The Apple Of God's Eye

April 30, 2009

Marriage And Divorce: What Does The Bible Teach?

Filed under: Marriage — melchia @ 9:19 pm
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instituted marriage when He made a wife for Adam (Gen. 2:18). He instructed that a man ought to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and become one flesh with her (Gen. 2:24). God’s will is for marriage to last for life — with each partner loving, honoring, caring for, and cleaving to the other just as Christ loves and cares for His Church. The Bible teaches the sacredness of marital vows. 
 
But, we live in an imperfect world beset by human weakness, “hardness of heart,” unfaithfulness, wickedness, irresponsibility, and all such things. People do sin. Divorce occurs even though God “hates putting away” (Mal. 2:16). 
 
What does one do if he or she has already been divorced? When a person repents and is converted, all his past sins are forgiven (Acts 2:38; Ps. 103:1-3, 10-12). Any past divorce would 
be included, and the person would be free to marry again. 
However, Paul was also inspired to write that a converted person must not leave or divorce a mate (even one unconverted)  who is pleased to continue the marriage (I Cor. 7:10-13). To divorce a faithful mate and marry another is adultery (Matt. 19:9). Divorce and remarriage is not sanctioned once God has entered the marriage and bound the couple for life (Matt. 5:32). 
But what if an unconverted mate voluntarily leaves the converted Christian? Then, as Paul wrote, that Christian may be divorced (“loosed”) from an unbelieving mate and does not sin if he remarries (I Cor. 7:27-28). 
 
Although the unconverted world cannot receive Christ’s teaching, all who are His ought to obey Him implicitly, not only in refraining from divorce but also in using all their resources to build a truly loving relationship (Eph. 5:22-31; I Pet. 3:1-7). Our earthly marriages ought to picture the great love 
relationship between Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:32). 
 

God instituted marriage when He made a wife for Adam (Gen. 2:18). He instructed that a man ought to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and become one flesh with her (Gen. 2:24). God’s will is for marriage to last for life — with each partner loving, honoring, caring for, and cleaving to the other just as Christ loves and cares for His Church. The Bible teaches the sacredness of marital vows. 

But, we live in an imperfect world beset by human weakness, “hardness of heart,” unfaithfulness, wickedness, irresponsibility, and all such things. People do sin. Divorce occurs even though God “hates putting away” (Mal. 2:16). 
 
What does one do if he or she has already been divorced? When a person repents and is converted, all his past sins are forgiven (Acts 2:38; Ps. 103:1-3, 10-12). Any past divorce would be included, and the person would be free to marry again. 
However, Paul was also inspired to write that a converted person must not leave or divorce a mate (even one unconverted)  who is pleased to continue the marriage (I Cor. 7:10-13). To divorce a faithful mate and marry another is adultery (Matt. 19:9). Divorce and remarriage is not sanctioned once God has entered the marriage and bound the couple for life (Matt. 5:32).
 
But what if an unconverted mate voluntarily leaves the converted Christian? Then, as Paul wrote, that Christian may be divorced (“loosed”) from an unbelieving mate and does not sin if he remarries (I Cor. 7:27-28). 
 
Although the unconverted world cannot receive Christ’s teaching, all who are His ought to obey Him implicitly, not only in refraining from divorce but also in using all their resources to build a truly loving relationship (Eph. 5:22-31; I Pet. 3:1-7). Our earthly marriages ought to picture the great love relationship between Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:32). 

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