In Matthew 19, Jesus was asked a question concerning divorce. In responding to this question, Jesus went back to the beginning (Genesis chapter two) and taught God’s law concerning marriage. “And He answered and said to them, ‘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 father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate’” (vs. 4-6). Notice the application of Jesus’ teaching to some common practices among us today.
Same-Sex Marriage. A few years ago, a handful of states began to recognize same-sex unions. While we acknowledge the fact that individual states may define and redefine marriage from a legal standpoint, the Bible teaches that marriage is a right that is given to us by God – not the state. As such, God has the final say concerning what constitutes a marriage. Jesus said that God “made them male and female.” God intended for marriage to be between a man and a woman, not between two members of the same sex. “Same-sex” or “homosexual” marriage is contrary to God’s law. As such, it is a sin.
Polygamy. This is the practice of having two or more wives at one time. In the passage quoted above, Jesus showed that polygamy was not a part of God’s marriage plan either. Jesus said that a man shall be joined to his wife (singular) and that the two (not three or more) shall become one flesh. Thus, marriage is between one man and one woman.
I have had people challenge this conclusion by pointing out the fact that there were men in the Old Testament who had multiple wives. King David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14), and he had multiple wives. Solomon was the wisest and wealthiest king of Israel, and he had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3). How then can one claim that polygamy is against God’s will? For one, the Law of Moses clearly stated that the kings were not to multiply their wives (Deuteronomy 17:17). The fact that some of them disregarded this instruction does not mean that it was right before God. Secondly, the example of Solomon is far from an endorsement of the practice. Solomon’s wives turned his heart away from God. Third, when we go back to the beginning, we are told that God designed marriage to be for one man and one woman.
Living Together. While this arrangement is not recognized as a marriage from a civil point of view, it takes the place of marriage in the lives of many people today. A man and a woman live together as husband and wife, enjoying all the pleasures and benefits of marriage, sometimes even raising children in their home, without actually being married. It is so common today that one struggles to remember why we used to think it was wrong. Jesus taught that such was wrong. He said that a man was to leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, not shack-up with his girlfriend. Sex outside of and prior to marriage is sinful (1 Cor. 7:2). The practice of living together makes a mockery of God and His divine marriage law. Such will not go unpunished. “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).
The non-traditional “marriages” discussed in this article are growing in popularity. However, when examined in light of Scripture, we can see that the word “non-traditional” could (and should) be replaced with the word “sinful.” The moral foundations of our nation are being chipped away piece by piece. The elemental building blocks of our society (marriage and family) are being redefined to please a perverse minority, and our nation is paying the price. Jesus said that marriage is one man joined to one woman for life. That settles the matter.