Summary: What does Jesus say about the covenant of marriage?

Jesus on Marriage

Matthew 5:31-32

In 1960, in the United States, 70% of all adults were married.

Today, that number is just over half.

As a result, 8 times as many children are now born out of wedlock as compared to that same year.

In the 1960s, two thirds of all young adults in their twenties were married.

Now, only 26% of those in their twenties are married.

TIME Magazine reported that 40% of Americans polled believe that marriage is now obsolete.

The article is quoted as saying, “Neither men nor women need to be married to have sex or companionship or professional success or respect or even children.”

As a result, many people are not just cohabiting prior to marriage, but are instead are cohabiting “instead” of marriage.

And according to the most recent polls, less than half of Americans believe that cohabitation is morally wrong.

(Above info from

Furthermore, even those who do choose to get married are not seeing it as a permanent institution.

Determining the actual divorce rate is difficult to do; some claim that one in every two marriages end in divorce, however that is based on some flawed numbers which come out of the CDC (

But even if the divorce rates were somewhat lower or higher than 50%, it is easy to assess just on an experiential level that the attitude toward marriage and divorce in America has taken a radical turn in the last half century.

Many people even practice divorce in their youth and young adult life entering and exiting multiple intimate relationships and experiencing emotional and physical connections which are supposed to be reserved for the marriage relationship.

IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: People always ask me when I am going to allow my daughters to date. They look at me like I am a fool when I say, “never”. Dating is not a necessity. Dating means that I allow my daughters to go out into the world and share in and experience intimate relationships without any supervision or accountability. We do not plan to allow this.

Instead, my goal, which I have discussed with my oldest (and will with my youngest) is to aid her in developing healthy relationships, in particular the relationship with the man she will one day marry. They don’t get to have unfettered “alone time”.

They don’t get to practice being married, to practice intimacy, and practice divorce when things do not work out. Instead, their relationship will grow within a system of courtship which will involve more than just “take my daughter out and bring her back safe.”

Some people think the good dad is the dad who is “cleaning his gun” when the boyfriend arrives to pick up the daughter - to scare the young man; or the man who forbids his daughter from being in a relationship until she “is 30”. But that’s not it!

The good father is the man who begins talking with his daughter about the marriage relationship early, about the responsibilities, difficulties, and goals of a godly marriage, and works together with her to help her find a godly man to fill that role in her life.

We don’t want to keep her from a relationship... we want to help her be in the BEST relationship possible, because we believe this is “FOR LIFE!”

Now, we know that marriage is not held in the high esteem it was in our land... and for many people, its not “for life” anymore.

Divorce is rampant... people are cohabiting instead of marrying... and some are even trying to radically alter the definition of marriage.

But it is important to understand that marriage fidelity and issues of divorce are not new.

The problem with people not honoring their marriage vows goes all the way back to the very earliest times in man’s history.

Which is why in the Ten Commandments we see the sin of adultery included... its not a new sin.

As a result, it makes sense that Jesus would address the issue of marriage in His Sermon on the Mount; it is a foundational building block for society, and a valuable microcosm of the visible church.

In this portion of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is addressing a misunderstanding of the divorce law which was given in the Law of Moses.

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 (ESV) 1 "When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house, 2 and if she goes and becomes another man's wife, 3 and the latter man hates her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter man dies, who took her to be his wife, 4 then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination before the Lord. And you shall not bring sin upon the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance.”

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