Divorce: the Worst Option

Matthew 19: 3-12
Deut 24: 1-4 / Ps 136

Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.
(Matthew 19:6)

God blessed you with a loving wife,
Give your love to her alone,
And you will have a blissful life
With Jesus for your cornerstone.

Some Pharisees came to Jesus to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” Jesus replied, “Haven’t you read 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. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.” Still, they asked, “Why then 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 marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” (Matthew 19: 3-12)

Reflection

Under normal circumstances, there can never be any justification for, nor any good that can be said about divorce. The oft repeated phrase, “for the sake of the children” is the exact opposite of its consequences. Its disastrous effects on the mental, social, psychological, and spiritual formation of children have such far-reaching implications that studies have shown children from divorced or separated parents have twice the likelihood of undergoing separation or troubled marriages themselves when they enter into this phase of their lives.

The union of marriage reflects God’s close relationship and love for mankind. God never divorced His wife and chose another just because mankind had sinned and was no longer faithful to Him. He chose to forgive and reconciled His wayward people to Himself. This is the lesson that we find in the Book of Hosea — (1:2-3,8-9, 2:1-22, 3:1-5). In fact, in all the episodes and teachings in the Old Testament, we have seen that whenever God made a covenant with His people, He never broke the union — it was always His Chosen People who committed the spiritual adultery of sin.

For this reason, we can see why God never allowed divorce. Jesus said, ‘For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives’ — if only to protect the rights of women who were cast off by their husbands. But for Jesus, marriage must be for life or there can be no marriage at all. Divorce or separation is never the logical option when a marriage doesn’t seem to be working out. Working harder in making it work is. With God’s help, love will prevail. Whatever the differences a husband and wife may have, no matter if their personalities are poles apart, if they have decided to put Jesus Christ in the center of their lives, their marriage will work, and their union will last. Divorce can never be a Christian option, because if we destroy this union, then we are opposing the Divine Plan for man.

Marriage is God’s gift to man. Nothing is more precious when we make it work; nothing is more disastrous when it fails. God bless all our marriages.

Lord Jesus, you instituted the sacrament of marriage as a manifestation of God’s love for mankind. Grant that we whom You have blessed with its joys may be Your worthy heralds in sharing its Good News of love to other couples. Amen.

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