oath, witnessed by friends, sealed by the state, and secured in the presence of God, both husband and wife could rest assured of the sincerity of the other's love. The special love of husband and wife would be their treasure throughout their marital years. As a special gift upon the expression of this special relationship, children would be conceived and born into a loving, stable family, sealed in the lifelong bond of marriage. Such is God's view and institution of marriage.
Sinful man, however, distorts and mars God's special gifts also the gift of marriage. Man-made divorce laws destroy the comfort, security, and specialness of the marriage bond. It is important, especially today, to understand the biblical teaching regarding this matter. A legal divorce does not and cannot break a marriage bond. It is only to confirm to all that the sanctity of the marriage bond has been broken.
The sacredness of the marriage bond can only be broken by fornication. In such cases, the innocent party (the one who is innocent of fornication) has the legal right to secure a divorce. The innocent party is not forced to divorce, but has a right to. After securing a scriptural divorce, the innocent party is permitted to enter into a new marriage covenant with church approval.
The Lord Jesus testifies of this truth very clearly when He states, "And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery" (Matthew 19:9). Notice the following important divorce teachings in this verse.
No man may divorce or marry another unless his wife has committed fornication - unless he is the innocent party.
No man may marry the woman - the guilty party; he who does so commits adultery with her.
The same holds true if the man was the guilty party, the fornicator. Then his wife is free to divorce him and to remarry. But whoever would marry him - the fornicator - would commit adultery with him.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
- Genesis 2:24-25
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
- Hebrews 13:4
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.
- Genesis 1:28a
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is His reward.
- Psalm 127:3
It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
- Matthew 5:31-32
When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.