Fundamental Truths about Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage

God created the institution of marriage (Genesis 2), and thus has the prerogative to regulate it as He sees fit. Thankfully, God has given us specific instructions concerning marriage that are (1) clear and understandable; (2) applicable to our circumstances, including both the big decisions and the smaller decisions of everyday life; and (3) helpful for the success of our marriages and for our overall well-being.

Included in God’s regulations concerning His institution of marriage are rules about the dissolution of marriage and subsequent marriages. Here are three fundamental, biblical truths concerning divorce and remarriage:

God desires that every marriage last until one of the marriage partners dies. Jesus said, “[H]e who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:4-6). Jesus continued, speaking to a Jewish audience, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so” (Matthew 19:8, emp. added).

God hates divorce. The prophet Malachi gave the following words of God: “‘For I hate divorce,’ says the Lord, the God of Israel” (Malachi 2:16). Jesus said, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:9).

God disallows all remarriage, except for remarriage in two specific circumstances. In Luke 16:18, we read Jesus’ general prohibition of marriage: “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.” The only two cases in which God approves remarriage are mentioned in Matthew 19:9 and Romans 7:2. Read these two easy-to-understand passages:

  • Matthew 19:9. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery” (emp. added).
  • Romans 7:2. For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.

If you are thinking of getting married, then please ask yourself the following two questions in light of the passages mentioned here:

  • Am I eligible to marry, in the sight of God?
  • Am I prepared to commit to my prospective spouse for life?

Honest answers to these questions will help facilitate a good marriage and may prevent great difficulty, heartache, and temptation later in life.

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