Matthew 19:3 – 8 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?”
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’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’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.”
I’ll bet more than half the people I know are divorced. Some of my dearest friends have suffered the heartbreak of a broken relationship, and though I haven’t experienced it myself, I know it hurts. More than words can describe, divorce hurts.
And the reason it hurts so much is because God never intended for us to break our promises. God never breaks His promises, and we were created in His image. When we make vows to love and cherish someone for the rest of our lives, we are supposed to keep those vows. It’s the way God planned it.
So, does that mean that divorce is the unpardonable sin? Does that mean that a divorced person is marked for life with a big scarlet “D” on his or her chest?
No. Of course not. As I read the above passage, I feel that Jesus wasn’t condemning divorce. Rather, He was condemning the hardness of our hearts, the meanness, the cruelty, the broken promises and disregarded vows that lead to divorce.
That, my friends, is what is wrong.
God wants us to love each other. He wants us to keep our promises. But because we humans are a fallen race, we don’t always do things the way God intended. So, rather than have a couple of people stay married until . . . murder took place, Moses made a provision for divorce.
That doesn’t mean we should rush out and get a divorce at the first sign of trouble. Trust me. Divorce often causes a lot more problems than it solves. It leaves an infected gash in a person’s spirit, and it takes a long, long time to heal. And even after healing comes, there are scars.
So, if you are divorced, please don’t feel that you are marked for life. God is good, and He will bring you to a better place! I promise He will.
But if you are married, I urge you to fight for your marriage. Love your spouse, even though it doesn’t feel easy or natural. Believe me. Love brings healing and reconciliation and joy and peace. And you can take courage in knowing that God is on your side, and He will bless you for keeping your promise to love and cherish your spouse forever.
If you do all that you can to save your marriage, and the two of you continue to destroy each other, then yes, you can get a divorce. Moses made a provision for it, thousands of years ago. But please go into it with your eyes opened. Divorce isn’t what God intended for you. It’s not the way He wants it. Divorce hurts.
Dear Father, Help us to live out Your plan for us in every area of our lives.