The institution of marriage goes back all the way to the time of Adam and Eve.
When I was in Catholic grammar school, marriage was taught as one of the seven sacraments which was known as Holy Matrimony. Our nun teacher said most likely 80% of the class would get married. The Bible says marriage is until death due us part. The nun teacher told us when we get to heaven, every married couple will have an angel over them who will lead them in the worship of God. From what I understand, it use to be taught in the Catholic Church that sex is a sin even in marriage except in the procreation children. They also taught us that the family is the basic unit of a nation. A nation is only as strong as it's weakest family.
In the Armstrong church, they taught what is in the Bible, that marriage is very good and holy. Sex is actually commanded by God in marriage, not just to produce children, but for the couple to express love with each other. They said that marriage is blissful. The only problem was that in the local congregation, there were hardly any young single women there.
The Armstrongs blamed Hollywood for the deterioration of America’s marriages. Hollywood actors and actresses would get married, then divorced, then remarried, then divorced again. The TV shows had programs that were anti-family. The father in the family was pictured as a buffoon who would always get into trouble. Later on, fewer and fewer TV shows had any families in them. The Simpsons cartoon show was at one time one of the few, if not only, TV show that was about a family.
At Erie Community College, I took a sociology course on the family. Our study book said the family in America is in bad shape. Half of our marriages end in divorce. The book had a cartoon in which two elderly parents were sitting in their soft chairs and congratulating themselves for raising a normal average family: one that was divorced and remarried. This is no laughing matter. This statistic, along with our national debt, is obscene.
In Malachi 2:16, God says, “I hate divorce.” (New International Version). He says, “Therefore take heed to your spirit and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.” (King James Version). He calls divorce “treachery.”
We should watch Hollywood to make sure they are pro family. We should be conscience of each and every TV show and movie as to they regard the family. In education, we need more courses on marriage and families in our high schools and colleges.
One of the tragic aspects of the original Armstrong doctrine on marriage and divorce is that they required members of families who had a previous wife or husband from whom they were divorced to leave the marriage they were in now, and to be reunited to their previous spouse. This one friend of mine (Cliff) tried to do just that. When he married his first wife, they had two sons. Then they divorced. He married another woman, and she married another man. When this friend became a member of the Armstrong church and learned about their doctrine on marriage, he left his second wife and tried to persuade his first wife to break up with her second husband and to be reunited with him in their first and only true marriage. The second marriage that he and his first wife were in were considered by the Armstrong church to be adultery. Then the Armstrong church had a conference and they decided that divorce and remarriage was okay under the teachings of the Apostle Paul--just like the Catholic Church. The Worldwide Church of God minister told my friend that he could go either way. He could be reunited with his first wife, or he could choose instead to be with his second wife. I told him that I was reading in the Bible, from the Book of Deuteronomy, that if a man marries a woman, then divorces her, then marries another woman, then divorces her, he cannot go back to his first wife. So my friend went back to his second wife.
Herbert W. Armstrong was a widower for 10 years after his wife died of a needless fast in 1967. He remarried in 1977 to Ramona Martin, 38, who was about 50 years younger than him. The marriage ended in divorce seven years later. This was in 1984, about 6 years after I left the Armstrong church. I happened to meet a member of the Worldwide Church of God (Roland) at that time. I asked him what he thought about all this. He said the church was told that it was a personal matter and none of our business. This is about a man and his ministers who made it their business to pry to other people’s private lives and disrupt their homes and their families.