Marriage, Divorce, & Remarriage

By Ron Adema,  Pastor of Doctrinal Studies Bible Church

The Origin of Marriage

Matthew 19:3-12 and Mark 10:3-12 records Jewish religious leaders challenging Jesus on the subject of Mosaic laws concerning divorce. One point that Jesus made during this discussion was that their problem with divorce was directly related to their problems with marriage (Matt. 19:4-8; Gen. 1:26-27; Gen. 2:24; 1 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 5:31). This was part of my motivation in writing this booklet and especially this chapter on the Origin of Marriage.

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Many people have no idea how marriage originated. They do not know that it was instituted by God and not by man, because they have never researched it nor read about it in the first book of the Bible (Gen. 2:18-25).  Yet, there are many interesting things recorded in the first Scriptures on the origin of marriage (Gen. 2:18-25).  For example, it is interesting that three different teachers and authorities are required to explain the origin of marriage.  The first teacher was the sovereign Lord God (Gen. 2:18-22).  The second teacher was the first spouse, Adam (Gen. 2:23).  The third teacher was the spiritual leader, Moses (Gen. 2:24-25) [addition of parents]. This tells me that the origin of marriage was established by a sovereign God before the Garden of Eden and confirmed by a spousal Adam in the Garden and taught by a spiritual Moses after the Garden.

Jesus and Paul used the canonized writing and teaching of Moses in their teachings on the origin of marriage (Matt. 19 and Ephesians 5).

It is also interesting that in the middle of the lesson on the origin of marriage, God paused to talk about household pets:

“The Lord God said, ‘it is not good for the man to be alone; I will make a helper suitable for him.’ Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field, all the birds of the air; He brought them to the man to see what he would name them and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air, the beast of the field.”  Gen. 2:18-20


An important point can be interjected into the lesson on the origin of marriage.  Man’s best friend is not Fido (or any other substitutions), because in these verses he tells of the creation of Eve, Adam’s Suitable Helper.

At this moment, please let me say that single solitude is a time to become more spiritually and biblically prepared for marriage and life.  One needs to become content with single life in order to understand contentment with married life (1 Cor. 7:32-35). I have discovered that people who are not content with single life are not good candidates for marriage at that stage of their lives.

Christ is the only solution to loneliness

It is interesting that it was the sovereign God and not Adam who declared that it was not good to be alone and needed a suitable helper (neqed ezer or corresponding counterpart of Gen. 1:26-27). However, God is not suggesting that marriage can somehow dispel single loneliness. Some of the loneliest people I have met have been married. Occupation with Jesus Christ is needed to dispel loneliness and take up the slack of a soul mate. Read 1 Cor. 7:32-35 and then read it again. Now, read 1 Pet. 2:25.  Romantic love is not always a rational experience; therefore, Christians need to first experience divine love in their souls (Eph. 5:25-33; 1 Cor. 13:4-8; Gal. 5:16, 22-23).

Adam in single solitude knew scripturally that a suitable helper was missing because the Lord God taught him just as the Lord is teaching us (Gen. 2:18-19). The Lord brought (bo / hiphil impf) Adam substitutions that convinced him of the uniqueness of the grace offer of a suitable helper (Gen. 2:19).  In God’s perfect timing and grace, God would bring (bo / hiphil impf) the suitable helper to Adam for marriage (Gen. 2:22; Prov. 18:22).

God gave Adam a special mate not a spare mate (1 Cor. 11:8-12). Today, the Christian church is exchanging special mates like they exchange spare tires.  A wife is a special rib not a spare rib.  Today, there is no respect for the sanctity of marriage as a divine institution. This is obvious by the way people mistreat it (Gen. 2:18-25).

God gave Adam a wife without giving him pain (Gen. 2:21-22).  If there is a lot of pain and suffering during the courtship, this is not a healthy relationship for marriage and you should seek counseling NOW!

Here is a brief list of some people who, as Believers in Jesus Christ, should never marry without professional counseling.• An Unbeliever (2 Cor. 6:14-18; 1 Cor. 7:39; 9:5)• An Unscripturally divorced believer (Matt. 19:4-6; 1 John 3:18-21)• A Heavy drinker, drug user / seller, or compulsive gambler (Prov. 23:20-21; Rom. 13:13-14)• An Extremely jealous believer (Gal. 5:16-26; Prov. 12:18)• A Neurotic or Psychotic believer (Prov. 21:9; 27:15)• A Chronically unemployed believer  (Prov. 14:23; 21:25-26)

The First Wedding

Genesis 2:18-25 records the first wedding ceremony of human history between Adam and Eve.  Three different Hebrew words are used to describe Adam and Eve in regards to marriage (ish, ishah, and ha adam).

In the wedding, the husband becomes (ish) and wife becomes (ishah): “For this cause a husband (ish) shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife (ishah); and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24) [Monogamous].

Leaving for independence and cleaving for dependence are important parts of the marriage becoming one flesh.  This is symbolized in the wedding ceremony by the unity candle.

There are several times during marriage when cleaving (dabaq) (intimate togetherness) is essential.  Two obvious times is when the children permanently leave home.  The first time is when as someone’s children, you leave home. The second time is when your own children leave your home (the empty nest). Marital cleaving is very important.

In marriage the husband (ish) is also the man (ha adam) of his wife (ishah). (Genesis 2:25) “and the man (ha adam) and his wife (ishah) were both naked and were not ashamed.” This is a double role for the husband (ish) and as ha adam, the husband holds the position of headship in the divine chain of authority. (1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:23) He also holds the responsibility of cleaving ish and ishah into one flesh (Gen. 2:24, Eph. 5:22-33).

Jesus posed a neology to the teaching on marriage from Genesis 2:18-25: “Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together let no man separate.” (Matt. 19:6)

This phrase was based on this doctrinal principle: “But from the beginning it has not been this way.” (Matt. 19:8)

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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Marital Grace

By Ron Adema,  Pastor of Doctrinal Studies Bible Church