The institution of marriage must be honored and respected at all times. There is, in the most literal sense of the word, an exclusivity that exists between a man and a woman that should not be defiled in any way (Hebrews 13:4). When two people make a commitment to one another through marriage, they are also making a covenant with God. This covenant is binding between the man, the woman, and God. Because of this, it is impossible for parties that are not fully committed to the same covenant to enter into marriage together. However, what about a marriage that is contracted based on false pretenses? What does the Bible have to say about this specific subject?
If a man marries a woman under the pretense that she was a virgin, but she was promiscuous while living in her father’s home, she is to be brought to the door of her father’s house and be stoned to death by the men of the town (Deuteronomy 22:20-21).
God’s original plan did not include the possibility of a divorce between a man and a woman after they entered into a marriage contract. However, in the Old Testament, Moses made an exception and allowed divorce because he recognized that men’s hearts had become calloused. Yet, even under those circumstances, divorce is only acceptable if it has been determined that either the wife or husband has been unfaithful in the past. If this is not the case, it will still be considered adultery for a man to divorce his faithful wife and marry another woman (Matthew 19:8-9).
In today’s world, if a man and a woman marry under false pretenses, it runs the risk of causing irreparable harm to their marriage and to their entire relationship. It has the potential to give rise to negative thoughts toward the other person, which may later develop into feelings of mistrust and disgust, ultimately leading to the dissolution of the marriage. In certain circumstances, it may even be sufficient grounds for legal action, which could ultimately result in the annulment of the marriage. When something is founded on deception, it cannot be considered legally binding in the eyes of the law. It is important to recognize that there are also the laws of the land, which have been enacted by the appropriate governing authorities and enacted for the general public. Some of these relate to marriages that have been conducted under false pretenses. Though not every culture or government in every country follows the same rules, it is very important that their respective established rules on marriages are followed.
As followers of Christ, it is required of us to submit to governing powers because their authority also originates from God. If this is the case, then disobeying such authorities is the same as disobeying what God has established in the world (Romans 13:1-2).
What does the Bible say about secrets in a marriage?
No matter how insignificant the issue may seem on its own, keeping a secret always has the risk of causing damage to a relationship. Even though it is common, there is always the possibility that it will have a detrimental impact on the mental and emotional well-being of the person who is on the ignorant end of a particular secret. It may appear that the person kept out of the secret is being betrayed, especially if it occurred when a marriage between a man and a woman was still in place. What does the Bible have to say about the practice of keeping secrets in marriage?
We should not conceal their sins, but confess and forsake them to receive mercy (Proverbs 28:13). Also, love patiently, kindly, without jealousy or boasting or pride, or rudeness, not irritable nor keeping a record of wrongs. It does not rejoice in injustice but rejoices in the truth (1 Corinthians 13:4-6).
It is appropriate for us to model our lives after Jesus Christ. It is imperative that we model our behavior after His instructions, which are always right. As a result, in the same way that He loved us, we ought to love one another and most importantly, our spouses. When we love someone else, the last thing we want to do is cause them pain or anything that could strain our relationship with them because love is not like that. Christ made an analogy between Himself and a bridegroom in this passage, and the Church was described as the bride. As a public demonstration of his affection for his bride, Jesus Christ gave up his life on the cross. That was the ultimate sacrifice. It is necessary for us to become adept at confessing our shortcomings and failings to our partners. If we do this, we will be able to pray for one another, which will ultimately lead to the restoration of our physical and emotional well-being (James 5:16).
Because of their reverence for God, wives are required to submit themselves to their husbands and honor the latter’s authority. This means that wives are required to submit themselves to their husbands in the same way that they submit themselves to the Lord. This is because you cannot claim to submit to God if you do not also submit to your husband in his role as your family’s head. It would likewise indicate that husbands are responsible for loving their wives in the same way that Christ has loved the Church. It is important for husbands to love their wives as much as they love themselves because when a man loves his wife, he also loves himself (Ephesians 5:21–28).
To love other people means everything. Christ imparted this to us as the second most important commandment, which is to love one another as much as we love ourselves. It does not matter how much we achieve in this life or how many material things we acquire; if our hearts are not filled with love, none of it will matter (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). Therefore, when we love one another, we do not withhold the truth from each other, as love finds its greatest joy in the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6). Because love triumphs over everything, when we love, we do so with our whole heart (1 Peter 4:8). Christ showed us this truth when He died on the cross and paid the ultimate penalty for our sins with His own blood. Our actions speak of our love for our spouses, so when we love, we must not cause them pain by concealing the truth from them.