He who follows Me, will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of Life !

Question 13

What does the Bible say about marriage?


In the first book of the Bible, the book Genesis we read:


The LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on the man, and he slept;

and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.

He made the rib, which Yahweh God had taken from the man,

into a woman, and brought her to the man. The man said


 "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.

She will be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."

(Genesis 2:21-25)


In the Gospel by Matthew we read about an encounter between Jesus Christ and the Pharisees who wanted to test Him and they asked Him:


“Pharisees came to him, testing Him, and saying,

"Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?"

He answered, "Haven't you read

that He who made them from the beginning made them male and female,

and said, 'For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother,

and shall join to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?'

So that they are no more two, but one flesh.

What therefore God has joined together, don't let man tear apart."

(Matthew 19:3-6)


So we understand that the Lord has created the marriage between man and wife, that they will be one flesh and we understand also that man should not separate what God has joined together. This is God's rule for all mankind. In God's eyes the marriage bond remains till one of the two dies as we can read in the  Letter of the apostle Paul to Rome, when he says:


For the woman that has a husband is bound by law to the husband while he lives,

but if the husband dies, she is discharged from the law of the husband.

So then if, while the husband lives, she is joined to another man, she would be called an adulteress.

But if the husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she is joined to another man.

 (Romans 7:2-3)


Man and wife are bound together by marriage until death. The man cannot divorce his wife and the wife cannot divorce her husband. But many who regard themselves as Christian believers do not follow this word of God and they divorce and even remarry after that.

Let us look and see what Jesus Christ says about these people who do these things:


But I tell you that whoever puts away his wife, except for the cause of sexual immorality,

makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries her when she is put away commits adultery.

(Matthew  5`:32)


I tell you that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another,

commits adultery; and he who marries her when she is divorced commits adultery."

(Matthew 19:9)


 He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery against her.

If a woman herself divorces her husband, and marries another, she commits adultery."

(Mark 10:11,12)


Everyone who divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery.

He who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.

(Luke 16:18)


When people in this time divorce, God does not regard their marriage as finished. It regards this behavior as sin and adultery, but the marriage itself remains until one of them dies. Many people think that Jesus Christ permits them to remarry after divorce while their spouse is still alive.

They say that Jesus' words in Matthew 19:9 'except for the cause of sexual immorality' gives permission to remarry in case their spouse committed adultery. But Jesus does not say that. He speaks not of 'adultery' but of 'fornication' (in Greek 'porneia'). We know that adultery is also fornication (sexual immorality), but there are many more behaviors that are regarded as sexual immorality in God's Word. We read in the Letter of the Apostle Paul to Rome, when he speaks about people who do not want to serve the Living God:


They exchanged the truth of God for a lie,

and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions.

For their women changed the natural function into that which is against nature.

Likewise also the men, leaving the natural function of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another,

men doing what is inappropriate with men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error.

(Romans 1:25-27)


All this is fornication (=sexual immorality), but this type of fornication is no adultery. Fornication includes many types defilement of the body that people can bring about themselves outside marriage. Fornication is not just adultery. Therefore Jesus must have had a special reason to use the term fornication in Matthew 19:9 (see above). We know from the Bible that the Law forbids certain types of marriages between close family members (see Leviticus 18:6-18)


(1) a son cannot marry with his mother, the wife of his father,

(2) a son cannot marry with his sister (from father's or mother's side),

(3) a father cannot marry with the daughter of his son or daughter,

(4) a son cannot marry with a sister of his father or a sister of his mother,

(5) a son cannot marry with the wife of the brother of his father,

(6) a father cannot marry with the wife of his son,

(7) a brother cannot marry with the wife of his brother,

(8)  ........


These prohibitions did not exist from the very beginning because the children of Adam married with each other and als in Exodus 6:20 we find that Amram (who was of the tribe of Levi) married the sister of his father when the sons of Israel still lived in Egypt before they were led out of slavery by Moses. But when the Law came through the hand of Moses, these prohibitions were introduced. This meant that from that time on there could be marriages which were not lawful. It could be that Jesus Christ referred to these 'marriages' when he spoke of fornication or sexual immorality. When somebody of Israel would fall away in his walk with the Lord so that he married one of his close family members against the Law of Moses and then later repented and decided to divorce his unlawful wife, it would not have been looked at that he made his wife commit adultery, because his marriage with her was in itself not according to the Law and it was right to cancel that marriage.


It should be clear from all what is written above that Jesus Christ did not in anyway give permission to a person who is left alone by her husband or by his wife, to remarry during her or his life. Also he does not in any way give permission to divorce in marriages between man and wife who are no close family members as defined by the Law. Who commits adultery should repent and confess his sin and who is left behind due to divorce, should not also commit adultery as the other (possibly) did. This is a very hard word for man.  Maybe that is why we find the following words in the Bible immediately after Jesus has spoken about these things with the Pharisees and with his disciples in Matthew 19, we read the following words:


His disciples said to him, "If this is the case of the man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry."

But He said to them, "Not all men can receive this saying, but those to whom it is given.

For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb,

and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men;

and there are eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake.

He who is able to receive it, let him receive it."

(Matthew 19:10-12)


Words from the apostle Paul about marriage


Therefore watch carefully how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise;  redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Therefore don't be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Don't be drunken with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,

speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; singing, and singing praises in your heart to the Lord;

giving thanks always concerning all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God, even the Father;

subjecting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ.


Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

For the husband is the head of the wife,

and Christ also is the head of the assembly, being himself the savior of the body.

But as the assembly is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their own husbands in everything.


Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it;

that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word,

that he might present the assembly to himself gloriously, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing;

but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Even so husbands also ought to love their own wives as their own bodies.

He who loves his own wife loves himself.

For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it,

even as the Lord also does the assembly;

because we are members of his body, of his flesh and bones.

"For this cause a man will leave his father and mother,

and will be joined to his wife. The two will become one flesh."

This mystery is great, but I speak concerning Christ and of the assembly.

Nevertheless each of you must also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

(Ephesians. 5:15-33)


Words from the Bible about the human passions and lusts and about our bodies:


"You have heard that it was said to the ancients 'You shall not commit adultery;'

but I tell you that everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her

has committed adultery with her already in his heart.

(Matthew 5:27,28)


Don't you know that your bodies are members of Christ?

Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be!

Or don't you know that he who is joined to a prostitute is one body?

For, "The two," says he, "will become one flesh."

But he that [is] joined to the Lord is one Spirit.

Flee sexual immorality! "Every sin that a man does is outside the body,"

but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

Or don't you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit

which is in you, which you have from God? You are not your own,

for ye have been bought with a price: glorify now then God in your body.

(1 Corinthians 6:15-20)


Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the bed be undefiled:

but God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers.

(Hebrews 13:4)



Darkness and light cannot be in one marriage

Somebody who is saved by faith in Jesus Christ is a child of the light and has nothing in common with the children of darkness, that is those who do not believe. This word does not say that a child of the light should not respect and love others who the Bible calls 'children of the darkness', but it says that there can be no deep communion between a believer and an unbeliever. Therefore a child of the light should not marry a child of the darkness unless he or she is more or less forced to do so by others who really have authority over them according to the Bible. In other words a christian who believes that Jesus Christ is the son of God and died on the cross to bring salvation of his sin, cannot marry with a person who has not this same faith. (Eph. 5:6-8; 2 Cor. 6:14)


If his or her faith begins when he or she is already married then should he/she stay with this person, as long as the person agrees to live with him or her despite his new faith. If the other person does not accept this belief and leaves him or her, then the believer stays behind and remains as he or she is, but he or she cannot remarry, but should rather pray that the other person would come to faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of men. (read 1 Cor. 7 about this situation).



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