Rings and Divorce 

Dear child,

Today I’m going to talk about something that is very cherished and highly held up by God; Marriage.

Marriage is defined in the Bible by Mark 10: 8 – 9. “And the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” However, in the world we live in today, we see an increasing rate of divorce. In many marriages, some couples cannot even walk the journey for a year. It seems does not understand the weight of marriage and what it means to God ans how He views it. So let’s go to the Bible to ckear up the air.
Matthew 5: 31 – 32

Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

In Genesis chapter 2 verse 24, God designed the union we called marriage where one man and one woman come together and become one flesh. Can you feel the weight of that? God is the one who joins a man and a woman in marriage and that is why marriage is so deep. Moreover, it is the reason why Jesus says the only ground reasonable for divorce is sexually immorality; because through marriage two become one and it is a very intimate and strong bond that God has created. In the eyes of God, even when a married couple divorces they are still one. However, does that mean there is no chance of remarriage even if you didn’t demand for the divorce? Or if the divorced partner dies? There are so many questions surrounding divorce especially as there is such an alarming rate of divorce today but Jesus set things straight more than 2000 years ago because even then, divorce was a problem.
In Matthew chapter 19: 1 – 10, the Pharisees tried to test Jesus by asking if a man could divorce for any reason. They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?”
He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted 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; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

Because man had hardened his heart, initially Moses said, “When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favour in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man’s wife, if the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her as his wife, then her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the Lord, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. (Deuteronomy 4: 1 – 4)

Through Jesus’ words we come to realise that God never had in mind a separation for marriage unless one of the partner was sexually immoral; however, because of the many laws the Israelites were given in order to maintain holiness, a man was permitted to divorce his wife if he found that she was defiled in anyway. But, since we are now under grace we have (even more than ever) to keep our marriage vows “for better or for worse, richer or for poor, in sickness and in health”.

This is strongly emphasised by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7: 10 – 11, “Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.”

 However, what if the husband or wife dies? Are they still bound? No, they are not so in that case one can then remarry: Romans 7: 2 – 3, “For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.” Thus the part of the vow that says till death do we part.

But here is the interesting thing about marriage: God will bring you into a relationship with someone (most of the time) who is not compatible with and but is tremendously weak in the very areas where you would most want them to be strong. He does this because of Romans 8: 28 – 29. He does this to conform us to the image of Christ. When you think of Christ what comes to mind? 
1. Unconditional love

2. Mercy

3. Grace

Now how would you ever learn unconditional love if you were married to someone who met all the conditions? How would you ever learn mercy, patience, long-suffering and heart felt compassion  if you were married to someone who never failed you? Who is never difficult with you? Who never sinned against you? Who is never slow to acknowledge their sins or ask for forgiveness? How would you ever learn grace; to pour your favour on someone who did not deserve it if you were married to someone who is always deserving of it? The main purpose of marriage is not just so we become one but is to help us conform to the image of Christ. You are most likely going to be married to a person who does not meet all the conditions so that you can learn unconditional love, so that you can become a person who lavishly pours out everything he or she has on a person who does not always respond appropriately. And slowly you become like the God you worship.
 Our relationship with God is deeper than marriage, because we see all that I have written above and more. A God we do not deserve pours literally Himself on us continuously; even through rejection. He is consistent in our inconsistency. Faithful in our unfaithfulness. He literally waits for us when we walk out on Him. And we worship Him for these things but selfishly don’t want to be that for others. So marriage; is God’s design too help us become like Him and nobody can unjoin what He has joined and so for this purpose let us hold it in high esteem and not be in a hurry because of social pressure but rather wait on God and His perfect timing.

Finally, though Jesus said we can divorce when a partner is unfaithful let us remember that God can fix anything that breaks. He can piece back together any broken and shattered marriage. He hears all our prayers and bottles all our tears. So if you’re married or hope to marry in the future and you face problems, find that your spouse was unfaithful or marriage isn’t all that you thought it would be; lift it all to the Lord in prayer and reply on Him. There have been many stories of couples who faced many problems and issues of betrayal but are still married till this day or died married to each other because they put their marriage in God’s hands.

Here’s a link of such an example: https://youtu.be/7AF5utcBMwE

Love the mother,

Alison.

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