The LORD has appeared of old to me, [saying]:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
~ Jeremiah 31:3 ~
Yesterday I shared how a pastor’s message spoke to me about Jesus being my first love. The second pastor’s message got me thinking about the words divorce, put away, and left in an entirely different way. His sermon was on divorce, or the putting away of a spouse; specifically, how Matthew 19:3-9 presents the correct view of divorce.
The Pharisees came to Jesus to test Him and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for [just] any reason?” Jesus’ response to their interpretation that Moses commanded them to “give [her] a certificate of divorce, and to put her away,” was, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.”
In our marriage, divorce is not an option. Don has often told me that he made a covenant before the Lord to always love me and that he intends to keep it; he always has.
At our wedding, our pastor gave us Jesus’ definition of marriage:
So then, they are no longer two but one flesh.
Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.
~ Matthew 19:6 ~
Therefore, when Don shared with me an image about our marriage, I was delighted. Don said that our marriage was like two trees that have become entwined and are inseparable. It is a good image of our marriage; I like to think that we’re in the midst of many similar trees that flower or have vibrant colors reflecting lessons learned and love that has grown throughout the years.
But, when I hear about marriages going through divorce, my heart aches and grieves. Divorce is a violent and destructive thing. Malachi 2:16 tells us how God feels about divorce:
For the LORD God of Israel says
That He hates divorce,
“For it covers one’s garment with violence,”
Says the LORD of hosts.
“Therefore take heed to your spirit,
“That you do not deal treacherously.”
These trees, whose branches are joined and the lovely canopy they produce, could only be separated through violent measures — lightning, fire, axes, chain saws, explosions, etc.
I have seen men in Mexico, hacking away at banana trees that are ready to harvest, with machetes. The chopping, cracking, snapping sound of the stalk being removed reminds me of what happens during divorce. I cannot imagine the pain of divorce nor what it does to children. I only know that God, who loves to restore those who are hurting and/or broken, is gentle and loving to all who have been damaged through the violence of divorce.
Because the Lord has an everlasting love for us and has drawn us to Him with lovingkindness, we should not divorce, put away, or leave the One to whom we are betrothed, for we are His Bride. As His Bride, our marriages must be consecrated to Him so that regardless of the daily challenges, we will survive the assault of the enemy, the world, and our own fleshly desires.
Father, we ask in Jesus’ name, for Your presence and guidance in our lives and marriages that we may not indulge our flesh, but continue to make Jesus our first love and to look to Him for fulfillment and not to our spouses; for with You nothing is impossible. We also lift up those whose hearts have been broken by divorce and ask for Your comfort and healing of their wounds, amen.