The ordinance of marriage was sanctioned in Paradise (Ge 2:24; Mt 19:4-6). Monogamy was the original law under which man lived, but polygamy early commenced (Ge 4:19), and continued to prevail all down through Jewish history. The law of Moses regulated but did not prohibit polygamy. A man might have a plurality of wives, but a wife could have only one husband. A wife's legal rights (Ex 21:10) and her duties (Pr 31:10-31; 1Ti 5:14) are specified. She could be divorced in special cases (De 22:13-21), but could not divorce her husband. Divorce was restricted by our Lord to the single case of adultery (Mt 19:3-9). The duties of husbands and wives in their relations to each other are distinctly set forth in the New Testament (1Co 7:2-5; Eph 5:22-33; Col 3:18-19; 1Pe 3:1-7).
Some Pharisees came to Him, [attempting] to put Him to a test. They said, "Is it permissible by the law of Moses for a man to divorce his wife for any reason [he chooses]?" And He answered them, "Have you not read [Gen. 1:27; 5:2] that when God created [mankind as] male and female,
And He answered them, "Have you not read [Gen. 1:27; 5:2] that when God created [mankind as] male and female, He said [Gen. 2:24], 'For this reason [i.e., since He made one woman for one man], a man will leave [the home of] his father and mother and will cling to his wife, [so that] the two of them will [then] become one flesh [i.e., united in such a close relationship as to constitute one body]?'
He said [Gen. 2:24], 'For this reason [i.e., since He made one woman for one man], a man will leave [the home of] his father and mother and will cling to his wife, [so that] the two of them will [then] become one flesh [i.e., united in such a close relationship as to constitute one body]?' So, [upon becoming husband and wife] they no longer function [entirely] as two persons, but [as] one body. Therefore, those whom God [so] joins together [in the marriage bond], no person must [ever] separate."
So, [upon becoming husband and wife] they no longer function [entirely] as two persons, but [as] one body. Therefore, those whom God [so] joins together [in the marriage bond], no person must [ever] separate." They replied, "Why then did Moses order [a man] to provide a legal divorce decree [Deut. 24:1], and then divorce his wife?" read more. Jesus said to them, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives [only] because of the rebellious spirits you [Jews] had. But this was not how it was [intended to be] from the beginning [i.e., when God created one woman for one man]. And I tell you, whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits sexual unfaithfulness [toward her], unless the reason for the divorce was sexual unfaithfulness [on his wife's part]. And the person who marries a woman who has been divorced commits sexual sin with her [i.e., because she is still rightfully married to her first husband]."
But, because of so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his [marital] duty to his wife, and the wife should do the same thing for her husband. read more. The wife does not have [sole] authority over her own [physical] body, but the husband [also has his right to it]. And in the same way, the husband also does not have [sole] authority over his own [physical] body, but the wife [i.e., has her right to it, as well]. Do not deprive each other [of these marital rights], except by mutual agreement, so that you can spend the time in prayer. Then resume [normal sexual] relations again, so Satan is not able to tempt you [i.e., to have an affair] because of your lack of self-control.
Wives, you should submit to your own husbands, as you would to the Lord. For the husband is the [spiritual] head over his wife, just as Christ is also the [spiritual] head over the church, since He is the Savior of the body. read more. But just as the church submits to Christ, so wives also should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, you should love your wives just as Christ also loved the church, and gave up His life for her, so that He could dedicate her [to Himself], after cleansing her by means of the washing of water [i.e., immersion], accompanied by the word. [Note: "The word" here refers either to a person's profession of faith (See Rom. 10:9) or to the Gospel message (See Rom. 10:17), both of which are associated with immersion]. [This is] so He could present the church to Himself in all her splendor, without any kind of stain or wrinkle, but that she should be holy and without [moral] flaw. In the same way also, husbands should love their own wives as they love their own bodies. The man who loves his own wife [actually] loves himself. For no [normal] person ever hated his own [physical] body, but [instead] he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ also does for the church, because we are parts of His [spiritual] body. [Gen. 2:24 says], "For this reason a man will leave [the home of] his father and mother, and will cling to his wife, [so that] the two will become one flesh [i.e., united in such a close relationship, as to practically constitute one body]." The secret [truth] of this is great, but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each of you men individually should also love his own wife the way he loves himself. And the wife should respect her husband.
You wives should submit to your husbands, as this is proper in [the fellowship of] the Lord. You husbands should love your wives and not be harsh toward them.