What God Has Joined Together

Verse: Deuteronomy 24:1-5

Recommended Reading

Ephesians 5:22-33Hebrews 13:4

Most of us would agree that divorce is not a laughing matter. But that doesn’t stop people from joking about it, like one comedian who said, “My ex-wife is a great housekeeper—when we got divorced, she kept the house.” Legal terms like “no fault” and “uncontested” fuel the idea that divorce is an easy, acceptable alternative to marriage. Instead of treating divorce seriously, people begin to view it as just another option to be considered in the context of modern relationships.

Some people even look to the Bible to justify divorce. They search Scripture to find “loopholes” in God’s rules for marriage. But we’re missing the point when we hunt for God’s permission to divorce.

For a deeper understanding of God’s true perspective on marriage, we need to look at the provisions he extends to newlyweds in Deuteronomy 24:5. God excuses the recently married man from many responsibilities—including military service—for a full year so that he can give his full attention to his wife.

Think about that. God’s gift to newlyweds was a whole year to work on building a solid foundation in their marriage. One year for the husband to learn to meet his wife’s needs. One year to hone their communication skills. One year to prepare for life’s journey together.

God clearly supports the institution of marriage. Throughout Scripture he offers invaluable help to husbands and wives who commit themselves to each other for life.

If you’re married, think about this: What if you’d been given a year after your wedding to focus only on your wife? How would your relationship be different today? It’s not too late to find out. Maybe you don’t have an entire year, but you can start with a day at a time. Clear your schedule so that you can give your wife your undivided attention. If you have commitments that take you away from home on the evenings and weekends, consider dropping one or two of them to focus on your relationship. Listen to her concerns. Commit yourself to meeting her needs. Look for ways to bring her happiness. With God’s help, you can turn your marriage into a love story for the ages.

To Take Away

• What would you say to a friend who is contemplating divorce?
• What’s the biggest challenge in your marriage right now?
• What specific steps can you take this week in order to deepen your relationship with your wife?

This devotion is from the NIV New Men's Devotional Bible by Zondervan. Used with permission.