October 15, 2021


Matthew 5:31-32

“Anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery. . . .”

—  Matthew 5:32

God’s design for marriage is for a husband and wife to leave their families and form something new. This involves much more than a contract, or even a commitment. A married couple makes a covenant together, committing to love one another with the same gracious and undeserved love that God has shown to us.

Our model for marriage is Christ himself, who loved us and gave his life for us. But for us, this kind of self-giving love is not easy to imitate. Marriage calls for learning and growing, and it reveals the limits of our kindness and generosity, often exposing our selfishness and pride. Unfortunately, many Chris­tians struggle in silence to love their spouses. And division and conflict can lead to divorce.

In an imperfect world, divorce is a reality we must contend with. Adultery, abuse, or abandonment by a spouse can break a marriage beyond repair. And people who are fighting to keep their marriage must be encouraged, supported, and prayed for by the church.

We must also create spaces for open and honest conversation where people can process their hurts and hardships alongside their brothers and sisters. People who have experienced the pain of divorce are deserving of grace, care, and empathy as they discern God’s will for their lives moving forward.

Lord, we lament the reality of divorce in our world. Please give healing and hope for people who have divorced, and please fill all who are married with your merciful love. Amen.

About the author — A.J. Gretz

Anthony Joseph (A.J.) Gretz is a pastor in Grandville, Michigan. He has also served churches in Ohio and in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He and his wife, Anna, have three children.

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