Today's Word of Encouragement
LOVE AND MARRIAGE
Sunday, June 14, 2020
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 (Matthew 5:31-32).
Moses said, When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house (Deuteronomy 24:1-2). A written certificate of divorce was required to keep a husband from sending his wife away for any angry, impulsive, or frivolous whim he might have.
In Mark 10:1-12, Jesus said a certificate of divorce was permitted by Moses because of the stubbornness of the people, but it was not God’s original intent for marriage. He ordained marriage between a man and a woman for life.
In the days of Jesus, there were 2 schools of thought regarding grounds for divorce: (1) it could be granted for any cause, no matter how trivial [Rabbi Shammai], and (2) it could only be granted in the case of adultery [Rabbi Hillel]. The truth was the husband could exercise this right at his pleasure; he could divorce his wife whenever and for whatever reason he chose.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus brought back God’s original intent in marriage and declared that whoever divorces his wife, except for the offence of adultery, is himself guilty of adultery. This was to be God’s Law from that moment on.
In many ways our culture has stepped back in time 2,000 years and embraced the philosophy of Rabbi Shammai. People divorce all the time because of ‘irreconcilable differences’, which is a large bucket that includes practically anything and everything. How are Christians to understand and apply the Lord’s teaching regarding divorce (60% of nominal Christians have divorced, 38% are devoted Christians)?
The Apostle Paul wrote, . . . be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself (Ephesians 5:18-28).
“Father, thank You for Nancy, who has been, and is a faithful, loving, compassionate, and spiritual wife and servant of Jesus Christ who seeks to honor You in our marriage. Bless her with continued grace, wisdom, and peace as she seeks to honor you in our home. Amen.”