Matthew 19: 1-7: When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” 4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ ? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” 7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.
It surprises us that the Pharisees, who were big on keeping the letter of the law, had the attitude that you could divorce your wife for any reason at all. But that’s how legalists think. If you can find a passage in the Bible that gives you an out, you can justify almost anything at all. So they used a passage from the laws of Moses to justify divorce for any reason at all.
Jesus shows us how to interpret Scripture. He lets Scripture interpret Scripture. We have to understand the passage from Deuteronomy in light of what God said when he established marriage in Genesis 2. God made them one flesh. If God joins a man and woman together, man does not have the right to separate and destroy that marriage.
“What God has joined together,” Jesus says. Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman. But it is more than just between the two of them. God becomes involved in that covenant, and if you are married, you can say that God has joined you together. There may have been times when you questioned the decision that you made, but don’t ever question the decision that God made.
Why does God bind us together as one and put us under a covenant that cannot be broken? Because he knows that we are sinful and fickle human beings who can ruin a good thing in a moment by making a decision we will regret for a lifetime. Stick to your marriage “in sickness and in health, for better or for worse” as marriage vows once read. Marriage is a good thing. God wants us to stick by it.
Prayer: Dear Father, thank you for my marriage and the many blessings you have given me through it. Thank you for a forgiving spouse, for loving children, for years of happiness, and for hope going forward. Thank you for the opportunity you have given me in marriage to love and to be loved. I pray this in Jesus’ name, my heavenly Bridegroom. Amen.