ďWhat Therefore God Hath Joined Together.Ē
Mark 10:1-9 says, ďAnd he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again. And the pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? Tempting him. And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, for 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 cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.Ē
This passage in the Bible is about Marriage. In the beginning of this passage it starts off with the pharisees tempting Jesus when they ask him a trick question about marriage. The pharisees often would try to ask Jesus trick questions. In other words their questions were not sincere but they were hoping to trap him in his words. Their intention was to give the opposite answer to whatever he gave, so Jesusí solution was to refer to the Bible and what it teaches. This is the best solution when faced with a situation of people who want to use questions and strife to trap you in your own answers.
What we have here is the issue of marriage and divorce. Most people in the world believe in divorce except for some Christians and some Muslims and Hindus but what does the Bible teach about marriage?
Jesus explained it very clearly when he said that God made them male and female and for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife.
So the first thing Jesus did in this passage before talking about marriage was to answer the Pharisees question on divorce. But notice Jesus didnít emphasize divorce. He emphasized Godís original design for a male and a female.
There are several reasons in the Bible given for divorce, but Jesus pointed out that divorce happens because of the hardness of a heart. Divorce does happen. The reason referred to in Deuteronomy 24:1 is immorality. This doesnít mean that a person has to get divorced when their spouse is unfaithful but that according to the Old Testament they legally can in Godís eyes. But practicing forgiveness is also an option. Yes, you can divorce your spouse if they are unfaithful, but yes you could also forgive them. We know that Jesus loves forgiveness and it may not be easy to forgive unfaithfulness but Jesus forgives us all the time when we are unfaithful to him and we are unfaithful to him every time we sin.
The other situation for divorce has to do with peace. In 1 Corinthians 7 the specific situation mentioned is if an unbeliever choses to leave their believing spouse. †I Corinthians 7:15 says, ďBut if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases: But God hath called us to peace.Ē
God wants people to live at peace one with another. What can you do if your spouse chooses to leave you? Can you force them to stay? No, you canít. If your unbelieving spouse leaves you, then that is divorce. That is what this verses says but notice what is emphasized in this verse. God hath called us to peace. God wants Christians to be at peace one with another. Thatís what God wants. If you canít make peace with someone, then you have to stay away from them. Thatís divorce. †
Divorce is not what is emphasized in the Bible. What is emphasized is what God hath joined together let no man put asunder. Staying married in this world can be a challenge, people are sinners and so marriage is not going to be perfect all the time but what God hath joined together let no man put asunder. It certainly would help if you approach marriage with the attitude that Jesus said. Leave and cleave: what God hath joined let no man put asunder.
God ultimately is the one who brings two people together. If God brings them together he could potentially take them apart, at death or because of infidelity or because of a lack of peace. If you can overcome infidelity through forgiveness or if you can find a way to overcome a lack of peace, then you will save your marriage which is Godís original plan for people to marry and stay married. But God doesnít want you to stay married to someone if they are going to be violent towards you. 1 Corinthians 7:15, ďGod hath called us to peace.Ē
What should be understood about divorce is this: divorce is real, it does happen to people. Do people fail at marriage. Yes, they do because they are sinners. Does God forgive? Yes, he does. Donít treat other Christianís as though they are not forgiven of their sins.
Now that we have looked at the legitimate reasons for divorce, letís talk about marriage. Godís original design is that a man leaves his father and mother, cleaves unto his wife. The same being true for a woman: that she leave her father and mother and cleave unto her husband: leave and cleave. What God hath joined together let no man put asunder.
Leave and Cleave. If part of becoming an adult is making your own decisions, doesnít this apply to marriage for adults as well. Obviously in our society a 12 year old isnít old enough to make a decision on who to marry. Technically, in our society its 18 years old. The Bible says leave and cleave. You should if you have godly parents. Ask for their advice and listen to their advice on marriage but it ultimately is not their decision who you marry. It is your decision. You can choose to let them make the decision for you or you can choose to make your own decision, but the biblical principle is leave and cleave. You leave your father and mother and cleave unto your wife.† So much turmoil and strife has been caused over the centuries by people trying to control who people marry. Thereís nothing biblical about trying to control who someone marries. God does not like that. God loves freedom of choice when it comes to marriage. God also loves a person that honours their mother and father and listens to their advice carefully, and hopefully it is good advice. For example, donít marry an unbeliever if you are a believer. That is only asking for trouble and heartache. Donít marry someone unless you are absolutely sure God wantís you to marry that person. But all the drama and heart ache and strive that is caused by people who are afraid that their children are going to run off and marry the wrong person.† Ultimately it is an adultís own choice who they marry. Treat an adult like an adult. Donítí treat an adult like a child. Adults make their own decisions and God likes that.
You have to make the decision yourself if the other person is willing. Your parents canít make the decision for you. What are they going to do, force you, call the police on you, tie you down? You have to make the decision. God wants you to make your own decisions in life because God loves the way of a man with a maid. You should never have the attitude that you are marrying someoneís parents or marrying into their family. Its leave and cleave, itís starting your own family. There is no commandment in the Bible that says you must have the blessing of the parents. The reason this teaching comes about is because of people who are afraid their children are going to marry the wrong person. Some people are more docile than others and will submit to this kind of forceful and controlling idea but most people when it comes to marriage and romance and desires are a lot more self-willed than you think. You are much better off as parents encouraging your children to learn from an early age to seek Godís will in prayer, to learn to wait on the Lord, to study the Word, and to learn to be guided by the Holy Spirt, through these things to find the right person. It shouldnít be hard for a Christian to learn Biblical standards on things like morality and basic Christian testimony to understand what kind of person to marry. A person who is not spiritually minded will not understand or consider these things but a spiritually minded person who puts God first will. †It causes great drama and heart ache to try to control who a person marries that goes against the principle of freedom and the principle of leave and cleave that God loves. But whether or not a person thinks they have the power to decide who another person marries, there is one thing they can still sincerely pray to God, ďLord help my child to marry the person who you want them to marry.Ē Thatís the prayer to pray. †But to assume that God is going speak only to the parentís conscience is only going to guide the parents through the Spirit and not the children. What makes one so presumptive to think that God is only going to tell the parents who their child is going to marry and not tell the child. God guides everyone that trusts in him.
The other important principle about marriage that Jesus stated is in verse 6, where he said, ďBut from the beginning of the creation God mad them male and female.Ē This is pretty simple, but it should be no surprise that God said male and female. Jesus is quoting from Genesis chapter 2 here. There are not 40 different kinds of genders there are only two, male and female. Itís not marriage and itís not love if its man and man or woman and woman. Itís a real shame that we would have to mention all this in detail but people are getting confused in todayís society because of what the government controlled school systems are teachings. There are only two genders, male and female. A person is either born a woman or a man. Having an operation and having your genitals removed makes you a eunuch, not a woman. Taking medication to grow breasts doesnít make you a female. It might alter your body some but really you are still a male. Common sense has nothing in common with sin and people will quickly abandon common sense and basic truths about the way God created the world to promote the lies of the devil and the sins they want to participate in.
So letís repeat again what Jesus said about marriage. In the beginning God made them male and female, for this cause a man leave his father and mother and cleaves unto his wife.† Pretty simple. Therefore what God hath joined together let not man put asunder. The Bible doesnít really recommend divorce, though it does gives legitimate reasons for divorce. What the Bible recommends is that a person follows Godís design for marriage. Male and Female, honour your mother and father, leave your father and mother and cleave unto your spouse, and what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. This is Godís design for marriage.
A person who is honestly and sincerely living for Jesus and following Godís will is going to obviously be guided by God to find the right person to marry. The circumstances of how that happens are never exactly the same for everyone but one thing is for sure, regardless of your views on how a person should go about finding their spouse, one thing any Christian can do is pray to God that God will make sure they marry the right person and not the wrong one. There are other ways of saying it such as, ďLord please bring the right one into my life.Ē It doesnít matter if you think you need or donít need your parents approval for marriage. You should pray this prayer either way. That being said, leave and cleave. Donít cleave and leave. Amen.
Copyright; 2022 by Bruce Creech
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