Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.” (Matt. 19:8)
Expanded Passage: Matthew 19:7–9
A few years ago, I bought a great blender to make my breakfast smoothies. This year, the plastic lid on the cover started to crack. I didn’t want to buy a whole new one, so I checked to see if the warranty still covered the damaged part. Fortunately, it did; the company sent a new lid.
When I read the warranty, there’s a line in it that said the manufacturer is not responsible for breakage caused by misuse on the owner’s part. If my lid cracks under regular wear and tear, then it’s covered. If it breaks because I’m using it as a frisbee, it’s not. Understanding the intended use of a product guarantees it will last longer and operate correctly.
The Pharisees were looking for wiggle room in the marriage bond. Their argument was: there’s a design flaw in marriage. When a marriage breaks down, they argued, we can exit the relationship. Even Moses says so!
Jesus countered, essentially saying, “The reason your marriages are breaking down isn’t a marriage issue. It’s a heart issue. This is not a design problem; this is a human problem. Your approach to marriage, and your inability to walk in compassion, empathy, gentleness, and mercy, is what’s killing your marriage.”
When our relationships get shaky, Jesus asks us to look at our hearts rather than look for excuses to walk away.
Commit to conducting a regular heart check in your marriage.
Steve Norman is a Wesleyan pastor, speaker, and author. He lives in West Michigan and serves the Great Lakes Region of The Wesleyan Church.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.