10. Marriage, Divorce, Children, and Human LifeIf you're looking for the Bible's definition of marriage, you won't find it in it's commandments, at least not in the Hebrew Scriptures. Instead, you'll learn that a man who has sex with an unmarried woman must marry her; that a woman who is not a virgin on her wedding night must be stoned to death; and that a man who suspects that his wife has been unfaithful must use "the Law of Jealousies" to determine her guilt or innocence. (If guilty, her belly will swell and her thigh will rot.)
The New Testament doesn't exactly clear things up. In fact, many of its commandments seem to either oppose marriage or to just barely tolerate it. Paul says, for example, that only weaklings who can't control themselves should marry. For everyone else the general rule is this: If you're not married, don't get married, and if you are married, don't have sex. (There's no time for it, because Jesus is coming!)
The Bible is clear about divorce, though. A man can divorce a woman for pretty much any reason. (Like if he finds some uncleanness in her.) Or it was clear, anyway until Jesus came along. (Jesus said divorce is never allowed -- well, except maybe when the wife fornicated.)
On polygamy, the Bible commands a husband who takes another wife to either continue to feed and have sex with his first wife or else set her free. It also provides inheritance laws for polygamists who have both beloved and hated wives.
For such a big book, the Bible doesn't say much about children. It says they should fear and obey their parents. And it commands parents to give their firstborn sons to God; to not force their daughters to become whores; and to beat their children (to save their souls from hell).
There are no commandments about abortion, but there are two that imply that a mother's life is of more value than that of a fetus. The Bible also puts a dollar value on human life, with newborn babies and fetuses worth nothing at all.
Abortion and Human Life