7. Matthew 19:8-9
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Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
While divorce is a complicated issue, with many variables to consider, this passage from Matthew 19:8-9 points out a very important factor—Moses permitted divorce, not for justifiable reasons, but because people’s hearts had become hard.
From the beginning, God’s intention has been for couples to work through conflict and do whatever it takes to make their marriages thrive. But man’s ways are not God’s ways. They have hardened their hearts against God’s original design and have decided to take matters into their own hands.
How accurately Jesus’ words, spoken thousands of years ago, describe the reason for the majority of divorces today. People’s hearts have become hard. Not only are Christian couples splitting up just as often as secular couples, they are coming up with every excuse under the sun to justify it. See if any of these excuses resonate with you:
“I just don’t love him/her anymore.”
“I got married too soon.”
“I’ll be happier without my spouse.”
“There is no adultery, but I’m miserable.”
“It doesn’t matter what my spouse does to change—it’s too late.”
Again, there’s no denying that divorce is a complicated issue, and there are Biblical reasons to end a marriage according to the passage in Matthew 19. But if couples would seek professional Christian counsel at the first sign of trouble, perhaps many marriages would work their way through seemingly impossible situations. And, if couples would do a personal heart-check to ensure a hard heart isn’t the root cause, a lot of divorces would likely be prevented.
Base your commitment in marriage on verses like Matthew 19: 8-9, and don’t allow a hardness of heart to govern your decisions.
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