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Did GOD’S Marriage Covenant Change so that We may Divorce At Will?

 

Renette Vermeulen

 

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A famous Christian actress and filmmaker, whose colourful autobiography I had the change to write but declined politely, alleges in her publications, films, and seminars, “Some vows [meaning the marriage covenant] were made to be broken!”  For me, as always, the question remains, What does GOD say about this statement in practice, and more importantly, in the truth of contextual Scripture?  This person disseminates a dangerous, unscriptural teaching, which she supposedly promotes to protect the rights of abused women — a legitimate cause, which she pursues according to the wrong dogma, and of course, on popular demand.  Divorce, as marriage, is a very serious decision with life changing consequences for everyone involved.  None of us should ever rush into any covenant or transaction light-heartedly, for contrary to what such money-making sensation-seekers preach, God commanded us to keep our vows to God and men. 

Do not get me wrong:  I do not judge or condemn divorcees in any way, as we all need the blood-covenant of Jesus Christ to be saved, redeemed, blessed, and healed and none can say that they do not sin, (1 Jn. 1:7-9.) 

However, Jesus Himself clearly commanded, “Have you not read that He Who made them at the beginning made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his [parent’s home] and be joined to his wife, and the TWO shall become ONE flesh?’... Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate [light-heartedly, and without real Scriptural reasons…] I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, [or her husband] except for sexual immorality, [which defiles the marriage bed and effectively breaks the marriage covenant,] and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her [or him] who is divorced [without true Scriptural reasons,] commits adultery.’  His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man and his wife, [singular; one wife!] it is better not to marry…” (Mt. 19:3-10.) 

So, let us realize how serious marriage — and divorce, (if there exists no other recourse,) really is

 

ALL KINDS OF SEXUAL FORNICATION (SUCH AS ADULTERY) ARE AGAINST NATURE  

God created ONE man, Adam.  He made Adam ONE wife, Eve.  Then, God commanded that the ‘TWO should become ONE flesh.’  Marriage is a holy covenant between one man and one woman; and the ‘two’ in this marriage-partner relationship should live ‘holy, honourably, and undefiled.’ 

God states in Mal. 2:15, 14, “Did God not make [the husband and his wife in Eden] ONE [through the marriage covenant?]  And why [did He make one the husband and one wife] ONE?  He seeks godly offspring.  Therefore, take heed to your spirit, and let NONE deal treacherously with the wife of his covenant.” 

Yet, the old temple priesthood, described in the Old Testament Book of Malachi, (who were the ones who  robbed God of the temple-tithes and offerings in Mal. Chapter 3,) “covered the altar of the Lord with weeping and crying, because He did not regard their offering anymore.  [When they asked God the reason, He answered,] “Because the Lord has been witness between you and the wife [or husband] of your covenant, with whom you have dealt treacherously.  Yet, she is your companion and your wife by covenant…  Did He not make [Adam and Eve] one… Why [did He make the two] one? He seeks godly offspring…  Let none deal treacherously with the wife [or husband] of his [or her] youth.  For the Lord God… says that He HATES DIVORCE, FOR IT COVERS ONE’S GARMENT WITH VIOLENCE…” (Mal. 2:13-16.) 

Where fornication, adultery, separation and divorce enter a home, chaos, confusion, sorrow, shame, hatred and violence will follow.  There is no such thing as ‘having an affair.’  Adultery of all types is sinful whoring and filthy fornication.  Prov. 6:32, “[Therefore,] the man [or woman] who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he [or she] destroys him [or her]self.”  God never had any other sexual relationship in mind for humankind, than that which He Himself had instituted in the Garden in Eden in the form of the one-husband-one-wife marriage covenant, (Mt. 19:4-6; Eph. 5:3; Heb. 13:4; Rom. 1:18-32.)  Accordingly, incest, child molestation, rape, bestiality, adultery, polygamy, homosexuality, lesbianism, and every other kind of sexual perversion is Satanism, because it is against God’s nature, against God’s Moral Law of Love, and against everything Godly, which God Himself had intended for His creation.  By committing so-called ‘consented’ adultery such as ‘grouping,’ ‘swinging,’ ‘sexual bondage,’ and various other forms of sexual perversion, these people also ‘go after strange flesh.’ 

 

Why is marriage such a serious covenant in God’s eyes? 

God Himself instituted the Marriage Covenant, (the sacred symbol of His covenant with born again believers, or the bride of Christ,) as an indissolvable, holy promise that would last ‘until death do us part,’ or in the case of Christ and His bride, for all eternity beyond the grave.  In the beginning God created one person, Adam.  Then He made him into two different people, male and female, (taking a rib from his side, from which God created the woman,) and then God instituted the marriage covenant to bring them together again and make them one.  In this covenant, the wife of her ‘own’ husband, (singular) is her husband’s life-long companion and help-mate.  This relationship does not relate to any other man or woman, or to men or women in general.

God ordained the marriage covenant between one husband and one wife. 

In the Old Testament, Old Israel rejected monogamy or God’s holy marriage covenant in favour of pagan polygamy; just as they constantly rejected their Mono or One God to embrace polytheism, the worship of many gods.  As all Old Israel’s idolatrous practices, the shameless polygamy of their kings and prophets was not from God.   Polygamy was actually the argument between the Pharisees and Jesus in Mt. 19:1-10, when He reminded them that they corrupted the Old Testament law to fornicate and divorce, but from the beginning it was not so.  [Scroll down on the WebPage to  Old King Solomon, whoremonger and slave trader.] 

God never gave spouses permission to keep more than one wife or husband, to commit adultery as they please, to mistreat and abuse their wives and husbands, to lord over, or to submit their wives or husbands to their domineering rule, (Gal. 3:25-33.)  Neither does the entire context of Scripture, which is real Bible Truth, imply that a woman should submit herself to any other man except her own husband, just because God had created her as female.  [To understand God’s creation principles concerning men and women, refer to God’s universal and specific order for husband and wife and Abuse was not Eve’s punishment.] 

God abhor these anti-creational sins so much, the Old Testament law prescribed that male and female fornicator-adulterers should be executed by stoning and burningLev. 20:10-27, “The man [and woman] who commits adultery… the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death…” [FOR THEY HAVE VIOLATED GOD’S HOLY MARRIAGE COVENANT AND COMMITTED FORNICATION, INFIDELITY, DISLOYALTY, BETRAYAL, REJECTION OF, AND EMOTIONAL MURDER ON THEIR SPOUSES.]  Under the New Testament Covenant, this does not mean physical death, but ‘death’ to the marriage covenant and that family unit, which was once protected and guided by an indissolvable and holy covenant of God. 

To make an end to the perception that God is more lenient to fornicating, adulterating men that women, I can honestly say that in the entire context of Scriptural truth, God makes absolutely NO distinction between  adulterers and adulteresses.  Both are whores and whoremongers, who refuse to submit to and honour the sacred marriage covenant of God, which many confessed and pledged over themselves, their spouses, their children, and their entire lives. 

 

God commanded believers to “submit to one another” in everything good and Godly, of course, (Eph. 5:21.)  Through the complete atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, God views all believers as equal.  Thus, Paul declared that spiritually, there is no longer “Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus,” (Gal. 3:28.)  According to God’s creation principles, (Gen. 1:27-28,) a woman is only considered female on the physical level for the sake of her “own” husband in their marriage covenant and for bearing their children, (Eph. 5:22.)  Likewise, the husband must love his own wife in the same way as he loves his own body, just as Christ loves His own spiritual body, (His called-out assembly of sincere believers, the ecclesia,) Gal. 3:25-33.) 

When God created a wife for Adam, Adam declared, (Gen. 2:23-25,) “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 a man shall leave his father and his mother, [understandably both husband and wife must leave their parents and all other people emotionally, financially and physically], and cleave [primarily] to his [one and only] wife, [and she to her one and only husband]; and they shall be one flesh...”

This means that both the husband and his wife have to forsake all that is dear, safe and familiar to come into real Scriptural unity in a new life together.  This does not mean that they should reject their parents, disrespect them or never see them again.  They simply have to establish their own house and keep it in Godly order.  The husband and his wife must take control of their own private life.  They have to push aside everything and everyone that might cause sin between them to separate them from each other.  Everything and everyone that can separate them spiritually, emotionally, physically and financially.  Anything that can displace their attention, loyalties and priorities from each other and their children – but especially from God and their much required relationship with Him, (Mal. 2:14-16.) 

They must become one flesh.  One in spirit, soul, and body: 1 Ths. 5:23. 

They must become one being before God in perfect unity, so to speak: Mt. 19:4-6.

And so, the marriage-covenant does not allow any third party.  In this covenant only God is included as the Head of both, and of course the natural result of this Godly union, their children: Mal. 2:15. 

Many couples divorce through adultery and other forms of sin and abuse.  However, many marriages perish because disobedient couples do not “leave” their parents to “cleave” to each other.  And so, disobedient husbands, wives, and also their parents, who do not honour this very important, basic principle and solemn commandment of God, wreak havoc on His marriage covenant.  While good and Godly parents have a great supporting and Scripturally advising role to play in the lives of their adult children, often selfish, manipulative parents slyly undermine the marriage covenant of their adult children, and make underhanded plans to remain in demonic control of their adult sons and daughters.  Just as adulterers, who destroy the marriage covenant and family, such sinful parents never consider the emotional, financial, and even physical suffering, which their ungodly interferences cause. 

Instead, such manipulative parents often remind their grownup children most religiously to ‘honour and obey their parents’ [scroll down on the WebPage] above their spouses, (which is a destructive lie that constitutes a great twisting of Scripture and a mockery of God’s marriage covenant,) while they never quote the rest of this commandment contextually, for then they will have to add: “Fathers, (and mothers,) do not irritate and provoke your children to anger, [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear [your growing, dependant children] tenderly in the training, discipline, counsel and admonition of the Lord.” - Eph. 6:4.

Parents, family, friends, whores and whoremongers do not have the right to “put asunder, [or separate], what God has joined together”: Mt. 19:4-5.  The time for parents to make their displeasure known against an intended marriage partner is before the engagement and/or marriage day is announced.  Of course all Godly, truly Scriptural input from parents, (which is real love for their children and grandchildren,) must always be welcomed, but this all spouses must know:  the selfish control  and demonic interference of parents and other people will always cause the destruction of marriages.

As the marriage relationship consists of “submission to one another” in all that is good, Godly and right, the marriage covenant, which is a sacred ‘vow’ before God or an indissolvable promise, can never be viewed as a controlling hierarchical structure, (Eph. 5:21-24.)  When God commanded women to “submit to their own husbands as unto the Lord”, He never meant it as forced submission to an oppressing tyrant

Godly submission is quite the opposite, as Peter explained in 1 Pet. 3:2, “[Wife], reverence your [own] husband” and not men in general, as other men have absolutely nothing to do with your marriage covenant.  This is not an forced subjection either, but rather an attitude of respect that allows the husband to do the major decision-making in the home in conjunction with the good advice and help of his own wife; his companion – rightful, just and Godly decision-making, naturally - a type of submission, which has nothing to do with the woman’s role in society as a whole.  Wives have to respect, defer to, honour, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, adore their own good and Godly husbands, and visa versa. 

How can a wife respect and/or enjoy life with an oppressing tyrant?  When a marriage is solemnised, God does not appoint a ‘boss’ over the bride as many pastors and other clergy teach.  Peter clearly commanded husbands to adhere closely to their part of the bargain when he wrote, “In the same way you married men should live considerately with your wives, with an intelligent recognition of the marriage relationship, honouring your wife as the physically weaker, but realising that you are joint heirs of the grace of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off.” - 1 Pet. 3:7. 

God views His commandment for a husband to love, honour and cherish his wife so seriously that He will not listen to the prayers of a husband who abuses his wife in any way – and obviously this condition applies to the wife as well.  Paul explained in Eph. 5:28-33: “Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his own wife loves himself.  For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church.” 

 

UNREPENTANT FORNICATION, ADULTERY, VIOLENCE, AS WELL AS OTHER TYPES OF  DANGEROUS BEHAVIOR, DO JUSTIFY THE DREADFUL CHOICE OF DIVORCE 

This heading is a serious statement, because it does not mean that ‘some vows were made to be broken.’   True believers will choose to salvage the marriage (or other relationship,) if at all possible: 1 Cor. 7:10-16.  Rather, it means that some vows were already broken irreparably without the consent, knowledge and choice of the rejected spouse, and the guilty partner has either lost interest in the marriage permanently, or refuses to repent from such destructive behaviour.  Although Jesus commanded us to pursue peace under all circumstances, peace is not always obtainable because real peace is always a two-way street.  Human beings are not responsible for the choices other human beings make.  Neither is it possible to choose for other people and therefore, it is impossible to change people without their consent.  Why, not even God forces people to change.  He does not want slaves but loving children.  Thus, salvation, redemption, blessing and spiritual growth in Christ is always our personal choice.  So, if an unrepentant irresponsible person refuses to let go of his or her demons, then the spouse (and other loved ones) should eventually let go of him or her for the sake of the children and the spouse’s eternal souls, and their emotional and physical safety. 

No one, either husband or wife, father or mother, grandfather or grandmother, son or daughter has the right to oppress, steal from, hurt, slander, lie to, rule, steal from, cheat, manipulate, and harm another human being — or  for that matter, to harm any other beings such as animals.  Jesus Christ commanded that we should do unto others (and to Him and His creation) as we want them to do unto us.  For this reason, He never commanded us to tolerate any type of unrepentant abuse indefinitely

Still, to stay or to go is always a personal choice and not a rigid requirement. 

Scripturally, it will always remain clear that marriage is sacred and binding, and we should never teach or believe that we may divorce as we please.  It is a fact that even fornication, adultery and violence in all their different forms, once confessed and truly repented from need to be forgiven [scroll down on the WebPage] in order to restore God’s holy marriage covenant, and to bring spiritual, emotional, and physical healing to the victim and to everyone else affected by this abuse.  Once sincere sorrow for and true repentance from such serious sin enter a broken relationship, especially a broken marriage covenant, responsible forgiveness has the power to save that marriage; honoring and glorifying God in the process. 

However, no one should tolerate unrepentant and continual abuse in relationships without seeking true Scriptural recourse — especially not serious crimes against a marriage partner (and the children) such as violence, gross neglect, fornication and adultery. 

Whether the spouse of a fornicating adulterer, especially a serial fornicating adulterer, after much deliberation and seeking God’s specific will for that marriage, decides to continue the marriage or file for divorce, the abused spouse should realize that either one of these decisions has dreadful consequences.  Many spouses who choose to stay, nowadays refuse to accept more empty promises.  They change the financial state of their marriages from in community of property to a post-nuptial agreement, to secure at least some financial support for themselves and in the case of a young family, for the future of the children.  If the offender agrees, he or she then has to ‘put their money where their mouth is,’ and pay for their infidelity and deception the next time they give way to their demons. 

Abuse is an incredibly strong demonic power, and in a marriage relationship as in any other relationship, REPENTANCE and restoration by the offender is the only Scriptural and rational answer.  Should such repentance not occur, (as serial abusers can cry a river of tears without ever keeping one promise,) mere forgiveness will not be enough to secure the spiritual, emotional, and even the physical safety of the abused spouse and children.   Yet, it is a fact of life that it is not always possible to flee from such a demoniac to start a new life — which is not always a success in any case.  But to live under such unbearable circumstances is almost impossible, especially without a clear directive of the Holy Spirit Himself. 

Following the Holy Spirit in the truth of Scripture, therefore, is the only real answer to this demonic dilemma; realizing that a quick-fix to such immense destruction of life and limb is an unobtainable dream.  God never lets us jump over the river or fire, but by His grace, He always takes us through it all to build His strong, Godly character in us, and to teach us obedience to His true Word in complete reliance on Him. 

 

Facebook Post, August 2015I have been asked to write about marriage. Thinking that it is the FIRST COVENANT, which God made between His newly created human species, and therefore it is a covenant no one should enter into lightly, I cannot help remembering the utterly superficial advice of most elderly people to a young couple: "To marry is not buying horses." That's it? Makes sense in some silly way, because If we think of the marriage covenant in terms of ''playing true love,'' or a convenient business transaction, we would never get mauled when our spouses commit fornication and adultery, choose to party with their friends instead of coming home, lie, deceive, manipulate, never defend us when we need support, waste all the money on flashy cars, jewellery and other unnecessary items - and assault us verbally and even physically when we object. What happens to such a marriage, if both spouses live so immorally - more importantly, what happens to the innocent children born from that marriage? Where will these children learn the many precept of God's moral law, which set humans apart from animals? How will they know the Creator God in all His love and mercy, and that a marriage relationship requires constant fidelity, a lifetime commitment and self-sacrifice, if they are taught that Mommy is just ''one of the girls,'' and Daddy is just ''one of the boys?''

However, opposite characters usually attract. It is not uncommon to find a stable character married to a wild stallion powered on raw testosterone - or a wild mare, who just cannot get it into her head that she is not Cleopatra, married to Old Job. This is a great disaster in the making, if one or both spouses never truly surrender themselves wholly to Christ. Hence, God sternly warns in 2 Cor. 4:16, "Do not be unequally yoked to unbelievers, for what does Christ have in common with Belial (Heb.: worthlessness...?) Sadly, this is the grave situation many faithful spouses unwittingly dunked themselves into when they married an unfaithful husband or wife as unbelievers - or much worse, when they married as believers. Whatever might be the case, such deceived spouses always end up abused and broken - something like that old Humpty Dumpty (there is really no better explanation for brokenness,) which only GOD can put together again. But take heart, you very disappointed and deeply hurt husband or wife, because God has seen it all, and if you have really surrendered it all it Jesus, you will immerse from this filthy marsh much stronger, wiser, and of course somewhat older.

After all, did God, Who can never lie because He is not a mere man, not say in Rom. 8:28 that we know God works all things together for the good of those who love Him? 

 

 

(Continued)