SeekersTrove.com—Treasure Beyond Measure

Marriage and Divorce

God has intentionally designed the world in such a way that we can act out certain roles and through those roles we can come to understand our place in the kingdom of heaven. Human marriage is just such an opportunity. The part of us that was created in the image and likeness of God is not our flesh, but rather our spirit person, the person that lives within, that is, your soul. Like the angels in heaven the spirit part of you is neither male nor female. But, as a human being you are not just your spirit person. As a human being you temporarily live within the body of a Homo Sapiens animal. And that body has a gender, either male or female. Your real person is a spirit person, and is not a man or a woman, however having been placed by God into a male or female body, you must play the role determined by your sexual body. Obedience to which God has ordained is mandatory. If God put you into a body of a man, then you must play the part of a man, and accept the obligations thereof. Likewise, if God has place you within the body of a female, then you must play that role obediently. Failure to do so is a direct and deliberate act of rebellion towards your Creator. Perhaps you feel in your asexual spirit person that you have been placed into a body of the wrong gender, but that is ridiculous for God cannot error. We must accept that which God as made, and live with it. Our acceptance is an act of obedience. Life is about obedience. Life is about conformity to that which God has established. And God has established what he has established, so that through our obedience we can come to learn vital things concerning our relationship with the Almighty. We need to understand our relationship with God, and we need to understand what it means to be separated from God. Even the angels in heaven must learn this, and they are learning through their observation of us.

God created his asexual children and placed them in sexual bodies, so that they could form faith bonds, through which they could learn the meaning of a faith relationship. The human faith-bond that we are directed to enter into is the bond of marriage. I want to say right off that marriage is not a requirement on our part. It is not mandatory that we marry. However, if we choose not to marry, then it is mandatory that we remain a virgin. A person who has sex outside of marriage is biblically called a fornicator and all unrepentant fornicators remain spiritually dead. The reason this is so, is because there is no faith in a relationship of fornication. Above all faith and love are what we must learn about while we live on this earth. If we don’t learn about love and faith, then we have lived a wasted life. (Please understand that as God has created the earth, his purpose is the only purpose that matters.)

Having read the above statement, do you now think that God is harsh and unrealistic? If so then you have no actual interest in a relationship with God. God is all important, and must be the focus of our lives. My friend, we live in very wicked times. The world today has no clue what is important. The world today chases after money, power, youth and beauty, not knowing what true beauty is. When the Lord is the focus of your life, then doing things his way are a comfort and a pleasure. It is comforting to know that God is a part of you and loves you back. It is comforting and gratifying to learn what pleases the Lord God.

I have heard from so called Christians that God loves everyone, but that simply is not true. God loves those whose hearts desire to know him. He calls to them and teaches them and watches over them. But those people who have only rebellion in their hearts, God is displeased with. They are living wasted lives that only lead to selfishness and destruction.

Genesis 38:6–10

Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. 7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death. 8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Lie with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to produce offspring for your brother.” 9 But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he lay with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother. 10 What he did was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so he put him to death also. (NIV84)

Foolish people think it a little thing to live as they please, without regard for God. They see others doing so, and nothing has happened to them, so they become emboldened, and do as they desire without a thought about obedience. One of the most important reasons that the Bible is here is to show us the ultimate fate of the rebellious, and to show us God’s desire for a loving and faithful relationship with us. Those that love God, are loved by God, and those that hate God and hated by God. Like it or not you must do as God instructs, or you will destroy yourself and be lost forever. The world is lost and headed for Hell, but God’s voice is calling to any who will listen. You must fear to ignore God’s call.

Isaiah 8:13

The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, (NIV84)

I will tell you this as plain as I can: only an ignorant fool is not afraid of God.

James 2:19

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. (NIV84)

The demons shudder at the thought of God because they know enough to be terrified of him. I am telling you this in this context because marriage is a big deal. Every single human being is more important to God than you can ever imagine. If you ever do anything to hurt one, God knows about it and is not pleased.

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (NIV84)

God desires that everyone be saved from death, but only the faithful and obedient will actually be so. If you intentionally seduce a child of God through sex, you have become God’s enemy, and you must know that that can’t be good. As a human being, sexual relations are a huge deal. You are not an animal that can do whatever you want. You are first and foremost a spirit person, and what you do spiritually is a life or death matter. It is the life of your spirit that God cares about. The body is very unimportant by comparison.

Marriage is a metaphor for a living relationship with God, and next to putting your faith in God, marriage is the most important choice you will ever make in this world.

Ephesians 5:25–33

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (NIV84)

This “profound mystery” is what makes marriage so important. How we act toward our spouse is a true reflection of our relationship with the Almighty God.

1 John 4:20

If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. (NIV84)

You cannot be faithful to the invisible God, if you are unfaithful to your visible spouse. The faith you show towards your spouse is the same faith as you have towards God.

Malachi 2:16

“I hate divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,” says the Lord Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith. (NIV84)

God hates divorce because it’s actually a revelation of our having broken faith with God. There is a world of difference between copulation and marriage. A person who copulates outside of marriage is a fornicator and has no place with God. A fornicator has shown themselves to be faithless. That is what makes fornication bad. Copulation within a faithful marriage is acceptable, because of the faith. Now remember, the Bible speaks only to believers, to those who belong to God, so when the Bible says that God hates divorce, it is the act of faithlessness that God hates. If you break faith with your faithful spouse you are in grave danger of the fires of Hell. You are in grave danger of making yourself unacceptable to God. Faith is what binds you to God. If you prove to be unfaithful to people, then how in the world can you think that you are faithful to God? When you married your spouse, God is the one that made the two of you one flesh in his sight. To break that faith bond is to break faith with God. God loves those who belong to him and he hates it when they break away from him. The act of breaking faith with God is called death.

Marriage is a symbolic representation of our union with God, and divorce is a symbolic representation of our breaking faith with God, which is the crime that Satan is guilty of.

Matthew 5:31–32

“It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery. (NIV84)

This is a very interesting Scripture concerning the effect of divorce. To understand what Jesus means here you must understand who Jesus is talking to. Jesus speaks to believers. The Bible speaks to believers. The Spirit of God speaks only to those who can hear. Only those who can hear, will hear. Also, it is very helpful to understand that if a thing is true for Jesus then it is almost certainly true for the believer too. Now, with the understanding of these things, look again at Matthew 5:31-32 with the understanding that the “anyone” that Jesus is talking about in verse 32 is a believer, like Jesus himself.

John 5:24

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (NIV84)

A believer, through their faith in Jesus, has crossed over from death to life, and a person who is divorced from Jesus crosses over from life to death. This is huge.

Look back to Matthew 5:31-32 and consider that the divorced wife in that passage has been divorced by Jesus himself. If a person has been “married” to Jesus Christ then they are saved through that union, but if Jesus “divorces” them, then they are once again dead in their sins and are in danger of the fires of Hell. This is very grim. When a believer marries a person, that person becomes one with them, and so they too share in the believer’s benefits.

Consider this next passage.

1 Corinthians 7:12–14

To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. (NIV84)

I find this to be a very interesting passage. If you are a believer then you are connected to God through Jesus Christ and are thus saved from spiritual (eternal) death and brought to life (eternal). This connection that you have with Christ is a connection of faith. Faith is the invisible force that connects you. Now, if you are so connected to Jesus, but your spouse is not, but your unbelieving spouse has faith in you the believer, then the unbelieving spouse is accepted by God through your faith. Now, suppose you were to divorce your spouse, even though he or she is in fact faithful to you, then you are in truth killing them, because their relationship with you has connected them to God, and so a divorce from you disconnects them from God. Jesus is telling exactly this in Matthew 5:32.

In Matthew 5:32 Jesus says that if you divorce your spouse, that is, you the believer (the one who the sanctification comes through) then you cause your spouse (wife in the example) to become an adulteress, unless (as the Scripture says) your unbelieving spouse is already an adulteress, because she has broken her marriage vows and shown herself to be faithless to her husband.

What this is saying is that as long as your wife has faith in the marriage, you must never divorce her, and if you do divorce a faithful wife, even if she is an unbeliever, then you as well as your wife are now subject to death, because you have become faithless too. You must never ever break faith with anyone, and most especially your spouse.

Now, suppose your faithful unbelieving spouse has sexual relations with someone other than yourself: can you then divorce them? Is the having of sex outside of marriage absolute grounds for a biblical divorce?

Actually, it is not, that is, it is not absolute grounds for divorce. It can be grounds, but doesn’t have to be. What is at stake here is the life of your spouse. The question that must be asked is whether or not your wayward spouse actually has true and living faith in the marriage, even though they cheated.

If you are married and have children then you have an awesome responsibility to do right by those children. You have a very real obligation to your spouse, and to your children, so long as you live. The only time you can divorce your spouse is if they do not believe in the marriage, that is, they do not have godly faith in the two of you as one, and even in that case your children must be considered.

What I am saying doesn’t mean that you must remain married to anyone who says that they believe in the marriage. There are cases where one spouse, usually the man, is abusive and hateful towards the other. If a man terrorizes his wife, she is under no scriptural obligation to remain in that marriage. The man’s evil disregard for love shows he is completely unfaithful and is already dead, so divorcing him doesn’t kill him because he is already dead. Again, the children must be considered. What happens to them in the home of an evil and hateful man?

1 Corinthians 7:15–16

But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? (NIV84)

This, in my mind, is a very interesting passage. It speaks of being “not bound” when an unbeliever leaves a believer. I believe that this means, as far as the believer is concerned, the marriage is annulled. The important thing that must exist in a marriage is that both parties live in faith towards the marriage. You cannot have a true marriage when only one part has faith in it. This is exactly the same as a relationship with God. In a relationship with God you must have faith in God, and God must have faith in you. Now, clearly, the weak link in that chain is you. So long as you have a true and living faith in God, then you are united to God in a marriage-like union.

You must understand that as Christians we are not under law. God is not required to save anyone. You cannot go to God and say, “See, I was married to a believer and so you must accept me.” God will only accept those who are faithful. He will accept a faith by proxy, but it must be real and true. You must be a biblically faithful spouse to your believing spouse, if you expect to be accepted by God. Even if a person is legally married to a believer they must be spiritually married to the believer too. The spirit is what counts.

2 Corinthians 3:6

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (NIV84)

Everything is about faith, and love and hope.

The only way a believer can divorce his or her spouse is if the faith that once bonded them is already broken, and the awareness of that knowledge will be a heart wrenching experience. You can never divorce someone who still has faith in the marriage, else you become a faith breaker.

Matthew 19:3–12

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” 4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 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’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” 7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” 10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” (NIV84)

Again we see that a believer cannot divorce his spouse unless their spouse has irrevocably broken the faith-bond of their marriage. As long as your spouse believes in your marriage you cannot divorce them.

Marriage is a difficult thing. The partner who you choose to marry you cannot then later divorce. The disciples recognized the difficulty in this and said in verse 10 “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” Jesus did not disagree with what they said, but he did say that not everyone can endure a life without a spouse. I find it very interesting that in verse 11 Jesus says that the highest state for a person is to remain unmarried, that is, a virgin. As a virgin you are then connected only to God and God is your total focus.

Let us look at another Scripture on this topic.

Matthew 19:9

I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” (NIV84)

This Scripture should be pretty easy to understand now. A faithful believer must not divorce a faithful spouse and marry another, because if they do, then they are guilty of adultery. So long as your spouse is alive, and faithful, you cannot divorce them. If your spouse is unfaithful in marriage then your spouse is already dead, and you can then get a legal divorce without you, yourself, breaking faith. It takes two to form a faith-bond marriage. Both parties must have faith to form and maintain the bond.

In a marriage two people come together and through their intimate physical union (sex) they become one physical unit in the eyes of God, and it is God that joins them together.

To understand this you must understand that the flesh is unimportant, and the spirit is all important.

John 6:63

The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. (NIV84)

This passage above is so very important. You are a spirit being, first, last and forevermore.

Proverbs 4:23

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (NIV84)

Your heart, your spirit self, is the real you. In marriage the real you forms a loving faith-bond with another person, and you then formally declare the fact of your union, and then you have sexual relations which consummates the marriage. The spirit comes first. The physical union is a sort of confirmation of the spiritual union.

People of the world are cutoff from God, and are spiritually dead. When the spiritually dead are sexually promiscuous it is just a confirmation of their lack of spiritual life. What they do is a purely physical, there is no faith in it, no life, no spiritual union.

1 Corinthians 6:15–20

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (NIV84)

Paul is saying that a believer must not unite with an unbeliever because if they do they are guilty of spiritual adultery against God. Because we are weak in the flesh, God gave us as a concession, human marriage. If we find that we cannot remain a virgin, we can marry, but we must understand that such a union is a holy spiritual union, that God himself is part of. To profane the bond of marriage, is to show contempt for God. It is an act of spiritual rebellion, and faithlessness.

A child of God can get a legal divorce provided that it was their marriage partner who broke the faith-bond. We cannot control what other people do, but take care that you do not break faith in your heart and then drive your faithful spouse away and then blame them.

Galatians 6:7–10

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (NIV84)

You cannot deceive God. He knows the secrets of your heart. Do not think that you can drive your spouse away from you, and then blame them for breaking faith. The act of driving them away is a faithless act.

Take care who you marry. Marry only a believer. Be faithful in your marriage. Enjoy your spouse as he or she is a gift from God, and through the institution of marriage you can learn a lot about yourself and your relationship with God, because God designed it so.

If you are a man entering marriage then you assume the role of Christ himself towards your wife (remember, Christ laid down his life for the Church) and if you are a woman entering marriage then you assume the role of Christ’s Church in relationship with Christ, your husband (in love and respect and obedience). For Christians entering into marriage things are very much as I have just described. I am a man, and as a man in marriage I will lay down my earthly desires for the benefit of my wife and family. The Lord expects that the Christian wife also lay down her earthly desires and become servant of her faithful husband and children. Marriage is an institution of service and obedience, obedience to God. Through your faithful service and obedience, true divine love grows and knits you all together.

Marriage is a hugely important thing for those who enter into it. Through conforming to your proper place in marriage you can grow to understand your proper place in the world through your relationship with the Almighty God.

 

This article can be found at www.TheBiblePhilosopher.com and SeekersTrove.com