Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Bookmark and Share


Ronald Hanko


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 lawful.

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).