In this day of infidelity, there are very few people who are not affected, either directly or indirectly, by divorce. Every few days I get calls, letters, or visits from people whose homes are being destroyed by a husband or wife who has chosen to abandon his or her family and vow of lifelong love and loyalty, because they are no longer happy, or in love, or they want to be free. Forgetting, for the moment, the lives that are devastated by such selfish behavior, let me remind you of what God says about this matter.
Marriage is for life (Mk. 10:8-9). Unacceptable as it may be to this generation, your happiness, your sense of fulfilment and satisfaction, and your incompatibility with your spouse has absolutely nothing to do with your responsibility. When you got married, you made a vow to God. You may forget it, but God remembers it and holds you accountable for it (Deut. 23:21).
The law of God does not change (Matt. 14:4-5). Society may say, “Divorce and remarriage is okay. Your vows are meaningless”. The religious world may nod in agreement, but God still says, “No!” Herod had been living with his brother’s wife for a long, long time. He, Herodias, and all the world looked upon them as a married couple. In so far as Roman law was concerned, they were married, but John the Baptist spoke for God. He called her his “brother Philip’s wife”, and said, “It is not lawful for thee to have her”.
The marriage bond can only be broken by three things: These three things and only these dissolve a marriage:-
1. Death (Rom. 7:1-4). That needs no explanation. A husband or wife whose spouse dies is free to marry again in the Lord (I Cor. 7:39).
2. Adultery/ Fornication (Matt. 19:9). I realize that fornication and adultery are not the same thing, but fornication includes all deviant sexual behavior. In such cases, divorce is permitted (Deut. 24:1-2). However, believers should be able to forgive a fallen companion for Christ’s sake, for the sake of his church, for the gospel’s sake, and for the sake of one’s family.
3. Abandonment (I Cor. 7:15; Deut. 24:1-2). I will leave it to others to decide what constitutes abandonment; but Paul clearly states that when one person has been abandoned by another, the abandoned one is free from the marriage bond and thus free to marry in the Lord (I Cor. 7:39).