Monday, June 16, 2008

Matthew 19-20

Remeber when I said that the schedule was flexible? Well, this is what I meant. I meant that I will go 2 weeks without posting anything and not feel guilty about it. Or actually, I will feel crippling guilty about it to the point that my guilt about being behind will actually keep me from posting anything at all...but the IDEA is that I won't get all legalistic on myself and just do what I can here.

Matthew 19 is the big "What Jesus says about divorce" chapter. Both my parents were divorced before they married each other, and my sweet sister in law is going through a separation right now. All I really have to say about divorce is that it stinks. I know there are people out there who say their divorce was "mutual," but I've never met them. It seems to me it's always that one person is leaving the other - or one person wants to leave the other and proceeds to cause so much pain that the other has no choice but to run away for self-preservation.

Most people know that Jesus says divorce is wrong. Many know that he also says that infidelity is a legitimate cause for divorce. When I read this verse this time, I noticed something else for the first time:

10 The followers said to him, "If that is the only reason a man can divorce his wife, it is better not to marry."
11 Jesus answered, "Not everyone can accept this teaching, but God has made some able to accept it. 12 There are different reasons why some men cannot marry. Some men were born without the ability to become fathers. Others were made that way later in life by other people. And some men have given up marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. But the person who can marry should accept this teaching about marriage."

I think Jesus is implying that if you can't accept the teaching that marriage is for a lifetime, you are better off not getting married at all. Did you hear that at your pre-marital counseling session? I sure didn't. It's self-evident in the marriage vows, but most of us go into those vows knowing that the option of divorce is out there.