OceanSide church of Christ

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Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage

Victor M. Eskew




A.   God has given three institutions to man:  the government, the church, and the home.


B.    All three of these are under severe attack by Satan in our nation.


C.   Our focus in this lesson will be upon the home, specifically the institution of marriage.

1.     The home was first attacked when men and women failed to fulfill their roles in the marriage relationship and home environment.

2.     The attacks moved into the realm of divorce.  Presently, 50% of all marriages end in divorce.

3.     Many began to choose to live together instead of being married.

4.     Of late, the very definition of marriage is under attack by the gay and lesbian population within our nation.


D.   Since it was God who designed the marriage relationship, we would do well to look at His laws regarding marriage, divorce, and remarriage.


I.           THE ORIGINAL DESIGN (Gen. 2:18, 21-24)


And the Lord God said, It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him….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; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a women, and brought her unto the man.  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.  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.


A.   God is responsible for the marriage institution.  It did not develop through some type of societal evolution.

1.     God saw man’s aloneness.

2.     God made plans for a help meet.

3.     God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam.

4.     God took Adam’s rib.

5.     God made the woman.

6.     God brought the woman unto the man.

7.     God said:  “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.”


B.    Marriage is defined as the union between a man and a woman.

1.     It is not the union of two men or two women.

2.     Homosexuality is an abomination to God and a sin that will keep one out of heaven.

a.     Leviticus 18:22


Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind:  it is abomination.


b.    I Corinthians 6:9-10


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 covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.


C.   Marriage is the way to solve man loneliness.

1.     It is not solved by living together arrangements.

2.     It is not done through adulterous marriages.

3.     It is not overcome by civil unions.


D.   Marriage is between one man and one woman.

1.     Polygamy was not in the design of God for marriage.

2.     Man originated the practice of polygamy.  Lamech married Adah and Zillah (Gen. 4:19).

3.     A simple study of the Book of Genesis will reveal the evils of polygamy.


E.    Marriage involves a binding relationship between a husband and wife till death.

1.     The husband and wife are to “cleave” to one another.  “Cleave” involves the idea of two things being joined together with glue.  It is a binding union.

2.     Romans 7:2


For the woman which hath a 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.


F.     Marriage is the relationship wherein sexual expression is free to be manifested.

1.     This is found in the phrase:  “…and they shall be one flesh.”

2.     Hebrews 13:4


Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled:  but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.


II.         DIVORCE


A.   Divorce was not in God’s ultimate design for marriage.


B.    There are some strong passages that deal with divorce in the Bible.

1.     Malachi 2:16


For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away…




2.     Matthew 19:3-6


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?  And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 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.  Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.  What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.


3.     I Corinthians 7:10-11


And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:  but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband:  let not the husband put away his wife.


C.   Divorce is a horrible thing that carries disastrous consequences.

1.     God’s original design for marriage is destroyed.

2.     The home, a building block of society, is dissolved.

3.     Men and women are often trapped in anger, wrath, bitterness, and the practice of vengeance.

4.     Families are separated.

5.     Friends are left to take sides, or, to be cast aside.

6.     Children are shaken to their core.

7.     The church is wounded.

8.     Souls are set up for temptation.

9.     Souls are lost in sin.




A.   What needs to be taught at the outset of this section is that if a person divorces and remarries adultery is committed by both parties in the second marriage.

1.     Mark 10:11-12


And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.  And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.


2.     Romans 7:2-3


For the woman which hath a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.  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.


3.     Millions of marriages today are adulterous in nature.

a.     Adultery will keep one out of heaven (Gal. 5:19-21).

b.    Repentance demands that the adulterous marriages be dissolved and the two parties become single (Acts 17:30; Prov. 28:13; Luke 3:8).

B.    There is one exception to this law concerning divorce.  If one’s mate commits fornication, he/she is given the right to divorce his sinful mate and to remarry.

1.     Matthew 5:32


But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornica-tion, causeth her to commit adultery:  and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.


2.     Matthew 19:9


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.


3.     Thoughts:

a.     Fornication committed by one marriage partner gives the other partner the “right” to divorce and remarry.  It, however, is not a command that one must divorce the unfaithful mate. 

b.    In our discussion of this aspect of marriage, we would better define our terms to call the mate against whom the sin has been committed the “offended spouse” rather than the “innocent spouse.”

c.    Why is fornication the exception?

1)     God only truly knows.

2)     Most believe that it is because the sin of fornication cracks the most important foundational aspect of the marriage, trust.


C.   Some teach that the apostle Paul also gave an exception to the permanent marriage law in I Corinthians 7:15.  It is often referred to as “The Pauline Privilege.”


But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart.  A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases:  but God has called us unto peace.


1.     The situation described involves a believer being married to an unbeliever.

2.     If the unbeliever departs, Paul says that the Christian is “not under bondage” in such cases.

a.     Is this referring to the marriage bond?

b.    Is Paul referring to another type of bondage?

3.     Points for consideration:

a.     The word Paul uses for “bondage” in the Greek language is not the word commonly used for the marriage bond (Compare I Cor. 7:15 with 7:27, 29).

b.    The force of the Greek word is “…is not now under bondage, nor has ever been in such bondage.”

c.    A marriage to an unbeliever can be a difficult relationship.

d.    If the unbeliever desires for his/her mate to forsake the Christ in order for the marriage to remain intact, Paul says to let the unbeliever depart.  The Christian is not under such bondage in the relationship that he/she has to give up his/her relationship to Christ.  The Christian is not enslaved in that way.

e.     NOTE:  Paul says nothing about a remarriage in this passage.




A.   Marriage is a very important matter to God.

1.     He created it.

2.     He has given us legislation about it.


B.    Man needs to

1.     Choose his/her mate wisely.

2.     Commit to one’s marriage vows.

3.     Practice the Bible’s directives for a healthy marriage.

4.     Rid yourself and your marriage of all bad habits.

5.     Never get involved in an extra-marital relationship.


C.   Proverbs 5:18-19


Let thy fountain be blessed:  and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.  Let her be as a loving hind and a pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.