“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery. Luke 16:18
Marriage is supposed to be until death but back in the first century as today this is often not the case. People get divorced. That is just a fact of life. There are many reasons people get divorced and unfortunately in today’s culture sometimes there are no reasons other than people just get tired of each other. In today’s verse Luke recounts what Jesus said about divorce. It is short and seems a bit out of place between Jesus calling the Pharisees lovers of money and the following verses telling the parable about the Rich Man and Lazarus.
If you take this verse from Luke by itself it is harsh and a bit off putting to those of us who have gone through a divorce. Essentially it says that I am living in adultery. But this is where taking any verse out of context come in to play. Even harsh verses or those that seem out of place are revealed if we take God’s Word in its entirety. Matthew also records what Jesus says about divorce and Matthew elaborates a bit. So let’s look at what Matthew wrote.
And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 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. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:3-9 ESV)
It seems there is one reason a person can divorce and not cause themselves or their spouse to be adulterers if they remarry. If your spouse is guilty of sexual immorality. Now that does not mean you have to divorce them but it is permissible. God realizes we make mistakes and sometime we marry people who are not as committed to the marriage as they should be. In my case my first wife did indeed have other lovers than me. But I did try to save my marriage but as too many of us know it takes both parties to work on a marriage and in my case only I was willing to put in the necessary work. As it turned out I remarried and will celebrate out 28th anniversary this October 10th. My ex-wife remarried two additional times and at least during her second marriage kept someone on the side. Some people are just not able to commit to monogyny. One of our biggest problems was not having God at the center of our marriage.
This is not to say that my current and final marriage has been all roses. I do not know of any marriage that is. But if God is at the center than you can get past the rough patches. If both of you commit that this marriage is to last and divorce is not an option than give up your problem to God, that is a marriage that will last.
Let’s get ball to Matthew. What Jesus does not say about divorce is you can get a divorce because your spouse no longer makes you happy or you have grown apart. Of the fire is out or I met someone who really understands me. None of these are acceptable reason to leave your spouse.
In looking at the marriages of my two daughters what I see as the secret to a lasting marriage is that both of the men they married were and are godly men. If a godly man and a godly woman marry and keep their marriage God centered it will last.
There are reasons for divorce but they are limited. Do not expect the person you marry to change. People only change when they want to and nothing you can do will change them. If they do not have a close relationship to God and a Christ committed life before the marriage it is doubtful they will change. Not impossible but doubtful. Forgiveness is a key to a lasting marriage. Forgiveness to your spouse and forgiveness to yourself. Then you need to honor your commitment to God that your marriage will last until death. It won’t be easy, nothing worthwhile in life is but it is worth it.
Have a blessed day,
Readers, this may be the last post for a bit. We are leaving tomorrow on vacation and my not have access to the internet. We will be taking an Alaska cruise and I am not sure if the ship will have Wi-Fi and if they do will it be affordable. I will have time to do some writing and am eager to see some of God’s creation I have only seen on TV.