||Fundamental Keys To Marriage
As we have been studying the Gospel of Matthew verse by verse, we came upon a sensitive topic, a topic that has affected all of us to some degree. Divorce. At least 50% of all married couples end in divorce. All of us know someone who has gone through the difficult process of divorce. While there are varying opinions regarding the justification of divorce, the Bible cites only two provisions: adultery and desertion by an unsaved spouse (Mt. 5:32; 1 Cor. 7:12-13). God doesn't command divorce, nor does He condone it. God hates divorce (Malachi 2:14-16). Specifically, He hates what causes divorce -- Sin! Yes, God makes provision for divorce, but instead of promoting it, He would rather prevent it.
For that reason, when Jesus is confronted by the Pharisees in Matthew 19 and they question Him about divorce, Jesus initially ignores their question by stating God's original intent for marriage. In Matthew 19:5, He quotes Genesis 2:24. What is also interesting is that Paul quotes the same reference in Ephesians 5:31. The fact that this verse is emphasized in three references gives significant value to its importance. In this passage, we discover three fundamental keys to marriage. If you are married, I encourage you to carefully consider these three principles.
1. "A man shall leave his father and mother..." Leave. That speaks of commitment. The word literally means "to leave behind." That is not to say that you no longer associate with your family, but acknowledging that there is no relationship as important as the relationship between a husband and wife. More important than your love for your parents is your love for your wife; more important than the relationship between a parent and child.
2. "...and shall cleave unto his wife..." Cleave. That speaks of permanence. The word "cleave" means "glued together." That your marriage is so firmly glued together, that nothing can separate you. Nothing can get between you. Pressures can become intense; temptations can surface at any moment; finances can be tight, but we are in this thing together. We'll go through it together.
3. "...they two shall be one flesh." One flesh. That speaks of unity. That means that every decision I make affects my wife. Every decision I make should be in her best interest and vice versa. Marriage is about two people becoming one. That impacts us spiritually, emotionally, and physically. The fact that the husband and wife are "one flesh" gives us a better understanding to Ephesians 5 where Paul eludes to the husband who loves his wife loves himself. If he loves himself, he will take care of himself and provide for himself. In the same way, he provides and gives care to his beloved.
Three keys to identifying the marriage that God designed. What God has joined together, let not man put asunder.