Ask Your Preacher
The Bible says in the old times men had two or three wives. How can that be true because of the Ten Commandments?
Dear Two Many,
The Ten Commandments, which are found in Ex. 20:1-17, never address the issue of polygamy and polygamy was part of life in the Old Testament. The New Testament teaches that Christians should honor God through monogamy (1 Cor 7:1-2, 1 Tim 3:2). There are scores of examples of monogamy being God’s preference for man:
- Adam & Eve were designed monogamously (Gen. 2:24).
- No polygamy existed until 7 generations after Adam (Gen 4:19).
- Noah, the last righteous man of his day, had only one wife (Gen 7:13).
- Qualification for an elder (Tit 1:6)
- Qualification for a deacon (1 Tim 3:12)
- Qualification for a worthy widow (1 Tim 5:9)
- Every New Testament command for a husband or wife assumes monogamy in the commandments (Mk 10:12, 1 Cor 7:3, Eph 5:33, etc.).
- The comparison of Christ and the church to a husband and wife relies on a monogamous design for marriage (Eph 5:22-23).
What are the differences in modern day and Christian views of marriage/relationships?
Compare And Contrast
Dear Compare And Contrast,
There are a couple of big differences between the Scriptural view of marriage and the way modern culture views it. The Bible says that marriage is more than just a tradition from previous generations; marriage was instituted and created by God at the very beginning (Gen 2:24). God also teaches that living together and sexual relations are only for marriage (1 Cor 7:1-2). All sexual relations outside of marriage are sinful. Another major difference is that the Bible teaches that marriage is only designed between one man and one woman. Homosexual “marriage” isn’t marriage at all (Rom 1:26-27). God designed marriage to be a lifetime commitment between one man and one woman, and He never intended for divorce; even in a sinful world, God only permits Christians to divorce in very few narrow circumstances (Matt 19:9, 1 Cor 7:15).
God designed marriage to be a blessing (Pr 18:22), and when we take a biblical attitude toward marriage, it can be one of the greatest things this side of heaven.
Why is it beneficial to not have sex before your wedding?
Dear Why Knot,
It is always beneficial to do what God says and to avoid sin because sin leads to spiritual death and immense problems in this life (Rom 6:23). Sex before marriage is a sin. From the very beginning, God designed marriage as the realm for sexual relations (Gen 2:24). 1 Cor 7:1-2 states that any relations outside of marriage are fornication. God tells us to flee all fornication (1 Cor 6:18). Even though sexual immorality is rampant in our culture and accepted by our society, that doesn’t make it right. Christians are called to honor God and honor marriage by leaving the marriage bed pure and undefiled (Heb 13:4).
Is not having enough money a "good" reason to postpone marriage? I (we) are poor college students but are emotionally and spiritually ready for marriage… just not financially. Bad reasoning?
Ready, But No Money
Dear Ready, But No Money,
There is no clear answer on something like this because each circumstance is different, but there are two Bible principles you want to keep in mind when deciding when to marry.
The first principle is that God tells us to plan ahead in all that we do. In Lk 14:28-32, Jesus explains that a man who doesn’t plan before building a tower or a king who doesn’t plan before going to war is a fool. As you know, marriage is a huge commitment, and there are a lot of important things to be prepared for when considering marriage. Finances are only one part of the picture, but they are something to factor in. So, thinking about the financial aspects of marriage makes you wise.
The second principle is found in 1 Cor 7:9. That verse explains that it is possible for a couple to wait too long before marriage, and it can lead to all sorts of problems… not the least of which is sinful pre-marital conduct. A couple that burns for one another isn’t weak; 1 Cor 7:9 explains that it is a natural and normal aspect of how God made men and women, but it is also something to consider when postponing marriage for too long. Some couples, in the desire to wait for the “perfect time” to get married – simply wait too long. Better to be poor and married than financially stable with regrets and unhappiness.
As we said, the answer isn’t simple. Finances should be considered, but waiting for riches isn’t right either. You have to use wisdom to balance these two principles and decide as a couple whether or not the time is right.
Is divorce ever "okay"? If so, when? When there has been unfaithfulness, abuse, neglect?
Curious About Causes
Dear Curious About Causes,
Divorce always involves sin. God is never okay with divorce, but He does allow it in certain circumstances. In Mal 2:16, God says that He hates divorce and compares divorce to an act of violence and bloodshed. In every divorce, you will see that one or both parties have committed sin.
In Matt. 19:9, Jesus says that divorce is wrong between two believers unless fornication has been committed. ‘Fornication’ means ‘sexual immorality’. Adultery is an allowed reason for divorce.
The other reason is found in 1 Cor 7:12-15. In those verses, the apostle Paul explains that a Christian that is married to an unbeliever can accept a divorce if the unbeliever wishes to break up the marriage. This doesn’t mean that the Christian can instigate a divorce from an unbeliever, but they aren’t sinning by accepting the divorce.
Those are the two circumstances when God says that divorce is allowed. In other situations, separation would be allowed, but not divorce.
If you would like more information on what Jesus taught regarding Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage - this link will take you to a series of lessons we taught on the subject.