“Some Pharisees came and tested Jesus by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
“What did Moses command you?” He replied.
They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”
“It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Mk 10:2-9)
Marriage has been under attack from the beginning of human race. But recently the danger has increased manifolds. The rate of divorce in the western countries is above 50%. This terrible statistics includes the Christians too. There are many authors who write books about marriage. But because marriage is designed by God, it follows that coming closer to God will make a marriage successful. Backsliding from God will destroy all relationships, including the marriage.
Our Lord tells the religious leaders that marriage was God’s idea. He quotes from Genesis, chapters 1 and 2. There was no mention of divorce when it was instituted. Even after the fall, divorce is an exception. God allows it because of the entrance of sin and the damage it does. Sin has damaged the image of God in man and the purity of God’s plan for marriage. God ‘hates divorce’ and He only allows it in extreme cases to prevent a greater damage to the victim. The main reason for unhappiness in marriage and divorce is given by our Lord. He said that ‘a hard heart’ will destroy the marriage. If both the husband and the wife have hard hearts, the risk of divorce is almost 100%. If one of them is a committed Christian and the other has this hard heart, the risk for divorce will be 50%.
The word ‘hard’ refers to a stony heart not easily penetrated by the Word of God. It does not easily submit, yield to pressure, repent or change. The heart is not capable of being sensitive, kind, patient or merciful. It is burdensome, oppressive, bossy and proud. It is troublesome; it takes pleasure in causing pain to others; it is easily provoked, angry or quarrelsome. It is difficult, hard to understand, unreasonable and unteachable. A person with such a heart does not finish what he starts, for there are many obstacles in its path.
The source of this hardness of heart is ignorance of God, His Word and His Ways. These are religious people who go to church; they listen to sermons but cannot understand any word. They are spiritually foolish, deaf and blind. It is a spiritual disease that only Jesus can cure. It is a sign of rebellion against God. If a habitually stubborn person provokes God in heaven, how do you think that such a one can have a happy marriage? It is impossible!
This is a warning to pray and be sure that you do not take marriage for granted. You should only marry a true born again believer. For all unbelievers have sinful hard hearts, even if they go to church, pray or read the Bible. Single sisters and brothers, please note: no husband can change his wife and no wife can change her husband. Marriage itself does not change the hearts of men. Only God does that! M\
May God have mercy on us! May the wisdom from above be imparted in this hour of need! May God be glorified in our lives! In Jesus name, Amen!