And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and 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.” Mark 10:2-9 ESV
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” . . . So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:18,21-24 ESV
Calvin and his mom and dad went camping for a week, and the weather turned out to be very bad. It rained all week, and they were cold and soaking wet the whole time. On the way home from the trip, Calvin’s mother said, “Calvin, tell your dad any judge would take this trip as grounds for divorce.”
Getting divorced because of a rainy camping trip is a silly reason, but in Jesus’ day there were some silly reasons to get divorced, too. In fact, one of the rabbis taught that a man could divorce his wife if she burned his dinner! So the Pharisees came to Jesus to get his opinion on this. They told him that Moses had allowed people to get a divorce. But Jesus told them that God had allowed this through Moses because people have hard hearts, but that it had never been God’s plan. Jesus said that from the very beginning of time, when a man and a woman get married, God joins them together, and no one should try to break them apart.
Divorce hurts everyone involved. When I was married, my grandfather told me that if you glue two pieces of paper together and let the glue dry, you can’t separate them without a lot of damage. Divorce is like that. Children are often terribly hurt by divorce, and sometimes they even think it is their fault, but divorce is really an adult problem. It happens because of sin. God doesn’t want people to get divorced, but when it happens, he’s there to comfort and help the people who are hurt. He’s always willing to forgive the sins that cause divorce because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. He sends us his Holy Spirit and helps us to forgive the people who hurt us, and to give us new lives in him.
Dear Heavenly Father, please help and comfort people who are hurt by divorce, and please help and strengthen the marriages of your people. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Watterson, Bill Yukon Ho! Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel, 1989, p. 45.