“Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you.” (Mark 10:2 – 5)
Stop and think a moment, beloved reader, about the Israelites that Moses was leading through to the Promised Land. Remember their complaining and squabbling, their ingratitude and attitude, their pouts and rants – now consider, do you think they would have made good, compassionate, and caring marriage partners? And do we (meaning larger society) know any people who have coupled together in that sort of a marriage? Or maybe just one half of the couple who is making the other half totally miserable? It is no wonder that Moses allowed them to dissolve the marriage and find peace in their lives without each other.
“But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Verses 6 – 9)
The critical point is – is the marriage a God-joined marriage . . . where God is an integral part of the relationship? In most marriages, beloved reader, it is not an outside force that drives the couple apart. The division comes from within; a divorce decree only makes public and evident what has already happened.
“Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” (Verses 10 – 12)
I remind you of what I said above – that if one person in the marriage is making the other one miserable, then it is not the marriage that the Creator had intended when Adam man to Eve who came out of man spouses. Yes, I can see that if a couple feel like their lives are interlocked, and then became unlocked, being with someone else in that intimacy would seem like a violation of the concept of covenanted marriage.
But, beloved reader, there are all sorts of other sins that are committed by humanity that are just as contrary to the Divine’s plan as a marriage as the two first humans had. Notice also that I have not made an issue of gender in a marriage relationship. Two people who find themselves fulfilled by one another – that is marriage. There is much more that could be said about marriage, and what it does for a couple and the resulting blessing. But there is not enough time – not near enough time! And we have more verses yet to read.
“People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.” (Verses 13 – 16)
Before you jump to conclusion, having children is NOT one of the necessary fulfillment of marriage! Also, set aside your stilted and awkward notions of what children are like. Think of the purity and lack of ulterior motives children have; think of how accepting children of what is told and taught to them. The best attributes of children and childhood is the best attributes of those who belong to the Kingdom of God. And actually in marriage partners – love, care, tenderness & innocence. Children do not start out their lives having negative emotions and traits. Those develop in response to their environment. But I have perched on this soapbox enough. Let us look towards the Psalm passage, and what Preacher & Seeker might say to us!