It’s a sad fact of life today: vast numbers of people have throw-away marriages. Will you go against the trend? Will you remain faithful? Will you be able to keep love alive?
I remember when the traditional family was traditional: couples got married first, then moved in together, then had children, not the other way around. Joyce and I came from traditional homes. We and our children ate together, played together, fussed together, went to church together. Today, children are “latch-key” kids. In 1999, six million plus households were single-parent homes. [By 2020, it was 11 million]. One out of four families today—25%—are led by a single parent.
Newsweek magazine said at that time:
“The landscape is littered with victims of the divorce epidemic. Ex-wives raising their children alone, former husbands trying to start new lives and still be good fathers to kids they see only on specified days, and the children themselves often torn between two warring parents.”
Psychologist Judith Wallerstein studied 60 divorced middle-class families in northern California. Only 10% of the ex-spouses said they had succeeded in improving their lives. Ten percent! Wallerstein concluded, “Divorce is seen as a wrenching experience for every family I have seen.”
Divorce is devastating for children. No wonder God makes it clear that He hates divorce. (See Malachi 2:16).
Today unmarried sex and unwed motherhood are fine; homosexuality is just an alternate lifestyle; marriage isn’t sacred because nothing is sacred, and the only law is “Don’t be judgmental.”
Read what Jesus says about our “new norms” (Matthew 19:4-5):
Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
One of the most damning things the devil has done is to blur the distinction between male and female and to convince the human race that divorce is okay (Matthew 19:6-9).
May God write these three truths indelibly on your heart.
Marriage was made by Heaven.
“For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother, be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one” (Matthew 19:5).
You must “leave” to form your own home. Your commitment to your mate becomes your new priority.
2. Be joined
Marriage is a lifetime contract between two people for whom divorce is not an option.
3. Become one flesh
More than sexual union, you marry a whole person: body, soul, and spirit.
There are three ways you become one flesh with your spouse:
Sex is a wonderful gift God gives to know one another in the most intimate relationship. It’s a way of saying, “I love you” that can’t be put into words. God has put high walls around sex to protect and preserve it, not to keep us from sex but to keep sex for us. It is a gift of God, so radically, fundamentally, indispensably important.
God wants us to be one emotionally. Next to Jesus, my best friend is my wife.
We are one spiritually, loving the same Lord, members of the same body—His Church.
Marriage can be marred by Hell.
The world’s definition of love is completely superficial. Someone is physically attractive, and a man whispers, “I love you.” He really means, “I want you.” But it’s conditional—only as long as she’s attractive. That “love” is at the root of many divorces.
Divorce was never God’s original intent. It was to be a permanent union. It takes Christ to make a marriage, because we must love unconditionally, as Jesus loved (John 13:34). On our own, none of us can.
Marriage is always marked by hope.
Whatever your situation, hope is there. If you are the one who wronged your partner, God’s forgiveness is here for you. See John 1:7, Isaiah 1:18, and Romans 8:1.
Make these commitments now:
1. Make Christ the head of your home.
2. If you’re unmarried, marry only in the Lord. Build a Christian home.
3. If yours is not a Christian marriage, give your hearts to Jesus Christ, because the devil is working against your marriage.
4. Feed your love each day. Don’t take it for granted.
5. If your divorce was your fault, ask God for forgiveness.
6. If it was someone else’s wrongdoing, forgive in your heart.
7. Don’t let bitterness carry you away.
Your godly home can be the greatest testimony you’ll have in this world. A home is the sweetest place on earth, the nearest place to Heaven. It’s the only part of the Garden of Eden we have left.