The term ‘one-man, one-woman’ is often used in the non-affirm Church argument against homosexuality. It is taken from the book of Genesis where God states that Man will leave his father and mother and cling to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.  While the bible does not actually use the term; the non-affirming Church does as a description of their stance on God’s design of marriage.   The assumption is based ‘the two will become one flesh‘ in combination with the anatomical joining of male and female parts.

What does Jesus Say?

Jesus himself referenced this scripture in regards to marriage, therefore let’s look at what the Son of God had to say about it.

In the book of Matthew chapter 19, the Pharisees[1], who were constantly attempting to find wrongdoing in Jesus’s teachings were questioning Jesus if it was ok to divorce a wife for any reason.  Jesus typically combatted the hypocritical Pharisees with the Law and truth.  So Jesus starts out by quoting the original scriptures.


Matthew 19:4-6 [NRSV]

Some Pharisees came to him, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?” He said to them, “It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery.”

Non-affirming Christians use this verse to declare that Jesus stands with them about One-Man, One-Woman.  The problem is that they often stop reading at verse 6.

But, Jesus didn’t stop there. Jesus continues on and gives us an example of an exception, the eunuch[2].

Matthew 19:11-12 [NRSV]

10 His disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given.12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”

In verses 11 and 12, Jesus, being Son of God, had the wisdom and insight to give us more clarity to this subject.

He starts out by explaining that Not everyone can accept this… only those to whom it is given, in-other-words, Not everyone will understand what I am about to say, because it for those who I speak about.

Then He gives us the complete opposite of one-man, one-woman marriage as an exception, which is the one who couldn’t procreate, the eunuch.  With this, he says there are some born that way, some made by others that way, and some who do it as a dedication to the Lord.  Instead of addressing marriage as one-man, one-woman, Jesus brings up the eunuch.

King David

While the definition that God’s perfect design is only one-man, one-woman may sound complete to the non-affirming Church, they often ignore cases in the bible where this design was ignored by God himself.  King David was one of those exceptions. God stated through the prophet Nathan to Danial that he gave him his former predecessor’s many wives and would have given him more! 

2 Samuel 12:8 [NRSV]

I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added as much more.

This certainly doesn’t sound like one-man, one-woman marriage, as David had six wives and God would have given him more!


1. What is a Pharisee

During Jesus’s time, the Pharisees where a religious group of middle-class business men and temple leaders who often were Priest. They played an important role in the Jewish society by preserving the ways of the Old Testament using oral tradition and helping the Jews apply and obey the Mosaic Law. The Pharisees that often confronted Jesus were legalistic and hypocritical. 

2. What is a Eunuch

These were males who either were castrated or abstained from male-to-female sexual relationships.

Fine Print!

The following is required to quote from the various scriptures above.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.comThe “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™