2021_03_10 Insight Post- Rusty Coram
This week's reading- Matthew 19 & 20
In Matthew 19 we see a time when Jesus’ enemies try to get Him to say something they could use against Him (this is “gottcha politics” in full bloom). Here’s the situation, “Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?” (vs 3). Now, the common practice of the day allowed a man to divorce his wife simply by giving a written notice. This not only made marriage (for the men at least) a matter of convenience, but it showed a serious lack of respect and dignity towards women.
Jesus gives these so-called experts a reply that underscores God’s design, and gives them no handles to shame Him, “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’ 5 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.’ 6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” (vs 4-7)
In our time marriage needs to be reclaimed just as it did then. God designed marriage to be a special relationship between a man and woman, united together for life. Marriage is where sex is to be enjoyed and children raised. Divorce is to be rare and only for serious breaches, like adultery or abandonment, and even in the case of adultery, divorce is not mandated but allowed. Today marriage has become a shell of God’s intent. In 2019 in the US, for every 2.7 marriages there was a divorce. This seems better than a few years ago when the ratio was 1 divorce for every 2 marriages, but we need to take into account that the marriage rate has decreased and more people are living together without being married.
Marriage isn’t easy, and often it is hard and unfair. God designed marriage to be something that is lasting, challenging and where each partner sees their role, first and foremost, as God’s child and steward. In our first few years of marriage Becky and I disappointed each other often and we were tempted to find a back door – but we didn’t. Jesus’ teaching here challenged us to not give up, literally “for Christ’s sake”. We are both so glad we didn’t give up, but getting here has been really hard, humbling work.
Reclaiming God’s purpose and calling for marriage is something that is desperately needed in our world today. The issue isn’t whether it's fair or not, but whether I am being faithful to my God and savior.