In the current modern society, a breakup of the traditional marriage is the most significant challenge. Prior research on this matter suggests that 43% of first marriages end separation and possible within 15 years. Although these results are disputable, it is undisputable that the divorce is on the rise across the globe. The increase in divorce is the main cause of societal problems such as early pregnancies (teen pregnancies), suicide, alcohol, and substance abuse, and the hesitation of young people to engage in marriage. Therefore, divorce has resulted into many societal problems, and children have to pay the price. Disturbingly, a comparison between the Christians and non-Christians show that Christians are more prone to divorce (Paechter, 2013).
Therefore, it is clear that the divorce is a church problem. Considering that, Christianity teaches that lasting faithful marriages are part of God's purpose for Christians, the high rates of breakups in Christian homes show that the modern church is finding divorce to be a complex issue. In reference to the rising numbers of divorce cases and the adverse effects posed on the society and the church, it is vital for the church to have a coherent and consistent theology of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. In the church, today, people verbally acknowledge the bible, but they live in a different way, which fails to show a connection between the public confession and personal conduct (MacArthur, 2009).
The failure to live in accordance to the teachings of the bible has contributed to the breakups of Christian families. During creation, God had a plan for marriage and this is clear in the scripture. This plan makes Christians long for the experience of intimacy and love drawn in the biblical approach to marriage. However, the results are broken marriages, mainly because of the lack of getting the clear picture of God's intentions (Ksstenberger). Many of God's intentions on marriage are in the Old and New Testaments, in a variety of books.
On the other hand, Geisler (2010) in his work show that marriage is the most basic influential societal unit across many countries in the globe. It is, therefore, difficult to overestimate the significance of marriage, but then again, the high rates of divorce cases opt to contradict this concept. Considering that divorce has become a common theme in Christian homes, it is important to examine it to ascertain if the Bible justifies this practice. Owing to the fact that divorce is the dissolution of marriage, it is essential to consider marriage prior to a discussion of marriage.
Therefore, what is a Christian marriage? Is it justified dissolving a Christian marriage? From a Christian perspective, the nature and length of a marriage are crucial. In this regard, marriage is, therefore, a lifelong commitment between a male and female, which includes sex as ordained in the scriptures (Geisler, 2009). Moreover, marriage is a covenant, whereby God is a witness, and the male and female give mutual promises. Therefore, it is not only a union between male and female involving sexual rights, but also a covenant before God (Geisler, 2009).
Purpose of Study
Apparently, divorce is on the rise, and it is ironical that many cases of divorce involve Christians. This shows that the divorce is challenge within the church. Although Christians acknowledge the word of God, it is apparent that most fail to live according to the intentions of God. This is why there are many issues of breakups in the Christian homes. The objective of this study is to explore and examine biblical information on the issue of marriage, divorce, and remarriage to establish a theology of divorce and remarriage. Therefore, the study will provide empirical information from the Bible that God's intention of marriage was that of permanence.
In reference to these two exceptions, the study will illustrate that divorce which is in accordance with the exceptions; one is free to remarry. As for such, this study will further show that there are special conditions where divorce and remarriage are permissible. However, if an individual did not consider the two exceptions for divorce, or owing to other reasons, and opts to remarry, such have committed a sin. To achieve this, the paper will explore information from the Bible, and any other relevant material considering the subject matter of this study.
Marriage and Divorce
The Christian family is an important aspect in the Christian way of life. In reference to the Bible, there is a comparison of Christ's relationship with the church, which is likened to a man's relationship to his wife. Although there are exceptions, the normal way of life for any Christian is to marry and live a life of faithfulness until death separates them. God's intention was not for the married couple to encounter divorce; therefore, divorce is a human concept, which came to destroy God's intentions in the context of the family.
People outside the Christian religion, fail to see the consequence of divorce and remarriage as crucial moral issues. Many evangelists agree to the earlier statement that the divorce is a human concept, which is contrary to God's initial plan and concept of marriage (Clark, & Rakstraw, 1995). The evangelists will still hold on to the same argument even when the Bible, in some instances, welcomes divorce. Overall, divorce is sinful, ruinous, and tragic, but the evangelists will often argue that, in accordance with the Bible, remarriage after this sinful deed is permissible or not permissible.
Some evangelists will argue that an individual is correct to remarry if they are victims of adultery or desertion by their spouses, in an event, where their spouses fail to welcome reconciliation efforts. In addition, some will allow or favor the idea of divorce and remarriage in instances of mental cruelty or physical abuse, which is the common theme in the modern society (Clark, & Rakestraw, 2004). Nonetheless, before touching on divorce and remarriage, it is, therefore, essential to comprehend the original design put forward by God concerning marriage.
Even if the Bible does not directly define marriage, the intention of God in relation to marriage is clear. The intention of God was for marriage to form a life-long relationship between a man and a woman. In the Book of Genesis, there is a depiction of how God formed the earth and human beings in His own image. Man's creation was unique this is because all other creations God created them using the word. However, in man's creation, God used a medium, and breathed life into man's nostrils.
This showed how exceptional man was above all the other creations, and consequently, man was given responsibility for other creations. In Genesis verse 18, God felt that it was not good for a man to be alone; therefore, he made him a helper. The creation time was different but on the same day, God created man first, and then created a woman, later on God decreed to make a companion for man. Therefore, God created both woman and a marriage to ensure completeness of humanity (Paechter, 2013).
In addition, the main reason for creating man and woman was for marriage purpose, which shows that marriage is not a human invention. It is an institution created and ordained by God. This is why Moses later on said, "Man will leave his father and mother to be united to his wife." The events of Genesis chapter two are essential to developing a biblical definition of marriage, which suggest that any definition about marriage should be central to the fact that God created marriage.
Different Views on Divorce and Remarriage
Having provided an overview of marriage it is important to understand the different positions put forward about the controversy of divorce and remarriage. Apparently, it is understandable for evangelists to hold that divorce is tragic, and its effects are painful. This makes it also understandable that the evangelists will suggest that remarriage is forbidden. Even so, authors in theology have provided diverse views on the same subject, which has further led to controversies. Their works have generated several conclusions; as for such, there is a time when divorce is always sinful, which makes the remarriage also sinful. In some cases, divorce at times is permissible, but remarriage remains sinful, or still, divorce sometimes permissible and remarriage sometimes permissible. This is how far theology work has brought about controversy, and this paper will provide an analysis of the three situations (Laney, 1990).
1. Divorce and Marriage are always sinful
In most cases, evangelists will hold that divorce and remarriage are sinful; however, there are those who see the exceptions provided in the New Testament concerning divorce. The exceptions allow the individuals to divorce without sinning. However, supporters of this view suggest that these exceptions are not applicable. In their eyes, divorce will remain sinful regardless of the contributing situations, and marriage will remain a permanent union. To them, the exception clause in Matthew refers to an incestuous union, and…