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Q: What does it mean in Matthew 19:6, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

A: This reference was made in light of God putting the first man and woman together as in a holy bond to set an important precedence for future couples of the human race. We call this relationship marriage The first thing that must be noted is that God designed Eve and brought her to Adam. Adam did not go in search of Eve. This is clearly in reference to an ordained union. God made it possible for Adam to become one in a relationship with Eve that was not just physical in nature, but spiritual and beneficial to both (Genesis 2:20-24).

However, in our culture, man is searching for a perfect Eve that will make him happy and serve his purpose and Eve is searching for her Adam, which will adore her. Much of the attraction is based on lust, and lust has no real preference, discernment, or concern about what is right for someone else. It will ultimately corrupt or profane any relationship (2 Peter 1:3-4). Clearly, God is not behind such a union.

Christ must take the predominate place in a believer’s life, often which can cause conflict with those who do not have the same level of commitment towards the Lord. As believers, we are told that a marriage with an unbeliever can be sanctified by the believing spouse. This does not mean that an unbelieving spouse will get saved, it just means that the union has been set apart for the sake of the believer in hopes of winning the spouse to Christ through example so marriage can be godly and serve as a witness to others (1 Corinthians 7:6-15).

The Bible is clear that Christians must not be unevenly yoked spiritually and just because two people call themselves Christian and come together in this union, it does not mean they are evenly yoked. They must be like-minded as well in their spiritual calling (Romans 15:5; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Philippians 2:2). I must note this agreement does not mean smooth sailing for couples. Iron sharpens iron so God can knock rough edges off and fit two together as one (Proverbs 27:17)

The second thing we must note is if God put a man and woman together, no man was to put asunder or cause space between them as in separation that would cause one to depart from the other. God does not make mistakes when He ordains a union between a man and woman. No man or woman must come between that union and this points to adultery where affections have been directed towards another, but due to a hard heart, self-serving lusts, and worldly attitudes, it is easy to lose sight of the spouse God has entrusted to us and abuse or negate the vow and break the covenant (Matthew 19:7-9). If a person is married, God does not bring someone else in to disrupt it, even if it is a worldly marriage because there is a vow to fulfill and in a godly marriage both a vow and covenant are involved. We are to keep our word even to the possible destruction of ourselves (Job 22:27; Psalm 22:24). Divorce is allowed when an unbeliever desires to be released or there is the breaking of the vow due to exploiting the relationship as in the case of adultery.

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The Goal of Gentle Shepherd Ministries is to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to make disciples in compliance with the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19).

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