Jesus on Divorce
Divorce is devastating. Many who have been divorced could give testimonies that would drive this truth down our throats. The pain of divorce is excruciating, and not only for the couple, but for their children.
What does Jesus say about divorce? In response to the Pharisees’ testing questions on divorce, Jesus comments on the law found in the books of Moses: “‘Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery’” (Matthew 19:8-9). The Pharisees were caught up in the grounds for divorce. Jesus was concerned about the institution of marriage: “‘At the beginning the Creator ‘made’ them male and female,’” and “‘Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate’” (Matthew 19:4,6).
The Pharisees called Moses’ provision for divorce a “command”. Jesus called it a concession to the hardness of the heart. The Pharisees regarded divorce lightly; Jesus took it so seriously that, with only one exception, he called all remarriage after divorce “adultery”.
A marriage counselor told me that in his opinion, the average husband or wife on the verge of divorce has trouble in only about fifteen to twenty percent of their marriage. Think about the implications. Eighty to eighty-five percent of the marriage is fine, so they are contemplating throwing all that away because they are having trouble with fifteen to twenty percent.
The truth for the church is this: We have a need for role models. Those of you who have been married for twenty, thirty, forty or fifty years need to share with young people so they can see that there are some couples who, by the grace of God, have held their marriages together. We also need role models who have been through divorce and have learned, by the grace of God, through their experience.
Let us commit to doing everything in our power to restore relationships in our homes. That is what we need more than anything else. We are an affluent people, but we are dying inside. We have beautiful homes and luxury cars, but we are beset with divorce, disintegration, pain and hurt. The challenge before us is to make our homes reflections of Christ’s light and love, healing and grace. That is what the world needs to see.
For more information about First Baptist Church of Tehachapi, please visit our website at www.fbctehachapi.org.