What Does the Bible Say About Marriage?
The Bible is clear on this topic of marriage. But, throughout history people have made it complicated.
Let's take it from the perspective of what does the Bible say about marriage?
As Christians we hold to the truth that the Bible is the standard by which we live our lives. We believe that it is the inspired Word of God.
- 2 Timothy 3
- 1 Peter 1
Needing to understand the more solid meat, to understand what God would have us to know.
- 1 Corinthians 3:1-3
We need to be able to take away the jealousies, the strife, and preconceived notions that we might have, and really look at what God says.
What Does Jesus Say Concerning Marriage?
The Pharisees come to Jesus and specifically ask him about marriage, and divorcing their wives.
- Matthew 19:3, Beginning in verse three, they ask if it's lawful to divorce for any reason.
- Mark 10:4, What did Moses, command you?
- Deuteronomy 24:1-4, Looking at what Moses said regarding divorce, it does seem that the Pharisees might have a point, in allowing for a bill of divorce for any reason.
We have to keep things in mind the situation that the Israelite nation was coming out of, the Egyptian bondage where marriage didn't have any real law. So we see that Moses is attempting to show that marriage has more meaning than what they had previously known.
The Jews in the 1st century took their philosophies from two different schools of thought, the House of Hillel and the House of Shimei. The debate between these two schools were that in the House of Shimei, a man could divorce his wife only for in unchastity, because that would mean indecency in her, referencing Deut. 24.
The House of Hillel, said, even if she spoiled his dish, because that would mean indecency in anything.
The Pharisees were being clever with their questioning. They were trying to catch him between these two schools, to catch him in some error.
But, Moses never commanded divorce. He perhaps was allowing them to continue in an Egyptian tradition.
While Jesus knew what Moses had said, He also knew and understood what God's desire for marriage was from the beginning.
Jesus' Response to Those Seeking to Question Him on Marriage
- Matthew 19:3, we see they were seeking to tempt him.
"The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
With simplicity He answers their questions. He basically says, "NO." He takes them back to the beginning where God established two people bound as one flesh, living as one person, for life. Man's traditions, thoughts and ideas complicates the matter.
The Pharisee's Response to Jesus' Answer About Marriage
His answer is simple, and it stunned them, and still stuns people today in it's simplicity. But, man can't be satisfied with this answer.
They ask him why Moses command for a writing of divorcement, verse 7.
"He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery." - Matthew 16:9,10
Man's thought and tradition has complicated what should be a very simple answer. For example, in regards to Gender roles.
Moses' command was dealing with the hardness of the people's hearts, not willing to obey God, trying to bring them back to some right relationship with God. And, living in an imperfect law that God had, even at this time, a plan to destroy when Jesus came on the scene.
The Pharisees tried to justify their actions by using Deuteronomy 24 to fit what they already wanted to believe.
Jesus took their interpretation of the passage and showed them how that even in that time people had abused God's word.
Romans 1, God looks at his creation, and yet, they took his commands and distorted what he has said. We see the same thing in marriage today. In the beginning we learn that the idea of divorce should come up between married people.
"Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye." - Mark 7:13
The Reaction of the Disciples in Regards to Marriage
Even the disciples are amazed at His answer.
"His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." - Matthew 19:10-12
Jesus makes it plain that marriage is not for everyone, nor was it commanded for everyone. We see that it is an option, and everyone can make a decision for themselves.
Sometimes, it may be better for one to remain single.
When we enter marriage, there is such a commitment that consumes our lives. We have to consider how the relationship will affect our life, and the life of the spouse.
- 1 Corinthians 7:1-9.
Paul gives the same option that Jesus stated. That there are some who need to devote their lives to the work of God. But, for those who have a desire to be married, to share their life with another, it's better for them to marry than to burn with passion.
Marriage is Not Just One Aspect of the Relationship
Too often, many marry to fulfill the one part of marriage, that being sex. But marriage is more than that one aspect.
When young people consider marriage, they need to know that they have to consider being able to tell others everything there is to know about each other. They need to share their everything with trust. It is a responsibility.
Looking at a mountain climber's standard of climbing. The climbers agree before they get to the top of the mountain that they will not cut the rope. It means that, even if a person
It's similar to the principal of Christ's that the shepherd leaving of the ninety-nine to save the one.
Applying this principle to a marriage, when a couple gets to the point that there is a lot of strife, and people would begin to separate or divorce. But, remembering that God has instituted a rule that in a marriage you would never cut the rope. That there will be nothing that will separate you.
This is something that everyone needs to consider before they join in marriage.
Often, these decisions are made in the moment. But, when we face life remembering that God joined together the marriage and that it should not be separated.
- Matthew 19:6
- Genesis 2:24
The Marriage Vow Is Not to Be Broken
With the exception of the ground of fornication, there is no reason given for a married couple to part. It is not to be broken.
Marriage can be saved if the couple will stick with it and commit to working it out. The only thing that can break the marriage bond is death.
- Romans 7:1-3, 4-6
Paul compares this relationship to that of our relationship with Christ. We become dead to the law, by the body of Christ and have been married to another, that being our relationship with Christ.
Marriage is a comparison to the relationship of Christ to the church.
- Ephesians 5:22-31
- Matthew 16:18
- Ephesians 2:22
A marriage should be bonded so well, that no power of hell could separate it. It should only be parted by death, which is only controlled by God.
- Matthew 18:21, 22
We are to have such a relationship in our marriages in the same way that we are to forgive others. We need to be forgiving.
- 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
Just as in the church there should be no schism in the body, in marriage we are to be one flesh working together in the same relationship.
Marriage is a serious relationship. It can be a wonderful institution. We need to be looking to help each other, realizing that we are to help each other get to heaven. In marriage the couple should work together.
Guest Speaker: Coleman Smith
God's View of Marriage: God's View of Marriage - What does the Bible Say?
Spring Gospel Meeting - March 27, 2017