Sound view on marriage 2
Author: Ivan Ho 14 Sept 2019
‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’ ; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Jesus tells us that, right from the beginning when God created Adam and Eve, He has already laid down the principles of marriage which transcend space, time and cultures. The established truth on marriage is still valid today as it was before man fell into sin.
Before I go on to discuss in more details my understanding of divine pattern for marriage, some of you may ask: “How about those who have been divorced or remarried? Would they still be accepted by God? Would they be given another chance in God’s plans?”
The answer, my friend, is that we serve a God of second chance. Even when Adam and Eve disobeyed God by partaking the forbidden fruit which inevitably led to punishment of death and other curses, God did not part ways with man but instead continued to pursue and initiate conversation with Adam and Eve.
God ultimately sent His Son Jesus who, through His death and resurrection, redeemed us from our sins and reconciled our relationship with God the Father once and for all.
Furthermore, there are many people in the bible who have had moral or marital failures yet being accepted by God,
with some being used greatly by God in his kingdom purposes.
Let me give you three of such examples:
1. King David who committed adultery
King David committed adultery with Bathsheba who became pregnant. David then sent his soldier Uriah and had him killed in the frontlines of the battlefield, and afterwards married his wife Bathsheba. What David did was displeasing to God who subsequently punished him by allowing his firstborn son with Bathsheba to die in illness. Despite all that, God did not cancel His covenant with David (II Samuel 7:8-16) and continued to use Solomon, the second son born to David and Bathsheba, to rule in the kingdom that his father David established.
More significantly, it was through the lineage of Solomon that Jesus was born. (II Samuel chapters 11,12).
2. The woman caught in adultery
People were trying to condemn and put to death a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. Jesus, in his mercy, did not condemn the adulterous woman and set her free.
Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
3. The Samaritan woman at the well
Seeing a Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus initiated a conversation with her despite his knowledge that the woman have had five husbands in the past and that the man she was currently with wasn’t her husband. Not only did Jesus reveal to her that he was the Messiah (the Christ) the Jews were waiting for, he used her to to impact the city by leading many in the city to Christ.
A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He. ” And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why are You talking with her?” The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” Then they went out of the city and came to Him.
The above examples show us that God in His mercy still accepts people who have had moral or marital failures, and is more than willing to use them in His kingdom purposes.
Godly principles of marriage
Returning to our main theme on marriage, we realise that God has set up the pattern for marriage right in the beginning that are applicable for us who are singles as well as those who are married. By adhering to these godly principles and counsels, we can avoid getting into ungodly relationships that are displeasing to God, thereby greatly reduce the risks of pain and stains that come with broken marriages.
The following are the perfect principles God established for marriage between a man and a woman:
1. Man shall leave his parents and be joined with his wife.
2. The married couple are no longer regarded as two separate individuals. The two shall become one flesh in marriage.
3. What God has joined together, let no man put asunder. Marriage is meant to last for a lifetime.
Then He arose from there and came to the region of Judea by the other side of the Jordan. And multitudes gathered to Him again, and as He was accustomed, He taught them again. The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him. And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her. ” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’ ; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” In the house His disciples also asked Him again about the same matter. So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”