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God’s Marriage Law (2)

Implications of Marriage

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24; ESV) While not explicitly stated, there are a number of things that are implied by God’s marriage law.

No Divorce. The leaving from one family unit and the creation of the new family unit is to be permanent. They become one flesh. They are no longer two. Marriage is not about convenience but is a permanent action. Jesus explicitly states what is implied by the marriage law.

3 And Pharisees came up to him and  tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:3-6; ESV)

We will examine this text in more detail in another study. But I want us to see that Jesus is commenting from Genesis 2. When the question was asked is it was okay to divorce, Jesus quotes Genesis 2. The scriptures say that the two become one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate. Divorce is not in God’s plan. God’s marriage law implies that there cannot be divorce because the two are one flesh. This point must be emphasized today. Marriage is permanent. Marriage is not to be broken. Carefully notice Jesus’ words: “God has joined together.” God is involved in the marriage process. Don’t break what God has joined.

No Adultery. It is also implied by the command that adultery is not permitted. Jesus also speaks to that in Matthew 5 and Matthew 19. The two becoming one flesh of course eliminates any other person entering into the relationship. This principle seems obvious to a marriage. God states it explicitly later:

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. (Hebrews 13:5; ESV)

No Fornication/Promiscuity. Many question today the purpose of marriage. This question arises when people are living together and having sexual relations outside of marriage. Of course marriage is questioned when sexual relations and living together is taking place before marriage. You are taking the joys and privileges of marriage sinfully, without any covenant being made. These things are to be found in a covenant relationship bound by God and not cheapened into the fulfillment of selfish desires. When we read Genesis 2 we see that Adam found the woman to be a suitable companion and partner. Thus, the marriage covenant is the answer to enjoying a full companionship and partnership.

3 God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. 4 Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor– 5 not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; NLT)

No Homosexuality. God did not make another man to his companion and partner. God created a woman. She is created by God to be a companion to a man. This point is also explicitly states in Romans 1:26-27:

26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. (Romans 1:26-27; NLT)

No Polygamy. Finally, polygamy is also implicitly prohibited. God declared that the two become one flesh, not the three or the four become one flesh.

God condemned the nations and Israel for these sins based upon the marriage law of Genesis 2:24.