A biblical marriage is the model for any happy, loving marriage. Once again, we see that the answers to all of life’s deepest questions and so-called mysteries are found in the Bible!
First and foremost, God created the institution of marriage, just as He created all other things in this world, and so we take it very seriously. During His earthly ministry, Jesus himself talked about marriage in response to a question the Pharisees had asked him (in fact trying to trick Him): "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?" [Matthew 19: 3]
Jesus talked about infidelity being the only basis for divorce, and the implications that divorce has upon adultery: "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery." [Matthew 19: 9] Similarly, in His Sermon on the Mount (The Beatitudes), Jesus said, "But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to commit adultery, and anyone who marries a woman so divorced commits adultery." [Matthew 5: 32] From these examples we understand that fidelity in marriage is sacred, and hence infidelity is certainly basis for divorce. It also gives us essential guidance for re-marriage.
The Bible makes several other references to adultery and its consequences, which range from a husband's revenge to judgment by God:
Ultimately, Jesus makes the most emphatic point about adultery, which includes lustful glances and thoughts. His statement is very forceful; while not necessarily recommending self-mutilation, His point is for us to take the steps needed to avoid adultery at all costs:
Besides adultery, we know there are other elements that cause great harm to marriage, e.g., pornography and self-gratification which fall under the umbrella references to lust and sexual immorality found in the Bible. Whether we are married or single, the Bible gives us clear guidance about self-gratification and how we are to use our bodies:
As human beings created by God, we are given a strong sexual drive to be answered by husband and wife, and to which each are equally entitled:
On this same topic of sex drive, passion and self-control, the Apostle Paul (himself unmarried) gives this advice to the widows and widowers among the people living in the city of Corinth, who had asked him a series of questions:
With respect to divorce, Paul gives some additional guidance for marital commitment, divorce, reconciliation, and living in peace at home (avoiding unsafe, abusive situations):
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