God's Plan for Marriage

Rod Rutherford

Marriage is nearly as old as the human race. It was ordained by the Creator Himself. It was Godís will that a man and a woman become one in marriage. No provision was made for either polygamy or divorce. Marriage was intended by God to be for life (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-25; Romans 7:1-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39).

It was not long, however, until men departed from Godís original plan. Polygamy began to be practiced (Genesis 4:19). When the Law of Moses was given to Israel, the people had become so hard-hearted that God permitted divorce, but only under certain conditions (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). Even then, God was not pleased with divorce. He said: "I hate putting away" (Malachi 2:14-16).

When Jesus came into the world and gave His law for all mankind, He did not give a new and different law of marriage. Instead He called mankind back to Godís original plan (Matthew 19:3-12). His commandment, "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" is still Godís will for us today!

The Lord allowed only one cause for divorce. This cause is sexual unfaithfulness on the part of oneís marriage partner. Fornication on the part of a marriage partner gives the innocent partner the right to divorce and remarry. But no such privilege is given to the guilty partner. To divorce and remarry for other than the one Scriptural cause is to commit adultery. To marry one who has been divorced who was not the innocent party is to commit adultery (Matthew 19:9; 5:31,32). Adulterers will not go to Heaven. They will spend eternity in Hell (1 Corinthians 6:9,10; Hebrews 13:4; Revelation 21:8). Those who are living in adultery must repent, stop committing adultery and seek the Lordís forgiveness if they want to be saved.

The home is the basic unit of society. It is the function of the home to provide companionship, the satisfaction of basic human needs and the rearing and training of children. The community, the church, and the nation can only be strong when the home is strong. Many evil forces seek to destroy the home today. Among these evil forces are easy divorce laws, sexual immorality, false views of womanís role in society, but most of all, ignorance of, and a failure to obey Godís law of marriage which is given in the Bible.

Godís people must never compromise Godís will on marriage! We have no right to change Godís requirements! In a day when the world increasingly accepts divorce and remarriage for almost any cause, Godís people must stand out as lights shining in darkness (Philippians 2:13,14). It is not our duty to be changed by the worldís standards, but to seek to bring the world to Godís standards (Romans 12:1,2). To this end, we should strive diligently to make our homes conform to Godís righteous ways recorded in His Word. It is very important that we teach our children that marriage is for life and divorce is sinful except for the one reason that Jesus gave.

Let us never forget or forsake the divine admonition: "Let marriage be had in honour among all, and let the bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4, American Standard Version, 1901 edition). Godís plan for marriage is still "one man, one wife, for life!"