Marriage Can Sometimes Be a Mistake

by Jimmy Vannoy

Marriage can be one of the most wonderful things in our lives, or it can be the most horrible of all experiences, depending on the one we marry. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (I Kings 11:3), and he made mistakes in some of the wives he chose, which caused serious problems for him and his kingdom.

What did God think about Solomon having multiple wives? It is interesting that He never rebuked Jacob or David for having more than one wife. In fact, David was called a man after God's heart (I Samuel 13:14), and the only thing for which He rebuked him was his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba and the subsequent murder of her husband Uriah. Even Solomon was not rebuked for his multiple wives but for the fact that some of them were foreign women (I Kings 11:1,2).

On the other hand, when God instituted marriage in Genesis 2:23, 24, He spoke of a relationship between one man and one woman, and the New Testament speaks of marriage in the same way. When Paul wrote about the responsibilities of the man and the woman in marriage in Ephesians 5:22-33, he depicted the relationship as being between a man and one woman. In v. 33, he wrote, "Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." Again Paul wrote by inspiration, "Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband" (I Corinthians 7:2). These verses indicate clearly that God intends that marriage be between one man and one woman. Besides, the laws of the United States prohibit polygamy, and we are required by God to obey the laws of the land (Romans 13:1).When Solomon married foreign women; he knowingly violated the Law of God. "You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods" (I Kings 11:2). Solomon gave in to the desires of his foreign wives by building places of worship for their false gods. He even built one for Molech, the god of the Ammonites, who was worshiped by burning to death living babies in the fire of its altar. Not only did Solomon build these places of worship for his wives, he joined them in their abominable practices. His marriage to foreign women had the exact result predicted by the Law; it turned Solomon's heart to worship other gods (I Kings 11).It is amazing that the wisest man on earth would allow himself to be led astray into paganism. He warned in Ecclesiastes 12:13, "Fear God and keep His commandment, for this is man's all." He also warned against choosing the wrong companion. "The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray" (Proverbs 12:26). Solomon knew that he was wrong when he married foreign women, and he definitely knew it was wrong to worship pagan gods, but he did it anyway. He is like so many today, who know that they are wrong, but they continue in their sinful ways. James wrote, "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin" (James 4:17). Such people will not be surprised on the Judgment Day when Jesus sentences them to eternal hell; their own consciences will convict them.

The world was destroyed by water in the days of Noah because God's people intermarried with people of the world. "Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose" (Genesis 6:1, 2). After a few generations of this practice, no one was righteous except Noah and his immediate family.

Paul stated in II Corinthians 6:14, "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?" When a child of God marries a person of the world, two terrible things are likely to happen. The Christian will likely become weaker, because he will not have the encouragement of his spouse to live right, and the children may very well choose the ways of the world rather than the ways of God. When a Christian marries one who does not care about spiritual matters, it leaves the children in a difficult position. They must choose to be spiritual, like one parent, or to be worldly like the other. It is not right that the children should be put in this position.

It is the responsibility of the father to teach the children about God and His word (Ephesians 6:4). The mother is instructed to love her children (Titus 2:4), and a part of this includes helping to instruct the children in spiritual matters, but God assigns to the father the task of seeing that the children are taught to love and obey God and His word. What if either spouse is not a Christian? The job of educating the children in spiritual matters will not be done according to God's prescribed plan and will likely not be done well.

God intends that His children marry His children, and when this does not happen, it is a formula for sorrow and problems. It can even result in the loss of precious souls.