Covenant of Marriage

Matthew 19: 3-12
Jos 24:1-13 / Psa 136

Therefore what God has joined together, let no one 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 flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” They said to Him, “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 sexual immorality, 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 there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” (Matthew 19:3-12)

Reflection

Jesus explained to the Pharisees that from the very beginning, divorce had always been anathema to God’s will. Marriage was instituted by the Creator to exemplify His gracious act of unification, harmony and love in all of His creation. But the grievous sin of disobedience committed by our first parents spawned a host of other evils, like anger, envy, lust, greed, dishonesty, and so forth, that were responsible in tearing apart the love and harmony God intended for marriage.

The God of love and unity taught His people from earliest times the sanctity of the vow of marriage just like the covenant that He made with His Chosen People when He freed them from the bondage of Egypt. Throughout the history of Israel, Yahweh God kept His covenant as a sign of His love and fidelity in spite of the many times that His beloved people violated His commandments. Moses allowed husbands who were “hard-hearted” to divorce their wives only because this was the lesser evil – otherwise their wives would greatly suffer under the tyranny of their husbands. This was to give space between spouses to make them realize their mistakes and reform their ways before future reconciliation. But the “Jewish reformers” distorted this law of Moses and made divorce permanent, thus destroying the covenant of marriage.

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 pleasing 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). Whatever the differences a husband and wife may have, no matter if their personalities are poles apart, once they have decided to put GOD in the center of their lives, their marriage will work, and their union will most assuredly last. Divorce can never be a Christian option, because if we destroy this union, then we are actively denying the Divine Plan for man. Our foremost mission in life is to make our marriage work. Except for our relationship with God, nothing is more important.

Heavenly Father, we thank You for our Marriage. This is Your gift to man. Nothing is more precious when we make it work; and nothing is more disastrous when it fails. Therefore, Lord God, please bless our marriage. Amen.

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