THE NEW COMMANDMENT Jesus gave was “LOVE one another as I have LOVED you”. Jesus love for The Church is compared to husbands love for his wife accourding to St. Paul (Eph 5:25)
EPHESIANS 5:25 Husbands, love your wife as Christ have loved the Church, and gave himself for her.
In the beginning there was no marriage law at the time of Adam and Eve. They did not have any marriage certificate, no wedding party, no documents. yet according to Jesus, Adam and Eve are husband and wife. Man’s faithful love for his wife is marriage, just as God’s love for us. In the beginning marriage was not a piece of “a lawful decree”. Law was not needed to regulate Faithful Love
Now we need to have marriage documents to prove our marriage is LAWFUL, and the reason for this, is because we have to deal with OFFENCES within marriage.
And these offences are the reason why the church need a set of law to regulate whether a marriage is still a marriage. and whether past adultery can be forgiven.
- Jesus said that Moses allow men to “issue certificate of dismissal for his wife”, and the reason for this-- according to Jesus own words:"-- was because “men harden their hearts”.
- In real life, in abuse cases, where men abuse their wife, these men have hardened their hearts. Men who harden their hearts toward their wife-- these men, they-- can’t love anymore.
- In above cases, doctrinally, marriage can’t exist without man’s love, just as no church can exist without God’s love
In cases of Adultery:
- Our God is a “jealous God” who refuse to forgive idolatry. Idolatry in many places of the scriptures is seen as “spiritual adultery”.
- Jesus also mention explicitly that adultery is a valid reason for a man to divorce his wife.
- If God Himself can’t forgive adultery, then it is not human to insist on “insolubility of marriage” position, because doctrinally such is not biblical, rather it was a position being taken by our church fathers to protect marriages in their times
- Nowadays, such position do not benefit the church, because of it, the church has no divorce law to combat offences within marriage.
Somebody close to me was in abuse marriage. She ran from her husband, leaving her children behind. It was more than 10years ago. The husband refuse to divorce her until today, so he doesn’t need to divide his assets and pay her alimony. She was too fearful of him, and also have too little resources to face her husband’s lawyers that she decide just to receive very little “pocket money” from her very-well-off husband. She’s now living with her aunt. I find it very unfair that the guilty party get the control of the education of the children simply because he has all the resources, and she just can’t fight back.
As a lay person, I also know that men who are adulterous also look down on their wife. In most cases in which the the wifeis a housewife, these wives, they feel “obligated to save the marriage”, “besides, such is the teaching of the church”. In these typical cases, the men do not have any respect for the wife, and yet, these wives, they just continue to receive whatever humiliation they can ignore “until they can’t stand it anymore” for the sake of the marriage. Children of these marriages-- boys and girls-- will learn that money and muscle is power, men can be oppressive towards women, and women must “know their place”. Boys will learn that it’s normal to disrespect a woman/ a girl, and girls will learn that men only respect them while they are beautiful and sexy-- apart from that-- they have no other value, so they learn to “know their place”.
Btw, In many places of the scriptures, God insists that “widows” and “orphans” receive just treatment.