Marriage and Divorce: God’s Perspective
By: Carlton Foster, June 2003
It was in the beginning, way back in time, when God (the give-away-father) gave Eve (the bride) to Adam (the groom), and the two became one (husband and wife). The occasion was recorded in the Bible. In the book of Genesis 2:23-24, it reads, “Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
The first marriage was performed by God, and so it continues, even up until today, men and women are getting married, and becoming one. Jesus confirmed in Matthew 19:3 that marriage is for keeps. He said, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” God creates and joins things together but Satan comes to break, steal and destroy.
Divorce is Satan’s method of destroying what God had put together. Jesus again reiterates that it is sinful to orchestrate divorce plans against your spouse. He said in Matthew 19:9, “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” The Bible also said in the 10 commandments that adultery is a sinful act: Thou shall not commit adultery (Ex 20:14). Divorce and no remarry is still sinful, because what God joined together, let no human separates. Question! Did God join your marriage?
All Bible based marriages typify the marriage that God formulated in the beginning. God started this process, and all similar occasions relating to the same intent, are godly. Marriage between a man and a woman is of God; in other words, to want to marry and become one is godly, especially those who got married in a church setting. That is, a minister of the Gospel praying and consummating the vows with God. The man or the woman that is getting married may not be of God, or may not like God, but the occasion is godly because it started and came from God. How can you know if God joined your marriage?
Who knows the future but God? In the same thought, the splitting up of marriages typify Satan’s way of doing things, it does not matter who on earth is doing the act – whether it is the so-called Christians or ungodly people – whoever orchestrates the idea of divorce is the unbelieving spouse, the ungodly spouse. 1 Corinthians 7: 15 said, “But if the unbeliever leaves, let him (or her) do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances;” An unbeliever believes in all aspects of divorce and sees no reason why it should not be done if one wants to. A believer believes the opposite: he or she believes that divorce is sinful and is not of God. The believer agrees with God when he said in Malachi 2:15, “Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and in spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. ‘I hate divorce’, says the LORD God of Israel.”
God does not like to see us perish; therefore, he pleaded with us to be faithful, but if we neglect his warnings, we will end up in the same faith as Satan did. Satan was not faithful to God, so he was banished from heaven; a spouse who is not faithful to the marriage will meet the same marital curse as Satan did from God. Jesus said in Matthew 19:9 that except for marital unfaithfulness, we should not seek a divorce, but if there is marital unfaithfulness, then the sinner is destined to damnation just like Satan is destine to hell. God is not partial, he expects the same allegiance to him if obeyed, and consequences if we disobeyed him. The same goes for the relationship between the husband and wife: if one is unfaithful to the married, this would be caused for a severing of the union with the unbeliever and making oneself — the believer — holy on to the Lord. 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 summed up the aspect of an unfaithful spouse with a believer: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we (the believers) are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them (the believers) and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”
What are the things that we can consider as marital unfaithfulness? Any sin that goes against the marriage such as adultery, fornication, abandonment, and actions with the intent to do bodily harm or death to the other spouse. In essence, evil, persistent actions that go against the union and the spirit of God. These are causes for divorce and making oneself holy unto the Lord. Remember that the actions and intent must be persistent, and the unbeliever must show by their actions that he or she is not willing to repent. Forgiving the sin if the spouse repents genuinely is godly, however, making this determination can be difficult at times, because the lack of communication can lead to misunderstandings, and can result in executing the wrong judgment.
If the unbeliever sincerely repents and struggles to be committed to the relationship, the believer must forgive and helps the unbelieving spouse in the struggle to rid oneself of the sin. In summary, the Creator joined us together as husband and wife, and the two became one flesh. So we are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separates. God creates and joins us together, but Satan comes to break, steal and destroy. Divorce is Satan’s method of destroying what God had put together. Let the believer abstains from orchestrating divorce thoughts, but if the unbeliever leaves, let him or her do so. A believing man or woman is not bounded in such ungodly circumstances.