I’m a combat specialist and marriage counselor. — Jarod Kintz, This Book Has No Title
When I study marriage texts, the absolutes don’t bother me. It’s obvious there isn’t much wiggle room for the permanence of marriage, and I’m okay with that because Jesus was clear about the permanence of marriage.
No, my struggle isn’t theological. My struggle is applying those permanent truths to real people living real life.
“‘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 flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Mark 10:7-9)
Not a lot of wiggle room, right? But aren’t there any exceptions to the rule?
My answer to that question is, “Yes, but … ”
Yes, there are exceptions. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus talks about sexual infidelity and grants permission to step out of the marriage. Paul addresses those believers who are married to unbelievers. When the unbeliever leaves the marriage, the believer is free to get divorced. Yes, there are exceptions …
But here is my concern: When we look for loopholes in the exceptions, the loopholes get bigger and bigger. And over time, the principle—truth—is washed away.
So this passage is hard for me because some people are stuck in miserable marriages. But I still believe Jesus would say, “Stay together.” God’s ideas are best expressed God’s way, and marriage is one of His best ideas.
Instead of looking for a loophole to exit your marriage, learn to fight for your marriage. Some of the more difficult situations will require that you invite others into your life—church at its finest. Find a counselor, a pastor, and supportive family. Sometimes we need to know we have people in our corner helping us fight for permanence.
Jesus, You say hard things because life is hard and we need guidance so we know what You’re capable of doing. While staying in a miserable marriage is frightening, You said it’s possible. When my relationships are struggling, I ask You to show me how to fight for a miracle. Amen.
Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at OnePlace.com