July 25, 2005
The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him. And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?”
They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.”
And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ 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 then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
In the house His disciples also asked Him again about the same matter. So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
God’s Word contains truths on ever conceivable subject. And when you come to a passage of Scripture that deals with a difficult or controversial subject, you have a choice—dodge it or deal with it. Jesus didn’t dodge the tough issues and neither should we. One such issue is divorce. It is never easy and many of you have paid the price of divorce—emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally.
I read something once about the perfect husband and wife. Every woman envisions the ideal husband to be a brilliant conversationalist, sensitive, kind, loving, hard working, and one who helps around the house. He helps his wife raise the children, he is a man of emotional and physical strength, and one who is as smart as Einstein but looks like Robert Redford.
Every man envisions the ideal woman to be beautiful and cheerful. She has hair that never needs curlers or a beauty shop, and beauty that doesn’t run in a rainstorm. She insists that moving furniture by herself is a good workout. And she is an expert in cooking, cleaning, fixing the car, painting the house, mowing the law, and shoveling snow. Finally, she hates charge cards and thinks her man has Einstein’s brains and looks like Mr. Universe.
Obviously, there are no perfect people such as the ones mentioned above and therefore there are no perfect marriages. But marriage is a precious gift from God. It isn’t a human institution, it is God’s creation. It is an exclusive, spiritual union between a man and a woman. Marriage bonds, or cements, a man and woman together. And to divorce is dismemberment—the cutting in half of a life that is one. Quite frankly, it’s like someone cutting his or her leg off to get rid of a splinter.
That’s why it is important to understand God’s unchanging Word on the subject of marriage and divorce. There are only two exceptions for divorce given in Scripture: adultery and abandoning the home and family. Besides these two things, there is no excuse for divorce.
Here are a few principles for keeping your marriage together:
- Build a strong spiritual foundation for your marriage.
- Build fences around your home and marriage to protect it.
- Build a friendship in your marriage.
- Assume personal responsibility for your marriage.
- Be honest and transparent with one another
- Resolve conflict immediately.
- Act in kindness toward one another
- Seek accountability starting with one another.
- Minimize the weaknesses and maximize the strengths of your mate.
- Laugh a lot together.
When the world tries to tear your marriage apart or it seems that it will never work, stay strong in Christ. In His power, maintain your home and family unto His glory. If your marriage is in trouble, give it to the Lord, follow the principles of His Word, and let Him work through you and your spouse.
THE OPTIONS FOR DIVORCE ARE VERY CLEAR AND SIMPLE—EITHER ACCEPT THE STANDARDS OF SOCIETY OR ACCEPT THE STANDARDS OF SCRIPTURE.