Some of us are having a hard time making it work. Our closest relationship is strained because circumstances and situations are dividing us. If you have been through this, you know. And Jesus offers his perspectives for us on what it means to be one flesh…
3 Some Pharisees came to him to test [Jesus]. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
There is a small chance Lucy has thought about further distancing from me lately during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are spending increased time together and every once in a while it’s good to be apart. I might be hard to live with at times… And so when I opened up my Bible this morning and found a question about divorce it was apropos.
Is it lawful to divorce? This pandemic has opened my eyes and I’m ready to run. Is that you today? All kidding aside, Jesus has something to say about it. And of course, lawful doesn’t have to do with the laws of our nation, but with the laws of Moses. Jesus’ answer, however, has to do with the perspective of God.
What does God think of divorce? What does God have to say about our willingness to sever the marital ties that bind us? Oh, I feel bound, that’s for sure! Ball and chain is right. That’s how some of us feel, isn’t it? Particularly in tight quarters like this pandemic.
A disclaimer here. I always have a disclaimer when I reflect and write on divorce. Particularly now, as many are confined to their homes, domestic violence is on the rise. May no person who is the object of abuse think they must stay in that situation. Click here to consider how to get yourself safe. Abusers are not honouring God and God does not want you to stay and be abused.
Jesus wants us to know that we are one flesh. Jesus wants us to know that in addition to our vows and our marriage license, we are joined together by God. Let no one separate. No one.
So as we think about irreconcilable differences or about the arguments we have or how unfulfilling our relationship is, we are one flesh which no one shall separate. So rather than looking for a way out, or a loophole, or a legal excuse to divorce, may we chart a different course today.
Paul helps us in Ephesians 5 to see how couples are to not need divorce. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Meet the needs of each other out of reverence for Christ.
It is very difficult to focus on the needs of others when our buttons are being pushed. The close quarters of a pandemic make it even harder. And all the more reason for us to focus on others instead of ourselves.
This is how we get through pandemics. This is how we improve marriages. This is how we avoid divorce. Some may say, “You don’t understand my circumstance.” True. I do not. Jesus understands. Go to him. Ask him for direction. Seek him in his word. Jesus will guide.