Jesus Teaches on Divorce
When my children were teenagers, almost all of their friends were from single parent homes. Busy moms left teens, with little or no guidelines, to fend for themselves. Morals were not taught in these homes, or at least most of them, and the results were girls and guys flitting about the streets at all hours of the night, skipping school, practicing Satanism, and getting into drugs and sex.
Now, I realize that not every single parent home is this dysfunctional. I had a girlfriend whose husband walked out on her, leaving her to raise two young girls by herself. Those girls were great kids and the mom did the best she could, even making sure that she had a job that allowed her to be home when the girls were.
Divorce, the epidemic that it is, has devastated families, left children for the most part, fatherless, and forced women to take on the role of both mother and father while holding down a full time job. Children are greatly affected by divorce, even those who have two-parent homes. Those children, because they have friends who have divorced parents, fear every time their parents argue that the same will happen to them.
Jesus, in Matthew 5:31-32 says, “You have heard the law that says, ‘A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.’ But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.”
He seriously believed and taught that divorce was wrong, destructive, and a perpetuating evil. Biblically, there is little excuse for a man to leave his wife, except for adultery, and yet Christians and non-Christians alike, use excuses like irreconcilable differences, or “I fell out of love with her or him.” They use a whole lot more than that to excuse their bad behavior but the point is, there is no excuse, according to Jesus.
I know that in a whole lot of cases, divorce is not the victimless crime that many would believe it is. For a large percentage of those who divorce, the choice was made by only one partner. The remaining partner is left shell shocked. Oftentimes, the children are left to wonder what they did wrong or why Mommy doesn’t love Daddy anymore or vice versa and what they could have done differently. They blame themselves and carry that blame into their adult life.
In the majority of cases, divorce is preventable. If the people involved weren’t so self-centered, if they thought about the far-reaching effects of the decision they were about to make, maybe the practice would decline in a major way. Jesus knew and taught that the family unit was important. He knew the damage that the lack of commitment in marriage could cause. Jesus knows best.
Whether you are currently divorced or not, there are things that you can do differently to ensure that your “yes” be “yes”, and your “no” be “no”. When you say, before God, or a Justice of the Peace, that you will commit till death, mean it. Do what you can to avoid conflict but when it comes, deal with it in a manner that doesn’t destroy the parties involved. Above all, make sure that God is the center of your home, practice His attitudes for life, and maybe the road will not be so full of potholes.
For further study: Deut.24:1-4; Matt.19:3-12; Matt. 19:7-8; Luke 16:18; 1 or.7:12-16