It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Matthew 5:31-32
My parents celebrated 67 years of marriage on June 14. Over those years, they’ve been through all the traditional marriage vow experiences of good and bad, richer and poorer, in sickness and in health. They’ve experienced pain and suffering relationally, financially, physically, socially. But they are still together. And they are leaving a legacy of commitment to their observing children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and extended family and friends. They have given us an example of wisdom to follow.
Marriage is a covenant. God created it and uses it as an example of his love relationship to man. —-Since man’s fall in the garden when humanity broke the perfect bond, God has relentlessly pursued restoration with His creation. The brokenness has brought oppression and destruction. God’s covenants were meant to bring freedom and order. God decided to love people unconditionally regardless of their merit. We have freedom in his love because it is not earned. He is still pursuing restoration in the Sermon on the Mount. The marriage relationship is referred to in the context of repentance, Kingdom thinking and keeping your word. In yet another area of everyday life, Jesus is confronting the Pharisees who superficially obey the letter of the law. Jesus presents them with his Father’s true intention of genuine obedience to the spirit of the law in their hearts. He is prescriptive in telling his disciples when they can and can’t divorce and persistent in calling them to imitate the committed covenantal love of his Father in their relationships.
Marriage and commitment affects everyone. Many of us have been in a relationship where we have experienced deep hurt, yet it remained intact because of the deep love and commitment of a parent, a spouse, a friend, a relative. We are to become so compelled by God’s covenantal love it moves us to behave towards others as he would. The longing of every soul is to know and be known, to love and be loved. God meets this need by believers keeping his loving covenants whereas our society seeks freedom by escaping commitment and responsibility. As you listen to Reckless Love, consider God’s covenantal love in a relationship in your life and how it has moved you to freedom.
By Donna Burns