Of Fornication, Divorce, and Adultery

C H U R C H   R E F O R M    S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

Jesus and the Adulteress 2

Jesus and the Adulteress

Adultery (a consequence of Divorce and Remarriage) and Fornication (a consummation of lust) are distinct in nature. However, both damn one’s soul to eternal fire unless one truly repents.

FORNICATION

It is a sexual sin that is either performed by non-married individuals or by married individuals having affairs. In other words, it is sex outside the bonds of matrimony. Its literal meaning is to play the harlot.

“Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” 1 Cor 6: 18-20

If a married person cheats on his/her spouse, it is not adultery. It is fornication.

“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

“It is reported commonly [that there is] fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.” 1 Cor 5: 1

Fornication is not befitting a Christian no matter how one tries to spin it. See Sex and the Christian.

“Flee fornication.” 1 Cor 6: 18

“Now the body [is] not for fornication, but for the Lord…” 1 Cor 6:13

“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Tim 2: 22

“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints…” Eph 5: 3

There are ways to avoid fornication.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].” 1 Cor 10: 13

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Col 3: 5

“Nevertheless, [to avoid] fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” 1 Cor 7: 2

Fornication is not only forbidden, it is a sin that excludes those under its sway from any inheritance in God’s Kingdom. If you are under its spell, whether you’re a “Christian” or not, you better repent now and sin no more before death catches up with you.

“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Jude 1: 7

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. .” 1 Cor 6: 9, 10

DIVORCE

When Jesus was asked a question on divorce (the context), this was His answer:

“Haven’t you read, Jesus replied, that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19: 4-6

The “male and female” verse Jesus was referring to was this one:

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

But what does that verse really mean?

It means that there is a duality inherent in God, Father and Son. Therefore, God created that same duality in mankind, male and female. That duality is itself God’s image in mankind.

“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…’ ” Genesis 1:26

So God made them male and female, a duality that mimics God’s own duality of Father and Son.

“I and the Father are one.” John 10:30

See The Trinity Doctrine is not in the Bible for an in-depth exposé.

The resulting process of creating mankind male and female had more to do with reproducing the image of the duality inherent in God rather than with marriage. However, like Jesus pointed out, marriage does bring the two together as one. That’s why God hates divorce.

” ‘For I hate divorce,’ says the LORD.” Malachi 2:16

Divorce is a violent act that tears apart the union of male and female who are made in the dual image of the one God. Divorcing one’s spouse is tantamount to severing God the Father from God the Son.

” ‘The man who hates and divorces his wife,’ says the Lord God, ‘does violence to the one he should protect,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Malachi 2:16

A man and a woman become one flesh upon marrying. When they divorce, they commit a vicious act that rips that one flesh apart. Consequently, neither one can marry again – unless the woman committed fornication, which then would allow the husband to wed anew.

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Matthew 19:9

In God’s eyes divorce causes one to forfeit the privilege of marrying again because it belittles the seriousness that God imbued the marital contract with.

ADULTERY

Adultery is a by-product of Divorce and Remarriage. When a divorcé/divorcée has casual sex, that’s fornication. However, when he/she remarries, he/she commits adultery.

Furthermore, a non-divorcé who marries a divorcée ends up committing adultery because he’s marrying someone’s wife, even if she’s an ex. However, we couldn’t find a bible verse that describes a non-divorcée of committing adultery if she were to marry a divorcé.

“And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.” Mark 10:12

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Matthew 19:9

“Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from [her] husband committeth adultery.” Luke 16: 18

Jesus and the Adulteress

Jesus and the Adulteress

Shunning adultery is one of the 10 commandments:

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Exodus 20: 14

Even in the Old Testament when a man married another man’s ex-wife, it was adultery because what God joins together no man can put asunder. Therefore, even when a man divorces his wife, she’s still his wife in God’s eyes.

“And the man that committeth adultery with [another] man’s wife, [even he] that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” Lev 20: 10

“And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery…” John 8: 3

“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Mark 10: 9

A Christian husband cannot contemplate divorce unless his wife commits fornication.

“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

However, we’ve scoured the bible trying to find a verse that allows a wife to divorce her husband if he commits fornication and couldn’t find one. Most likely it’s because the husband is the head of the wife. Consequently, God has allowed the husband some leeway.

“For the husband is the head of the wife…” Ephesians 5: 23

But such leeway is by no stretch a carte blanche void of consequences. As the helpmate the wife needs to do her level best to help her husband out of such a deadly sin.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:6

If she can’t handle it and decides to divorce him, this is the Lord’s command according to the Apostle Paul:

“A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.” 1 Cor 7: 10, 11

The only time a woman can remarry is when her husband or ex-husband dies.

“A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” 1 Cor 7: 39

However, there are those who say that the bible allows believers to divorce their unbelieving spouses. But the Apostle Paul clearly stated, in 1 Corinthians 7, that it was his opinion and not the Lord’s command.

12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

It is quite obvious that the Apostle Paul was mostly leaning toward the spouses staying together rather than divorcing one another. And even if divorce were to occur, the following scenarios (which could apply to any couple really) would kick in:

I. The wife leaves her husband.

a) He does not want her to leave and refuses divorce. Still, she leaves and forces a divorce upon him which he does not respond to, truly does not want, and wholeheartedly does not agree with. The divorce materializes anyway by legal default. She then finds another man whom she commits fornication with, or remarries and commits adultery. Upon such fait accompli, the believing husband is now free to remarry as per biblical laws.

However, even if the wife never commits fornication or adultery after said divorce, the husband can marry again because he is not the one who put her away.

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife…” Matthew 19:9

We think (because there’s no direct biblical directive) that it is quite possible that if such a man, because of dire circumstances, has to legally work on and sign divorce papers in order to protect concerns and belongings he’s worked for his whole life, that God could still allow that man to marry again, but such a man would have to really have his heart right (i.e., wholeheartedly not wanting the divorce and/or trying hard to reconcile with his wife). It goes without saying that, in said particular circumstance, such a man must really seek the Lord’s face.

“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

b) If the husband willingly and wholeheartedly grants his wife a divorce, the husband cannot remarry or have an affair, otherwise he will commit adultery or fornication.

“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

II. The husband leaves his wife.

The wife would never be able to remarry unless her ex dies.

“…let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.” 1 Cor 7: 11

“A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” 1 Cor 7: 39

Releasing oneself from a bad marriage to an unbelieving spouse is not a blanket permission to get remarried. The Apostle Paul (not the Lord) only stipulated it as a condition to get out of bondage. He never implied or indicated that a person who divorces could remarry against biblical laws. If that person could, he definitely would have mentioned it because the laws against adultery are very clear.

Further, many believe that if a divorcé/divorcée was not a Christian when he/she got divorced, once he/she becomes a Christian he/she can remarry because salvation makes everything new. Sadly there are no verses in the bible to back that theory. It is also an egregious act of adding to God’s words.

“Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” Proverbs 30:6

If you were married prior to becoming a Christian, you are still married when you become one. Ditto for divorce. Nothing can change or expunge that.

Otherwise, it’s like saying for instance that if a single non-Christian teenage girl becomes pregnant and then turns to the Lord, she can expect her pregnancy to “miraculously” vanish because she’s now born again and thus everything has become new. Or better yet, if a murderer turns Christian, he can anticipate those he killed to “miraculously” rise from the dead because he’s surrendered his life to the Lord and thus everything has become new.

Sorry, but the salvation in Christ that makes everything new doesn’t work that way.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

How do new things come when one becomes a Christian?

“Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.” Ephesians 4:28

Things become new by living a life that is totally different than the one prior to salvation. Therefore, one’s actions as a Christian (i.e., following God’s laws) prove one’s salvation.

“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” James 2:26

“Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.”  1 John 2:4

Salvation in Christ purges one’s soul of sins, but not of their temporal or earthly consequences. See The Consequences of Sin

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4

A true Christian must accept the consequences of his/her actions, even the aftermath of those that took place prior to becoming saved. In so doing, he/she denies himself/herself and carries his/her cross for the Lord.

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 6:24

That’s why, even when saved, one of the consequences of sin is hardship.

“By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food…” Genesis 3:19

“There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin.” Psalm 38: 3

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children.” Hebrews 12:7

The laws are for the believer to use properly, and for the unbeliever and lawbreaker to stand condemned.

“We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.” 1 Timothy 1: 8-11

Such air-tight laws are because God hates evil, and adultery is as such to Him. Therefore, to help prevent adultery He has thus made it almost impossible for a marriage to be dissolved.

“…you hate all evildoers.” Psalm 5:5

” ‘For I hate divorce,’ says the LORD.” Malachi 2:16

And you can bet that God’s hate is probably as strong as His love – okay, maybe not as strong since He gave us Jesus, but pretty strong – and that’s why marriage should not be rushed into without a clear understanding of what it entails, or without knowing how to avoid falling for the wrong person. See The Biblical Marriage Blueprint.

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Gen 2: 24

Unless true repentance occurs, adultery not only destroys the soul, it also guarantees eternal damnation.

“… go and sin no more.” John 8: 11

“But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.” Prov 6: 32

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. .” 1 Cor 6: 9, 10

If you are already in the grip of adultery, wisdom, courage, and strength from the Holy Spirit will be fundamental, especially if you’re in a situation where you’re married to someone’s (ex) wife and children were born from such a union.

Repentance towards all implicated parties is a good first step. Then, here’s what Jesus commanded if one were ever bitten by adultery’s venomous fangs:

“But I say unto you, that whosoever looks upon someone’s wife to set his heart upon her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.” Matthew 5:28-30

Therefore, the Lord did command that any and all adulterous relationships should be cut off; one of the parts of your body (i.e., your current “wife” who’s actually someone else’s wife and who became one with you, as in the two shall become one flesh) should be cut off. However, your responsibility towards your children (from said relationship) is not to be neglected.

“But if someone doesn’t provide for their own family, and especially for a member of their household, they have denied the faith. They are worse than those who have no faith.” 1 Tim 5:8

CONCLUSION

Fornication and adultery are the works of the flesh.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Gal 5: 19 – 21

Therefore, ask yourself one simple question: would you want to risk your eternal destiny just because you want to have sex or just because you want to remarry?

“…fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Hebrews 13:4

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Romans 8: 13

Children born as a result of fornication or adultery are not guilty of any crime.

“The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.” Ezekiel 18: 20

When it comes to fornication, remember the old saying: “Flies spread disease – keep yours zipped.” And the nastiest disease fornication spreads is that of a warped soul. So, to get your mind off sex, find a way of escape by keeping yourself occupied: evangelism, helping the poor, a second job, prayer and fasting, etc. See Understanding the Duties of Ministry. However, if you really can’t get your mind off it, then get married. See The Biblical Marriage Blueprint.

And when it comes to divorce/adultery, remember also that other saying: “It’s cheaper to keep her.” That goes for your wallet (divorce) as well as your soul (adultery).

So be wise.

“Fear the LORD and shun evil.” Proverbs 3: 7

ADDENDUM

Explaining Matthew 5:28-30

Matthew 5:28

Popular Translation:

“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” KJV Version

Biblicism Institute Translation (in bold color):

“But I say unto you, that whosoever looks upon someone’s wife to set his heart upon her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Biblicism Institute translation)

Comment:

The Greek word gune that is translated as woman really means a woman who is married or wife. In this instance someone’s wife or even an ex-wife since an ex-wife is still her husband’s wife in God’s eyes.

“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Mark 10: 9

The Greek word epithumeo that is translated as lust after has even a more powerful meaning: set one’s heart upon. Remember, Jesus looks at the heart.

“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

In Matthew 5: 28 Jesus was referring to someone’s (ex)-wife, just like the woman caught in adultery in John 8:3 was someone’s (ex)-wife who married another man, and Jesus told her to “go and sin no more”.

Remember, adultery is the by-product of Divorce and Remarriage.

“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

When a man sets his heart upon someone’s (ex)-wife, Jesus already sees it as the foundational act which will cause that man to marry such a woman, hence that man is already in the throes of adultery.

Thus in Matthew 5:28 Jesus was really reiterating Matthew 19:9 in a more profound way, so profound that He said right after:

“If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.” Matthew 5:29-30

That stark command was Jesus’s other way of saying “go and sin no more” (by cutting off the relationship), because those who are guilty of adultery will not enter the kingdom of God.

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. .” 1 Cor 6: 9, 10

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The Biblical Marriage Blueprint

Heavenly Father knows best.
C H U R C H   R E F O R M    S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

Marriage is so important that God uses it to describe His own love and affection for the world.

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” Rev 19: 7

It is also the only institution God cares about.

“The only institution which God loves.” Malachi 2:11

Furthermore, God hates divorce: See Of Fornication, Divorce and Adultery

” ‘For I hate divorce,’ says the LORD.” Malachi 2:16

Therefore since marriage is so important, wouldn’t it make sense that God would establish a commandment and a blueprint on how to go about getting married?

Of course.

Find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters.” Jeremiah 29:6

Find wives for your sons… is God’s commandment. People in the modern Western world don’t like to hear that proposition, even though it is a system that used to be the norm once upon a time, and is still in vogue today in many other cultures.

But let’s believe God anyway and follow His trail or blueprint.

HOW GOD THE FATHER FOUND BRIDES FOR HIS 2 SONS

God the father had 2 sons: Adam (Luke 3:38) and Jesus. How did He get them wives?

He made one for Adam, someone who would be helpful to him.

“Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.'” Gen 2:18

The Spiritual Bride of Christ is composed of all believers. And who gave those believers to Jesus? His Father.

“While I was with them, I kept them in your name, those you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” John 17:12

But how does Jesus get helped in such a situation?

“So that He might present the assembly to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Eph. 5: 27

Therefore, as Christ’s betrothed, our selfless and spotless conduct here on earth helps glorify our spiritual husband.

HOW ABRAHAM THE FATHER OF FAITH FOUND A WIFE FOR HIS SON

“He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, ‘Put your hand under my thigh. I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.’” Genesis 24: 2-4

This is quite interesting.

Abraham couldn’t go himself, given that he was well advanced in age and incapable of making the trip. Now the obvious question should be, why didn’t he send his son Isaac to get himself a wife? Why Eliezer, the senior servant? (Let’s keep in mind that in those days senior really meant senior and elder really meant elder.)

The answer is simple.

An older man is usually wiser and more temperate, whereas a younger man who is personally looking for a wife, more often than not, gets caught into various traps: the female’s outer beauty above all else, pernicious fathers-in-law, raging hormones, family quarrel, etc.

And the main reason younger men usually fall into those traps is because they’re not as wise and experienced as older men. Plus the fact that they are emotionally invested does not help matters – they can’t really think straight. Ask Jacob, Moses, David, or Solomon.

All these men found themselves entangled in major complications once they chose wives for themselves. Usually such ramifications have a way of destroying marriages, individuals, families, or a combination thereof.

Notice also how Eliezer had to go to a place where Abraham knew the people. You don’t just pick a stranger out of the blues to marry your son, especially one with ungodly customs. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Once there Eliezer found Rebekah. Beside the obvious fact that she was not a Canaanite (i.e., she was not worshiping false gods, which all Canaanites did at the time), she had something only an older and wiser man would recognize.

Rebekah and Eliezer at the well

Rebekah displays kindness to Eliezer.

Here’s what Eliezer prayed for.

“When I came to the spring today, I said, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come. See, I am standing beside this spring. If a young woman comes out to draw water and I say to her, ‘Please let me drink a little water from your jar,’ and if she says to me, ‘Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels too,’ let her be the one the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’ ” Genesis 24: 42-44

He didn’t pray for some magic trick or enchantment to materialize. He prayed for someone who’d be kind and helpful. He knew that to find Isaac a wife was to find him a helpmate.

Now contrast this with how swank Jacob got tangled up.

“While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherd. When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of his uncle Laban, and Laban’s sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud.” Genesis 29: 9-11

Typical single man’s behavior, is it not? Spot a beautiful girl, get smitten, woe her by acting all chivalrous, kiss her, go home, and cry until your parents are forced to accept the one you chose.

But if an older man had gone instead of Jacob, he would have picked kind and helpful Leah, and not beautifully curvy and wily Rachel.

“Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful.” Genesis 29:17

Leah was the one who was right for Jacob, but Jacob couldn’t see it. God chose Jacob and Leah’s offspring, Judah, to be the great-great-granddaddy of our Savior Jesus, who with his life showed us kindness and mercy. Rachel and her strange idols almost got herself and Jacob killed. God was the one who intervened by warning Laban the Aramean in a dream (Gen 31:24).

“Jacob answered Laban, ‘I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force. But if you find anyone who has your gods, that person shall not live. In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself whether there is anything of yours here with me; and if so, take it.’ Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.” Gen 31:31-32

After the right girl is found, what then is the next step?

Her father must be in agreement because it takes a man to know another man. In this instance, Bethuel is Rebekah’s father. And the two most important things a girl’s father wants to know are 1) if the groom is a godly man, and 2) how his daughter and soon-to-be-born grandchildren will be taken care of.

Here’s how Eliezer in his wisdom framed the prospective groom before he was even asked. He wrapped him under the only covering that mattered: Isaac’s father and authority, Abraham, the guarantor of the proposal who could not be present.

The Lord has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys.” Genesis 24:35

“I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham...” Genesis 24: 48

Once these main concerns are alleviated, the girl’s father can either accept or reject the proposal.

“Laban and Bethuel answered, ‘This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.’” Genesis 24: 50-51

Now that the girl’s father is in agreement, the girl is asked for her consent.

So they called Rebekah and asked her, ‘Will you go with this man?’ ‘I will go,’ she said.” Genesis 24: 58

Notice how Laban, Rebekah’s brother, was also involved in the decision-making process. A brother is next in line in case dad is deceased, incapacitated, or too old to see straight.

But also contrast how that same Laban later on would play Jacob like a fiddle, when his green-behind-the-ears nephew showed up on his own for his particular proposal regarding Rachel. Laban tricked him into marrying both his daughters, and in the process squeezed 14 years of free labor out of the poor sod. See Can a Man have Many Wives?

That’s what “love at first sight” and “raging hormones” get you – a lesson loaded with complications you never forget. Life is not a feel-good romantic movie. There are rules, young man.

THE PURPOSE OF MARRIAGE AND TODAY’S REALITY

Marriage is God and mankind (man and woman) working together to fill the earth with godly people.

“Did He not make them one… and why one? That He might seek a godly offspring.” Malachi 2:15

Happy MarriageIt is the foundation upon which children are to be raised. God would not even allow His own Son to be brought up outside its protective walls.

“But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.'” Matthew 1:20

In the modern western world marriage has been so romanticized that it has lost its primary purpose. In fact, it has become a maudlin project where one seeks to fall in love with a so-called soul mate. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as “the one”.

Marriage was always meant to be the union of man and woman for the purpose of procreation (i.e., marriage is about making babies). But for procreation to materialize many things must first align, including the right spouse and the appropriate financial conditions. Once these things are in place, marriage can happen with babies immediately following.

“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them…” Psalm 127:4,5

However, many married couples today wait years and years before they have children. It seems that as a society we have completely sidestepped the fact that woman was created to be a nurturer, and if that void is not filled she will fall into either depression or unhappiness, which could then lead to marital problems and subsequently to divorce.

It is estimated that over 50% of couples who get married end up divorcing, a sad indictment against the romantics.

If romantic love were a true marital anchor, then divorce would not occur. The premarital “love” that is often experienced is either an emotional attachment or an intense sexual attraction, and in many cases a deluded obsession. Such a “feeling” is not a prerequisite to get married.  When the purpose of marriage is properly understood, those who decide to marry realize that their goal is to start a family that soon will involve children.  As for the emotional attachment that is mistaken for love, it’ll surely grow over time. Love is neither a feeling nor a shallow emotional connection or attraction. To love is to do what is right even when it doesn’t feel good. See The Heart Adjustment.

Without a good financial foundation, the true purpose of marriage will fall into disarray. Even a cursory study would show that most marriages today cannot afford many children as once was the norm.

As a matter of fact, a great number of them cannot even afford two or three children. Others refuse to even consider the possibility of any child whatsoever.

Many women wait until their biological clocks almost run out before having children. A costly mistake that takes a toll on their bodies and often on the newborns themselves.

When Mary, the mother of Jesus, was impregnated by the Holy Spirit, she was about fifteen years old. And the man she ended up marrying, Joseph, was anywhere between forty and fifty. The reasoning in those days was that a woman in her teens was a fertile ground for children, while a man of Joseph’s age was mature and financially stable.

The next time a sixteen-year old boy comes to date your fifteen-year old daughter, just ask yourself (or them) these questions:

– What does he really want from my daughter?

– What does my daughter really want from him?

The answers to these questions will make you realize that neither can give the other what each truly wants. She desires marriage and children while he most likely wants to satisfy his urges, something he could forcibly or easily steal from her, which in turn would leave her miserable and wounded. At least, that’s what happens in the majority of these cases. After all, a sixteen-year old boy is not ready for marriage. He would say so himself. However, ask any fifteen-year old girl if she’s ready for marriage, and her honest answer would unequivocally be, “Yes”.

Marriage entails personal and financial sacrifices that many today – whether young or old – are neither willing nor are prepared to make. See The Family is God’s Plan.

THE BIBLICAL MARRIAGE BLUEPRINT IN A NUTSHELL

Or How To Find A Wife For Your Son

1. What only matters in the Groom.

That he is a reputable, godly, and hard-working man from a good family, with the means to provide for his household.

“But if someone doesn’t provide for their own family…They are worse than those who have no faith.” 1 Tim 5:8

“Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” Ephesians 5:28

“Urge the young men to be sensible; in all things be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say.” Titus 2:6-8

2. What only matters in the Bride.

That she is a reputable, godly, and kind woman from a good family, with a sincere inclination to help her husband. See Of Nagging Women and Angry Men

“As the assembly submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:24

“Wives, respect and obey your husbands…” 1 Peter 3: 1

“Encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, homemakers, kind, obedient to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” Titus 2:4,5

“Your adornment must not be merely external– braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands.” 1 Peter 3: 3-5

Proverbs 31: 10-31

3. Fathers of the Groom and Bride are heavily involved.

The children’s participation are not necessarily excluded. Fathers are the ones who stand at the forefront in order to protect their children’s interests. They are their kids’ marital agents.

The last major duty of a father is to make sure that the children God entrusted him with are married to spouses God approves of. One of the ways children honor their parents is by allowing them to fulfill that duty, and in so doing recognizing their God-given authority and all the years of sacrifice they went through to get them to that point.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Ephesians 6:1

4. Paternal blessings on both sides are primordial.

They are the only blessings that matter. They are to be heartfelt, not coerced or manipulated.

The state has nothing to say. Religious “leaders” have nothing to say. These two entities have usurped some of the God-given parental authority concerning the marriage process.

In fact, the entire marriage “ceremony” is just rehearsed theater. Neither a government permission nor a “church service” and/or counseling is needed to create a biblical union, especially as there is no verse in the bible that bestows on a “preacher” or a judge the right to perform said ceremony. The head of every man – in this instance every father – is Christ alone and not a preacher/church nor any local/state/federal official.

“But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.” 1 Cor 11:3

Fathers are the ones whom God appointed as His representatives to oversee, authorize, and perform the entire process (with elder brothers next in line). So go ahead fathers, YOU marry your children. Then throw a party if you wish.

“And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.” Gen 29:22

5. The conjugal night.

The couple’s first sexual encounter, which leads to the woman’s hymen getting pierced, is the final act of the process and the true seal of the biblical marriage covenant. See Sex and the Christian.

CONCLUSION

Biblical Marriage is a covenant by which two families consent to have their offspring, one male and one female, joined together as one for the purpose of making children.

“And why one? That He might seek a godly offspring.” Malachi 2:15

It is the only institution which God loves, and for which He established a certain process.

“The only institution which God loves.” Malachi 2:11

Obviously there will be those rare situations where such a systematic routine will be impossible to enforce in whole or in part. In those instances that deviate from established biblical norms, it’s up to every Christian to listen to the voice of His Lord. After all, each individual will give an account of himself to God.

“Each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.” Romans 14:12

That’s why the Holy Spirit has been given to us. He’s the Helper who guides each and everyone into all truths. Let Him help.

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears…” John 16:13

Note in the margin: In today’s world we think that either a marriage “license” or a legally-binding contract should not be discounted, given that either one can protect the parties involved. However, neither should be understood as a state-granted permission, but only as an agreed-upon article of fact that is registered through a third party for the protection of all. It may not necessarily be a biblical marriage mandate, but it may very well be inspired wisdom that falls under the purview of parental rights for the protection of their offspring. Your call.

ADDENDUM

DATING TRAPS

Dating causes your emotions to get all wrapped up in a person who may not be right for you; and even when you know they’re not right, time and/or desperation often cause you to become addicted to them.

Worse still, many give away their sexuality, some their virginity, only to get nothing positive in return. After desires are satiated and contempt is brought on by familiarity, they break up. Then the painful withdrawal process tees off as tangled emotions ferociously and pitilessly unravel – a needless situation that could have easily been avoided.

In addition, people put their best faces forward when dating; so if marriage materializes you have to get to know them all over again, because it seems you don’t recognize them.

When looking for a spouse keep these 3 succinct points in mind.

1. Don’t consider divorcés/divorcées (unless it’s a divorcé who divorced his wife because of her fornication). It’s not only a sin, but  a commonsensical point as well (i.e., if he/she divorced once, he/she could divorce again). There are plenty of fish in the sea, so look for those with no baggage.

2. Guys, don’t get involved with women who have kids, they’re usually looking for a financial anchor. These women will always put their kids ahead of you, and you will never be their kids’ fathers. Besides, why do some other guy’s job for him? Again, there are plenty of fish in the sea, so ignore the Hollywood propaganda that depicts stepfathers trying to surpass their stepkids’ real fathers by proving how much better they can be to them. It’s all bull biscuit geared toward social reengineering.

And you ladies with kids, if you find yourselves separated from your kids’ fathers, do not bring other men into the picture, as they will likely butt heads with your sons, possibly eye your daughters, and even take you for a ride financially – once more, pay no heed to the Hollywood propaganda. However, single non-divorced women can consider widowers with kids, since women have a maternal instinct that can be transferred to kids not their own, as opposed to men trying to do the same as stepfathers. Fathers are a whole different ball of wax. The bible tells us so.

“The glory of children is their fathers.” Proverbs 17:6

3. There’s no such thing as “the one”. The purpose of marriage is to start a family that soon will involve children (i.e., marriage is about making babies). So the only query that matters is this: Is he/she father/mother material from a respectable family?

Then, instead of dating, follow God’s blueprint.

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