April 11, 2021

Who Controls the Binding in Marriage?

One of the questions that I’ve wrestled with for some time is that of when the two become one.  Why?  Because how does that work– does the sex act itself mean that a person has become one with the other person.  You would think that it does since the Bible clearly states:

What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

1 Corinthians 6:15

And yet, how does that work with someone that is married?

Margaret argued from the law that it was the father of a daughter that actually controlled the binding of two into one:

Can a Father “allow” his daughter to marry a man that is NOT a virgin? Does that Father have the authority to give his daughter away to such a man? If that man has not done God’s judgment with the previous woman/women will God BIND the Father’s virgin daughter to this non-virgin man? Can one just sweep premarital sex under the carpet and move on? What does the Law of God say about these things? Is God’s Law INCOMPLETE on these issues, or is there a Law that covers ALL aspects and side issues of premarital sex? Isn’t it true that a young man, who refuses to do God’s judgment regarding his own premarital sex with other women, is committing adultery to try and bypass the judgment and marry someone else, though a virgin woman? Can this young man make God’s judgment (Law) of no effect by just IGNORING it? Ezekiel 5:6-17 answers these questions.

She had a long discussion with me on this topic back on a post talking about a father giving away the bride.

For me, I’m still unsettled.  I can’t discard the Corinthians passage, but I see what Margaret is trying to say.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

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7 thoughts on “Who Controls the Binding in Marriage?

  1. My thought is that God does not bind to us to other people but we bind ourselves. Through the act of sex we bind ourselves to others. If a man is married to one woman but being intimate with another he is in effect a bigamist. If he is not at all intimate with his wife but only with his mistress then one could argue he has actually in effect ‘divorced’ his wife and is ‘married’ to the other woman. I think this is why in the Bible divorce is allowed only in the circumstances of adultery, it was just a formality for something that had already happened i.e. the dissolution of the marriage.

    I don’t think the Bible teaches it’s not possible to divorce and marry again. I think it teaches that ideally you ought not to, but that’s a different thing. Hope this makes sense.

  2. I see what “Margaret” was saying and respect her opinion, it really made me think twice about the whole topic of premarital sex…but what about forgiveness and grace?

    I think using a passage from Ezekiel to handle this says a lot. The OT law vs the NT grace. Not that the OT isn’t important, it is. I wouldn’t stone my child for sassing me, as they might have in OT days, but I agree that my child shouldn’t be disrespectful in the first place.

    Interesting topic, MIn.

  3. I can definitely say, Buffy, that we take a vow, but I’m not sure it is us that binds us together. I believe that I just saw on your blog that you just got married. Did the preacher say “what God hath put together, let no man put asunder?” Is that just empty talk, or is that some work that God has done to make two people one?

    However, I can also see your point that the sex act (1 Cor 16) actually joins our body to a person. These are sticky things.

    I’ve always wondered (which is where Margaret came in) what happens to those teens that have serial partners before marrying someone– who’s are they really.

    It’s a complex topic– and explains why following God’s way makes things a whole lot easier.

  4. Somehow Rahab the harlot had no trouble getting married-to an Israelite no less. And Hosea was commanded to marry a woman of ill repute-and then bought her back when she went into harlotry.

    Perhaps we are overthinking this. All we need to know is that premarital sex is sin, and that if it is committed it needs to be repented of and turned away from.

  5. Wasn’t it foretold that Gomer would be a harlot, not that she was when he first married her?

    Good point, connie– it is definitely something that is to be turned away from and I don’t think we’ll know this side of Heaven the spiritual impacts of marriage. Best to keep it simple and do as the Bible says.

  6. Connie, thank you. Sometimes a voice of reason is greatly reasurring.

    Yes, the LAW states that having sex with someone joins you in flesh and implies marriage. Look at Jesus with the woman at the well. He told her that she had many husbands but that the man she was with currently was not REALLY her husband. This clearly indicates a woman who had many sexual partners but no ‘husband.’ The implication here is that you are married to whomever you fornicate with.

    By LAW, a woman who divorces her husband or is divorced, for reasons other than marital unfaithfulness, and remarries commits adultery. In fact, by the LAW anytime a man looks at another woman to lust after her he has commited adultery. Therefore, should a man and woman be divorced because the husband admits to such adultery? Certainly not!

    ALL the LAW is a higher standard than man can live up to. That is why it is written, “I write this to you brothers that you do not sin. But if anyone does sin, he has an advocate who speaks to the Father on his behalf.” Therefore, do not look to the LAW for your justification but look to your Faith and HIS redemptive work. He fulfilled the law because you cannot.

    But seek after the ways of God with all your heart. Do His will in every way. And when you fail, cast your sin upon the flawless lamb.

  7. I think I am pretty much in agreement with what has already been said here about the difference between what the law asks and what we are capable of!

    MintheGap I see your point about “what God hath put together” but I take it to be a statement about the sanctity of marriage and a warning to others not to cause harm to the marriage, rather than suggesting that God specificially brought that man and that woman together. I think marriage is a complicated mix of physical intimacy, vows and our inner most intentions. God has given us guidance and it’s up to us whether we follow that guidance.

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