Imagine the joy the Creator must have had in making the first man and woman and teaching them about marriage, commitment, and families. Consider, then, what sorrow He must have had as men and women began perverting themselves and violating their marriage commitments. Contemplate the Creator of men and women as He observes the current situation in the Western world -- unfaithful partners . . . broken marriages . . . hurting, scared, scarred, embittered children . . . the live-in, shack-up, come-and-go mentality.
This Creator God has not been silent on these issues. In His Word He has clearly laid out the guidelines by which marriage, home, and family are to operate.
In an attempt to cope with the distresses which sin, self, and immorality have thrown us into, man has offered a variety of solutions to marriage problems -- trial marriages, no-fault divorce, counseling centers, family services, support groups, etc. But with rare exception, these "solutions" ignore God's laws and principles regarding marriage and instead attempt to make the wayward ways of man work better. This is like trying to treat a bad appendix with pain reliever. Man's solutions are not treating root problems, but instead in many cases are actually contributing to them.
The church is not free from people with marriage problems. Whatever the cause -- whether the problems come because church members are living too close to the world or because people with a heritage of the world are coming to Jesus -- the reality remains: the church today must know what it believes about marriage, divorce, and remarriage. We are faced increasingly with people having marriage problems and entanglements.
The church, unfortunately, has not been united in its message to those in troubled marriages. Some religious people have adopted the world's solutions. Others have tried to take a commonsense approach. And still others have tried to stand with one leg on God's Word and the other on human solutions. What IS the proper approach? Where are the answers to these problems?
This writing proceeds on several basic premises:
In light of all of the above premises, we must look honestly and humbly at the Word of God to find answers to the problems we encounter in marriages and homes today.
- That God's Word provides the laws and principles by which marriage, home, and family are to operate. "For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children" (Psalm 78:5, 6).
- That God's Word is always right, and we do not have the option of altering it. "Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right" (Psalm 119:128).
- That marriages and families will be blessed or troubled according to how they honor God's principles. "The generation of the upright shall be blessed" (Psalm 112:2). "He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination" (Proverbs 28:9).
- That persisting in sin brings serious consequences. "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 . . ." (I Corinthians 6:9).
- That those who repent of their sin will find God's forgiveness. "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:11).