Marriage is unique, because it is confined to human beings alone. It was intended by God to be unique and unmatched. As God designed it, there is nothing earthly that compares to it, and there is nothing in heaven or earth that can change or dismiss it from existing.
Biblical marriage is sacred and is a witness to the sacredness of God, because like God it is absolute, exclusive, pure, and unchangeable, demanding respect and adherence. It is a sacred law established by God, whereby, He is the designer, ruler, and judge over, possessing consequences (Hebrews 13:4). Any law established by man can never supersede nor alter it.
This marital law of God is one of the simplest of His laws established at the very beginning of creation, which Jesus clearly defined to all when He declared “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife: And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mark 10:6-9, KJV).
Notice that in Christ’s simple legal marital description He made no allusions to any civil document, covenant commitment, vow, public demonstration, or anything else, which so many declare as a necessary ingredient(s) for making a marriage. However, the one very important allusion that he referenced was the sexual make-up of the two humans created. When these two sexes become physically intimate, they then have an individual knowledge of the other (discovering each other’s sexual identity), making a marriage. The male and female become what Jesus said – “one flesh,” which equals marriage. As I have declared in the past, it will either be a legitimate marriage or an illegitimate one.
Also, notice, Christ (God) did not say man and woman. The term “woman” was given to the female by Adam and not God. “Male and female” was God’s description of the man He created, which shows the significance of each and how their sex factored into the making of a marriage, making one man.
Within this unique creation of the male (man) and female (woman) a law of sexual joining exists, which does not exist within the sexual joining of other species. For within the creation of the male man was also the female – for she was formed from man and not created from the dust of the earth as was every other female species. Eve was already in Adam. “Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created” (Genesis 5:2). Just an aside: Would a child from them portray a trinity of one?
I believe this means that Adam and Eve were automatically married, because Eve was naturally a part of Adam in creation. She was naturally his “helpmeet.” Every person born from that point on is an incomplete man until they marry another. Each sex holds a half part of the whole physical created man. Each sex possess’ their own soul. There is no celestial marriage. Understand, our earthly marriage is not spiritual, regardless what others may try to insinuate. The Scripture is clear on this point.
Neither does marriage make us holy as some suppose. Holy men and women make marriage holy. “Marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled,” because holy men and women engage and abide in it, as designed by God, physically. This, then, makes marriage holy, hence, the exclusivity of Christian marriage.
The purpose of a marriage of one male and one female is to make that complete man physically. Adam was a complete man in his creation until God removed woman from him, whom Adam described and named her Eve. Adam, then, proceeded to “know” (be sexually intimate with) his wife Eve. He understood their purpose of marriage and the purpose of marriage for all generations thereafter. Adam through the Spirit of God said, “for this cause,” exclusively, a man was to “leave father and mother.”
The law of the natural marriage is a woman being united through sexual intimacy with a man to make one complete man. It is called “a wife by marriage” - man acquiring his gift from God – “a help meet.” This is why a father gives his daughter to a man to marry. “Men marry; women are given in marriage.” They are given because God gave Eve to Adam, “And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me… (Genesis 3:12). By nature, a woman can never take a man and a man can never be given to a woman.
Biblically, a man never made a vow with a woman to marry as is practiced and accepted by the church today. If men of old did not just take a woman and marry (sexual intimacy) her, which didn’t happen often, because there were generally certain restrictions that protected women from males having access to them, then a covenant for acquisition of the woman (agreement generally with conditions) was transacted with her father or those male figures over her, if there were any. This is an espousal, a betrothal. Once a covenant existed between the men, the man would proceed to “know” (sexually intimate) his espoused wife, marrying her. She, then, no longer was a “wife by covenant,” but became a “wife by marriage.” This arrangement, when used, was how a true covenant initiated a true marriage (sexual intimacy).
However, marriage can and does exist even without a covenant or vows, whether those who profess to be Christians want to acknowledge it or not. The Bible, God’s own Word, confirms this to be factual. And as I said at the beginning, nothing can change it or replace it. It is unique, and in Christ “exclusive”.
This earthly Biblical marriage is an absolute natural law, which depicts the absolute spiritual law of Christ being one with God’s redeemed. A woman is married, joined to a man naturally as a true born again believer is married, joined to Christ spiritually. Each becomes one with the other and is not to be intimately joined to another.
One marriage is created by the law of a physical sexually intimate knowing and the other is through a spiritual regenerated intimate knowing. The one becomes a “helpmeet” together with the man, while the other becomes a “laborer together with Christ.” As the Christian is in the business of progressing the will and glory of Christ and His kingdom (Spiritual dominion), the wife is in the business of progressing the will and glory of her husband and his kingdom (earthly dominion).
Both marriages consist of a joining where, though two are joined as one, both entities still exist. The woman is still herself and the man is still his self, yet they have become one flesh. The born again believer is still their self while Christ is still His self, yet they are one Spirit.
As I have alluded to, there is one aspect of this oneness that is shared both in natural marriage and spiritual marriage that qualifies their uniqueness: that is having an intimate “knowledge of each other.” “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived...” (Genesis 4:1). “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true; and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ…” (1 John 5:20). “…The Lord knoweth them that are his…” (2 Timothy 2:19).
Note: This “intimate knowing,” intimate relationship both naturally and spiritually, is independent and does not occur through a covenant. A covenant only can initiate the intention of an intimate knowing. One can have all the covenants in the world and still never have the knowledge of knowing. If a covenant exists, once knowledge is acquired, the covenant is superseded by the “knowing” and plays no role in the relationship. The sacred law of the oneness of “knowing” now takes precedent over the covenant.
Knowing the living Christ intimately in the Spirit is holy and, once joined, knowing another spirit is fornication (idolatry). Knowing just one intimately of the opposite sex is holy and, once joined, knowing another physically is fornication (idolatry). We are to know one Master, one God, one Christ, one Lord, one Spirit; one wife, one husband; one head, one body.
The Apostle Paul alluded to an aspect of the sacred law of marriage in Romans 7:2&3 in his exposition and illustration comparing the binding and unbinding of the old Jewish Law to that of marriage. The correlation of the binding of the natural law of marriage and the spiritual law of the soul, their unbinding, and violation, is revealed in his full discourse.
Biblical marriage is completely hinged upon sexuality and is even negatively affected by it as well. Again, it is all about “knowing.” All the divorces and disavows in the world can never undo a legitimate Biblical marriage. Yet, through the death of or a sexual illegitimate intimate knowing by one spouse can undo it decisively.
The Apostle Paul knew this fact when he was writing in Romans 7:2&3 when referencing those two effects that will unbind a natural marriage, “death and adultery,” yet, in his illustration, THEY DO NOT INCUR THE SAME RESULT!
Shall we take a peek and see?
The Scripture states, “For the woman which hath a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.”
The first occurrence where a legitimate marriage no longer exists is through the death of one spouse. Paul states that this death while abiding in a legitimate marriage allows the living spouse to be free to legitimately marry again.
The second occurrence for a legitimate marriage to not exist is through adulterous fornication by one spouse. As I pointed out in a previous article, the adulterer, where in this case is the woman, is no longer a wife but an adulteress. Adulteress describes a woman who is a wife to more than one man, under more than one marital law, which is a violation of the sacred law of the created joining from the beginning. This also applies to the man who takes more than one wife – an adulterer.
I want to make this very clear, however. Paul is not stating that the death of the spouse, after one has committed adultery, will make the adulterer free from their adulterous distinction. Once defiled, always defiled. Once defiled, the legitimate marriage is void, so the death of the first spouse has zero effect on the adulterous action distinction incurred while the legitimate spouse was still alive. They cannot have a sacred marriage ever again. Do not be deceived into thinking otherwise. Freedom to remarry only applies to one living in a legitimate marriage and their spouse dies or commits fornication as is revealed in the woman’s adultery.
Even if the person they committed adultery with dies does not cause or permit them to be reunited legitimately with their first spouse. The violator is still defiled. This is made clear in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 regarding the “Bill of Divorcement.”
In this Scripture it is clear that even though a woman was given a bill of divorcement, she was still defiled, because of her adultery with the second husband. The BOD was ascribed to protect the woman from horrible treatment, disapproval, and/or abandonment of her legitimate husband or any thereafter, because of “the hardness of his heart” toward her. However, all it did was to provide her and her new husband with an instrument that would protect them from being stoned for adultery. Yet, as Jesus said, this “was not so in the beginning.” The BOD did not procure a legitimate marriage. Neither did the instrument free the husband to remarry and not be committing adultery, which the Pharisees had deceived themselves into believing.
Now, my point of reference is in verses three and four, where if her second husband puts her away with a BOD, or even “DIES,” her first husband ”may not take her again to be his wife.” Why???? Because Scripture says, she is “defiled” and it would be an “abomination.”
Another point as to why you don’t take back a fornicated spouse.
So, “the death of a spouse severs a legitimate marriage, but does not incur the same result regarding remarriage if fornication (in this case adultery) occurred beforehand.
Finally, I want to point out, even though Paul in Romans spoke exclusively about adultery being committed, it also applies to any act of fornication. And since the death of a spouse in a legitimate marriage would never set one free to commit any act of fornication, the context of his teaching is marriage, remarriage, or adultery, which can only happen between a male and a female.
One is not wise to take this lightly and disregard.
Attention: Recommended initial article reading order for a Biblical marriage foundation:
The Honor of Biblical Marriage
Fornication: Sinning Against Your Body – Part 1&2
BIBLICAL MARRIAGE? Dear Lord I Messed Up!
Premarital Cohabitation: A Christian Mythology
Biblical Marriage and the Erroneous Marriage Covenant
Putting Biblical Marriage Asunder
BIBLICAL MARRIAGE: A Sacred Law
Divorce: It’s All About Being Married