I don’t know who needs to read this, but your marriage doesn’t have to be over.
I know it’s hard. I get that you’ve grown apart. I know there is a great amount of backlogged pain, but it doesn’t have to be over.
If you are on the brink of ending it, would you at least consider the greatest marriage insight that has ever been given?
It comes from Jesus. He made a greater impact on the world in his 33 years of life than any other figure in history.
Jesus was never married, but he created marriage.
So, when he speaks on the issue, we should listen.
A group of jealous religious leaders was always in opposition to Jesus – seeking a way to expose him and trap him with his words. They once asked him when it was lawful to divorce a spouse. At that moment, Jesus unashamedly clarifies that people were created as either distinctly male or distinctly female, and God’s design from the beginning has always been as defining marriage as between one man and one woman (Matt. 19:4-5).
God made marriage, he defines marriage, and he establishes marriage.
Due to God’s critical involvement, Jesus makes it abundantly clear:
“What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt. 19:6).
His opponents replied: “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” (Matt. 19:7-8).
Divorce was never a good option.
A God-ordained covenant represented in marriage should endure. Due to the hard-hearted nature of the people, Moses provided a legal manner for divorce to protect the people from deeper calamity. Without a civil approach to end marital unions, men in that culture would abandon or abuse one’s disrespected spouse or simply add an additional wife or mistress to make up for the frustrating one for which he was stuck.
While divorce was permitted in the Bible, it was not promoted in the Bible.
Even while divorce was allowed for adultery (Matt. 19:9) or abandonment from an unbelieving spouse (1 Cor. 7:15), it was never mandated. God called on Hosea to buy back his prostitute of a wife as a living example of the commitment of his love for his people (Hos. 1:2; 3:1). Why should a marriage attempt to work it out after such unthinkable unfaithfulness? Because God loves us with that type of unrivaled commitment, and since he put our marriages together, we should reflect that as well.
I don’t know how strong your marriage is right now. I don’t know the level of commitment you or your spouse has to making it work, but I do know this:
Jesus is for your marriage.
Out of all the helpful experts I could bring on a case, there is no one who can rival his ability to strengthen what is weak or resurrect what is thought to be dead. What God has joined together, let not man separate.
God has put your marriage together and is strong enough to keep it together – will you partner with him?
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
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