October 15, 2013

What God Has Joined Together

Matthew 5:31-32

“Anyone who divorces his wife … makes her the victim of adultery.”
—Matthew 5:32


In these verses Jesus speaks into one of today’s deeply painful realities. Many homes have experienced the shattering hurt of divorce. Your parents’ divorce may have crushed you when you were a child. Your grown child may have become separated from his or her spouse. Or perhaps your marriage is fraying at the seams.

Jesus doesn’t offer a loophole for rightfully pursuing divorce; he urges us to hold marriage in high esteem. Jewish custom allowed a man to divorce his wife for trivial reasons by simply obtaining a certificate of divorce. But Jesus says divorce is never a simple matter. While there may be times when a divorce is the lesser of two evils, a marital breakup always severs two people who were joined at the core of their being. Jesus wants us to do all we can to keep our marriages together.

Doing this requires constant nurture for marriages. As a church, as married people and as single people, followers of Jesus must take steps to promote healthy marriages. One reason we must value marriage so highly is that in it we illustrate for the world the selfless love and faithfulness God shows us. We, the church, are Christ’s bride! In fact, God was so intent on keeping his covenant promises to us that he went all the way to death for us. That is true fidelity! How will you promote God’s love today?

Lord Jesus, you remained faithful to us, even to death. By your Spirit, empower and equip us to value marriage as highly as you do. Amen.

About the author — Rob Toornstra

Rob Toornstra has served as pastor of Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church in Salem, Oregon, since 2006. When not busy with pastoral duties, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy, and their three children.

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