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I Hate Divorce

Daily Reading: Matthew 19


Scripture Focus: If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry. (Matthew 19.10)


Devotional Thought: With tears, an elderly parishioner once confided in me that she believed her son could never be saved. "What? Why?" "Well, as long as he is married to a woman who was not his first wife, he is committing adultery, and there is no place in heaven for adulterers." If such indeed is the case, he would have been better not to marry!


In years past, divorce was a lot stickier subject in the church than it is today. In one sense, that is very sad. Marriage is God's plan for a lifelong relationship of mutual encouragement, love, and joy. Today, it has become an expendable arrangement, if entered into at all. But in another sense, I've seen circumstances that absolutely prevent a relationship from being what God intended it to be, when the only option was divorce. Perhaps, it would have been better to never have married, but staying married was not a possibility.


Jesus, in answering questions about divorce, said, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate" (Matthew 19.4-6). Clearly, God is not for divorce.


But, there are other things God is not for, either. Through the Old Testament prophet Malachi, God said that he hates divorce, but he also hates violence and the withdrawing of affection and protection. So, instead of making divorce the unpardonable sin, we should understand that some circumstances are really no-win situations, and extend grace to the broken.


Prayer: Father, thank you for giving us the joy and intimacy of marriage. Thank you that we are indeed the bride of Christ! Help our marriages to be strong and loving and filled with your Spirit. Amen.


Psalm of the Day: Psalm 92.10-15

10 But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox; you have poured over me fresh oil. 11 My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.

12 The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, 15 to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

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