In the marriage bond, the husband is the head of the wife. This does not mean the he dictates everything within the marriage. As a loving leader, he should demonstrate his love for his wife by giving himself for her, keeping her clean, pure, without spot, wrinkle or blemish. He should love her as his own body, cherish and nourish her. The wife is to submit to her own husband as to the Lord. This does not mean she is his slave, treated harshly and abused, nor does it mean she has no opinion worth hearing. Her thoughts, dreams and opinions matter. She is to be loved and she is to respect her husband (Ephesians 5:22-33).
“So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6). Yet, the world today is filled with divorce, which God hates. From the beginning of the world, God intended for one man to marry one woman and for the two to be one flesh until death. When death occurs, the marriage bond is broken (Romans 7:1-3). Sadly, many marriages never reach full potential. Our world allows for divorce for many reasons, even “no fault” divorce (as if something God joined together could be separated without fault). God’s plan does not coincide with worldly wisdom.
God did allow one exception to His plan. Jesus said, “Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery” (Matthew 19:9 – ASV). When one in the marriage commits fornication, the innocent party may divorce the guilty party. Sin does not have to end the marriage, but if repentance does not occur, true forgiveness cannot occur and can break apart what God has joined together.
There are other sins that may destroy a home. A husband who beats his wife or children certainly is in sin and it may even result in the wife and children separating from the husband. Some have tried to say that in such cases God allows for divorce and subsequent remarriage. To support this view 1 Corinthians 7:15 is often referenced, which says, “…a brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases,” but this is using the scripture improperly. No, one is not under bondage, meaning they are not chained to their spouse, or forced to stay with an unbeliever, including someone beating the wife or children, but this does not break the marriage bond allowing for remarriage.
God has one plan for the home: joined together until death. God has one exception to His plan: the occurrence of fornication. God’s view of divorce: He hates it.
“For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce…”
Written By Denny Wilson
Read Denny's other two articles on this subject.