When Jesus Taught About the Importance of Marriage
Thinking about Matthew 19:1-9.
There were two leading schools of thought on the significance of marriage during Jesus’ ministry.
“The rabbis Hillel and Shammai were split on the issue. Shammai permitted divorce for cases of unfaithfulness, whereas Hillel permitted divorce even if a woman ‘spoil[ed] a dish.” - Mishnah Gittin 9:10.
Since this was a commonly debated subject among the Jewish teachers, the Pharisees asked Jesus about the matter.
The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?" (Matthew 19:3)
Jesus’ Teaching on Marriage
Jesus took them back to the beginning when God created all things.
"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." (Matthew 19:4-6)
Jesus quoted from Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24 to answer their question.
What Jesus taught:
God made male and female.
God created marriage for one male and one female.
Marriage is a union that is supposed to remain together and not be broken.
When the Pharisees protested, Jesus responded again.
They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?"
He said to them, "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 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." (Matthew 19:7-9)
Jesus gave one allowance for getting divorced and marrying again. I
If a married individual cheats on the other, the one who was cheated on has the option to marry another.
In other words - marriage was designed by God to last for life. Men and women are not designed to go through marriage as some go through cars.
There are expectations for how married couples are to treat each other (Ephesians 5:22-33). Couples who follow God’s wisdom will be happiest in their marriage.