Scripturally Based Answers For life's Questions
Divorce & Living Together
We get a lot of questions about marriage, divorce, and living together without marriage. I don’t want to do a really long answer here, for there is much teaching in the Scripture on these things, but I can give some important things to consider.
What is marriage? Marriage is an official relationship based upon three main things:
Love is partially a decision—we choose to love someone—it is also partially a process—we develop a love relationship as we spend time together—but the intimate love that binds a man and a woman is also an attraction that they feel toward each other. I believe all three of these aspects of love are important in a good marriage, but it surely needs to be rooted in a love attraction that the couple has for each other. We see this in Jacob and Rachel in the Bible; there was an instant love attraction between them that was never challenged by any other relationship they had. People often separate, divorce, or just start living very separated lives while still staying in the marriage. Under such circumstances, we must remember that love is not just an attraction, but also a choice and something that develops and stays good as people spend time with each other. Also, marriage is not just a love relationship; there is much more to marriage than love.
A commitment is something that carries a person through all obstacles. When the situations, the feelings or the circumstances change, the commitment does not. There are times when married couples feel that they do not love each other anymore, or they are disappointed with each other; in such times people must remember that marriage is a commitment, and that commitment is for life. It is a covenant with each other before God.
When a man and a woman enter into a marriage, there are immediate responsibilities placed upon them that each of them needs to fulfill. Let’s consider a couple of these responsibilities to understand the idea. One of these responsibilities is the sexual needs of the other partner.
CLICK-I Corinthians 7:2-5 says, But because of the temptation to
It is the responsibility of each partner in the marriage to meet the sexual needs of the other one. We must remember that it is not the responsibility to satisfy one another, for only in Jesus will a person ever find satisfaction for any of the appetites a person has. But the needs must be met. A person may eat what is sufficient to live and work, but not feel like he is satisfied by it. It is the same with sexual needs; they are there and marriage must meet the need, but satisfaction must not be required.
There are many other needs people have. A woman has a great need for security; this is something a husband must provide for her. Likewise, she must find the ultimate satisfaction for it in Jesus Christ, but the husband is responsible to meet that need. The husband needs respect for him to do what God requires of him, and she must meet that need. These are just a couple of many examples. There are also responsibilities for them together, like producing children and training them in the ways of the Lord.
After what Jesus said about marriage in Matthew 19, the Pharisees asked Him about divorce. This is what He said,
He gave one, and only one, exception: sexual immorality or fornication. What does this mean? It means that there is never a time that a person can free themselves to divorce by their own actions, desires or decision; he/she is bound to the marriage for life without a way out, but when one party in the marriage goes into fornication, feeding the sexual needs of an animalized way, with another person, or in ways that are selfish and unclean, then the other person in the marriage has been given the liberty to move on. This does not mean every act or suspicion gives that liberty, but once one person has turned their back completely on the marriage and all hope for the marriage has been lost, the exception for remarriage is given. People often want to get divorced and move on to another relationship because they want a change, they have developed an attraction for another person, they feel unsatisfied in the relationship, or they think they could do better, but all such reasons are completely forbidden.
A marriage-like relationship without the commitment and responsibilities that marriage requires is only sinful and will produce rebellion, especially in the children. People often do this because they want to first try to see if it works, or they just want to leave the door open if ever they have a better option. It is carnal and sinful.
CLICK-I Corinthians 7:1,2 says, Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman. But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”
There are people that live together, but have not had any ceremony to declare the relationship to be a marriage. They may wonder why they should. It is very much for testimony’s sake; it declares to others that one cares about the blessings that are extended by God to those entering a marriage relationship, and that one is committed and can be held responsible. There are many privileges that come with the covenant of marriage, and to take them without the commitment is dishonoring to God and brings disgrace to the human race.
If you are married, please seek to honor God in it; if you are not, please seek to do it His way, you will not regret it.
It may be that you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, and you're being seeking to do it without His help and hope. Please read the following on how you can know Him and have the salvation He gives freely.