The Good News!
My pastor husband came home one day after a premarital counseling session with a young couple and shared his disappointment in what occurred. In the middle of the discussion, the husband-to-be spoke up and declared, “Well, this is all well and good, but I figure if it doesn’t work out, we will just get out, get a divorce and move on.” My husband told them the truth, “If you go into this sacred unity with that attitude then it most likely will not work out.”
Our world has a flippant view of marriage. Apparently it’s been a flippant, hardhearted view since the days of Moses! Jesus explains to the Pharisees, who were trying, once again, to bait him, that God created two people to love each other far more than what the paperwork documents.
Mark 10, The Message
10 1-2 From there he went to the area of Judea across the Jordan. A crowd of people, as was so often the case, went along, and he, as he so often did, taught them. Pharisees came up, intending to give him a hard time. They asked, “Is it legal for a man to divorce his wife?”
3 Jesus said, “What did Moses command?”
4 They answered, “Moses gave permission to fill out a certificate of dismissal and divorce her.”
WHAT GOD WANTS FOR US…
5-9 Jesus said, “Moses wrote this command only as a concession to your hardhearted ways. In the original creation, God made male and female to be together. Because of this, a man leaves father and mother, and in marriage he becomes one flesh with a woman—no longer two individuals, but forming a new unity. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.”
10-12 When they were back home, the disciples brought it up again. Jesus gave it to them straight: “A man who divorces his wife so he can marry someone else commits adultery against her. And a woman who divorces her husband so she can marry someone else commits adultery.”
As cells divide in our body and become completely new cells, a man and woman divide from the “cell” of their previous family and become a new cell union with each other. They are one flesh, forming a new unity. What’s love got to do with it? The “love at first sight” kind of love matures into actions of devotion to God and to each other. Together, you set new goals as a couple. As one flesh, you make decisions based on God’s direction. Your pure, unadulterated love puts the other person’s interests ahead of your own. An attitude of what can I do to make my spouse’s life easier is love beyond the paperwork.
Will disagreements come? You bet they will! But with pure love for each other at the foundation of this holy union, those disagreements can be solved. Disappointments, emotional upsets, financial problems, job loss, job gain, is all a part of the journey here. “Don’t find fault with each other” counsels Paul in his letters to believers. Instead, “Build each other up”. That is love in action and devotion…with God as our focus and foundation. We are human. We cannot do this alone. We need God and the power of His Holy Spirit to guide and direct us through the storms that will rise up on the horizons of marriage. He will calm the storm. We will grow through the process. That is love that goes deeper than the paperwork.
Dear Heavenly Father, After 44 years of marriage, we are still learning and growing in Your love and our love for each other. Do we understand what we are reading here? More than most know we do. We are not perfect, we are just forgiven and forgiving. We could have given up on each other but we chose not to, because our love goes deeper than the paperwork, too.
We do not know why divorce happens among believers so we lift up all marriages up to You now, dear Lord. We believe in your holy union still. We believe that no one or no situation should desecrate Your art of marriage by cutting two people apart. Lord, we grieve for those going through divorce, separation and a deep love lost. Encourage them and help them today. Bring blessings in more ways to their marriages that we can imagine!
In Jesus Name, Amen