Mark 10:1-12 NIV
10 Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them. 2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 “What did Moses command you?” he replied. 4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.” 5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. 6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” 10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”
— Do you think Jesus would respond in the same way to someone in a troubled marriage who was sincerely asking the question?
In the beginning, You created men and women and You saw that marriage was good. But sin entered the world and men and women developed hard hearts against You and each other and then there was divorce. Sin was also in the Pharisees when they tested You about divorce. John the Baptist denounced Herod Antipas for his unlawful divorce that cost John his life. They were within Herod’s jurisdiction and the wrong answer could have gotten You seized. Divorce was a very controversial question as husbands who did not strictly follow the law to limit divorce to defined conditions, divorced their wives for anything that displeased them. The law was given to unveil sin and to drive us to grace. Law can never heal the problem, but it points it out. It reveals hard places in our hearts to soften them and make us the people You intended us to be. Divorce is a violation of Your intention for marriage. It always is, and it always involves some form of sin. We have all sinned and have all done wrongful and hurtful things to one another in our marriages as well as outside them. But thank You that grace comes in to tell us that sin can be forgiven. Through You, there is the possibility of restoration and healing. You begin the work of creating oneness again as lessons learned can facilitate the beauty of a relationship that You had in mind. Lord, I pray for a soft heart. Help me to rely upon Your wisdom and power in the difficult situations in my marriage. Always keep my heart tender, mellow, flexible, and reasonable out of my love and obedience to You. All marriages have problems, but I pray that we face up to our problems, discover where the hardness of heart exists, and learn how You can soften it. Thank you for your cleansing, forgiveness, and willingness to put it all back together. Through Your love, we are healed. In your loving name, Amen.