Essay on Anthropology: Marriage and Divorce
Anthropology is the study of human development over time. In this essay, I will be
explaining one of the oldest and most important relationships that two people can have,
marriage. Marriage is the first relationship mentioned in Genesis, with Adam and Eve, as
well as the last relationship mentioned in Revelation, between Christ and His bride, the
Church. God gives us this intimate relationship to demonstrate His love for the Church.
Since we are reflecting Christ’s love and following after the example that He set for
marriage, we should take this relationship very seriously by knowing how the Bible
instructs us to go about it.
“Marriage is an exclusive union between one man and one woman, publicly
acknowledged, permanently sealed, and physically consummated.” (Selwyn Hughes)
Biblical marriage is between one man and one woman. It is a relationship that we are to
prepare ourselves for by learning how to love as Christ loves the Church and by choosing
to remain physically pure until marriage. (Gen 2:24, Matt. 19:5, Eph 5:31) In Bible times
a couple was considered married once they were betrothed, or engaged. In order for the
couple to separate at that point they would have to get a legal divorce. This Biblical view
differs from how society views marriage now. Our culture views this relationship
flippantly and loosely. Marriages are formed between two men or two women and are
often called off at the first sight of conflict. Attacks on the Biblical view of marriage are
attacks on the relationship that Christ gave us to demonstrate His love for us. I think that
society is distorting this union so much because Satan is using this as a tactic to break
apart families, homes, and ultimately people’s lives.
The Bible is very clear that divorce is a sin. My brother got married last weekend and
at the end of the ceremony, the pastor said, “What God has joined together, let no man
separate.” This union is taken very seriously in the eyes of the Lord and is meant to be for
life. The only grounds for divorce that is mentioned in the Bible is in the book of
Matthew, and states that when a spouse is sexually unfaithful, divorce is permissible.
However, even in this case it is not encouraged. The couple is to try to work through their
conflict and use divorce as a last resort. Our society views divorce differently. They think
that if your spouse wrongs you, if you’re not happy in the relationship anymore, or if you
simply no longer feel like loving them then you should get out of the relationship. Society
looks at marriage and sees that 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce, and the other
50 percent don’t always seem so happy. (Timothy Keller) When marriage is looked at as
how another person can fulfill you and make you happy, there are always going to be
problems in the relationship.
Society has many views on divorce that are unbiblical. Such as saying the Bible is an
old book and the institution of marriage was done differently back then. The Word of
God is a universal truth that was written for all times and all ages. Other people see
divorce as the only option in certain situations. Matthew 5 and 1 Corinthians 7 are clear
that these marriage and divorce instructions were not just for people in the Old Testament
under the law, the same laws apply to our marriages today. The easy way out of a
situation is not usually the best answer to the problem. This is especially true for a
covenant relationship like marriage. Divorce is an issue that is negatively impacting our
churches and society’s. It breaks down God’s view on marriage and how the family is
supposed to work. It affects not only the two people involved, but also the people around
them. It is sinful and is contradictory to God’s plan for us.
The Bible is clear in Matthew that even when divorce is permissible, remarrying is
not. A second marriage is considered adultery and it is sinful in the eyes of the Lord
(Elwell, Marriage). In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul addresses the situation if an unbelieving
spouse leaves a believer. The believer is not bound to maintain the marriage, however, it
is unclear if remarrying in this situation constitutes as adultery (Elwell, Divorce).
Marriage is not something to be taken lightly. Once the covenant is in place, it is to be
there unifying the two people for life. Although divorce often looks like the easy way out,
it is not God’s plan for us and is therefore harmful to our lives and relationships. It is
meant to be for one man and one woman, under God, and united for life.
Word Count: 796
“Bible Verses, Quotes, Christian Answers, Songs and More.” What Christians Want to
Know RSS. Web. 8 June 2015.
Elwell, Walter A. "Entry for 'Marriage'". "Evangelical Dictionary of Theology". . 1997.
Keller, Timothy J., and Kathy Keller. The Meaning of Mariage: Facing the Complexities
of Commitment with the Wisdom of God. New York: Dutton, 2011. Print.