The world tells us to “try people on for size”. The world tells us to marry for convenience under the shadow of love. But God tells us that when we marry, we should be ready to wade through the muck of life together as a team. God, indeed Jesus, tells us that if we are committed to each other, all things are possible; we should start out with that commitment and commit to never losing that commitment! Jesus is telling us not to be hard hearted like the Pharisees……but He IS saying to be hard hearted in your determination to make your marriage work….with His help.
Mark 10:5-9 (TNIV)
5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. 6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
In order to fully understand what Jesus is teaching us we should also look at what Jesus taught about divorce in the larger context. That larger context can be found in what Jesus shares in Matthew 19:3-9 below. What I see here is that, as people, we often focus on the divorce part and not the beauty of God’s plan–the joining of two people, a man and a woman, as one.
Matthew 19:3-9 (TNIV)
3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” 4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[this comes from Genesis 1:27] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? [this comes from Genesis 2:24] 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” 7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
There is almost no unhappiness as painful as the unhappiness of an unhappy marriage and almost no tragedy as great as the DEGENERATION of what God wants for us–a relationship of love and fulfillment–rather than degeneration into a “non-relationship” of bitterness, discord and despair.
I know that right now there are many things going through your minds the same things that have gone through mine: “Hold on, wait a minute, Pastor Jan, it’s not that easy!” You’re right–IT’S NOT THAT EASY!
Before we heap guilt on others or ourselves, we need to understand that divorce, as bad as it is, is a sin, one of many. And….that pain will be exacted from that sin. I often joke that I am a “used husband” because I am divorced. I was young, I was not a follower of Christ, I married for all the wrong reasons. My wife and I planned a child and she aborted that child against my wishes. I could not live with this. This particular time is one of the most painful times in my life. It was a time of reexamination…. reexamination of everything in my life. It was not long after this that I totally gave up and turned my life over to God in a big way. My life has never been the same since that time over 30 some years ago.
My point is not to justify my divorce, but to say that without God, our lives can become a shambles. With God, with repentance, and with a humbleness that comes from accepting that God knows best and knowing that through Him all things are possible….ALL THINGS ARE possible.
I changed my life have been happily married for almost 28 years….but now….I follow Jesus….not me and not the world!