What God Joined Together
When two people come together under the idea of marriage, they stand before a man to recite wedding vows to each other. But, what does this mean? Consider if you will, the words both the male and female make: “Will you take this woman/man to be thy wedded wife/husband, to live together in holy matrimony? Will you love her/him, comfort her/him, honour her/him, and keep her/him in sickness and in health, forsaking all others for as long as you both shall live? Will you take thee to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, and to love and cherish each other till death do you part?”
When a marriage comes together, those involved in that marriage make this promise to each other and to God. They believe that they will be together forever. However, many times, this is far from the truth. Separations occur and eventually divorce comes (annulments included). But, what is divorce? Divorce is a legal dissolution of a marriage. It is a ceasing, a breaking, to let go, or to release from bonds that terminates a marriage. But what is ceasing? What are things that break in divorce? Could we say that we are breaking two hearts in a marriage or breaking a family into jagged pieces? What are we letting go? Could it be the bond that was first made on the wedding day between each other and between God? But, why the release?
Did not Jesus say to the Pharisees who came tempting Him with questions on divorce that, “. . . a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh” (Matt. 19:5)? Two lives join into one. This is why the bond of husband and wife is stronger than that between children and parents. And, to be as one means that they are to be the only ones together. Yet, if this is true, then what comes in between them? It should be said that when something comes in between the one flesh, it must be a painful experience seeing as how pain always comes when something is inserted between flesh. With a marriage, this insertion is planned and cannot happen by accident and once it is between flesh, it separates it and divorce is seen shortly down the road.
Jesus said, “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt. 19:6). Now, what could be so forceful that it could separate flesh? Perhaps a friend? Maybe they just drive each other crazy. Could it be that they are just not compatible? Jesus again speaking said to the Pharisees, “Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery . . .” (Matt. 19:9). What is fornication? It is illicit sexual intercourse. It is sexual intercourse whether it is with a man, woman, homosexual, lesbian, animal, etc . . . Jesus said that for this reason only can one divorce. Why? It is because sexual intercourse breaks the one flesh into two. It is because there is a foreign flesh attempting to rip part of the flesh from the rest. It is because it breaks the covenant relationship between man and woman. It is because it breaks the covenant relationship with God because once you are in a marriage, you are commanded by God to keep it (Rom. 7:2). Men can attempt to justify this by saying that the laws of the land permit other actions. Well, so did the laws of the land in Jesus’ day (Matt. 19:1-9). But, just because it is a law of the land, does not give us a right to violate God’s law. The apostles, which were led directly by the Holy Spirit said, “. . . We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Therefore, if God defines what a marriage is and what it is not and also defines the reason to end a marriage, we must obey God rather than man for only God can dissolve a marriage.
Divorce that comes outside of fornication, happens when men forget God (Rom. 1:18-32), when they forget His word (Psa. 119:11), and when they want to do what is right in their own eyes (Jdgs. 17:6). May we each do the will of the Father (Matt. 7:21-23).