The Marriage Covenant Is Unbreakable Unless God Breaks It

Read this profound statement about marriage from John Piper.

What God Has Joined Together, Let Not Man Separate, Part 1

One of the reasons that I have emphasized the ultimate meaning of marriage so much in this series is that the meaning of marriage is such that human beings cannot legitimately break it. The ultimate meaning of marriage is the representation of the covenant keeping love between Christ and his church. To live this truth and to show this truth is what it means, most deeply, to be married. This is the ultimate reason why marriage exists. There are other reasons, but this is the main one. Therefore, if Christ ever abandons and discards his church, then a man may divorce his wife. And if the blood-bought church, under the new covenant, ever ceases to be the bride of Christ, then a wife may legitimately divorce her husband. But as long as Christ keeps his covenant with his bride, the church, and as long as the church, by the sustaining grace of God, remains the chosen people of Jesus Christ, then the very meaning of marriage will include: What God has joined, only God can separate, not man.

Do you see how this applies to our salvation?

If a person is truly a believer, then we cannot lose our salvation.

Christ does not divorce His Church and His Church may not divorce Christ.

Our marriages are pictures of Christ’s relationship to the church and thus divorce is not allowed unless we want our salvation to be dependent upon our own actions and not be dependent on the Lord’s Grace and Mercy to keep us.


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2 thoughts on “The Marriage Covenant Is Unbreakable Unless God Breaks It

  1. I read this with some curiousity and also personal interest, but I’m not sure what John Piper is saying here. (Honestly, I’m not, so I ask for clarification). If John himself could answer, even better, because many speak for him, but I would love to hear it from him and from his heart. (Having listened to his podcasts, I have great admiration for his heart to seek God’s will no matter the cost; and so, I value the opinion because of the heart.) However, since I assume John does not visit, I’ll ask Berean Wife to speak to this issue, as I’m assuming, from what I’ve read, your position is similar to his, and your heart, like his, is obviously to honor God, no matter the cost.

    The quote says, “One of the reasons that I have emphasized the ultimate meaning of marriage so much in this series is that the meaning of marriage is such that human beings cannot legitimately break it.”

    Are you saying (I mean, do you believe that Piper is saying, and do you agree with him) that the marriage covenant cannot be broken or just cannot be legitimately broken? I assume you would say it can be broken, but not legitimately. The reason I say this is because you say a second marriage should never be undone even though it is wrong; is that because the first is still binding or more because the first should still be binding, though it really no longer is?

    A clarification would be helpful. Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Curious,

    You will have to ask John Piper what he is saying and means by his quote.

    Legitimately we are not to divorce, hate, steal, kill, or any number of things. But that doesn’t mean they don’t happen.

    Marriage is the image of Christ and the Church. Divorce destroys that image and causes harm to the Gospel of Christ. But so does Idolatry, pride and any other sin. Just because it shouldn’t happen doesn’t mean it won’t. Thankfully the Lord is full of Grace and Mercy.

    Berean Wife

    [Reply]

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