Tradition: Marriage is a temporary agreement
Truth: Marriage is a permanent spiritual union
In the last four decades or so a certain cancer has crept into our society that today is an accepted 'Tradition'. Two people can now consummate a 'marriage' by simply deciding to live together to see if 'everything' will 'work out'! A mere forty years ago, this type of un-Biblical conduct would have been totally taboo and soundly rejected in the eyes of the majority of American citizens whether they were Bible believing Christians or not! It just wasn't right then, and it isn't right now!
This degrading treatment of marriage and it's exalted position has brought on an escalation of the paralyzing social curse of divorce. Over half of all marriages end in divorce! The 'live-in' crowd has devaluated and defiled this once sacred institution of marriage by treating marriage as a temporary agreement! Now you don't even need a reason, and shazam, you have a divorce! Where did this thinking come from? It comes from the 'temporary mentality' of the 'if it feels good do it' crowd! It comes from those who reject the Word of God and the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. And, unfortunately, it comes from a society that no longer benefits from the power of salt and light which should be coming from the church of our Lord Jesus Christ! The voice of God's Holy Spirit has been almost silenced in these years of revival-barren saints who are swallowed up by the sin of worldliness that plagues the church.
However, if we examine the Word of God as it came from the lips of our Lord Jesus Christ we will find the right message for our age concerning marriage. He trumpeted the standard from which we must guide our steps in Matthew 19:3-9 when the Pharisees came tempting Him with this question: "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And He answered and said uto 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."(v.3-6)
The Lord made it window-pane clear to His religious enemies! Marriage is a permanent commitment of man and woman causing them to become in the eyes of God 'one flesh', one unit, a single entity! They are bonded together for life spiritually through committing themselves to one another before God and man when the marriage vows are taken! Jesus underlines this one flesh union by repeating it, and further declares the marriage union to be 'joined together' by God, ending His thorough answer with a sound prohibition to anyone who wants to dissolve this sacred union.
The Pharisees counter-attack with this question: "Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put 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."(v.7-9)
Jesus immediately points to the hardness of men's hearts as the cause for Moses permission to divorce, emphasizing the fact that it was not God's plan in the beginning. He then gives His New Testament instruction on the subject of divorce and remarriage. Fornication, all kinds of sex sins, committed by either partner can be cause for divorce. You notice I said 'can be' cause for divorce. I did not say if fornication is committed then divorce is recommended. No, God gives grace to us to forgive the sins that others commit against us, even the sin of fornication or adultery by a marriage partner. Remember, God hates divorce! That should be the mindset of every child of God. Even though the children of Israel committed spiritual adultery against God, He forgave them! Even though Gomer committed adultery against Hosea, he forgave her.
The Lord Jesus' answer included the subject of remarriage, showing that if anyone divorces for other reasons except fornication, and remarries, their relationship is considered adulterous in the eyes of God. The Lord Jesus Christ imparts God' vital guidelines for marriage and divorce, proving that marriage is a permanent spiritual union of a man and a woman and not the traditional temporary agreement or simply a physical relationship. The sacred institution of marriage must once again be viewed through God's Word if our society is to prosper