Marriage from the Beginning

Marriage is the oldest institution on earth for it was instituted by God in the very beginning with the first man and first woman, Adam and Eve. God’s intent for marriage is very clear. It is to be between one man and one woman for a lifetime. When the Pharisees confronted Jesus for the purpose of testing Him regarding His view of marriage and divorce, He said of marriage, “What God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:1-12). God intended marriage to be a permanent relationship only to be ended upon the death of one of the spouses.
However, Jesus did not say, “What God has joined together, man cannot separate.” Though God hates divorce, and His will is that marriage be permanent, it can be ended by divorce. The question with which the Pharisees tested Jesus was, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” Jesus indicated in this passage that a person who divorces and remarries commits adultery (cp. Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18), but He also gave an exception to the rule. In answer to the Pharisees’ question, Jesus gave one reason for which a man was permitted to divorce his wife. “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery” (vs. 9). Jesus permits a person to divorce and remarry when his spouse commits adultery.
We should extol God’s institution of marriage, and if married, we should honor Him by being faithful and committed to our spouse till death parts us. We should also be mindful of those in the church who are divorced and remarried, and be sure not to treat them as second class Christians. To be divorced and remarried is not an unpardonable sin for God is gracious to forgive, and so must we.