The union of a man and a woman as husband and wife is the foundation for the home and family. Marriage was instituted by God when he declared in Genesis 2:18, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to himself.” In Genesis 2:24 God said, “A man shall leave his father and mother and they shall become one flesh.” This suggests that God’s plan is for man to be the husband of one wife, and for the marriage to be permanent.
To further illustrate this point, in the New Testament, Jesus was asked about marriage and divorce, He quoted two passages from Genesis. “Have you not read that he who made them in the beginning made them male and female and said for this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together let man not separate” (Genesis 1:27; 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6).
In the United States today 1 in 3 marriages results in a divorce. This was not God’s plan, and those couples that get a divorce can suffer the rest of their physical and spiritual lives. The unfortunate thing is if the marriage produces children, they suffer the most.
Marriage is a holy union founded by God and is not to be dissolved at the will of man. The gospels record four statements by Jesus concerning divorce. In Matthew 5:32, we read, “Whosoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery” also we read in Matthew 19:9, “Whoever divorces his wife except for sexual immorality, and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her commits adultery.” It is extremely clear from these two verses that the only way a divorced person can remarry is if their mate committed adultery. The sad thing in our country is that our divorce laws grant divorces for almost any reason.
I implore our young people contemplating marriage to realize it is for life. Next to obeying the Gospel, it is the most important decision you will make in your life. What is the recipe for a successful marriage? There are many components to this very complex question. When a man and a woman marry, each has to give up a fair amount of freedom and independence. This process necessarily requires a great deal of self-emptying and compromise. They need to realize compromise is a very important component of marriage.
I believe a successful marriage requires that the husband and the wife be Christians. I realize that on occasion a Christian can marry a non-Christian and have a happy marriage, but this situation is very difficult on the Christian as well as their children. This concept is well illustrated in the Old Testament where God’s children married outside their faith and in a short time turned to idol worship.
I suggest that all married couples, young and old, read and meditate on the following: “…and if one prevails against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). The married couple should realize the “third cord” needs to be God. Where else could they go to find comfort when they are being overpowered by debilitating illness, financial difficulties, family problems, or the weight of the world on them? With God intertwined in their life as the “third cord” they can overcome all difficulties and have a successful marriage.
In closing, all married couples need to ask themselves this very important question, Can my marriage possibly find true fulfillment without the extra binding of God as our third cord?
-by Don Adair