Today’s passage lends itself easily to controversy and theological debates. However, it is not my desire or my intent to engage in such an arena. As we read today, let us strive to enter into the presence of God. Let us hear and see why God created the marriage covenant and what He desires for it to be.
This encounter between the Pharisees and Jesus reveals yet again the Pharisees’ as well as our own sinful, selfish, hard hearts we possess outside of Christ’s righteousness imparted to us. I believe the Holman Christian Study Bible for Women does a great job of summoning up this encounter between Jesus and the Pharisees.
“Jesus’ response was a classic rebuke in which He cut to the heart of the issue by answering their question with one of His own. Again the Pharisees were willing to disregard the intent of the law (see 2:23-3:6; 7:1-23). God established the first union between one man and one woman as a permanent covenant commitment. Jesus knew the religious leaders would appeal to Moses, and He did not question or throw out the law in His answer. However, He noted that Moses’ permission to divorce (10:4) was accommodating human weakness (v.5). Jesus not only returned to the creation account and God’s first unveiling of His plan for marriage, but He also noted that divorce was concession to human stubbornness—hardness of your hearts. There is forever a tension in the Creator God’s perfect will and the actions of His sinful creation…
Jesus not only went to the heart of the problem—human rebellion was shifting the focus from divine plans—but he also lifted the discussion beyond Mosaic law to God’s original plan at creation. God intended for one man and one woman to become inseparably one being, mirroring the unity within the Godhead (Genesis 1:27). Indeed, Jesus condemned all divorce, whether by husband or wife, and being contrary to His plan.” (1309-1310)
We have come to a point in our society where staying together is optional. There always seems to be this idea that you can always “get out of it.” Most don’t even enter into a marriage covenant at all; thinking that living together is better anyway and disregards any commitment from the beginning. So the question of why is marriage important and what does God want to show us through it becomes relevant. Earl Lavender in His book Mark: Jesus is God’s Son asks a similar question.
“What does God intend to happen in marriage? It is not just about avoiding divorce. It is about God forming two into one. It is God who conjoins us—his intent is that man and woman become one in marriage” (93).
Marriage is not about avoiding divorce. It is about the two becoming one and as mentioned in the study notes from the Holman Study Bible, marriage is about mirroring the unity with the Godhead. Marriage is about revealing the unity between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God wants to mirror that unity through the intimacy a couple shares within an earthly marriage and family. This can only happen when each person in the marriage is willing to run with his or her whole heart towards God. When each spouse releases their stubborn, selfish, hard heart to God, even if their spouse chooses not to, more of the oneness between God, His Son, and Spirit is revealed.
Lord, help me today to yield my sinful, selfish, hard heart to You. Help me to see my marriage as a picture of the intimacy You have with Christ and the Holy Spirit. Help me to know how to reflect that oneness through my marriage to a world that desires to feel the love and oneness only You can give to them. Thank you for my husband and the love he has for You, for me, and our children.