Author: Ron Graham
We continue to look at what God says about marriage. One of the most emphatic things he says about marriage, is that marriage is for life. Nothing but death should separate the married man and woman.
Divorce and remarriage were common in Jesus’s day. He did not approve. The story of Jesus and the woman at the well illustrates his attitude (John 4:5-18).
Only the death of one partner should dissolve a marriage and free the other to remarry. The widow or widower can of course remarry whenever they feel ready, because death has dissolved the marriage (1Corinthians 7:39).
Jesus said, "What God has joined together, let not man put asunder" (Matthew 19:6).
When man does what only death is supposed to do, that is a bad thing. It is never right, and never the will of God, that a marriage is dissolved by anything but death.
When you marry, you are bound by God for the life of the one you marry. If that bond is broken beforehand, then a very grave wrong has been committed in God’s sight, and worse still, that wrong will lead to other grave wrong.
If your intention is less definite and less committed than what God has bound, don't marry. Only marry if you are saying in your heart, “till death do us part”.
If you are already married, then you need to establish your intention to honour and preserve that marriage “as long as you both shall live” —divorce is not an option.
God has made it pretty clear what He thinks of divorce: "I hate divorce" (Malachi 2:13-16).
Matthew 19:9 shows that, when a person gets divorced and then remarries, the consummation of that marriage is an act of adultery —except where adultery causes the divorce. So either adultery results from the divorce, or the divorce results from adultery.
The only right course for the married person is to do your utmost to honour your marriage as a lifetime contract.
We now conclude our study of what God says about marriage. Of course you cannot talk about marriage without talking about love. The special relationship between husband and wife cannot be established and maintained without a true and genuine love. It takes a special kind of love to keep a marriage strong. This love is the first or foundation principle of marriage, where the husband sacrifices himself for his wife, and the wife submits herself to her husband.
Many "marital problems" can be avoided by diligent obedience to one simple yet profound command: "Husbands love your wives as Christ also loved the church ...husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself..." (Ephesians 5:25,28, 1Peter 3:7).
The Bible teaches that the man in a marriage is the head of the woman he is married to (1 Cor 11:3). The wife is to obey her husband (1 Peter 3:1-6, Ephesians 5:22-24).
The husband, however, must be caring, sharing, and self-sacrificing, loving his wife selflessly, just as Christ loved the church (1Peter 3:7, Ephesians 5:25,28-33).
The husband’s love of his wife determines the nature of his headship over her.
A marriage is likely to fail if...
Marriage is founded upon a husband’s Christ-like love for his wife. If the wife respects and trusts that love, she will be a happy wife. And we all know that a happy wife makes for a happy life.