Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" Jesus replied. "God made them male and female, For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh...Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
Is the Teacher’s marriage standard too tough? Let’s investigate…
Back in 1900, less than two percent of marriages in the U.S. ended in divorce. By 2,000 it was near 50 percent. The U.S. has the highest divorce rate - two times more than the next highest country.
More than 1 million children each year experience divorce. Less than 60 percent of American children live with both of their biological parents.
One third of these households are below the poverty level. Because less than half the children in single-parent households receive any financial support from the absent parent. This is tough!
There are always exceptions, but as a general rule termination of the family unit isn’t good for children. Usually there is emotional trauma for the little ones. This is tougher still!
It looks like abandoning the Teacher’s standards will not brought greater happiness for children. And the higher divorce rates for second and third marriages indicate probably not for the adults either.
During His time on earth, Jesus always showed great compassion when He met people who were divorced. He has the same love and care for those who experience it today. Jesus didn't come to condemn, but to enlighten, to help and to heal.
It is actually Jesus' compassion that prompts His tough teaching about divorce. Tough yes, but as we now know, not as rough as the consequences when we don’t pay attention to His counsel!
Thankfully, Jesus still provides forgiveness and healing. And He also offers assistance to husbands and wives who hope to save their marriages. But all of this only comes in a personal relationship with the Teacher!