The Evil of Divorce

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

I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.
(Matthew 19:9)

God blessed you with a loving wife,
Give your love to her alone,
And you will have a blissful life
With Jesus as 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?” He 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.” “Why then,” they asked, “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

There was an old joke about a couple in their 90’s who decided to file for divorce. Their lawyer was incredulous when he asked them, “Why did you wait for so long to terminate your marriage?” They answered, “We didn’t want to hurt the children, so we waited until they all died.” This might be funny, but the failure of any marriage is no laughing matter. 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 reason why many marriages fail is because of modern man’s propensity for instant gratification and lack of perseverance. Most couples do not realize that making their marriage work is a lifetime commitment, and the rewards for their effort go beyond their own lifetime. Fidelity is the key to a blissful marriage. God rewards the couples who are faithful to Him and to each other with wholesome children who are blessings to their parents and upright members of society. 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 profiles are poles apart, if they have put Christ in the center of their lives, the success of their marriage, and blissful union will most assuredly last. To this a couple shared in one of our breakfast fellowships. The husband comes from a well-known family, wealthy and very refined, while the wife, according to her, from a working-class family which could hardly afford to send all of them to college. She had to quit school and work to help her parents. Aside from their social and economic disparities, their personalities went in opposite directions: he, with a conservative and unassuming mien, and she, a heavy smoker, with a flamboyance and funny disposition that would not have agreed with the decorum of her husband’s family. Relatives and friends thought their marriage would not last a few years, but after recently celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary, this loving couple proved all their detractors wrong. Despite all odds, their faith in Jesus made their marriage a covenant made in heaven.

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 and graces may be Your worthy heralds in sharing its Good News of love to other couples. Amen.

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