The union of marriage is one of God's oldest and most sacred covenants for humanity and is recognized around the world in every country and culture, even throughout time. Though ceremonies and traditions differ around the world, the union of a man and woman for the purpose of procreation is an underlying natural law. From thence comes the family of fathers, mothers, and children from generation to generation.
There are various kinds of marriages such as arranged marriages, where a young woman is saved for a specific man (and vice versa); polygamous marriages, where either spouse can have more than one wife or husband; and monogamous marriages, where there is only one spouse dedicated to the other indefinitely. Most traditions of marriage are manmade as are the ceremonies and beliefs behind the marriage. But there is only one true marriage arrangement made by God Himself that has never changed or been tampered with by man's tradition and is naturally unbreakable.
Regardless of the culture, marriage is a basic of natural law and a conception of the creator for the purpose of developing families and communities and populating the earth with nations. The concept is explained in the book of Genesis and other religious text and traditions, however for the sake of understanding, this article will follow the teachings of the Holy Bible from the book of Genesis and beyond; though the foundation of natural law remains irrefutable. In other words, the main purpose of man and woman is to get married and have children; although there are other circumstances under God's natural law that a man or women is set aside for other purposes. We will address that later.
Nevertheless, there are basically two kinds of marriages: manmade and God created. Manmade marriages are based on manmade principles, such as arrangement, convenience, security, physical appearance and value and other such human needs and desires. According to statistics from the United States, there is a 50 percent chance these marriages will end in divorce, domestic violence or worse because they have not the foundation of God or the spiritual fulfillment God requires. A God created marriage is founded in love, which is by nature, or administered from the Holy Ghost through one or both spouses.
Since God created man and woman, he understands what each individual man or woman needs and the kind of person that would complete them as one soul, and one flesh. This is a talent the men of humanity have yet to perfect. After God created the man and the woman in His image, he then formed man from "the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life" Genesis 2:7. Afterward, God formed woman from man and said "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make an help meet for him" 2:18. Genesis 2:21-25 explains the process and lays the foundation for the principles of marriage.
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.
From the above passages, two of them hold a powerful social truth that answers many questions and addresses many misconceptions about the relationship between a husband and a wife. Verse 22 says that God "brought her unto the man." Meaning, God will prepare a woman for a man and bring them together to meet. A woman should not be looking for a husband but should humble herself to God and allow him to prepare her to become a wife. A man, on the other hand, should seek a wife if that is his desire. "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord" Proverbs 18:22.
Verse 24 are the marriage vows taken from the Bible and used in the traditional world, "Leaving the father and mother and cleaving onto his wife," whereas the husband and the wife are expected to leave the intimate space of their mother and father and establish their own space and family life. A couple should always keep their relationship personal and not allow interference from family members, even the closes of family members. Nor should they allow friends to interfere, and they should always keep their children close to them in spirit and physically if possible.
Becoming one flesh as a creation of God means sharing spiritual and emotional bonds to the point of knowing what each other feel and need; what makes them happy, sad, angry and other such fruits. They deal with struggles together, pain, joy, trials and tribulations together and they both learn to overcome and grow from every experience which makes them both stronger as individuals and as a couple. It also helps them live a godly life as an example to their children so the children can grow with strong character. In addition, the couple are able grow together yet maintain separate lives for personal missions from God.
With a strong enough spiritual bond, the husband and wife can also share some physical connections with one another whereby they can sense when one is not feeling well, what is causing the troubles or ailments and what is needed to heal one another. From there they learn to take care of one another by understanding what each other needs in terms of nutrition, physical health and spiritual guidance. Again, this type of bond grows stronger through a God created marriage, one consummated through the spirit and direction of God. Genesis 3 reads:
16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
A God created marriage in a traditional world remains to be a natural life. In other words, the couple will have the same problems and situations as a couple of a traditional marriage would have in the world such as work and life balance, raising children and extended family issues. The difference there however, is that God has promised and upholds particular blessings in His marriage than a couple would have in the world. God's couple are protected against many temptations of the world unlike the traditional couple.
God's couple is brought up under the standards of spiritual guidance and discipline from the Holy Ghost whereas the couple of the world are unprotected and at risk of falling into temptation more often than not. That is because the Holy Ghost keeps God's couple in a spiritual bubble as long as they do according to His will and walk according to His word, which is to love one another.
Does God Recognize Manmade Marriages?
Yes, according to the Law. But God does not recognize the marriage of law once a believer is saved or born again; they are freed from that law. Romans 7 4 reads: "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God." Those born again are new in Christ and are dead to the law so God then only recognizes His marriages as legitimate from that point on; although He is able to use manmade marriages to bring about a true marriage.
For instance, if a woman (or man) is married under tradition and afterward receives the gift of the Holy Ghost and are born again, that woman can stay with the traditional husband by chance she can bring him along into the new birth. If he wants to stay with her, she should not leave him, but if he does not want to come to God, the woman can leave him; she is no longer bound to that man. 1 Corinthians 7 reads:
13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
In the above case, if either spouse in the marriage were never married before, this would be true, but if the husband in this case were married before, the woman should leave the marriage regardless if the husband wanted to stay or not because she would be considered an adulteress. The same goes for a man or husband. St. Matthew 19:9 reads: "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."
Many people believe and teach that the above scripture gives an out to a spouse if the other commits fornication (or infidelity), which gives them the opportunity to divorce. Nevertheless, common sense says that a person cannot commit fornication if they are married, they can only commit adultery. 1 Corinthians 7 reads:
1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
So, what does the reference to fornication mean in Jesus' words? In the world of tradition when couples plan to get married, they become engaged first, and the couple is not supposed to come together (have sex) until they are married. But the world no longer practices abstinence before marriage. So, an engaged person who has sexual relations with someone other than their proposed spouse while they are engaged or espoused to be married, has committed fornication, therefore the other spouse can put them away or simply choose not to marry them. But the world has no true understanding of God created marriage so they have no provisions of divorce in that manner. In a God created marriage, however, the couple is not married until they come together, they are only espoused. A good example is given to us using the birth of Jesus Christ himself. St. Matthew 1 reads:
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
Joseph was going to divorce Mary (put her away privily) because he thought she was unfaithful before they had come together (or married). Biblically, a God created marriage is not a marriage until the couple comes together or the husband knew his wife, such as mentioned in the scriptures below. Genesis 4:1 reads: "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD"
St. Matthew 1:25 reads: "And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS."
1 Samuel 1:19, 20 reads: "And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her...Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD."
There are also biblical terms such as laying with someone or coming in unto someone, but those terms often meant merely having sex whereas coming together and knowing her meant marriage consummation or procreation. Genesis 30 reads:
1 And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.
2 And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?
3 And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her.
4 And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her.
5 And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son.
Judges 16:1 reads: "Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her."
2 Samuel 13:14 reads: "Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her."
So then one would ask, what about people who are having sex with multiple people, are they considered married? No. They are simply committing fornication by laying with multiple people. The difference is having the Holy Ghost and a promise of marriage. Having the Holy Ghost means being born again and all sins committed before receiving the Holy Ghost are forgiven. If a believer has the Holy Ghost and sleeps around without committing to anyone in particular, they are committing fornication. Therefore, they should remain abstinent until God has prepared someone for them. Holy Ghost filled believers can stay with their unsaved spouses as long as the unsaved spouse is happy to stay with them, they should not leave them.
If a couple meet and want to get married and they both have the Holy Ghost, they will promise each other and become espoused. They can remain espoused as long as they want until they come together, and once they do, they are considered married in the sight of God.
Holy ghost filled couples can also have a traditional marriage whereby they have a wedding ceremony and a honeymoon, although these things are not required by God, but only by man in order to keep records and documents for the couple. As stated earlier, couples can marry traditionally without having the Holy Ghost but if one does receive the Holy Ghost and the other does not, they should follow the passages of 1 Corinthians 7.
Single in the Lord
Some people are not ordained to marry. Some are kept aside for the purpose of the Lord and some choose to set themselves aside for the purpose of the Lord. St. Matthew 19 reads:
12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
The scriptures encourage men and women to remain single so the Lord can use them to the fulness of His purpose. But the Bible says that if a person cannot contain themselves or their desires, they should marry. "For it is better to marry than to burn" 1 Corinthians 7:9.
Widows also, are encouraged to remain unmarried after their husband dies, but if they choose to remarry, they should only marry in the Lord (someone who also has the Holy Ghost). This goes for men too who are widowers. But the Bible still encourages men who are single to remain single and serve the Lord instead. 1 Corinthians 7 reads:
29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none.
32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.
With these things said, divorce is not an option in God and marriage; a person is free to marry again only by death of their spouse. If the marriage is based on God and His love through the Holy Ghost, the couple will not divorce because the spirit keeps them bound to one another. The scripture says that; "Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" St. Matthew 19:6.
This means that no one - not even the couple - should try to legally disannul or breakup a God created marriage of husband and wife. "They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 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" St. Matthew 19:7,8.
From the beginning it was not so. People become hardhearted and distracted by the things and lust of the world so they are drawn away from their commitment to marriage and seek out other pleasures. They do not possess the Holy Ghost, which is purposed to keep them in the will of God and fulfill their life with love, trust and honesty. There is often anger, distrust, lying and infidelity that ends many marriages created by the tradition of men. As a result, men and women seek out other spouses to try again after getting a divorce.
"Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge" Hebrews 13:4.