First, consider the following texts from God’s Word:
- But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.” (Mal 2:14-16)
- “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” (Mat 5:31-32)
- They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” (Mat 19:7-9)
- To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. (1Co 7:10-11)
These texts limit divorce to the unfaithfulness of one spouse. Jesus, God through he prophet Malachi, and Paul all say that marriage is permanent. The meaning is clear in these passages, “one man and one woman for life.” However, before we toss in the towel and decide that once we are in a “bad marriage” that we are stuck, there is one more idea to consider. One that ultimately comes from scripture. The disciples state this principle in Matthew 19 and Jesus confirms it. I think we need to take a closer look at this teaching of when we should quit a marriage. This is sound teaching about breaking up a marriage. I consider this to be the BEST time to break-up a marriage, even better than unfaithfulness. The BEST time to break-up a marriage is BEFORE YOU SAY, “I DO”! Yes, I am shouting with all caps. This is after-all what the disciples said, ” . . . If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” (Mat 19:10).
My point? Make sure you are ready to stay together – for life before you complete the ceremony. I tell couples, that if she is on the way up the aisle and one of them decides they are not ready for this, then tell me then. I would rather see those gathered disappointed then than broken-hearted at a later day.
What do you think?