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1. The Order of True Marriage
(Matthew 19:1-6)
1Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these sayings, that He departed from Galilee and came to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.2And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there.3The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”4And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’5and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?6So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Genesis1:27, Mark10:1-12,1Corinthians7:10-11)

After dealing with the subject of pride and enmity in the church, Jesus discussed the order of marriage. For us Christians, marriage is the source of constant blessings if both parties abide in Christ. A Christian man and woman enter into marriage according to God’s instruction, not for the sake of money, or honor, or beauty, or ease, or in conformity with the conditions of the relatives. Rather they form a unity in the guidance of the Holy Spirit and are able to pray together. Then they can live together in happiness as if they were in heaven, because God’s love responds to them with many blessings.
God did not intent any form of polygamy but created one woman to one man. Monogamy signifies the union of hearts. It is impossible to divide love into parts. There would be neither harmony nor peace if a man loved and married several women.
We find in God’s friend, Abraham, an example of unhappy living when he married a second woman in addition to his first wife. Resentment, deception, suffering, and tears increased as a result of it.
Although the Law of Moses did permit divorce for a just cause, some think that there was a controversy among the Pharisees. They wanted to know what Christ had to say about it. Matrimonial stipulations have been numerous and sometimes intricate and perplexing. They are made so not by the law of God, but by the lusts and follies of men. Often in these cases people have decided, before they ask, what they are going to do.
Their question was, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” In the event of fornication, divorce was granted. May it be done by the unrestrained people for any reason? Could any reason that a man thought of, though frivolous, based upon every dislike or displeasure be an excuse for it? The toleration, in this case, permitted it when “it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her” (Deuteronomy 24:1). This they interpreted so widely as to make any offense, though causeless, grounds for divorce.
The question was asked to tempt Christ, yet, being a case of conscience, and a weighty one, He gave a full answer to it. In His answer to them He lays down such principles that prove arbitrary divorces, as were then in use, were by no means lawful.
To prove the strong bond between man and wife, Christ urges three things:
The knowledge of Scripture concerning the creation of Adam and Eve. “Have you not read?” You have read (but have not considered) “that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ ” (Genesis 1:27; 5:2). He made them male and female; one female for one male so that Adam could not divorce his wife and take another, for there was no other to take. It likewise intimated an inseparable union between them. Eve was a rib out of Adam’s side, so that he could not put her away. She was part of him, “flesh of his flesh,” in her creation.
The fundamental law of marriage in which “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife.” The relation between husband and wife is nearer than that between parents and children. Now, if the parent-child relation may not easily be destroyed, much less may the marriage union be broken. May a child desert his parents, or may a parent abandon his children, for any cause, for every cause? No, by no means. Much less may a husband put away his wife, because the relation is nearer and the bond of unity stronger than between parents and children. The parent-child relationship is superseded by the marriage relationship when a man must leave his parents to cleave to his wife.
The nature of marriage is a union of two persons, “and the two shall become one flesh.” A man’s children are pieces of himself, but his wife is himself. As the conjugal union is closer than that between parents and children, so it is in a manner equivalent to that between one member and another in the natural body. As this is a reason why husbands should love their wives, so it is a reason why they should not put away their wives, “for no one ever hated his own flesh,” or cut it off, “but nourishes and cherishes it” (Ephesians 5:29). He does all he can to preserve it. “And the two shall become one flesh,” therefore there must be but one wife, for God made Eve for one Adam (Malachi 2:15). From this He infers, “What God has joined together, let not man separate.”
If you are not married yet, ask your Lord to guide you to a woman who believes in Christ, who is a worshiper, content and humble, who finds in the Holy Bible a daily power that qualifies her to bear you with perseverance and longsuffering. Joint faith in the Savior is the solid ground of a sound family to overcome the coming problems in life.
A girl, therefore, should not abandon herself to temptations and sexual adventures, thinking that such practices will quicken her marriage. This is a wrong belief. Regrettably, we find such practices among those who claim to be Christians. A girl should ask God for a husband who will love her as Christ loved the church. If these conditions are fulfilled, the Lord gives in marriage a union that is higher and better than the relation of flesh.
We do not marry to satisfy our lusts but to serve each other in love. In the marriage covenant, both partners should live in mutual forgiveness, which originates in the love of God. That is the secret of blissful marriage. The strongest member in marriage is the one that first overcame his own anger asking the other’s forgiveness with a gentle, not gloomy, face.
Love does not signify weakness. If one partner erred, idled, spent lavishly, pampered the children, or treated them rudely, the other partner should pray patiently and testify the truth humbly before the wrong-doer. It is to be noted that the word of Christ covers the partners and their aims, as He says, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). If the partners present their bodies as a living sacrifice, acceptable to the living Christ, His Spirit, virtues, and peace shall be realized in their marriage.

Heavenly Father, We thank You for the gift of marriage in the guidance of Your Spirit. You lifted us from the impure level to a spiritual and bodily union in truth, married to believers that we may be able to live in holiness, to love, serve, and trust each other with faithfulness. Please grant the testimony of Christian families can be clear about Your love, and a shining light amidst the darkness of the world.
What are the important principles in Christian marriage?