It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
In the Old Testament times and into the New, many men had a degrading view of women. Marriage was often mocked. A man could divorce his wife for almost any reason. The “certificate of divorce” mentioned in today’s passage is described in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Its purpose was to regulate an unfortunate practice.
When Jesus came, he pulled marriage back up to the honored position it was always meant to have. Divorce was never God’s intention. From the beginning he desired the marriage covenant be honored and the commitment be “till death do us part.” The one reason for divorce is when the covenant has been broken by adultery. Even then God is honored when there is repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
I understand that divorce is a difficult, complex, and painful issue. I know some of you reading this are divorced. I know many of you did everything you could to keep your marriage together. Even in the challenges of relationships, God’s Word sets the standard that should never be compromised. Husbands and wives must work hard to honor God within the covenant of marriage.
Let’s talk to God about our marriages.
Father, marriage is challenging. Some things happen beyond a person’s control. I pray for those going through a divorce. Give them your strength. Let them know that you are walking with them. And for husbands and wives going through difficult times, give them the desire to honor their covenant. Help them do the work of marriage in order to stay together and demonstrate your power in their lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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