Marriage & Divorce

Read this featured blog post by Pastor Jeremy Vines


Marriage & Divorce

We are going to continue in our series and pick up where I left off.

Today’s message is called. “Marriage & Divorce”.

I want to give a disclaimer on today’s content. I am talking even more directly about sex than I did last week. I am not doing this to be cute, funny, irreverent. I am not trying to use this to hold your attention. I really truly feel that a lot of churches will not speak directly to these serious issues. I also feel there is great misunderstanding on these issues as a result of the lack of conversation.

I want you to know that I love you, each and every one of you and while I understand that the topic I am discussing with you today can be deep deep hurt for some people in the room - I am not going there lightly or with the intent to hurt anyone. 

Marriage is a Big Deal!

Marriage is a big deal to God. 

God sees marriage as a HOLY MATRIMONY

Do you know what Holy Matrimony is? Sacred Union.

Marriage is not only a sacred union - it is a union that is established through the consummation of sexual intercourse.

Sacred Sexual Union.

Therefore it is not possible for that union to be achieved with two people of the same gender. 

Gay Marriage?

Now I do not want to let this shift into a debate about homosexuality. That is not my intent. However, if we are going to discuss “Biblical Marriage” then it is important to establish what that is.

People have asked - do you support gay marriage. The reality is I don’t believe that gay marriage can even exists in any biblical sense of the word. 

I have heard many people claim that Bible never establishes marriage as one man and one woman… Let’s test that theory…

Matthew 19:3–7 (ESV)

And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 

So what is context? Marriage. Right?

4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 

I think we have to be very dishonest with the text to claim that there is room in the Bible for Homosexual Marriage. I am just asking us to be very very honest about what the text is saying. All feelings, politics and and people we like aside. 

Marriage is a sacred sexual union that is only possible between a man and a woman. 


Let’s pick up where we left off in Matthew chapter 5. 

Matthew 5:31–32 (ESV)

“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. 

This passage is about marriage - but it is also about sex. 

Can we agree on this - I did not bring sex into this conversation Jesus did. And if Jesus is addressing sex - then maybe we should talk about it?

First we need to establish that this applies to men and women. 

In those days women did not have the right to divorce a man - but now they do. 

With that I think it is safe to paraphrase this verse as follows:

Matthew 5:31–32 (Paraphrase)

“Whoever divorces their spouse, let them give him/her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes them commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced person commits adultery.”

Adultery is a big deal in the eyes of God. 

Adultery is a violation of the marriage vows. 

It is intimate betrayal.

In the Old Testament whenever the children of Israel would worship other gods or pray to idols or practice the immoral practices of godless countries - God called it Adultery. In his eyes it was intimate betrayal. 

That is why - Jesus said that if we look at people with lustful intent - we have committed adultery in our hearts. It begins in the heart. 

Here is one of the big mistakes we make with this passage. We read it and think the it says, the only grounds for leaving a marriage is adultery. 

It says on the grounds of sexual immorality…

Sexual Immorality

Adultery is under the umbrella of sexual immorality but sexual immorality is not limited to adultery.

So we need to establish what sexual immorality is. 

The word that is translated into sexual immortality is the word Porneia. It is where we get the English word - Pornography from. 

porneia - sexual immorality; fornication

moichaō - commit adultery; to be unfaithful to God

They are two different words being used by Jesus.

Many people struggle to come up with a clear definition of what biblical sexual immorality is. Some try to argue about one activity or another. I think it is actually really simple. 

The easiest way to understand what is sexually immoral - is simply to understand what is sexually moral. That is not difficult to understand at all. 

Sexual Morality is sex between one man and one woman who are married to each other. 

It is really that simple. 

Anything outside of that - is sexual immorality. 

If you are single - and you want to have sex. Get married.

If you are married - but your sex life is not all that you hoped it would be… What do you do?

  1. Evaluate your sexual expectations. One of the biggest problems with pornography is that it creates extremely unrealistic expectations of what healthy sex is like. 
  2. Talk about it. 
  3. Listen.
  4. Get help. Ask us! Ask for a counselor, your Sacred Union is worth fighting for. So fight for it.

Is a lack of sex in marriage as a Biblical problem?

Now this is going be a bit of a controversial statement. 

Some people seem to believe that less sex in a marriage is more honorable in the eyes of God. In other words - a lot of church people don’t see a lack of sex in marriage as a biblical problem. 

I would tell you that is not accurate according to the Bible. 

In fact I would tell you that the Bible teaches you should 

1 Corinthians 7:3–5 (NLT)

The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. 4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. 

5 Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

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? What if your spouse is a sort of a pervert who just wants sex all of the time? 

If you loved this person enough to marry them - then you need to have an out loud conversation about sexual expectations. And if you cannot get into agreement - I would highly encourage you to seek help. If you refuse to talk about it - someone is going to step out of the circle of sexual morality. 

Book - "Every Man's Battle"

If I refuse to meet my wife's sexual needs - I am the one stepping out of the circle of sexual morality by failing to love her in a sacred sexual union.

Now - there are a number of reasons - legitimate reasons why sex becomes less frequent or non-existent. 

  • Age
  • Health Issues
  • Physical limitations

Things like this are in no way - sexual immorality.

The important thing is clear and open communication. 

If you have ever sat down with Naomi & I for marriage counseling - you have probably heard me ask you to your face - How is your sex life? 

Reason - If you can’t talk about - it probably isn’t healthy. If your sex life isn’t healthy - your marriage is not healthy.

Listen - this is serious stuff, real stuff. 

If you are considering divorce I hope you will reconsider it. Fight to keep this sacred union. Forgive wrongs of the past, talk about your frustrations, and get help. Get help again. Get help again after that. Do whatever it takes!

Already Divorced?

There many people in this room and listening to this message - you have already had a divorce. Let me take some shame off of you today.

Some people try to treat divorced and remarried people like they in a constant state of adultery. Like you’re damaged goods and there is no reconciliation for you. That is not the truth. 

There is healing and forgiveness in Jesus.

Some of you are divorced because you were in an abusive relationship. Maybe it was physical abuse, maybe it was verbal abuse and emotional abuse or even the abuse of neglect. 

Let me tell you something today - the abuser violated the marriage vows. I don’t know the details of your story - but, I don’t believe that God wants you to be in an abusive relationship. 

If you have been divorced and are now remarried - make this relationship the one that is a Sacred Union unto God. 

Was your divorce/remarriage an act of adultery? Maybe.

But let me ask you a question - If we knew a person, man or woman, who committed adultery. Can they be forgiven? Yes they can. They key is not to pretend it was not adultery - they key to call it what it is and repent. 

Go and sin no more

There is a story of a conversation that Jesus has with a woman. And it is not too unlike many scenarios we see play out in our world today. 

John 8:10–11 (ESV)

Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

What was the sin Jesus was not condemning her for?

John 8:4 (ESV)

Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.

If you have been divorced and are re-married - you are not damaged beyond repair. Just go and sin no more. 

In Eph 5 Paul says that marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church. 

Let’s value marriage the way God does,

Let’s make our marriages a Holy Matrimony Today.

A Sacred Union.

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