|The Permanency of Marriage
And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there. The Pharisees
also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man
to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them,
Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them
male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and
mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath
joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses
then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He
saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you
to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto
you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and
shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is
put away doth commit adultery. His disciples say unto him, If the case of the
man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All
men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. (Matthew 19:2-
Jesus was approached by the Pharisees about the permanency of marriage, or
rather its break-up. Even in the 1st century there were those who wished to put
away their wives and “move on with their life.” But, Jesus took them back to the
beginning when marriage was meant to be a commitment that lasted a lifetime.
For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband
so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law
of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to
another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead,
she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married
to another man. (Romans 7:2-3 KJV)
Paul is clear in his discussion of the permanency of marriage. As long as they are
both alive, a husband and his wife are to be joined together. To be joined to
another during the lifetime of their spouse (with a singular exception) is adultery. It
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the
law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which
hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth;
but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So
then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall
be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that
law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
(Romans 7:1-3 KJV)
It is wrong to use this passage as the definitive teaching of the New Testament on
marriage. It is a general illustration to prove the relationship of the law. The truth
of the New Testament’s teaching on the permanency of marriage is to found by
looking at every passage which deals with marriage.
One of the problems in our society is the infatuation and fantasy associated with
the wedding ceremony. Every young girl, it seems, cuts out pictures from
magazines of wedding gowns and dreams of all the associated items with the
ceremony and the reception. Years of dreaming and thousands upon thousands
of dollars are spent on the ceremony and reception, but usually much less time
and effort is spent on the marriage itself.
Too much time is spent on the ceremony,
and not enough time on the marriage.
It is not the ceremony, but the marriage that is important. Time needs to be spent
in selecting a mate. Time needs to be spent in maintaining the relationship with
For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one
covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take
heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. (Malachi 2:16 KJV)
Our society is a disposable society. We dispose of anything and everything,
figuring we can replace it. Too many see their marriages in the same light. They
enter into marriage thinking they can get a divorce “if things don’t work out.” To
them, this is if for some reason they don’t like it. But, the LORD, the God of Israel,
“hateth putting away.” The end of marriage is nothing to be desired.
People try to hide their sins, many times by running away from them, or covering
them up by sweeping them under the rug. Or, in the case of marriage, putting
away a spouse and “getting on with your life.” However, the only way to get rid of
your sin is by faith in Jesus, and obedience to His word.