“For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,” says the Lord of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously” (Malachi 2:16).
God gives His own personal stand toward divorce. Therefore, the man who divorces his lawful wife covers his “garment with violence”; that is, he invests himself with iniquity and its consequences, from which he cannot escape. Christ spoke against the rabbinical tradition of His day, especially which permitted divorce for any cause. It has been observed that no marriage existed among the Jews of the Mishnaic period from which the husband could not abruptly free himself in a legal way.
Jesus stated that marriage was divinely ordained. “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6). With the single exception for which Jesus makes provision “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery” (Matthew 19: 9), divorce cannot be honored or recognized in heaven. In God’s eye any relationship either of them may enter into with another woman or man, is recognized by Christ as adultery.
God ordained that the marriage institution to bless humanity. The companionship of husband and wife was made by God as the ideal environment in which to develop and elevate the character. Most of the personality adjustments of married life call for the practice of love and self-sacrifice.
True “love is patient and kind,” it “does not insist on its own way,” it “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:4–7, RSV). When Christians enter into the marriage relationship they should accept the responsibility of applying these principles. Husbands and wives who apply these principles, and who are willing for the grace of Christ to operate in their lives, will find that there is no difficulty, however serious it may appear to be, that cannot be solved.
In His service,
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