Categories
Lectionary Christianity Life Social Change

Notes on Divorce (19 February 2020)

15

Today we were invited to a Golden Wedding Anniversary. These events are getting more rare as time goes on. Our marriage rate is imploding, and the amount of dysfunction and despair among both children and parents is increasing. The state interferes with marriage, creating new grounds for divorce, and now divorce, legally, is at a whim. The question then is what is marriage, and how should we behave.

I would argue that marriage is as the apostles and Christ taught. Let divorce not exist, and let men and women do their duty to each other in honour of each other and in submission to Christ.

Kea says, correctly, that being thankful for the small things of goodness every day and praising God for them is a cure for the discontent and disatisfaction that can blow up marriages.

What is clear is that game, and the psycho-sexual manipulations of both men and women, is not an answer. The answer is in God. Those who say that it is in the righteousness of men — which include many who in this generation call themselves teachers and pastors — are also wrong.

I think we aren’t as far apart here as you believe. If a man is responsible for both sets of vows, for his and his wife’s, then we are talking about something other than marriage from the Bible. In that case, having rejected God’s morality, the morality we substituted, that we made with our own hands, is a fiction. There is no moral reason to “marry” if you are using the term as commonly used, because as commonly used marriage has no moral force. It is merely foolish playacting with serious legal liability.

If you reject God and his sexual morality, it makes no sense to marry. One level deeper, if Game is the glue that will hold her to you, marrying is doubly foolish because it only impedes Game.

What is God’s morality? If a man, you and your wife are one flesh: love her and cherish her, for she needs that. If a woman, you and your husband, are one flesh, obey and honour him, for he needs that. Divorce is for the hardness of our hearts, for we are broken.

Matthew 19:1-12

19 When Jesus had finished these words, He departed from Galilee and came into the region of Judea beyond the Jordan; 2 and large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there.

3 Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” 4 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” 7 They *said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8 He *said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

10 The disciples *said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” 11 But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”

I believe our society is manufacturing eunuchs. Unfruitful, unhappy, made by our education system and debt slavery. But that is in itself a burden. Let us not be too harsh on those who are broken in this time. Let us instead rejoice in any health,

And when someone gets through life wed and happy, let us rejoice.