Marriage between one man and one woman is the story of God, not the story of man. It is very easy for us to forget this especially when we find ourselves in a marriage, in the middle of a conflict.
But nothing can be further from the truth. Marriage is the story and agenda of God. God created marriage mainly to show to this world that there will come a glorious marriage, marriage between Christ and the church. There isn’t going to be any marriage in heaven except the marriage of Christ and the church. Our marriage here on earth proclaims the coming glory of God.
So, is it surprising for us to see our marriages going through fire?
I mean, it shouldn’t be! The devil hates our marriages. This dark world hates to see a marriage that strives. Our flesh doesn’t like our guts. So, these three enemies work in unison to put our marriages down. The only way to fight these powerful enemies is by siding with God.
Being involved in a marriage counseling day and night, it is very sad for me to see married couples ending their marriage for issues that are common for all of us: Fight about finance, sexual intimacy, in-laws, dishonesty, contempt, pride, and so on and so forth. Are these issues uncommon? No they are not. Then why do people get a divorce?
Two major reasons I noticed: They do not know the truth about divorce and they refuse to seek marriage counseling. They think that by avoiding the topic of the issue in their discussion, they can make the issue disappear. So, they throw every issue under the rug. That is like putting a time bomb in their house, a bomb that explodes at its preset time.
So, I want to bring five points to your attention today to you if you are married and entertaining the idea of divorce or already filed for a divorce:
- Divorce destroys the very institution God made for our well-being
Marriage is the one and the first thing that God instituted once He finished creating everything. The Bible starts and ends with a marriage. Not only marriage between one man and one woman shows the glory of God but it is also an institution that God established for our well-being.
“The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”” Genesis 2:18
It is God, the Creator of this universe, who said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” The woman is created for that fellowship, to take that “alone-ness.” So, none of us are created to do life alone.
- And the Bible says, “a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24b
This is not saying, “they will become LIKE one” – it says, “they become one flesh.”
Divorce splits this “one flesh” created out of the two.
“Some Pharisees came to him (to Jesus) to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 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’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”” Matthew 19:3-9
Yes, there are certain divorces that are necessary for the well-being of the people who live under that institution (the wife, husband and kids).
In the above passage, we see that sexual immorality is a biblical ground for divorce but remember, this passage is not talking about one sexual mistake but a lifestyle of sexual immorality.
Another ground, “abandonment,” is found in first Corinthians. It reads like this:
“ And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. . . But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.” 1 Corinthians 7:13,15
The last ground, I call it, “stubbornness of the heart,” is found in Matthew 19:8, where Moses permitted them to divorce because they were nowhere to heed any advice. For instant, if a husband continues abusing his wife regardless of the advice he receives from families and friends, that marriage has to be dissolved for the well-being of the man, the wife and their kids.
Other than these grounds, marriage is supposed to be permanent. What God joins, let no one separate because they are ONE, no more two.
- The consequences of divorce are not the solutions for the dysfunctional marriage.
When couples are in the middle of a fierce fight, they look around and see divorced people driving a nice car and living in a big house and they think that divorce is a better option.
Unfortunately, divorce is not a better option for a troubled marriage. As many researches have shown, couples who stuck it out through thick and thin live healthier, longer, happier and have more money than their counter parts – people who quit on their marriages and got divorced.
So, seeking marriage counseling is key! Marriage counseling saves marriages!
And please, if you seek marriage counseling, it is not good to seek counseling from family members because in the process your family members will get hurt.
And please husbands, seek counseling with your wife. If your wife seeks counseling, be willing to go along. After all, it is beneficial mainly for you to make your marriage healthy to stay in it long. So, be willing to go for counseling.
It is sad for me to see many women coming to me for marriage counseling by themselves because their husbands refused to come. Very, very sad!
My brothers, what’s wrong with you? The health of your marriage determines your health and the health of your kids. If so, why do you let your wife seek counseling by herself? You’re the number one victim of divorce. You cannot live alone. If you remarry, your life won’t be as good as the first.
- When I do marriage counseling, I spend most of my time to convince married couples to make God number one in their own personal lives so that their marriages work.
Friends, marriage works when God takes the center place because He is the Author of marriage and He knows how to make it work. It is not easy for a husband to love his wife as Jesus loved the church and died for her (Ephesians 5:25-31) unless the Spirit of God helped him and it is not easy for a wife to submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ (Ephesians 5:22-24) unless the Holy Spirit helps her. And for the couple to receive this help from God, there should have an intimate relationship with Holy Spirit and His word. But some people, foolishly, seek the blessings of God on their lives but they don’t want God. I am not sure how that is going to work.
- Some people came to the Western world from third world countries (like me) and they went to school and have a good paying job that enabled them to put some money aside in their saving accounts.
And just because they have money, they dare to take pride in it and put their hope in the money or in their ability to go out, work and make money. But, is money the answer for this life?
The Bible says this: “In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.” Proverbs 23:5 NLT
Even if our wealth doesn’t fly away, it is not the answer for all our needs.
Jesus said this:
“Then he (Jesus) said to them (to His followers), “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”” Luke 12:15-21
The word of God is not against riches, against wealth but against making wealth our god, not being rich toward God.
How can we be rich toward God?
By knowing Him and His word and striving to live according to His word. And always remember this: “Life is not measured by how much you own.” Luke 12:15 NLT ///