Marriage for Life. We continue our series of devotions on the Words of Christ with the Lord Jesus addressing the subject of marriage.
31 “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32
But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except
sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a
woman who is divorced commits adultery.
Matthew 5:31-32, NKJV
In a day when the sanctity of marriage is definitely under attack, what are we to think of the Words of Christ as found in our passage today from Matthew 5? We certainly can see that what God intends for marriage is not what we commonly see in our day.
According to the Bible, God intends marriage for life. Young people today need to take a step back and reconsider their relationships with members of the opposite sex. Marriage is a commitment that each person makes to one another--a commitment that is actually a vow before God.
Unfortunately, due to our sin, that vow often goes through many times of great pressure, but for the Christian couple who are determined to be obedient to God's law, He gives grace to weather the difficult storms of life. No couple is exempt from such times, but all who have weathered those storms experience a strengthening in their relationship to one another. The Christian home is meant to be a haven, and for a couple who are committed first of all to Christ, and then to one another, it can truly become "heaven on earth."
Having said all of that, how are we to view those who have experienced divorce? What of those who have divorced and remarried? Are they condemned by these Words of Christ? No! First of all, there is more to this subject that is taught in God's Word than what appears in this passage. Second, as Christ forgives our sins, so must we forgive the sins of one another.
There do exist circumstances where, even for the believer, divorce is the only option. For example, when the lives of the children are endangered, due to an abusive parent, the other parent must protect the lives of the children. Is this an isolated circumstance? Unfortunately, it is not. That parent, then, needs the love and encouragement of the Christian community. They need friends to encourage them to protect their children, and to raise them in a Godly environment, training them to be obedient to God's Word.
In the end, then, what do we, in this 21st century, take away from these Words of Christ? If we are unmarried, then we must carefully consider our relationships. Believers must marry believers--believers who are committed first to Christ and then to each other. Also, according to the Bible, marriage is between one man and one woman. Just because something becomes the law of the land, it does not make it right before God. Those who are married must seek to guard their personal relationship with Christ, and then their relationship with their husband and wife. By the grace of God, they need to pray for one another and seek healing in difficult times.
For those whose spouse has been unfaithful, divorce is not a mandate. It is allowable, but, if possible, the conversion of their spouse, or their reconciliation to God is to be sought. Wounds such as these are deep, but God certainly blesses those who desire to recommit themselves to God and to each other.
Life can be so difficult; sin can be so wearisome--our own sin as well as the sins of others--especially those to whom we are very close. Let us, by God's grace seek a closeness to Christ, and may God lead us through the valleys of trouble. In the end, may His name be glorified above all.
Marriage for life is God's ideal. Let us also not forget, that the times are evil, but they will not last forever. God our Father has promised that a time is coming when all of of the things of this life will pass away, Indeed, there will be no more death, no more sorrow, and no more pain. (Revelation 21) May the Lord hasten that day!