Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Till death do us part - by ChimWRITE

"What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder" (Matthew 19:6)

I want to discuss an issue that was raised in Jesus’ encounter with the Pharisees in Mathew 19:1-12. It is about divorce and it is something that has bothered me for a long time.
I believe the Pharisees felt they could put Jesus on the spot by bringing up this issue because, just as in our day, divorce in those days had become very rampart. Such that it had become a "don't-preach- against" issue for preachers who cared about their popularity. Today it is hard to preach God’s mind concerning divorce without being labeled judgmental or narrow-minded. Among believers and even some preachers divorce has come to be widely accepted. But Jesus was not afraid to confront the issue head-on, as we see from his reply.

Jesus' reply to the question whether one can divorce was that God’s original plan for marriage was that there would be no divorce. He said “in the beginning this was not so”. "In the beginning" divorce was not part of the Creator’s design for marriage. Instead the mystery of marriage is that when a man and a woman unite together in marriage they become one flesh. No longer two.

The mistake we make is to look at the physical and feel that since they are still two individuals, they can conveniently divorce themselves, if they want. But in reality, what they are now is an entity so that what divorce leaves behind are not two whole individuals but two incomplete pieces of a whole. Only those that have experienced it can tell the amount of pain and mess that divorce always leaves behind.

The Pharisees understood Jesus was saying "no" to divorce, that is why they asked why Moses, the man of God, permitted it. Jesus said it was permitted because of the hardiness of the heart of the people even though it was not in line with God’s plan. Here is a lesson for us - it is possible that through the hardiness of heart of a generation for things that are not in line with God’s order, sin can become accepted and permitted in the Church. But majority decision does not change God’s standard.

The only reason for divorce that Jesus allows here is fornication. Yet it is clear from the context of his discourse that divorce is not to be an option in marriage. The disciples understood what he was saying, that was why they said “If this is the situation between a husband and a wife, it is better not to marry”. That is to say, “if marriage has only an entrance and no exit, given all the heat that comes up in marriage, it is better not to marry”!

But understanding that God planned marriage to have only an entrance and no exit does not turn it into hell on earth, but instead an opportunity to build a heaven on earth. I know it is difficult to generalize, but I believe there are many dissolved marriages that could have become glorious if the man and wife did not believe divorce was an option. When we come into marriage without divorce in our vocabulary, we would put in our all to make it work, because we believe there is no other option.

Every marriage has its challenges, yet if we do not hold firmly to God’s standard of "no divorce", we would not have the backbone to fight for our marriage, to pay the price of seeing it become a glorious testimony of a Christian marriage. We will give up too soon.

Ours is an age that are “lovers of their own selves”. I, me, mine are some of the big gods of this age. That is why marriage, as God planned it, is so difficult for us today. Marriage is not about what you can get, but what you can give. Marriage is God’s school of discipleship.

I pray that these truths do not come to you as judgmental but as an encouragement. It doesn’t matter what you have done in the past, what matters is what you’d do now. There are things we cannot change in our past but no matter where we are today, we can, by the grace of God, begin to live by this truth.

I’d would be looking forward to reading your comments on this issue. I intend to post the discussions that this article will generate in the coming weeks so please let me hear from you. And please do pray for your marriage and other christian marriages because there heated attack from hell on these like never before. And please don't hesitate to let me know how I can pray for yours.

Reply to: chim_ibidun@ hotmail.com (or/and post a comment here)


Rinsola 28 November 2007 at 05:26  

I sure have questions, but i'm still reading............. thanks for sharing

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