Christian Marriage and Divorce
A marriage is an old institution that plays an important part in the creation of a civilized society. The concept of marriage has various influences on it. These impacts can be religious and social ones. Generally, every culture follows its own rules and regulations related to marriage and divorce. The Christian marriage and divorce beliefs are associated with quotations on the same from the Holy Bible.
The Bible says that marriage was designed for intimacy and companionship. It is to be considered as the basis of the society.
Jesus quoted the following from the Genesis when he was questioned about marriage and divorce.
"Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female', '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".
Those who follow Christianity read the Old and New Testament. There are more than 500 references in these holy books to the words like wife, husband, married and marriage.
Teachings of Bible regarding Christian Marriage and Divorce
The Bible identifies the following characteristics.
The Pharisees asked Jesus whether it is lawful that a man may divorce his wife for any reason. The reply of Jesus was as follows.
"And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery".
Paul's first instruction regarding marriage and divorce is as follows. (1 Cor 7:10-12)
"Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife."
Comparison of Christian Marriage and Divorce
If the group of evangelical Christians, who consistently attend church, is compared with a secular group, then the former divorces at a rate 35 percent lesser than the latter. An identical trend can be observed in case of active Catholics and active mainline Protestants. However, if the group of nominal Christians, who do not or rarely attend church, is compared with a secular group, the former has higher divorce rate when compared with the latter.
Teaching about Christian Marriage in the New Testament
During any marriage ceremony, a man and a woman take vows in the presence of God. As a matter of fact, this is a covenant commitment to one another for the remaining life. When both honestly make this covenant vow, God makes the man and the woman one flesh and thereby honors their commitment. Both are brought to one heart and mind to abolish any friction between them. The new testament accepted that on certain extraordinary grounds, a marriage can be proven as a mistake. But, these cases are rare in the society that is created by God.
Teaching about Christian Divorce in the Old Testament
The Old Testament had commented on divorce as follow -
"When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife."
This clearly states that divorce is allowed in the Old Testament on some serious grounds like lack of faith and love. Basically, the wife was regarded as a personal property of the person. Thus, he is free to leave her under any circumstances.
This is the general review of what the Christian beliefs state about divorce and marriage according to the religion. It is true that nowadays, a divorce and marriage is subject to the state laws. It is necessary to carry out these matters according to the legal norms. The impact of the religious traditions and beliefs can be seen only on the mindsets of the people and not on practical procedure.
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