If we read what God says about marriage we know we are to be equally yoked, 2 Corinthians 6:14. Think about it, if you love the Lord and He is your priority in life then how in the world could you marry an unbeliever? That doesn’t line up, right? So, this makes a great start to a new marriage. Then in Ephesians 5:22-33 Paul explains how two Christians are to be a couple or “teammates”. On a team, you have a Captain, someone that has the final say
on what is best for the team. Here Paul explains that husbands have the role of the Captain and they aren’t to take this roll lightly or arrogantly. He is to love his ‘teammate’like Christ loves the church and always want the best for her. Likewise, the wife will love her husband and respect his choices even if she may disagree at times with him because she knows he loves God and he is doing what he thinks God wants him to do in this particular situation. Sounds great, huh?
Problems come in when you start off unequally yoked or neither letting God lead their lives on the best path possible. God warns us in 1 Corinthians 15:33 ‘Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” So, if you are thinking, “but I love this person and I just know they will believe in the Lord one day.” You are deceiving yourself. You are trying to make a loop hole in God’s word. Don’t deceive yourself – God knows what’s best and that’s to start off a relationship equally yoked. Yes, your spouse in time may come to know the Lord and that’s great but that is not what God is telling you to do.
Another thing is that a marriage is a covenant. Covenants are not just a sweet fuzzy feeling at the time. This has to be considered one of the most important decisions of your life (the first being the decision to believe in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior). This life choice should be taken with complete seriousness and not fleeting emotions. This covenant is saying, “I will be your teammate for life, we will work together every day to live the life God wants us to live, through thick and thin, I will love you and put your best interest before mine. Nothing will tear us apart as we are now one.” Those aren’t just sweet gushy words that make you go “awe” and get teary eyed. This is a statement of faith in another person for the rest of your life! Now, that’s serious.
Let’s speed this up a bit – you marry (equally yoked or not) one of you goes off the path God has for you and one of you is no longer adhering to the covenant agreement that this relationship started on. Remembering that a covenant CAN NOT be broken you are still married in God’s eyes even if you are legally divorced in the courts eyes. This even means if one spouse left the marriage for someone else, one spouse is abusive to the other, one of you just fell out of love with the other one etc. I can’t say this enough, this is why you have to know that the person you are making this lifelong covenant with is fully in love with God and believes what God says about love and marriage.
You say “well they had divorce in the Bible”, yes they did. They also had polygamy which was never God’s will for marriage. However, God allowed divorce but only if there was fornication/adultery going on. Deut 24:1-4. I know in this day and age we get divorced over anything and everything and it doesn’t seem like a big deal. It even seems mean to tell the person they have to stay in a crappy marriage.
The way I understand the scripture in Matt 5:31-32 is that being divorced doesn’t free you from committing adultery. See also Mark 10:2-12 & Luke 16:18. UNLESS your husband dies; 1 Cor 7:39 & Rom 7:2-3. In which case the wife can remarry and it will not be adultery but she has to marry a believer.
However, as unfair as I think that might be to the spouse that didn’t want the divorce but the other does – this is God’s point on how important the decision is to marry a man that loves a woman like Christ loves the church and a woman that submits to this loving man.
Should anyone look down on another person for getting remarried while their 1st spouse is still alive? Heck no! Let the one without sin cast the 1st stone. God loves us all and knows our heart. He knows us and still loves us unconditionally. Thank You, God, for that having no conditions on Your love for us. I don’t fully comprehend that but I need it! EVERYDAY!