This is not so popular today. God takes marriage seriously. He takes our vows seriously, even though we, as a society, do not. Not happy? Get divorced. Bored? Get a divorce. Spouse added some junk in the trunk, get a divorce. But not so according to Jesus. According to the savior we tell ourselves doesn’t care about our sins, this marriage thing is serious. If we divorce our wife, for any reason except for actual adultery in the marriage, then any subsequent relationship is rendered an adulterous relationship. Don’t forget, he was addressing Jews who still followed the mosaic law. The penalty for this sin was to be stoned to death. Of course, Jesus was still in the process of turning all these things on their head. (Go and sin no more…). He does this when challenging divorce practices of his time as well. I think maybe his real purpose here is that we are to exercise the grace and mercy He teaches right in our own lives and marriages. When our spouses do us wrong, we are called to forgive them. If we do the wronging, we are to make amends in that situation, make it right. Remember, this is the same sermon as “Blessed are the peacemakers”, and “Blessed are the merciful”. The same sermon where we are called to be the light of the world, and salt of the earth. How are we to reach those callings if we walk away from our marriages when the going gets tough, when we’ve lost that loving feeling? What will we do when love moves from being a noun to a verb??
““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 ESV