Summary: Looking at the Basics of Marriage, the Breakers of Marriage and the Boundaries of Mariage
WHAT ABOUT DIVORCE?
The story is told of a man and woman who had been married for over 60 years. They had shared everything except there was one secret in their marriage. The wife had a shoe box in the top of her closet, and she had cautioned her husband never to open it and never to ask about it. He never did. But one day his wife got sick. It was determined that she would not recover. As they began to sort out her affairs, the husband took down the shoe box and took it to his wife. They agreed that it was time that she should explain the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totalling $25,000. He lovingly asked her about the contents. She responded by saying “Just before we got married, my grandmother told me that the secret of a happy marriage was never to argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll. The husband was moved to tears, as he looked at the two dolls lying in the box. Only twice in all those years had his darling wife been angry with him. He said, “But what about all this money? How did you manage to save all of this money?” “Oh” she answered, “that is the money I made from selling all the dolls.”
Marriage is difficult. Everyone who is married here today understands that marriage is hard work. I like the story of the little boy who came home from church one Sunday and His Mother said, "What did you discuss at Sunday School?" The boy said, "Marriage"! His Mother said inquisitively, "What did you learn about marriage?" The little boy thought for a moment and said, "Jesus said, "Father, forgive them for them know not what they do!"
The reality is that most of us had no idea what we were getting ourselves into when we got married. We saw the joys but not the challenges that lay ahead. Marriage is hard work. One of the sad realities that we face in the world and even the church today is that not all marriages end well. Today we are continuing our series on tough questions and I want to look at the question “Is it OK to get a divorce? What does the bible have to say about it?”
Mat 19:3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?" 4 Haven't you read, he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' 5 and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh' ? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." 7 Why then, they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?" 8 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."
1. The BASICS of Marriage – what is it?
Jesus answers the Pharisees’ question of divorce by first affirming what marriage is supposed to be and I think that is a great place for us to start as well.
Gen 2:22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
God created marriage. It was His idea. Marriage is much more than just a commitment or promise or legal agreement between two people. It is a covenant that a man and woman make before God.
What is the difference between a contract and a covenant? In a contract, the two parties remain separate. The party of the first part enters into an agreement with the party of the second part. It is like salad dressing. The oil and water are shaken up and mixed together but they never really become one. Left alone and still, salad dressing will eventually separate back into their original respective parts. In a covenant, the two become one in the same. The Marriage Covenant is more like mashed potatoes. How do you make mashed potatoes? You take 2 potatoes, skin them alive, cut them up, put them in hot water to soften, and then mash them together into 1!