The Matrimonial Covenant is the covenant between a man and a woman who have left their parents and cleaved to become one flesh. It is the covenant between a husband and his wife. It is a life long covenant which can only be broken by death of one of the parties. Marriage covenant is for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health. Apart from the death of one of the partners, there is no acceptable reason for breaking the marriage covenant. You cannot break the marriage covenant and remain intact; your life is affected forever.
See what God says about the marriage covenant in Malachi 2:11-16:
Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god. The LORD will cutoff the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts. And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regard eth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand. Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.
Any other woman you either marry or have an affair with outside your legitimate wife is the daughter of a strange god. The Lord will cut off any man that does this.
The duty of a wife to her husband in marriage is submission- Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:22). The duty of a husband to his wife is love- Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it (Ephesians 5:25). This is submission that allows no excuse and love that knows no bounds. When these two are in place, there will be peace and joy in the marriage union. When both parties carry out their responsibilities in marriage, in the fear of God, there will be little or no friction in the union. Friction comes when the standard set by God for marriage is not adhered to. Are you keeping the covenant you made on the day of marriage? As a man do you love your wife? As a woman are you submissive to your husband? The honour God has put on marriage is such that when violated, it leaves the defiant in a state of irreconcilable disharmony as far as God is concerned.
God is witness to the covenant of marriage. It is a covenant that is binding on the parties and not even good or bad experiences should break the union. The circumstances around the marriage (good or bad) should not determine our commitment to the union because it is a covenant which only God is Himself the witness.
God did not stop being the witness to your marriage because a party has suddenly changed into a devil. He is still the witness to the union and has said no man should put asunder what He has joined together. If a partner turns out to be devilish, you must prayerfully learn how to live with him or her. We are to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).
Divorce is a satanic trick to destroy the union of marriage. However, in the original accord, the Lord did not approve any resort to divorce. God has never wished for the union to be subjected to such painful experience of divorce, and when divorce was introduced, the Lord Himself made us to understand that it was put in place because of the hardness of heart of the Jews, because in the beginning it was not so. See Matthew 19:7-9 (Mark 10:4-9):
They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall many another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
Divorce makes the parties involved incomplete forever because wholeness in marriage is established only when the two is pronounced as one and not in their separation, except on account of death. No excuse is credible enough to accept the notion for a divorce let alone carry it out. That a man divorced his wife does not mean they are divorced in actual sense, God, as witness, still holds the vows seriously.
God hates extra marital sexual relationships. Whoever violates the sanctity of the marital sexual union exposes himself or herself to destruction. See the following scriptures:
What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. I Corinthians 6:16-18
For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: To keep thee from the evil woman, 1mm The flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread; and the adulteress will hurl for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth into his neighbour’s wile; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent Men do not despise a thief if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; But if he be found; he shall restore sevenk.4d; he shall give all the substance of his house. But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get and his reproach shall not be wiped away Proverbs 6:23-33
With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straight way, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; Till a dark strike through his liver, as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death. Proverbs 7:21-27
Always remember that God is the witness to the marital vows which the couple made that they will live together forever. The covenant is sacred before God. God will hold the man and the woman responsible for their vows (Romans 13:1-10). Covenant breakers will end up in hell. Therefore, live in the consciousness of God’s presence as you deal with each other, keeping in mind that no excuse is good enough to terminate a marriage covenant.
Pastor Samuel O. Osaghae
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