2019-12-15 02:38:30 UTC
The Church allows either spouse to divorce for sexual immorality today. However, for 3,000 years the Jews only allowed a man to initiate the divorce. Three important questions are not being asked…
1) Was there a Scriptural basis for it?
2) Does those Scriptural principles mean anything to us Christians?
3) Was it taught in the New Testament by Jesus or Paul?
The answer is “yes” to all three. There are many ethics and doctrines that we obtain from scripture and incorporate into the Church. Marriage, divorce and remarriage is one of them. God made a unilateral covenant with Abraham by symbolically going between the slain animals. Jesus, likewise, paid the bride-price by being broken Himself and made a unilateral, unconditional covenant with us. The Jewish people practice this unilateral marriage covenant and call it the ketubah. It establishes the marriage promises of the husband to his newly betrothed wife. However, the wife was bound under the law of her husband (Rom. 7:1, 1 Cor. 7:39). The Jewish people believe a unilateral covenant can only be dissolved unilaterally. Other cultures agree, saying a wife acquired by means of a bridal-price (mohar) prevented her from initiating the divorce. Although payment was traditionally given to the father, the Orthodox Jews accept a gold wedding ring as a form of payment similar to our engagement ring. But ultimately – all agree that since the woman was under the “rule” of her husband (Gen. 3:16) the laws of Deuteronomy 24:1 were meant to be gender specific. Therefore, only the man could initiate the divorce and his wife could not. Paul informs the Corinthians that a wife is not to civilly divorce her husband (1 Cor. 7:10). But if she did divorce a husband, being that it was not permitted under the Mosaic law for her to do so, she could not marry another (1 Cor. 7:11a). Furthermore, he commanded a believing husband not to use Moses’ permission as an excuse to divorce his wife in their culture (1 Cor. 7:11b).