Marriage, still a mystery? (Matthew 19)

He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.  Matthew 19:8

They sat there in my office (Many years ago) and would not look at each other.  She was done with the marriage, he had been done but now wanted to turn it around.  They were both filled with hate.  As I gently asked about their marriage, it was clear, they had no clue as to what a Godly marriage looked like.  To them, marriage was a mystery that was turning into a tragedy.

The above story could have been me and it may have been many who read this today.  The world has little clue if any about marriage.  To them it is a mystery.

In Matthew 19, it seems as if the Pharisees come with a genuine question about marriage, but they are as usual baiting a trap for Jesus.  I thank God for the bait because we get Jesus answer.  What was the bait?  It was this question:  “Is it ok to divorce for any reason?”

I have been asked this question so many times.  Let me word it a different way: what are the proper grounds for divorce?  To such people, they still see marriage as a mystery.  To those who understand the mystery of marriage, they know the following:

  • Marriage is a calling from God.  He ordained marriage, not for everyone, but for most.
  • Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman who make a covenant with God for lifetime.
  • Marriage requires a commitment to loving God and loving each other.
  • Marriage requires daily work in forgiving, releasing, and growing in the Lord.
  • Marriage must have short lists of wrongs.  Each day both parties need to end the day free and clean in the heart.
  • Marriage is a warfare with sin, self, and the Devil.  These are our enemies, not our spouses.

When we forget these things, our marriages become a place where the Devil drives a wedge in our hearts that splits one life (true marriage) into two separate lives under one roof.  It will be the hardness of heart that leads to divorce.

I remember how the couple I mentioned before both felt it was over for them.  But they both were willing to obey God.  Over the next six months, I watched as God turned their tragedy into triumph for one reason.  Both of them fell in love with Jesus which lead to them falling in love with each other.

Loving Jesus always leads to loving others!!!

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