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Divorce Is a Dirty Word

Bible Reading:   Mark 10:1-10

Since they are no longer two but one, let no one separate them, for God has joined them together.   Mark 10:8-9

Mike and Jessica were both high school students when they met in the supermarket where they worked as clerks. They started to date and fell madly in love. They married before graduation and before their first anniversary Jessica gave birth to an adorable baby. But during their second year, Mike and Jessica fell out of love almost as quickly as they had fallen in. They ended their Cinderella romance with a divorce.

Most of us know some couples—acquaintances, neighbors, friends, maybe even parents—who have become victims of the divorce epidemic that rages in our culture. Sadly—and for a variety of reasons—divorce happens among Christians too. Divorce is a topic many Christians argue about today.

Divorce was a hot issue in Bible times too. The Old Testament referred to a man divorcing his wife if he “discovers something about her that is shameful” (emphasis added, Deuteronomy 24:1).

By the time Jesus arrived on the scene, there were two wildly different views of divorce among the Jews.

The Pharisees—the hard-nosed sticklers for detail—said “shameful” only meant “unfaithfulness.” A husband could divorce his wife only if she ran off with another man. The second view said “shameful” meant anything that displeased a husband. A man could divorce his wife for any mistake—like torching his toast at breakfast or losing a sock in the clothes dryer!

When the Pharisees pushed Jesus to say what he thought about divorce, they were hunting for a reason to get rid of him. But Jesus dodged the trap. He didn’t take sides. Instead, he let them know that in God’s view of marriage, divorce is a dirty word. Jesus repeated God’s first words on marriage: “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one” (Genesis 2:24). In God’s original design for marriage, husband and wife were glued together into one unbreakable unit. Period. Divorce wasn’t even in God’s vocabulary.

Divorce at best is a last resort, the final option after all other attempts to resolve conflicts, solve incompatibility, and heal offenses have been tried and retried but have failed.

No one ever gets married planning to get divorced. But your best option is to fix in your mind right now that you someday want a marriage that will last a lifetime.

TALK: What kinds of attitudes and actions can you practice that will make you a good marriage partner someday?

PRAY: God, teach me how to get along well with others and be a faithful friend. Help me learn the skills I will need someday if I get married.

ACT: Ask a parent or older sibling to assist you in making a list of skills to work on that will help you become a faithful friend and marriage partner someday.


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