What God Has Joined TogetherDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
"Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together."
Among the Pharisees in the time of Jesus, there was a debate over the legitimate grounds for divorce. Some scholars argued that a man could divorce his wife for any reason. Others claimed that divorce was moral only if a wife had committed adultery. Jesus clearly sided with the latter side in this debate.
It's common for Christians to use this passage from Matthew in our own debates about divorce: under what circumstances it's acceptable or not. In these arguments we can lose sight of Jesus' main point in this text: God joins together a husband and wife in such a way that they are one, and this oneness should be preserved. Divorce is wrong because it shatters a marvelous act of God. Marriage is one of God's precious gifts to humankind, one we should treasure and nurture, both to honor God and so that our own lives might be abundant.
Rather than focusing on divorce, this text encourages us to focus on marriage. If you're married, you might consider how you are caring for the gift of marriage God has given you. If you and your spouse pay close attention to your marriage, chances are you won't have to worry about divorce.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: If you are married, how much time and attention do you give your marriage? Do you find that other things are undermining your marriage, perhaps work or children? What could you do today to strengthen your marriage?
PRAYER: (Note: I have written this prayer for people who are married. If you are single, you can use this prayer as a model to pray for married people in your life.)
Gracious God, as you know, it is so easy for us to take our marriages for granted, to focus our time and energy elsewhere. Then we wonder why our spouses can seem like strangers, why we're so unhappy in our marriages. We start thinking about divorce as an option, even though it's something that is clearly not your best for us.
So forgive us, Lord, for neglecting what you have meant to be a prime relationship in our lives. Forgive us for failing to nurture the unique oneness we experience in marriage. Help us to make our marriage the priority you have intended it to be. Teach us to attend to our spouses, to invest our lives in them, to grow with them. May our marriages be an illustration of your own love for us. Amen.