Marriage is an institution given and ordained by God (Gen 2:24). God intended marriage to be for life (Mk 10:9). Marriage is an institution which was given to man to prevent fornication (1 Cor 7:2). Under the law of Moses, God permitted man (because of the hardness of Israel’s heart) to divorce his wife for any cause and be married to another (Deut 24:1). However, under the law of Christ, man could only divorce his wife and be married to another if the cause for the divorce be the fornication of the wife (Mt 5:32 f; Mt 19:9). There can be many reasons given why marriage for a husband and his wife doesn’t work. However, most often they fall under four basic categories.
1. Unfaithfulness (Matt. 19:9 f; 1 Cor. 7:24; Heb. 13:4). There is nothing that can cause a divorce quicker than infidelity. Why? Because it breaks the trust a couple have between each other when they took their vows to remain together, forsaking all others. Fidelity is the glue which will keep two together for a lifetime. Israel was unfaithful to the Lord and eventually He divorced her (Jer 3:8). Yes, the Lord sought reconciliation many times, even after He came into the world, but she rejected Him. Thus, He divorced her for her idolatry and became married to us (Rom 7:2-4). Even so, Christ permitted man to divorce his wife is she also played the harlot. However, no other reason was given that would allow a man to divorce his wife and be married to another. All such marriages would be adulterous and not ordained by God.
2. Lack Of Affection (Gen. 2:23-24 ff; Eph. 5:25, 28,29; 1 Cor. 7:3). Sex within the marriage is not only condoned by God, it is commanded. God knows the nature of mankind to have physical and emotional needs. In marriage, mankind is permitted to have any kind of sex with each other they desire, for their bed is undefiled (Heb 13:4). “It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Cor 7:1-6). Therefore, husbands and wives are prohibited from withholding sex from one another unless they mutually agree upon it.
3. Disrespect One For Another. Let the husband be a tyrant with his family (Eph. 5:28, 29, 33 ff; Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21). Let the wife not love, honor, and obey her husband (Prov. 31:30 ff; Eph. 5:22, 24, 33; Col. 3:18; 1 Pet. 3:1). God set man to rule his wife in everything. God placed women under the authority of the man. Whenever this hierarchy is broken, the marriage will also be broken. Man should respect his wife as the mother of his children, and the keeper of the home. “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Pet 3:7) Woman should respect her husband as the provider and lawgiver of her home. “For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror” (1 Pet 3:5-6).
4. A Godless Marriage (Deut. 4:9-10 ff; Josh. 24:14-15; Psalms 101:2; Prov. 31:10-31; Acts 16:15). Whenever God is taken out of the marriage, it will fail. Yes, there are marriages that are bound together by money and sexual desire. Some, despite the odds will last a lifetime. However, most fail when the money runs dry or when the passion ends. Happy and sound marriages last a lifetime when they are approved of by God and God’s principles of marriage are properly applied. A Christian marriage has man providing for, protecting, and loving his wife, and bringing up his children in the admonition of the Lord (1 Tim 5:8 ff; Eph 5:25; Eph 6:4; The wife takes care of the home, loves her children, and loves and obeys her husband (1 Tim 2:14 ff; Tit 2:4,5).
Is your marriage ordained by God or by man? Gay marriage is ordained by man, not God. Adulterous marriage is ordained by man and not God. What kind of marriage do you have? You need to know, because an ungodly marriage can send your soul to hell just as quickly as not obeying the gospel of Christ (1 Cor 6:9,10 ff; Gal 5:19-21 f; 2 Thess 1:7-9)!