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Marriage and His will

God has not only revealed why you should marry, he has also indicated who you may marry. God’s will in marriage is simply all that God has revealed in the scripture concerning who you may marry.

1. Man shall marry woman: ‘And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.’ ~Gen 2:22. Give God credit that is due to him, respect his infinite wisdom, and appreciate his genius; for it was a woman that God made as meet (suitable) for man. Same gender marriages comprehensively violate God’s order. ‘If a man also lie with mankind, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death.’ ~Lev 20:13. ‘Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.’ ~Lev 18:22. ‘For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.’ ~Rom 1:26-27. ‘Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.’ ~1 Cor 6:9. Observe the key words that are used in the Bible to describe homosexuality: ‘abomination’, ‘vile affection’, ‘against nature’, ‘unseemly’, ‘error’, ‘abuse’, ‘unrighteous’. Be absolutely certain that homosexuality is not an inborn nature.

2. Only the Single woman may marry: ‘For the woman who has an husband is bound by the law to her

husband so long as he lives; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, 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.’ ~Rom 7:2-3. ‘Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife.’ ~Deut 5:21. God decreed that only a single woman may enter a marriage relationship. Notice the key words: ‘bound’, ‘loosed’. Married women are exclusively bound to their husbands and are, therefore, not free to marry: thus you

get the term ‘wedlock’. Only the death of her husband releases her from that bond. Widows are therefore at complete liberty to marry.

3. One woman for one man: Although God provided Adam one wife, he did not oppose polygyny

(having more than one wife at a time) during Old Testament times. I know it appears difficult to digest,

but God in fact gave laws to govern families where the man had more than one wife. (Exo 21:10, Deut 21:15). Besides, Nathan the prophet plainly reveals that it was God who gave wives to David. (2 Sam 12:8). However, polyandry, (one woman having more than one husband at a time) was a sin from the beginning of creation (Exo 20:17).

As revelation progressed in the New Testament, God eventually revealed that monogamy meaning, one man having only one wife, is the ideal. ‘A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife.’ ~1 Tim 3:2. ‘Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife.’ ~1 Tim 3:12. ‘If any be blameless, the husband of one wife.’ ~Tit 1:6.

4. Only adults may marry: There is no direct commandment in the scripture to this effect. However,

there are clear inferences that you must be grown up in order to marry, to fulfil marital obligations. ‘Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter-in-law, Remain a widow at thy father’s house, till Shelah my son be grown.’ ~Gen 38:11. The Law of our own land prohibits men below 21 years of age and women below 18 years of age, from being married. ‘Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake.’ ~1 Pet 2:13.

5. Only far off kin: To maintain the sanctity of families, God prohibited marrying a close relative. None

of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD.’ ~Lev

18:6. While scripture defines ‘near of kin’, (Lev 18:7-18) you must also obey the law of the land and respect the larger circle of consanguinity within which marriage is socially unacceptable. ‘Render therefore to all their dues: … fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.’ ~Rom 13:7.

During foetal development, genetic defects are transferred to the offspring. However, the dominant genes from one parent suppress the manifestation of the effect of the recessive genes of the other parent, even if there is a recessive defective gene present within the offspring. We are born without medical problems because our genes are a combination of both parents. It is only when both parents have the same set of defective genes, which is likely in close relatives (cousins, particularly), that their children manifest the resulting genetic problem.

6. Mutual consent: There is no direct commandment in the scriptures to this effect. However, there

are clear inferences to suggest that marriages without consent violate the personal freedom instituted by God. ‘And they said, We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth. And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.’ ~Gen 24:57-58.

7. Only in the Lord: ‘… at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.’ ~1 Cor 7:39. The

phrase ‘in the Lord’ refers to persons who believe in the deity and atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. ‘If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.’ ~2 Cor 5:17. Believers ‘in the Lord’ set their affections on things that are above, lead their lives on earth while being seated in heavenly places, make their decisions from an eternal perspective, remembering they are but pilgrims in this world. The scriptures address such believers stating, ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?’ ~2 Cor 6:14. While marriage is not the subject of this verse, it is more applicable to marriage than to any other earthly relationship. This law is applicable to every believer in Jesus Christ, the key word being only’.

These seven rules are absolutely non-negotiable. You may come across other additional norms in Christian circles, but unless they are firmly grounded in the scriptures, they should be recognised only as men’s protocols or preferences. For example, God never mandated that husbands should be older than their wives. Although Adam was first formed and then Eve (1 Tim 2:13), this is not indicative of a law. ‘If a man die, and have no child, his brother shall take his widow to wife, and their firstborn shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead.’ ~Deut 25:5. Obeying this law could result in marriages where the husband was younger than the wife. Another interesting reference is found in Ruth 1:11. The Apostle Paul, treats this order of creation as the basis for the headship of the husband and subjection of the wife (1 Tim 2:13-14). However, it is not mandatory for the husband to be older than the wife in every marriage because seniority is not necessary for headship. Christ and God are co-eternal, yet ‘the head of Christ is God.’ ~1 Cor 11:3.

Diversities in ethnicity, race, and colour are in fact God ordained. As the sons of Noah spread out and populated the earth, God brought about many nations of diverse peoples, but all mankind were of one blood line (Acts 17:26). This implies that God does not place any restriction to marriage between peoples of different ethnicities. Castes on the other hand are certainly not of God, because God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).

Be assured, therefore, that any marriage that conforms to these seven essential, non-negotiable, divine rules of the Bible is in the will of God.