Divorce • Devotion 2

Hold Fast
Jeannie Yates

“Red rover, red rover, send Jeannie right over!”

Do you remember playing that game in elementary school? Each team forms a line, holds hands, and faces the other team across the field. They take turns calling for someone to run over to try and break through their line by running as hard and as fast as they can through the clasped hands. If you break through the line you get to take a member from that team back over to your team. If you are unable to break through, you join that team’s line. You had to make sure you were squeezing your teammate’s hand as hard as you could to have a strong defense. Sounds fun, right?

As we continue through the Sermon on the Mount, we see Jesus challenge us to think, act, and live differently than the world around us. Matthew 5:31-32 says, “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” We are challenged here to think differently about marriage and divorce. It is almost like we hear Jesus saying, “I know you have heard that this is just a simple transaction, but I am telling you that it is much more serious than that!” Those who have experienced the pain of divorce can tell you that it is not as simple as just dissolving a contract - the ramifications are far more serious.

Before my husband and I were married, we made a commitment that the word “divorce” would not be in our vocabulary - never a threat and never even used as a joke. You have probably heard at a wedding this phrase from the 1982 Book of Common Prayer, “Therefore is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God.” I am pretty sure that most couples on their wedding day do not see divorce in their future. However, just like in the game Red Rover, the enemy can easily break through when we loosen our grip.

Back in the beginning, God shared His design for marriage in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Please notice the words “hold fast.” Sins of immorality, unfaithfulness, bitterness, selfishness, anger, and yes, even divorce, can easily make their way into our lives when we neglect to hold on tight to our Savior.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9 (NIV)

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