and money? (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). (2) Can one please God if one leaves one’s mate for some reason other than fornication? Answer. Yes, but neither can remarry, except to one another. (1 Corinthians 7:10, 11). Grounds for remarriage are ei mee epi porneia, if not for fornication, that is, if fornication has not been committed. (Matthew 19:9). (3) May I scripturally divorce my spouse who mentally, emotionally, and physically abuses me? Answer. A believer may leave a spouse who is not pleased to dwell with him/her, but may not remarry unless the spouse was put away for committing fornication. (4) My spouse and I agreed to separate, though neither of us committed fornication. Can one or both of us remarry? Answer. No. Only one could remarry, the innocent party. (Matthew 19:9). (5) The Church and/or (my)(a) preacher accepts our marriage for reasons other than fornication. Answer. The church at Corinth and preachers taught and accepted many things contrary to the teaching of Jesus, but that did not make it right. (1 Corinthians 5:1-5, and other chapters; 1 Peter 4:11; Colossians 3:17; 1 Timothy 1:19, 20; etc.). (6) It was accepted under the Old Testament (Matthew 19:7; Deuteronomy 24:1). Answer. “Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.” (Matthew 19:6, 8). (7) The government allows divorce for many reasons, and the government is ordained of God. Answer. “The powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1). “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.” (Romans 13:1). However, when there is a difference between what God has said and what the government says, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29). (8) Friends, relatives, and others support me in divorcing my spouse on grounds other than fornication. Can they be wrong? Answer. Yes, they can, and they are. (Matthew 19:9; Cf. Galatians 1:6-9). Were Satan and Adam and Eve wrong in the garden? (Genesis 3).Was “Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin” right or wrong, righteous or sinful? (1 Kings 22:52). (9) Am I wrong because I married one of the same sex? Answer. Yes. (Romans 1:18-32; Genesis 18:20; Jude 7; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11); etc. (10) May I remarry after the one who put me away for committing fornication remarries? No! (Matthew 19:9). If so, there is no purpose for the law of Matthew 19:9.
Beloved, eternity is before you. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” (Joshua 24:15). Will you trade an eternity in heaven for a short time here in pleasurable disobedience to God? Hopefully, not!!!!!