Marriage, Divorce, & Remarriage

By Ron Adema,  Pastor of Doctrinal Studies Bible Church

Monogamous Relationship

Jesus reminds us that the original intent of the marriage covenant was cleaving into companionship for life: “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 (chorizo/ p.a.impv.3ps) [command].” (Mark  10:2-12).

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This last phrase added by Jesus teaches that the monogamous marital relationship is meant to be permanent.  Notice that it contains the command: “let no man separate.”  This Greek word for separate is used in Rom. 8:35-39 in a similar way.  This will give you an idea of the powerful use of this Greek word for the permanent state of marriage.

What has happened to a culture that once believed in marriage as a divine covenant?  What has happened to this culture where the divorce rate has gone from 2% in 1945 to 50% today?

Since 1945, the American culture has treated marriage as a human institution that you can enter and leave like a department store.

Jesus warned His culture and the religious leaders of His day of the same thing when He told them: “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures, nor the power of God.” (Matt. 22:29; 22:23-33)

Take a minute, if you haven't already, print out this book by clicking here and then write the two major warnings given by Jesus on the blank lines provided.

This booklet is designed to help us understand about the Scriptures and power of God regarding marriage as a divine covenant.

The answer to marital problems is not to run away from marriage. When you run away from marriage without resolving the marital problems, the problems go with you. Somewhere, at sometime, you must stop and deal with them

Marriage is a perfect institution but with imperfect married people.  Jesus’ advice was to run to the Scriptures and the power of God.

Paul used the same Greek word for separation (chorizo) with similar advice in Rom. 8:35-39.  Note that (chorizo) was used for both spiritual and marital monogamous relationships: “What shall separate us from love?”  Paul discussed problems of life that might threaten the monogamous relationship and then made this profound statement: “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us”(Rom. 8:37).

In your book write down three of your marital problems on the blank lines provided, biggest first.

Think on some of your marital problems, These are not any different than those listed in Rom. 8:35-39 and you too are to conquer through Jesus Christ, but you must understand the Scriptures and the power of God and let them work in your LIFE.

I can’t walk in your shoes and you can’t walk in my shoes, but we can both walk in the shoes of Jesus Christ by faith “This is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith.” (1 John 5:4)

Paul explained the principle of the power of God working in our life: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9)  Spiritual power perfects weakness if it operates under God’s grace by faith.

Abraham had a marital problem and applied this principle and gave his testimony in Rom. 4:17-21.  He described his problem as hopeless by sight.  What was important was for Abraham to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).

Read the six things Abraham believed to walk by the faith cycle through a difficult time in his marriage:

1. God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist (Rom. 4:17)

2. In hope against hope he believed (Rom. 4:18)

3. Without becoming weak in faith (Rom. 4:19)

4. With respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief (Rom. 4:20a)

5. But grew strong in faith, giving glory to God (Rom. 4:20b)

6. Being fully assured that what He had promised, he was able also to perform. (Rom. 4:21)

In the Hebrew language of Gen. 2:18-25, monogamous marital relationship is taught by the Hebrew words (ish) and (ishah) “For this cause a man (ish) shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife (ishah); and they shall become one flesh.” (Gen. 2:24)

God created two distinct and different characteristics of the human soul as male (zakar) and female (neqebah). They were created to become one in marriage. This would happen as they cleave as husband (ish) and wife (ishah). This means that they no are longer single male and single female, but husband (ish) and wife (ishah).

The rib taken from man and fashioned into his wife who God brought to him also illustrates the monogamous marital relationship. Adam described his monogamous marital relationship by the following five things: bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, ishah (woman) out of ish (man), leave and cleave, and becoming one flesh. (Gen. 2:21-25)

One of the ways you know that you are cleaving (dabaq) [intimacy of togetherness] is found in the extent of your companionship with your mate.

This doctrinal principle is described by Solomon in Eccl. 9:9: “Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given you under the sun; for this is your reward in life, and in your toil in which you have labored under sun.”

One way you know that marital companionship is not developing is that you hear married people say:“I feel so alone”“My mate talks at me, but not to me”“I got more loving from my mate when we dated”“I feel so trapped in an emotionless and loveless relationship”“We never do anything together” and “I’m so unhappy and miserable.”

If, in your marriage relationship, you are bored and unhappy, feeling alone, which is the normal life for the single person (Gen. 2:18), you will probably became bored and unhappy at some point with the “leaving and cleaving” principle of married life.

God says that He designed the monogamous marital relationship so that married couples could ENJOY LIFE together.  So what is wrong?  Either God is out of step with you or you are out of step with God?

Paul said that we are either walking by faith or by sight? (2 Cor. 5:7)  And Peter said that when two Christians marry they are fellow heirs of the grace of life (1 Pet. 3:7).

Paul gives five characteristics of cleaving into companionship in 2 Cor. 6:14-16.

• Partnership

• Fellowship

• Harmony

• Common interests

• Agreement

Did you notice what these five things have in common and what makes them work?  When you study these five things, you will discover that the common denominator is God (righteousness, light, Christ, spiritual, and temple): “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (2 Cor. 6:16)

God created the human soul for spiritual and marital monogamous relationships in life. Paul says that these two relationships are intertwined in Christian marriage: “This is a great mystery; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.  Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.” (Eph. 5:32-33)

Another idea of cleaving into companionship of monogamous marital relationship is the Greek word (suzeugnumi) “What therefore God has joined together (suzeugnumi / a.a.ind/) [yoked together] let no man separate.” (Mark 10:9)  Marriage is the yoking together of two people into one.

Having been reared on a farm during a time when horses were still in some use, I understand the significance of the English translation of suzeugnumi as yoking together.  For example, horses do not yoke themselves together nor do the groom and bride.

What does Mark 10:9 say "yokes them together"? The same is true of your spiritual monogamous relationship yoking: “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:18)

This spiritual yoking is forever, “And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” (1 John 5:11-12)

We began this chapter by quoting Jesus’ comments to some Pharisees regarding the disintegration of marriage in a moral and spiritual declining nation.  There was so much divorce that there was division among the religious leaders as to cause and cure (Matt. 19:3-12).

I believe that the point that Jesus was trying to make was that the real problem was the neglect of Scriptural teaching on the origin of marriage: “Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female (Gen. 1:26-27), and said, ‘For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh (Gen. 2:24)”? (Matt. 19:4-5)

Jesus restated the primary purpose of cleaving in marriage as “ the two shall become one flesh. Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh.” (Matt. 19:5-6a)  Jesus is emphasizing the importance of a monogamous marital relationship. Then Jesus gave a neology that is stated at nearly every Christian wedding I have ever attended: “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Matt. 19:6b)   These are words of wisdom for us, our culture, and our religious leaders as well as for the day of Jesus.

Series on Marriage: Pastor Ron Adema
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Marriage Conference 2014: Associate Pastor, Al Rosenblum
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Marital Grace

By Ron Adema,  Pastor of Doctrinal Studies Bible Church