“It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Matthew 5 : 31 – 32
This is one of Jesus’ sayings which has been the point of contention for many people. There are people who have taken this seriously, and say that divorce is wrong, unless there has been unfaithfulness in the marriage. One thing to realise about the way Jesus teaches, sometimes you have to dig below the surface to get at what Jesus means. It is also important to hold together what Jesus emphasises in his teachings.
One thing to remember about Jesus’ teachings when it comes to this teaching, is the commandment to love each other. A new way to look at this part of the Sermon on the Mount is that Jesus is saying that divorce for the sake of divorce is not okay. There were people who would divorce for any reason, including disobedience even down to something like burning the toast.
We are called to respect each other. This is carried into marriages, and doing everything possible to make them work. We are to honour the other person in the relationship. We are called to treat them as equal and not as lessen than, no matter what they do, have done, or might do. Then no matter what happens, we are called to still love each other as brothers and sisters in Christ and to forgive each other.
Prayer: Loving God, thank you for teaching us the importance of loving each other, and forgiving each other when we fall short. Thank you for showing us what this looks like through the amazing and abundant love you have for us, which never ends, no matter what we do. Help us to honour each other, love each other, and forgive each other. Amen.
Action: Practice honouring the people in your life, and see what difference it makes in your relationships with them.