This blog is dedicated to the permanence of marriage and how this one-flesh covenant is a reflection of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I, as well as many others believe that ANY one-flesh covenant is worth saving and that scripture points to the permencane of marriage and that divorce is no longer applicable in the New Covenant. Sin is the cause of divorce, and the remedy for sin is saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, forgiveness, repentance, and restoration are only applicable within marriage and that all verses by the Lord and Paul point to marriage being as it was in the beginning; one man and one woman for life…. till death do they part.
The term “stander” is used to describe the husband or wifewho is waiting on the Lord for their one-flesh covenant spouse to return to the marriage. This stand is different in many cases. Some standers were unilaterally divorced by wicked no-fault divorce laws with little chance to civilly fight for the marriage, only to see their spouses make "remarriage" vows to another. Some standers are still married in the eyes of civil laws, yet their spouse has abandoned him or her. Some standers had much to do with the decision of the other spouse leaving. They may have sinned in some way that caused the other spouse to remain hardhearted to the point of leaving the marriage, but have since repented and long for the forgiveness and restoration of the other spouse.
Regardless of the reason for the other spouse leaving the marriage, the stander remains in the covenant vow they made in the presence of the Lord. These standers know that marriage is governed by God and that civil laws, tradition of men, and denominational positions do not supersede the word of God. There is clear scripture that points to marriage as a one-flesh covenant which can only end in death of either one or both spouses. Thus, civil laws and documents such as marriage licenses and divorce decrees do not have power over the one-flesh covenant of marriage. Equally important is that denominations, congregations, clergy and other ministries do not have the power to speak for the definition of marriage unless it is defined as one man and one woman for life.
With this understanding on what it means to stand for marriage, we need to understand what this stand is really telling the world, churches, and the congregations which reject the clear teaching for the permanence of marriage.
If you are standing to save your marriage, then you are not standing for the covenant of marriage. Let me repeat that. If you are standing to save YOUR marriage, then you are not standing for the covenant of marriage. In fact, you are not glorifying the Lord is you are standing to save your marriage. Standing is about the Gospel and how the love of Christ was sacrificing his life so that you can have eternal life.
Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
In Genesis 2:24, the Lord tells us that a man will leave his father and mother and shall cleave, or bond as in cement, to become one-flesh. In 1 Cor 7:4, Paul tells us that a husband and wife have power over each others bodies. In verses 13 and 14, we are told that even if the spouse is an unbeliever and is pleased to live with the believing spouse, they are still one-flesh and the believing half of the one-flesh union sanctifies the unbelieving half. Living spouses can never be two again once they are cemented as one-flesh. Only death can end this heavenly bond. (Ro 7:2-4; 1 Cor 7:39)
Many use 1 Cor 7:15 out of context believing that this verse severs the bond since the unbelieving spouse abandons the believing spouse. Yet, this would contradict other scripture in this chapter (1Cor 7:10,11,39) unless the peace the believer feels are no longer have guilt for the unbeliever’s choice to abandon the union. The abandoning spouse does not cease to be one-flesh with the believer, the believer has peace in knowing that the unbeliever chooses death rather than remaining in sanctification with the believing spouse. You see, once the unbeliever leaves, he or she falls under the wrath of God and the believing spouse should not feel that he or she was responsible for the choice of the unbelieving spouse. (1 Cor 7:16)
However, since the unbeliever departed, the believing spouse should pray for the soul of the abandoning spouse rather than believing that the unbelieving spouse will never repent and return to the marriage. God is patient (long-suffering) that none should perish and that all (including abandoning spouses) would come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) Popular scripture exegete of this verse makes us believe that the abandoning spouse is forever damned and that even if there was repentance, the believer already has the “privilege” to divorce him or her and remarry another. This false exegete of scripture is not an example of the Gospel yet is acceptable in many denominations and congregations.
What if scripture was set up in a way that marriage would be the greatest example of Christ’s love for His bride?
Standers are only as good as their view of God and His will that none should perish and that all would come to the saving power of the Gospel. Standing for covenant marriage is useless without the thought that your prayers are directed to bringing the prodigal spouse to salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. If we are not standing with the idea that a spouse’s decision to abandon the marriage will keep him and her from entering the kingdom of God, then we should be on our faces praying for their salvation. Stand for the purpose of representing the Gospel, and then God will get all the glory!
The Lord Jesus Christ is the ultimate bridegroom and He reconciles us to the Father by His coming into marriage with us. Paul understood the mystery of the Gospel in what he sees in covenant marriage of one man and one woman. Marriage is such a good thing that it transcends the power of sin in that those who remain in marriage are a clear representation of the Gospel. The Law of Marriage came before the fall on man and it is no wonder the Lord tells us that marriage today is as it was in the beginning. (Mt 19:4-6; Mk 10:6-9)
My prayer for standers is to focus on the love of Christ and have eyes, ears, and a heart to see the prodigal as a person who is headed to the lake of fire. Love is not applicable to how we feel unless how we feel is Christ-like. Pray for your prodigal, pray that he or she would see the love of Christ in you. Remaining in Christ while a prodigal spouse is headed to certain death is a great example of the Gospel. There are people watching your actions and if those actions are remaining in marriage because you dare not wish to see your spouse of covenant perish, then no one can deny your love for the Lord and your willingness to keep you focus on the Author and Finisher of your faith.
If you have fallen into believing the lies that a one-flesh covenant can end by the actions of a prodigal, there is still hope. Repent of your sins and believe the truth that marriage is one man and one woman for life. Remain in your hope of the Lord Jesus Christ in knowing that His love for your prodigal is wishing that he or she would turn to Him. If the Holy Spirit convicts and restores a prodigal to come home in repentance, he or she will find the loving faithful spouse who not only rejoices in the salvation of a believer, but the world will see the restoration of a marriage…. of which is the mystery of the Gospel.
Eph 5:31-33 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
In Christ’s love,