In the Garden of Eden, God allowed man to eat of every tree, that is, every tree but the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Now, most everyone in the Christian community knows what happened when Adam and Eve broke this commandment of God. Although all things in this life belong to God, there are a few things which one treads upon very carefully, or they shall receive a similar punishment. Let us examine one of two institutions God holds dearly, and will hold man accountable if they misuse it. It is called marriage. The other is called the church, which we will examine in another lesson if God permits.
Since the beginning of time on earth God has paired both man and woman together as husband and wife. It first began with Adam and Eve and continues until this very day. God made marriage to be between one man and one woman and that for life. Ge 2:24 God, and only God sanctions marriage. Man can’t join two people together and make them one flesh. God hates divorce! Mal 2:16 And God never intended man to divorce his wife and marry another. Life, unlike what most want to believe is not full of second chances. When it comes to marriage God never sanctioned divorce under the law of marriage. Jesus said that because of the hardness of Israel’s heart Moses allowed a man to divorce his wife for any reason and to take another to be his wife. Deut 24:1 f; Mt 19:8 Take note, God allowed no woman to divorce her husband under the law of Moses.
So, why is there such confusion about marriage? The confusion is about what Jesus told his disciples in Mathew 19:9. Jesus said that any man who divorced his wife, except it be for fornication and marries another has committed adultery. First of all, if God truly hates divorce, then why do you think God would now allow women to divorce her husband, as most every denomination and the churches of Christ teach? The latest statistics reveal that women in America divorce their husbands at a rate of 80:20. Secondly, did Jesus actually say women could divorce their husband in Matthew 19:9 and remarry? No, he did not. Does the word woman or wife mean spouse in Matthew 19:9? No, it meant exactly what it said. Does “whosoever” mean both man and woman? No it does not. Whosoever simply means anyone, and this anyone must have a wife. Unless this wicked generation wants to say God sanctioned lesbian marriages, then this means that this “anyone” is man and not woman.
So, does the bible address a woman’s marital estate? Yes it does. Take note of what Paul said to the Romans: “For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.” Rom 7:2-3 Paul addressed woman again in his writing to the Corinthians when he said, “A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” 1 Cor 7:39 Notice that Paul never once sited an exception for women to divorce and remarry. If a married woman sins by divorcing her husband she is commanded to remain unmarried. 1 Cor 7:10,11 Therefore, no where in the entire bible does God condone a woman to divorce her husband and remarry for any reason. She is bound to her husband so long as he lives, and if he dies, then she is at liberty to marry any man, only in the Lord.
As concerning the one reason God gave man to divorce his wife, “fornication” or what is commonly called (sexual intercourse), man must tread very carefully. Under the old law if a woman and man were caught in the act of adultery, they were stoned to death. If a man suspicioned his wife to be cheating with another, then the priest would give her holy water with the dust of the tabernacle to drink and if her thigh rotted and her belly swelled then she was guilty of the crime against her husband and she would be a curse to her people. Nu 25 However, today we have no such thing to prove infidelity in all cases. Thus, man must be 100% sure his wife has committed whoredom against him lest he divorce is wife unlawfully and cause a multitude of sins.
There are literally billions today who are living in adultery in the eyes of the Lord. Some of these call themselves members of the body of Christ. Some are preachers and teachers, some are elders and deacons, and some are regular members of the Lord’s church. All of them, because they have broken God’s law of adultery and remain unrepentant, will face hell and damnation because of their sin. The law of marriage is a simple one, but a hard one for mankind to obey.
If man divorces his wife and there is no fornication committed against him by his wife, he has sinned and must repent of it and remain unmarried for the rest of his life. If he remarries, he must repent and put away his unlawful wife and remain unmarried for the rest of his life. If a woman divorces her husband she has sinned and must repent and remain unmarried for the rest of her life or be reconciled back to her husband. If a woman commits fornication against her husband and he divorces her, she must remain unmarried for the rest of her life. If a woman divorces her husband or has been divorced by her husband and remarries, she has sinned and must put away her unlawful husband and remain unmarried for the rest of her life.
The bottom line is this, the law of marriage is a serious matter and has serious repercussions: Remain married for life is the simple answer. However, should the marriage break up for whatever reason, tread carefully, cause your soul is at risk of eternal damnation. Marriage is an institution which belongs to God, and is governed by his rules and not ours. Keep them, and you shall live, break them and you will suffer the consequences. The scriptures have warned us all!