We need to understand that God, is a God of restoration. This should be clearly seen in the parable of the Prodigal Son. The father fully accepts (has been waiting and looking for) his son; the son is fully restored and the father holds nothing back from him. Marriage restoration is no different, God wants the marriage restored. He hates divorce, Mal. 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: (God considers divorce a treacherous act) yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant (marriage is a covenant). 15 And did not he make one (one-flesh)? 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 (divorce): for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.” God hates divorce so much, that he uses a very strong word about divorce- treacherously, and He uses it 3-times in this passage, He states it is a treacherous act. He doesn’t want another tragedy of divorce. God desires that the former husband and wife be restored in marriage, as they are one-flesh by covenant bond.
Marriage is supposed to be a picture of how Christ loves the Church. It is the highest, and most sacred union. Eph. 5:24-33, “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 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. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 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. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
The devil can’t stand a Godly marriage, and wants to destroy it. Jn. 10:10, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The devil wants to destroy, pervert, and cause, separation, divorce, and adultery. An adulterous marriage is the opposite of what God intends in marriage. It is in violation of His Word. What’s even worse, is when the two Christians take the temple of the Lord, and unite it in an adulterous relationship while one or both of the covenant spouses are still alive.
1 Cor. 6:19-20, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” When a person becomes a Christian, they belong to God, and no longer should they be the boss. They should obey the Word and not do those things which are against God’s Word. Our body has become a temple of the Holy Spirit, and we certainly should not commit fornication, and especially adultery. If a couple is remarried when their covenant spouse is still alive, then the spouses in the new marriage are living in a continual state of adultery. It doesn’t matter if they say they love each other, they are living in adultery. God isn’t behind it, as He wouldn’t violate His Word. Their so-called love wasn’t God directed, but directed by their flesh. They could have chosen a separation for a season to work out the issues. Pastors who marry a couple when one of the covenant spouses is still living, are actually an accomplice in the adultery (the pastor may be off in other areas). Ignorance by the couple or the pastor doesn’t excuse the adulterous action; God calls it adultery.
If we love God, we must obey His Word. John 14:23-24, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”
Ignorance of disobeying what God says regarding divorce and adultery will not excuse or protect a person from the consequences of disobeying what God states in His Word. Many people are familiar with “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” However, that is only part of the verse. The full verse of Hos. 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”
It’s interesting that this verse is from the passage that also deals with adultery. Hos. 4:1-5, “Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. 2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. 3 Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away. 4 Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with the priest. 5 Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother.” In the following verses of the chapter, adultery is mentioned 2-other times. The word whoredom (which is adultery) is mentioned 6- times. It should be obvious that God is emphasizing adultery. God has given us instructions on how to live the Christian life, and that certainly pertains to staying away from divorce and adultery. We ought not to pick and choose what we like, and disregard what we don’t like.
God loves us so much, that He doesn’t want anyone to go to Hell. He provides many warnings, not just in His Word, but He speaks to our conscience. However, many people have become bitter and hardened their heart, by not forgiving their spouse. Many think they have forgiven their spouse, but it’s not from the heart. Matt. 6:14-15, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Many have continued in their unforgiveness and have married another person. Those living in adultery ought to obey God, and not their own desires.” Unfortunately, there are Christians who have died without forgiving someone who had wronged them; and the Word says “they shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
God gives further instruction about divorce in 1 Cor. 7:10-11, “And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.” God states that if the couple is not willing to reconcile, then neither of them are to remarry. If we make up our own rules, God will still be faithful to His Word, and we will face the consequences of our disobedience. God has forgiven us of our sins, but we need to repent and turn away from the sin.
If we know anyone who is living in fornication or adultery, we need to pray for them. If God opens a door, then to speak to them, but to speak to them in love. God has a wonderful plan for us in marriage, and His grace is available for us. Our part is to yield, to trust and obey Him.