God’s Plan For Marriage

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Justin Hopkins

If you are involved in a club, you will be aware of the concept of rules. The fact that this group has organized shows that they have standards that they want met however strict or lax those rules are in order to even exist. If you don’t like those rules, no problem, you don’t have to be involved. The same can be said for marriage.

God Created Marriage

The people who organize a sports organization come together and agree about the rules of their organization, and they have every right to. They started it, therefore they come up with the rules. The same holds true about marriage. God created the very concept, therefore He has the right to come up with the rules on what it is, how to stay in it or get out of it, as well as how to behave once one is in it. We read in Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:4-6 that God’s rules for marriage are that it is to be between a man and a woman and that they are to separate from their parents to form their own family. Also, they are to become one flesh (the sexual union 1 Corinthians 6:16) which is one of the most powerful connections between human beings and is why it should not be abused. We should not treat something so sacred flippantly.

Christ Defended Marriage

It is not a new concept for people to try and get out of their obligations, especially that of marriage. In fact, Jesus said that divorce was a result of a hard heart. Then He called for a higher standard. He says in Matthew 19:9 that divorce should only be pursued if a spouse has committed fornication. Even then, divorce should not be sought without much prayer and thought. Think about Joseph when dealing with Mary. He did not let his pride take control of his actions because he knew that divorce causes damage that affects those involved for years to come. Jesus reiterated that marriage was special and to dissolve it was serious and affected people’s eternal life. You see, it is impossible to have a divorce without sin involved. Either there is sin which causes the divorce (i.e. fornication) or the divorce itself is sinful.

Paul Clarified Marriage

One thing to remember about God’s Word is that the passages complement each other, not contradict. So, when Paul wrote about marriage, he wrote with the understanding that what Jesus had said in Matthew 19:1-12 was already being followed. First, while there are reasons a Christian should marry another Christian, a marriage between a Christian and a non-Christian is still binding.  You cannot get a divorce just because they are not a Christian and get remarried (1 Corinthians 7:12-16, 1 Peter 3:1-2). Second, only those eligible for marriage can marry. This includes those who have never been married, those who are the innocent party of a divorce done for Scriptural reasons, and those whose spouses have died (1 Corinthians 7:27-28, 39, Romans 7:1-3).

We Must Submit To God’s Plan For Marriage

I once heard it said that you don’t have to marry to go to Heaven, but if you are going to marry, you must do it right in order to go to Heaven. If you are going to play in the soccer organization, you must wear the uniform. If you don’t want to wear the uniform, that is fine – go play by yourself in the park because you aren’t welcome to play on the soccer team. Jesus said these were the rules from the beginning (Matthew 19:4,8), and for good reason. Adultery is the ultimate breach of trust within a relationship and while a marriage can continue if this has happened, it is a difficulty that the Rule Giver understands the seriousness of and allows for this one exception. Obedience is not subjective to one’s feelings and it doesn’t apply differently to some people as opposed to others. God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). He commands everyone to repent from sin (Acts 17:30). This includes a marriage that we have no right to be in. Also, baptism is how we enter the covenant of Christianity, it doesn’t make an adulterous marriage pure because it does not give us an excuse to continue in our sins (Romans 6:1-4 John 8:1-11).

I tell my boys all the time that even though something is hard, that is okay, because they can do hard things. Jesus said the same thing in Matthew 19:12. He also promised that if you put God before EVERYTHING else you will be blessed in both this life and the one thereafter (Matthew 19:29). Our God is good. He doesn’t demand something of us that we cannot do and when we start along the narrow path, He doesn’t abandon us to figure it all out on our own. When you submit to Him, He is your companion (Matthew 28:20), your provider (Matthew 6:33) and your shield (Psalm 28:7). We are all touched in some way with the issue of marriage, divorce and remarriage. I pray that we will all humbly seek His will for our lives and submit.

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