God hates divorce!
In the beginning, God created man first, forming him from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Next, God created Eve by taking one of Adams' ribs from his side, and closed the flesh, and created the woman from the rib, and then brought her to Adam.
The man was always the family Priest. The Family Priest offered a "covering" or protection to the wife and the family.
The husband was the one who brought the sacrifice to the Tabernacle, and then later to the Temple as a sacrifice for his own sins, his wife's sins, and the sins of the entire family. The husband brought the unblemished animal, the [b]sinless substitute,[/b] to the altar. He then leaned onto the head of the animal, thus transfering his sins, and those of his wife and family into the sinless substitute, and slit it's throat. The Levite Priesthood did the rest.
If we look in the Book of Job, we see the principle of the Father as the Family Priest. The family had to come under the covering of the father, the same as the wife did. The Father performed the Sacrifice of a burnt offering for sins of his children in this example:
4. And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. 5. And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that[b] Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.[/b]
Due to the hardness of mens hearts, the Lord allowed the Jews to divorce their wives in Deuteronomy, Chapter 21.....women did not have the ability to divorce their husbands in antiquity... AND HE DOESN'T WANT MEN OR WOMEN TO DIVORCE EACH OTHER TODAY!
However, in the New Testament, Jesus Christ, the Lawgiver, addressed this issue once and for all:
3. The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4. And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
5. And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
7. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8. He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
9. 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.
[b]In conclusion, God hates divorce. Marriage is a covenant relationship[/b]
The Marriage Covenant
For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you-Hebrews 13:5
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me -John 17:21
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
[b] 1. Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2. While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. 3. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4. But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 5. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6. Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. 7. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
1 Peter 3:1-7
One of the most important binding forces of marriage, and in turn, a very potent glue that holds a marriage together is covenant. Most people today, including ministers and Christian leaders, do not understand the deep spiritual meaning of covenant relationships either with God, or with a spouse. I believe that over the last 150 years in general, and over the last 50 years more specifically, there has been a significant exchange of fundamental values in western society, that has also permeated the church. We have exchanged our understanding of marriage as that of COVENANT for CONRACT, and totally devalued and defiled the marriage relationship established by God for us.
A blood covenant is the closest, most sacred, most enduring, binding agreement known to man. Jonathan and David made such a covenant with each other as recorded in 1 Samuel 18:1-4. When a covenant was made, it was virtually never broken. It was such a sacred commitment that a man would die before he would dishonor himself by breaking a covenant. In the east, a mans word in a vow or league or covenant was more valuable than his life.
This type of covenant still exists in oriental middle eastern cultures today. To them a covenant is irrevocable, and breakable only by death. Covenant breaking in the east is virtually always punishable by death.
It is astounding that our God, the creator, would make covenant with man, committing all He is and all He has to us. Jesus Christ took upon Himself the punishment for our covenant breaking in His establishment of the New Covenant and offered to all who will receive an irrevocable covenant commitment.
The Biblical concept of marriage is that of a blood covenant. Blood covenant is an eastern concept which has been known and practiced for many centuries in the east, but is little known and understood in the west. The Bible, God's Word, was written in an eastern context and much of the biblical presentation of God's relationship with man is couched in blood covenant terminology. Unfortunately, most of us in the west have very little, if any, familiarity with even the concept of the blood covenant.
The concept of covenant then is a commitment made to another party in the presence of God and other witnesses and is irrevocable. A covenant was not simply broken, and if it ever was, the penalty was death.[/b] A contract, on the other hand is a bilateral agreement between two parties totally dependent upon performance of the agreement. Under a contract, if one fails to perform according to the contract, the other party has no obligation to perform either and is no longer bound by terms of the contract. This is not the case under a covenant, which is irrevocable. A covenant was not simply broken, and if it ever was, the penalty was death.
Up until recent years, the concept of marriage, even in society at large, has been that of covenant, not contract. Until recently the church has always viewed marriage as a covenant rather than a contract.
Unfortunately, over a period of time, the unbelieving world, out of an alleged concern for the individual, began to forsake the Biblical value of covenant in marriage and instead embraced the value of contract. Much of the church, that claims we are a covenant people, rather than being the salt and light that it ought to be, has allowed the world to influence it and has ultimately embraced the worldly values system. In doing this we have participated in releasing a massive destructive force in society and within the church which is ravaging our marriages and families.[b]The covenant value in marriage would say to the marriage partner, "I am irrevocably committed to you until death separates us. My commitment to you has nothing to do with your performance or any choice you make. It is a unilateral commitment before God unto death." This is the commitment that the Lord Jesus Christ made to us, His Bride. "I will never leave you or forsake you," Hebrews 13:5[/b]
The contract value would rather say, "I'll keep my end of the bargain if you keep yours. If you make me unhappy or don't do what you promised, then I will leave you (divorce you) and find someone else who makes me happy and keeps his/her promises. And if you leave me, then I will definitely leave you and find someone else. This is contrary to Paul's teaching in Romans 7:2 "For the woman who has a husband is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives.....".
Our relationship with Jesus Christ is a covenant commitment on His part rather than a contract commitment!
Whether they realize it or not, parents hold in their hands a powerful key to the future lives of their children. Parents are the primary agents through whom impartation of image comes to children, either from God, who said: "what God has joined together, let no man separate," (Matthew 19:6) or from Satan who as a thief comes "to steal, to kill and to destroy," (John 10:10). Thus, parents may be used either as an agent of God to bless their children, or as an agent of Satan to curse their children.
However, through the Lord Jesus Christ, who has come to this earth to restore life and marriage and our children and everything that Satan has stolen, we can enjoy the blessings promised to us and rebuke the curses of the kingdom of darkness. John said: "He who sins is of the devil, and the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil," (1 John 3:8). I strongly believe that separation, divorce, breaking of the home, selfishness and unforgiveness is a manifested work of the devil.
Covenant breaking through divorce and remarriage, though frequently promoted in the church, are not options for those to whom Jesus is Lord, and who have chosen to live for Him and His kingdom rather than for self and personal happiness.
The primary issue in covenant breaking is the destruction of the image and defamation of the character of God in the sight of others. This gives rise to a deep seated distrust toward God and fear of abandonment in the hearts of the participants, children and those with whom we try to be a witness. We as believers cannot live only unto ourselves. Jesus' concern is not only for believers (John 17:22-23) but even more so for others before whom the church is a representation of the image of God. No one individual is the representation of the Image of God, but rather it is the collective relationship between believers that bear the image of God. When the church is not one, it is difficult to convince people that the Father loves them and that He sent Jesus Christ.
[b]In the same way as the church bears the image of God, so does marriage. Marriage is God's idea. It is an institution of God. Paul tells us in Ephesians 5 that the marriage relationship is an earthly picture of the relationship between Christ and the Church. When there is a Covenant Keeping within a marriage, the image of Christ and His bride is correctly presented before the world. However, when there is a Covenant Breaking within a marriage, the world is presented with the wrong earthly picture of Christ and His bride.[/b]
Because marriage does indeed bear the Image of God in the world, both DIVORCE and REMARRIAGE are bold statements to those around that the Father does not love them and that the Father did not send Jesus.
Many Christian leaders and pastors continue to remarry divorced Christians to people other than their spouses, thus embracing the world's value of contract rather than upholding God's value of covenant. I realize that, in part, today the church is deceived and that the concept of right and wrong is not particularly strong in our society anymore, even among Christians. However, just the fact that this practice is morally wrong and violates God's will and purpose and it is contrary to the Holy Scriptures ought to be
enough to cause Christian leaders and pastors to discontinue this practice.
God has established the marriage covenant and God never abandons His covenant relationships. All the provisions and promises associated with covenants are ours forever. Therefore, the marriage covenant is based, not on a covenant of works composed of what the couple promises to do for the other, but, on better promiseswhat God will do in them for each other and all who obey and stand firm on that covenant.
[b]God's word concerning Covenant Marriages:[/b]
Genesis 2:18-25: 18. And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 19. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. 21. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
"When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee."
PROVERBS 2:17: "Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God."
ECCLESIASTES 5:3: " For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words."
JEREMIAH 3:1: "They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the Lord.'
JEREMIAH 32:38-39: "`And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: 39. And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:of them and their children after them."
MALACHI 2:13-16: "And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.
14. Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
15. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
16. For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.''
MATTHEW 5:31-32: It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32. 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 19:4-9: " And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
5. And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 7. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8. He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9. 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.''
ROMANS 7:2-3: "For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
3. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man."
1 Corinthians 7:39-40: "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. 40. But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.
I believe [b]the married state is to be one of perpetual and unconditional love. The phrase "I love you" means this: "I am committed to you. Whether or not you are happy with what I say or do, I care for you and look for opportunities to show you how much I care. I will never leave you, nor forsake you. I will always pray for God's best for our lives together. As husband and wife, we are a one-flesh union and inseparable. No matter what you may do or say, I am committed to you for the duration of our earthly lives. What was once mine is now ours; and I receive what was once yours as ours together.
"Marriage is a three way covenant- the Bride, the Groom and God". As it says is Ecclesiastes 4:12: ".... a threefold cord is not quickly broken."[/b]
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.