Since the beginning, God intended for marriage to be monogamous (with one person), heterosexual (of the opposite gender), for life. The way that He made this clear is the way that He designed the first marriage in Eden. Adam met his wife Eve. There was no other woman. God did not place a couple of “back-up plan” women in the garden. He was the designer. He knew the perfect design. He knew what would bring Adam the most joy and satisfaction, and He joined Adam and Eve together.
This argument was the response of Jesus when He was confronted by some truth-twisting, subversion-motivated Pharisees. They had found a topic of division - divorce, and they wanted to cause Jesus to either go against popular opinion or against the Scripture. Jesus didn’t have any problem going against the popular opinion of the divorce-driven culture around Him. Very swiftly, He referenced a few points from scripture to counter the jaded perspective of the Pharisees. The first, we mentioned above, namely, God created man and woman as one couple, for life, no back-up plan. That is God’s view of marriage - permanent.
Jesus went on to give more answers about the divorce question: “Men and women leave their families and cleave to their spouses. God joins them together, no one should try to unjoin that union.” He argues that to dissolve a marriage is to dissolve something that God put together. His point was as follows: it doesn’t matter what culture tells you, Scripture has something very serious to tell you. We should never be in the business of undoing what God has done. It would be foolishness to see God using a Divine adhesive, and for us to respond by trying to remove that glue. Marriage is something that is done by God, not just by two people making promises. When those two seek to get a divorce, they are not just seeking to undo their own work, they are seeking to undo the very work of God.
In a divorce laden culture, Jesus was willing to push back against the common perspective, and hold to the perspective that God has in Malachi 2:15-16: “…Let no man deal treacherously with his wife, for I hate the putting away (divorce)…” In essence, God said, “I hate divorce.”
God has a completely different design for marriage than divorce. Often, even in our modern day culture, divorce comes at the expense of God’s perfect design. In 1 Peter 3:7, He tells husbands to live with their wives in an understanding way. In Ephesians 5:25, He tells husbands to love their wives in the self-sacrificing way that Christ loves the church. In Proverbs 18:22, He says that every man that finds a wife finds a “good thing, and favor of the Lord.” God is pleased when marriages are intentional, self-sacrificial, loving, and permanent.
Food For Thought: What are some root problems in marriages that lead to people feeling like divorce is their only option?