Marriage is a beautiful God-ordained union between men and women (Gen. 2:18,23,24). In marriage, there is a solemn vow to maintain faithfulness to one another until death. For this reason, it should never be entered haphazardly (Rom. 7:2; Mat. 19:6). Since God is the originator of marriage, He is the one who has set the bounds for proper marriage relationships. In other words, acceptable marriages must be in accordance with God’s New Testament law.

This is clearly seen in the situation with Herod Antipas (Mat. 14). John the Baptist told Herod that his marriage was unlawful (Mat. 14:4). The reason for this was because Herod Antipas divorced his own wife to marry his brother’s wife—Herodias. This means that Herodias also divorced Philip simply to marry Herod Antipas (Mat. 14:3). Remember, God never intended for marriages to end in divorce. However, he does allow a man or a woman to divorce and remarry only if one of the marriage partners commits fornication (Matt. 19:9). Thus, marriage is lawful for the following individuals: those who have never been married (Gen. 2:24), those whose spouse has died (Rom. 7:2,3), and those who have not committed fornication but divorced a spouse who did (Matt. 5:32).

Each one should examine his marriage and asked if God approves. It is God who joins male and female together in marriage and it is God at the center of marriage who will keep it pure. Remember, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4).

Derrick Coble
Sparta, TN

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