Marriage, Divorce, & Remarriage

By Ron Adema,  Pastor of Doctrinal Studies Bible Church

Marital Grace

At the end of the Sixth Day of Creation, God stated that everything was “very good” (Gen. 1:31).  Then, God stated that there was something that was “not good,” and that was the single solitude of man: “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). It is at this point that God introduced Marital Grace (Gen. 2:18-25).  Later, Solomon will pen this same doctrinal concept: “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor (chen) [grace] from the Lord.” (Prov. 18:22)

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In the lesson on the Origin of Marriage, we learned that God perceived a need in man for an intimate monogamous relationship: “Your heavenly Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” (Matt. 6:8)  This need was communicated by the word of God before the need was supplied by the grace of God (Gen. 2:18).  “And my God shall supply [grace] all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)

Neither Adam nor Eve had to engage in a “frantic search” for some mystical mate.  But, it was important for them to apply faith to the promises of God regarding marital grace: “And being fully assured that what He had promised, He was able also to perform.” (Rom. 4:21)

It was God’s grace that created the human soul in the image of God and uniquely male (zakar) and female (neqebah) for a spiritual and a marital monogamous relationship: “But from the beginning of creation [Sixth Day], God made them male and female (Gen. 1:26-27). For this cause [monogamous marital relationship] a man shall leave his father and his mother, and the two shall become one flesh; consequently, they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let no man separate.” (Mark 10:6-8)

The Bible teaches that marriage is a divine institution for man and not a human institution for God.  It has been designed by the sovereignty of God to exist throughout human history (Gen. 2:18-25; Matt. 19:4-6; 24:38-39; Eph. 5:22-33).  God designed marriage for life on earth and not heaven (Matt. 22:23-30) “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” (Matt. 22:30)

Because marriage is a divine institution, Jesus said people entering it should respect the sanctity of marriage: “What therefore God has joined together let no man separate.”  People entering marriage need to understand that their wedding vows given before God and invited guests are for a lifetime and not for a short time.  Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of people today marry for the short term rather than for the long term.

During His ministry, Jesus emphasized that a spiritually and morally declining nation has a problem making commitments and keeping vows to the Lord: “you shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.” (Matt. 5:31-33)

God graced the divine institution of marriage in such a way that it has been able to survive the assaults of Satan, the fall of Adam, the imputation of Adam’s sin, and the gaining of an old sin nature (Gen. 3 and Rom. 5:12-21).

We understand that the fall of Adam did not affect the institution of marriage, but it did affect the individuals within it (Gen. 2:17; 3:16-17; Matt. 19:8).

In the plan of God, God is the divine source of marital grace and married couples are the human source:  “You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way [word of God], as with a weaker vessel (1 Cor. 11:3, 7-12), since she is a woman (Gen. 1:26-27); and grant (aponemo / p.a.ptc / nplm) [to dispense appreciation of a wife based on how God views her worth] her honor [worth] as a fellow heir of the grace of life [marital grace], so that your prayers may not be hindered [warning].” (1 Pet. 3:7)

Notice that the Christian husband is to have a grace attitude of granting honor to his wife at ALL TIMES (present tense of aponemo) [without blame].  Pay special attention to the reason given by Peter: “fellow heir of the grace of life.”  Did you notice the warning?

Let me ask you, as a Christian husband and father, do you lead your wife and family in prayer?• Do you pray with your wife?• Do you pray with your children and most especially when they have problems?• Do you pray with your wife and most especially when she has problems?• Do you pray with your family and most especially when you have problems?“Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

(1 Thess. 4:17-18)

Adam and Eve were not required to provide their own marital grace apart from God and neither are you!  I watch couples struggle so hard inside their marriage to do what God is willing to do for them by grace through the faith cycle.  In the midst of this entire struggle and frustration, they could choose to let God’s marvelous grace do it for them: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”  (2 Cor. 12:9) Grace is based on God’s character and His promise to provide for our needs: “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16)

Let me stop and remind you of the following five aspects of marital grace recorded in Gen.2:18-25 under the principle of God’s promise (“God said”).

1. I will make for him a helper suitable for him (Gen. 2:18-19)

2. Lord God caused (Gen. 2:21a)

3. He took (Gen. 2:21b)

4. Lord God fashioned (Gen. 2:22a)

5. Lord God brought (Gen. 2:22b)


Grace is based on God’s character and His promise to provide for marital needs. Adam and Eve were married under ideal conditions and in a perfect culture and yet, they did not live happily ever after (Gen. 3).  Does that surprise you?  Adam went from single solitude to marital bliss to big marital trouble. Sometimes, believe it or not, the wind goes out of our honeymoon sails.  Sometimes the moonlight and roses turn into daylight and dirty dishes.  You think, “dear God what have I gotten myself into this time?” This is the time when marital grace can work miracles in your marriage.  It is important to stay faithful to the promises of God about marriage.  This is a time for responsible CLEAVING and not irresponsible leaving. Adam and Eve became distracted from their spiritual relationship and from the simplicity of the truth of God’s word (Gen. 2-3).  Their failures remind us that through our free will through our free will we can foul up volitionally what God created for our well being.  It also shows that when our monogamous spiritual relationship gets “out of whack,” our monogamous marital relationship will not be far behind.

Series on Marriage: Pastor Ron Adema
audio 1
audio 2
audio 3
audio 4

Marriage Conference 2014: Associate Pastor, Al Rosenblum
session 1, notes
session 2, notes
session 3, notes

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The Origin of Marriage

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Monogamous Relationships

By Ron Adema,  Pastor of Doctrinal Studies Bible Church