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Marriage Preparation and Improvement: The Permanence of Marriage

Permanence of marriageWhat does the Bible teach about the permanence of marriage? When may one divorce, and remarry? How importance is a lifetime commitment, "till death do us part"?

This is part of a ten-part series about marriage preparation and improvement. This article should be studied in context of the whole series of articles. To start at the beginning of the series, please click here: Marriage_Improvement.php

Divorce is a terrible tragedy leaving husbands, wives, and especially children emotionally scarred for life. Often there are also severe financial consequences, especially for the wife and children. Above all, divorce always involves someone in disobedience to God.

A. Bible Teaching

Genesis 2:24 - From the beginning, God intended marriage to involve one man and one woman who cleave (be joined - NKJV) to one another and become one. God never intended for the union to be put asunder so another mate can be taken.

Malachi 2:14,16 - God hates divorce.

Romans 7:2,3 - Marriage is for life. A person who is bound in marriage to a spouse cannot have another companion as long as their first companion lives.

Matthew 19:3-9 (5:31,32) - What God has joined together, man must not put asunder. The only exception God allows, in which one may divorce a companion, is for the cause of fornication. If one divorces for any other reason, the divorce is a sin. And when he remarries he commits adultery. And whoever marries the one whom he put away commits adultery.

B. Applications

Never enter a Scripturally doubtful marriage.

1 Corinthians 7:10,11 - The only Scriptural alternatives for one who has improperly divorced are to remain unmarried or be reconciled to their Scriptural spouse.

A divorced person should never remarry unless they are certain that they divorced their spouse because that spouse committed fornication. Before you remarry, search your soul and the facts of your case. Make sure your spouse was guilty of fornication and that was the reason why you divorced them.

Never marry a divorced person unless you are certain they divorced their companion for Scriptural grounds. Have long talks and careful studies about the Bible teaching early in your relationship, before you develop strong emotions. Don't just take their word for it. Many divorced people deceive themselves or others in order to remarry. Talk to others who know the facts. Take the safe course and don't run risks with your soul. You may decide the risk is just not worth it.

When a divorced person remarries, his or her soul hangs in the balance, and so does the soul of the person he marries. If you really love someone, you will not endanger their soul or yours.

Enter marriage with a mutual determination to stay together for life.

Too many people enter marriage like they are buying a car: "I'll try this one, and if I get a lemon I'll just trade her in." Some even live together without marriage and call it a "trial marriage." They lack commitment. So when problems arise, as they do in all relationships, instead of making a determined effort to work the problems out, they just end the marriage.

A "trial marriage" is not a marriage at all, because it does not involve a lifetime commitment. You can walk out at anytime. That tells you nothing about marriage, because marriage involves commitment. That's why people, who do marry after living together, are more likely to divorce than those who do not live together. They think they have learned how to work together in marriage, but they haven't. They don't understand commitment.

Couples, who enter marriage with a true lifetime commitment, will still face problems. But they will work together to solve the problems, because they have no choice. Divorce is not an option. They must live together, so they need to work things out.

Furthermore, people who lack this commitment will not find their relationship ultimately satisfying. The beauty of marriage lies in knowing that you and one person value one another above all other people on earth, to the point that you are willing to commit yourselves to one another for life, no matter what the future holds. Only when you have that commitment will you find that, throughout life and even into old age, your marriage is truly satisfying.

The commitment of marriage is: "for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part." That is not just tradition. It is not just a piece of paper. It is Bible principle ordained by Almighty God. Anything less fails to honor God or your spouse.

Young couples who are considering marriage need to have long, serious talks and Bible studies about the commitment of marriage. And they should never marry unless they are certain that they are both committed to stay married and be true to one another for life.

This is part of a ten-part series of articles about marriage preparation and improvement. To continue with the next article in the series, please go to /family/marriage-maturity.php  To start at the beginning of the series, please click here: Marriage_Improvement.php

(C) Copyright 2007, David E. Pratte;
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