A reading from the gospel according to Mark 10:2-12
2 The Pharisees approached Jesus and asked, “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?” They were testing him.
3 He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?”
4 They replied, “Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her.”
5 But Jesus told them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment.
6 But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.
7 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
8 and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh.
9 Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”
10 In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this.
11 He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her;
12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
Reflection: Hardness of heart
Good news: What God has joined together, no human being must separate.
The gospel passage above reveals that the question of divorce is not a new one. Yet it is still a very tough one. Many believers still continue to argue whether divorce should be permitted or not. According to Wikipedia, only the Philippines and Vatican have no divorce law but annulment is permitted in the Philippines. This means divorce is now prevalent around the world although the legal causes and manner of divorce differ from one country to another.
Moses allowed divorce due to hardness of heart but Jesus is very clear that divorce is out of the question. Still, there are other bible passages like in Matthew 19:9 where Jesus gives an exception, sexual immorality. Also in 1 Corinthians 7:15, Saint Paul allows separation if the marriage is untenable due to the unbelief of one partner.
Jesus is emphatic that marriage is an original plan of God and divorce is not. The couple shall become one flesh and they are supposed to remain as such until death. Love binds them together so they must remain in love. Each partner must really endeavor to submit oneself to the other (1 Corinthians 7:3, Ephesians 5:22-23).
Like in any other relationship, hardness of heart remains the obstacle. It really matters that each partner in a relationship becomes meek and humble just like our Lord Jesus (Matthew 11:29). If they have a problem, let the bible and the elders of the church be their counselors. Likewise, it is important for the couple to always seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). They must put God at the center of their relationship and their desire for a long lasting marriage will be granted unto them.
See also: Matthew 19:3-12 Reflection