“Anyone Who Divorces His Wife”
As we grow in our awareness of what it means to be followers of Jesus Christ we will come more and more to live lives that are characterized by the constant desire to put the needs of others ahead of our own needs and by a deep concern over the ways that our motives, attitudes, and actions affect other people.
So Jesus, speaking in a time when men could secure a divorce with ease while women could not and in a time when the accepted practices of marriage and divorce created an atmosphere in which men were tempted to treat women as property and women were tempted to accept such treatment as normal, focused on the responsibility of the men who had the upper hand toward the women who were easily victimized.
These days, at least in many cultures, his words would need to be applied to both partners in a marriage relationship.
O God, help us to have marriages that are marked by a commitment to one another that is based on our commitment to you.
O God, help us to treat each other in our marriages with love, respect, and concern.
O God, help us in our marriages to put the needs of the other ahead of our own needs.
O God, help us in our marriages not only to do no harm to one another but also to do great good for one another.
“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” (Matthew 5:31-32)