The institution of marriage is increasingly under
attack today not only in the world but also in the church. More and more
families are affected by divorce, and in the church divorce for every
cause is allowed (Matthew 19:3). Church officials "declare" that
marriage is no longer necessary and that living together without
marriage is not sin. Homosexuality and other perverse behaviour is made
This attack on marriage comes from every side. All
the more reason, therefore, to listen to what God's Word says about
marriage and to remember that His Word is our only safe guide, a lamp
for our feet, and a light upon our pathway (Psalm 119:105).
God's Word says that marriage is something He
ordained and instituted in the beginning when He created all things. He
is the One who sets the rules for marriage, not we. Those rules are
given us in His Word, the Bible. It cannot, then, be safe for us to set
His rules aside and do as we please.
One of the most important things the Bible teaches
about marriage is that God joins a man and woman in marriage. Just as
with Adam and Eve, He brings to every man his wife and to every woman
her husband. Jesus says, "What God hath joined together, let not
man put asunder" (Matthew 19:6). The husband or wife we each have,
therefore, is the one God gave us. How important it is to
remember that when things do not go well!
The Bible also teaches, however, that because God has
joined a man and woman in marriage, that marriage bond between them is a
lifelong bond that only death can break. Marriage is between one man and
one woman for life. This is confessed in the words of the
marriage vows, "till death do us part," but it is no longer regarded.
Jesus says, however, "What God hath joined together,
let not man put asunder" (Matthew 19:6)! That Word of God is
confirmed in Romans 7:2, "The woman which hath an husband is bound by
the law to her husband so long as he liveth [and the other way around
also]; but if her husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her
husband." Only death breaks the marriage bond.
It is not surprising that unbelieving men and women
do not listen to what God says. They do not listen to anything He says!
What is surprising is that the church does not listen either. The
church, which ought to set the Word of God as a bulwark against the
flood of evil that threatens marriage and the family today, instead
opens the doors and allows the evil to come in. How sad!
The church should be teaching that a man or woman may
"put away" their married partner only for fornication (Matthew 19:9) and
that even then the marriage bond is not broken (Matthew 19:9; Romans
7:2-3; I Corinthians 7:10-11). It is the calling of the church,
therefore, to teach that divorce for any cause and remarriage are
forbidden by the Word of God instead of setting the Word of God aside
and allowing men and women to do as they please.
Marriage is one of the foundations of society and
human life. The destruction of marriage will be the ruin of society and
the church. May God in His mercy call the church once again to
faithfulness and make her and all who under her care faithful to the
teaching of His Word regarding the institution of marriage. May He make
her once again a bulwark against the evils that threaten marriage lest
the family be completely destroyed, for "If the foundations be
destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11:3).