Matthew 19:1-12 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went down to the region of Judea east of the Jordan River. Large crowds followed him there, and he healed their sick. Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
“Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’ ” And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
“Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?” they asked.
Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.”
Jesus’ disciples then said to him, “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!”
“Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps. Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”
Jesus gives difficult counsel here. He actually lays down God’s law concerning marriage. His plan was and is for married couples to stay together. He desires for married couples to “work it out” and to not divide what “He put together”. This command from Christ can sometimes feel harsh.
When marriage feels useless and the pain is so very intense, He says, “Stay together.” When everything in us wants to walk away, He responds with, “Walk towards one another.” When the lack of forgiveness wants to reign and to decide for the couple, His gentle response is, “Forgive.” When infidelity invades and the hurt shakes you to the core, He says, “Try one more time.” He really doesn’t want us to give up, but so many times we want to quit.
Sadly, that desire comes to life when we ponder on all of what our marriage doesn’t have. When we focus on all of who our spouse isn’t rather than looking at who our spouse is, giving up seems to make sense.
Quitting doesn’t sound so bad when our eyes choose not to see the beauty that our spouse may posses. The tormenting thoughts of division take residence in our hearts when we don’t allow God to help us.
We are entrenched in a society that is full of self helps. We live in a “pull yourself up by the bootstrap” world that can oftentimes dismiss our need for God. Christ clearly tells us in Matthew 19 that we will only be able to cary this out if He helps us. We cannot do it alone.
We need His power.
We need His truth.
We need His grace.
We need His ability to forgive.
We need His unconditional love.
We need His help.
He says that He put us together. We need to honor God’s position in our marriage by choosing to reach out for His help when we hurt.
His assistance is available at this very moment.*
No more living in the same home with someone you’ve emotionally divorced.
No more sharing a bed with one that is disconnected from your love.
Wake up and fight. Your marriage is worth it. God’s divine help is available to you at this very moment.
If you need to be noticed, God sees you.
If you feel unloved, God loves you.
If you feel misunderstood, God understands you.
If you feel neglected, God takes care of you.
If you’ve been betrayed, God is always faithful.
Whatever the pain, however deep the wound, God heals.
Your spouse isn’t capable of meeting all of your needs. Your spouse cannot make you happy or heal you wounds. Your spouse cannot fill the gap in your soul that only God can fill. Put your spouse in the right place in your heart and move on from here.
God is enough.
You can try again because He will help you if you ask. It’s not complicated. Don’t “theologize” the above scripture. Extract the simplicity therein. He will help you if you ask.
“It’s not me”, you may say, “My spouse walked away.” You still have a responsibility to fight. Your spouse is worth it. The legacy that you both will leave behind is worth it. The testimony you’ll share together is worth it and it defeats the enemy. The standard you set for your children and grandchildren is worth it.
Don’t let the difficulties you face in your marriage change YOU. Continue to be whom God’s called you to be in your home first, then to the outside world.
Continue to carry out His purpose for your life at home first, then to the outside world.
Keep forgiving, 70×7=ALWAYS!
Try one more time today. Then try again tomorrow. Then try again the next day. Then the day after that. Keep trying. Keep moving forward even when the light isn’t in sight. Keep walking it out, even when your eyes swell from the constant tears. It matters. Your marriage matters. Let nothing separate what God has put together. Your position in it all will take you far if you don’t give up the fight.
Ask God for help and He will help you.
*I understand that sometimes asking for help doesn’t provide the response we expected. It is still important to ask because one day we will stand before Him and give a response to His face for our response today. So, if you’ve asked and the help didn’t come the way you wanted, don’t regret asking. Obeying God is always the right thing to do, regardless of the outcome.