THE ISSUE OF DIVORCE - PART II
When Jesus and the disciples arrived at the house, probably where they were staying, the disciples asked Him again about the divorce. Jesus answered them, "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery" Mark 10:11-12. According to the Word of God, marriage can only be broken on these three grounds: The first ground for a marriage to be broken is death. Romans 7:2 says, "For example, when a woman marries, the law binds her to her husband as long as he is alive. But if he dies, the laws of marriage no longer apply to her." The second ground for a marriage to be broken is adultery or infidelity. Matthew 19:9 says, "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality (adultery or infidelity), and marries another woman commits adultery." The third ground for a marriage to be broken is an unbeliever's leaving. 1 Corinthians 7:15 says, "But if the husband or wife who isn't a believer insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the believing husband or wife is no longer bound to the other, for God has called you to live in peace."
Jesus was teaching His disciples to not be like the religious people who divorce their wives to marry someone else. The Bible teaches us to stay committed to the marriage vow. 1 Corinthians 7:12-15 says, "Now, I will speak to the rest of you, though I do not have a direct command from the Lord. If a fellow believer has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her. And if a believing woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him. For the believing wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the believing husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not be holy, but now they are holy. But if the husband or wife who isn't a believer insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the believing husband or wife is no longer bound to the other, for God has called you to live in peace." One thing that I want to add thought to these verses is that it does not support an unbelieving abusive spouse. God called us to live in peace, but if the marriage is abusive and dangerous to the spouse and the family, the other spouse needs to leave for safety.
As believers, we need to treat marriage as God treats it. Marriage is instituted by God, a picture of God's relationship with us. Ephesians 5:31-33 says, "As the Scriptures say, 'A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.' This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." Marriage is beautiful, but it is marred with divorce because of sin. Now, if we are guilty of adultery because of our poor decision in the past, we can still be forgiven by our Lord Jesus. There is no sin that God cannot forgive except an unbelieving heart. We must ask God for forgiveness, receive His forgiveness, and continue to live in His grace.
Ask yourself these questions: Who instituted marriage? Why does divorce exist? How should I treat marriage?
Write down all the worries you are facing today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you for teaching me about marriage and divorce through your Word. Please help me to treat marriage the way you are treating it. Please help me to stay true to my vow and love and respect my spouse. Although divorce has been an issue in our society, please help me to look at divorce according to your Word. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.