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Jesus On Marriage: What The Bible Really Says

Marriage is a sacred institution that holds deep significance for many people. It is a commitment between two individuals who vow to love, support, and cherish each other for a lifetime.

From the very beginning, when God created Adam and Eve, marriage has held a special place in human society. But what did Jesus specifically teach about it in the New Testament?

Throughout history, various religious and cultural perspectives have shaped our understanding of marriage. When it comes to the Christian faith, Jesus Christ, as a central figure, offers profound insights and teachings on the subject of marriage.

What Did Jesus Teach About Marriage?

Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.

— Mark 10:9 (ESV)

In Matthew 19, we find a significant conversation between Jesus and the Pharisees regarding marriage. The Pharisees approach Jesus with a question about divorce, hoping to test his knowledge of Jewish law.

Jesus answers by referring to the creation account in Genesis, emphasizing that from the beginning, God intended for marriage to be a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman, which also reinforces the belief that the Bible speaks up against same-sex marriage [1]. He explains that Moses allowed divorce due to “hardness of heart,” but it was not part of God’s original plan.

Jesus also makes it clear that divorce should not be taken lightly. He states that whoever divorces their spouse and marries another commits adultery unless there are grounds for sexual immorality.

Furthermore, Jesus goes beyond discussing divorce and addresses remarriage as well. He highlights that anyone who marries a divorced person also commits adultery. This emphasizes the importance of understanding the seriousness of entering into a marriage with someone who has previously been divorced.

Overall, Jesus’ teachings emphasize the sanctity of a marriage union as an unbreakable bond between two individuals before God. It is essential to honor this commitment and strive for faithfulness throughout married life.

two hands with wedding rings

Jesus On Marriage: His Perspective On Sanctity And Importance Of Marriage

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

— Genesis 2:18 (ESV)

Recognizing The Sacred Union

Marriage, according to Jesus, is a sacred union between a man and a woman. He emphasized this in the New Testament by affirming that God created them male and female and intended for them to come together in holy matrimony.

In Matthew 19:4–6, Jesus quotes Genesis, stating, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female? ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.” This is also perfectly encapsulated in Genesis 2:23, where Adam spoke about Eve: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man.”

Valuing Commitment And Fidelity

Jesus places great value on marital commitment and fidelity. He teaches that marriage vows should be taken seriously, urging couples to remain faithful to each other throughout their lives.

In Matthew 19:9, he says, “And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.” This highlights the importance of maintaining fidelity in marriage relationships. It was also said that “anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

Reflecting God’s Love And Unity

Marriage plays a significant role in reflecting God’s love and unity in the world. Ephesians 5:31–32 states, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This passage reveals how marriage symbolizes Christ’s relationship with his church. Just as Christ loves his church unconditionally, husbands are called to love their wives sacrificially.

Marriage also serves as an example of unity within diversity. It demonstrates how two individuals can come together as one while still maintaining their unique identities. The bond formed in marriage reflects God’s desire for harmony among his people.

Jesus’ Standpoint On Divorce And Remarriage

Jesus held a strong stance against divorce, emphasizing the sanctity of marriage. He taught that marriage is a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman, ordained by God. However, he did acknowledge that divorce may be permissible in cases of adultery or unfaithfulness.

When faced with the issue of divorce, Jesus referred to the teachings found in the book of Genesis. He reiterated that “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” This union is intended to be indissoluble, representing the unity between Christ and his church.

While divorce was allowed under Jewish law due to its hardness of heart, Jesus emphasized that it was not part of God’s original plan for marriage. Instead, he called upon couples to work through their differences, forgive one another, and seek reconciliation rather than resorting to divorce.

What Jesus Teaches About Remarriage

Regarding remarriage after divorce, Jesus’ teachings can be somewhat complex. In Matthew 19:9, he stated that whoever divorces their spouse for reasons other than immorality and marries another commits adultery. This suggests that remarriage is only permissible if the initial grounds for divorce were based on adultery or unfaithfulness.

However, it’s important to note that different interpretations exist among Christian denominations regarding this exception clause. Some interpret it strictly as allowing remarriage solely in cases of adultery or unfaithfulness, while others believe it permits remarriage in broader circumstances such as abandonment or abuse.

Ultimately, individuals should seek guidance from their respective denominations and spiritual leaders when grappling with these sensitive matters. It is crucial to approach these discussions with an open heart and mind while considering various scriptural interpretations.

Considering Practical Applications For Marital Challenges

Jesus’ teachings on divorce and remarriage in the New Testament provide valuable guidance for individuals facing marital challenges. While divorce should be viewed as a last resort, it is essential to remember that Jesus also taught about grace, forgiveness, and the possibility of redemption.

For those experiencing difficulties in their marriage, seeking professional counseling or pastoral guidance can offer support and assistance. Marriage requires effort from both partners, and open communication is key to resolving conflicts and fostering a healthy relationship.

In cases where divorce becomes inevitable due to irreconcilable differences or unfaithfulness, individuals must approach the process with compassion and empathy. It is crucial to prioritize the well-being of any children involved and strive for an amicable separation whenever possible.

Ultimately, Jesus’ standpoint on divorce and remarriage emphasizes the importance of commitment, forgiveness, and reconciliation within the context of marriage. While his teachings may present challenges in today’s society, they serve as a reminder that relationships require dedication, understanding, and unwavering love.

The Role Of Love, Commitment, And Forgiveness In Marriage

So God created man in his own image; in the image of God, he created him; male and female, he created them.

— Genesis 1:27 (ESV)

Love As A Foundational Principle

Love lies at the core of Jesus’ teachings on marriage. According to Christ, love should be the driving force behind every marital relationship. It is not merely a fleeting emotion but a selfless and unconditional commitment to one’s spouse. Jesus teaches that love should be patient, kind, and always ready to forgive. It involves putting the needs of your partner before your own and treating them with respect and honor.

To truly embody this principle, couples must prioritize open communication and empathy. They should strive to understand each other’s emotions, thoughts, and desires. By actively listening and responding with compassion, they can build a strong foundation of trust and intimacy.

The Importance Of Commitment

Commitment is another key element emphasized by Jesus. He teaches that marriage is not just a temporary union but a lifelong covenant between two individuals. This commitment entails staying faithful to one another through thick and thin and supporting each other’s dreams and aspirations.

In today’s society, where divorce rates are high, Jesus’ teachings remind us that commitment requires effort and sacrifice. Couples must be willing to work through challenges together rather than give up at the first sign of trouble. This means being committed not only during the good times but also during periods of disagreement or difficulty.

Forgiveness In Marriage

Forgiveness plays a crucial role in following Christ’s example within marriages. No relationship is perfect; conflicts will arise from time to time. However, forgiveness allows couples to move past their mistakes or hurts without holding grudges or resentment.

Our Lord Jesus teaches that forgiveness should be offered freely and unconditionally. It involves letting go of anger or bitterness towards one another for the sake of healing and restoration within the marriage. By extending forgiveness, couples create an environment where growth and reconciliation can flourish.

Forgiveness also means acknowledging our own shortcomings and seeking forgiveness from our partners. It requires humility and a willingness to admit when we have made mistakes. By practicing forgiveness, couples can break free from the cycle of blame and foster an atmosphere of love, acceptance, and understanding.

Applying Jesus’ Principles In Marriage

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

— Genesis 1:28 (NIV)

In a Christian marriage, it is essential to apply the teachings of Jesus in our daily lives. By doing so, we can strengthen our bond with our spouse and create a Christ-centered relationship that stands the test of time.

  1. Love unconditionally: Jesus taught us to love one another as he loves us. In marriage, this means showing unconditional love and acceptance towards your spouse, even during challenging times. Remember that love is not just a feeling but an action.
  2. Forgive and reconcile: Just as Jesus forgave us, we should also forgive our spouses when they make mistakes or hurt us. Holding onto grudges only creates distance in the relationship. Seek reconciliation and work through conflicts together.
  3. Serve one another: Jesus demonstrated servant leadership throughout his life. Similarly, in marriage, both partners should strive to serve each other selflessly. Look for opportunities to support and uplift your spouse without expecting anything in return.
  4. Pray together: Establishing spiritual practices is crucial for nurturing a Christ-centered marriage. Set aside time each day to pray together as a couple, seeking guidance from God and growing closer through shared faith.
  5. Study the Bible together: Reading and studying the Bible as a couple can deepen your understanding of God’s plan for marriage and provide guidance on how to navigate challenges you may face along the way.

Marriage is a way for men to have fellowship with the living God and fellowship with their spouse. Thus, we must honor God’s plan and design for marriage so that we may enjoy the gift of eternal life. We echo the sentiments of the Apostle Paul: “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

happily ever after sign

Conclusion

Love is at the core of Jesus’ teaching about marriage. He calls for spouses to love one another unconditionally and sacrificially, mirroring his own selfless love for humanity. This love should transcend difficult times and challenges, fostering an environment of growth, support, and unity within the marital relationship.

Applying Jesus’ principles to a successful and Christ-centered marriage requires intentional effort from both partners. It involves prioritizing open communication, mutual respect, trust-building exercises, and regular quality time together as a couple.

By embodying these principles in our marriages, we create an environment where love can flourish amidst life’s trials. Let us strive to honor God by nurturing our relationships with dedication and grace.

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