Matthew 19:1-15; Numbers 9-10; Ecclesiastes 7
I remember a Bible Study we had for young men in college. We were taking about marriage and finding the woman that God had in mind for us. One of us asked an interesting question: “What if you get married and find out that it isn’t the right woman?” Our leader smiled and said, “Then you start praying for God to make you the right man and her the right woman.” It’s amazing to me that people enter into what should be a life-long commitment with a plan for failure. The Pharisees, recognizing that Jesus believed in godly commitments challenged Him on the issue of divorce. As the conversation continued they put Him to the test. “The Pharisees said to him, ‘Then why did Moses command us to give a divorce certificate and divorce her?’ Jesus replied, ‘Moses allowed you to divorce your wives because your hearts are unyielding. But it wasn’t that way from the beginning.’” (Matthew 19:7-8) Their argument was that divorce wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, because God made provision for it. Jesus pointed out that God’s provision was due to their hardness of heart. The way women were treated, especially unmarried and formerly married women, it was important to protect them. What was happening with some was that these men were using the divorce certificate for their own convenience instead of seeking ways to build and strengthen the most important earthly relationship we have. God’s plan for marriage from the beginning was one man and one woman together for life. He provides grace and forgiveness when marriages break up; but His plan remains the same. Seek God before marriage; continue to seek God during the marriage; and if things start going badly in the marriage seek God and godly counseling before lightly giving up on it. If a marriage still fails, know that God still loves and forgives the people involved.
Lord God, I am so grateful for my wife. You have blessed me for many years with an amazing woman as my wife. I pray for marriage now. I pray for those who are considering marriage, that they may seek You and follow Your guidance. I pray for those who are already married: strengthen those marriages that are already strong and bring help and healing for marriages in trouble. I pray for those who are in the midst of divorce and who have been divorced. Let each of those people recognize Your presence, Your grace and Your love. Bring healing to all.