Saturday, January 10, 2015

Number One Reason for Divorce

One day the Pharisees came to Christ to play a trick on him. They asked him whether it is lawful for a man to divorce his wife. The Lord Jesus pointed them back to the source of creation and marriage.

He first told that the Creator of both man and woman is God. It is God who created them and made them male and female. And then He explained it is God who made them one flesh and so what God had joined together, let not man separate.

Therefore, the Creator of both man and woman, and also the founder of marriage, is God. What the Lord was saying to them is that let not man make his own rules but follow the order of God. In short, the message to them was—stay together as God has joined you; don’t entertain divorce.

After hearing the response from the Lord, the Pharisees, thinking they caught Him in His words, asked about why Moses permitted to give a certificate of divorce. The Lord gave an apt answer, “BECAUSE OF YOUR HARDNESS OF HEART.” (Matthew 19:1-8)

Hardness of Heart

In spite of so many books on marriage and counselling, even in the churches, many marriages are ending up in divorce, particularly in the West.


The number one reason for divorce is the hardness of heart.

When the heart is hardened in marriage, insisting to have one’s own way of thinking and behavior, divorce is the end result. Whether this hardness of heart is cultivated in both husband and wife or just in one spouse, the fact is—marriage becomes a difficult journey with a hardened heart.

Hardness of heart breaks the peace in marriage into pieces.

A heart which is hardened is reluctant to either love his wife or submit to her husband. A hardened heart is a rebellious attitude against God’s word. And there are many married believers who express loving God, but their hearts are actually hardened against God’s word.

Of course, as frail human beings, we falter and fail in keeping the word of God. Marriage is a joining of two imperfect man and woman, covenanting together to journey towards maturity. And there are times, may be many times, we fail to love our wives and submit to our husbands.

However, a hardened heart, at such times, would not be willing to admit its faults and make every effort to change to become a better spouse. A hardened heart is bright in finding the flaws in the spouse but blinded to one’s own sins. Also, a hardened heart would not be willing to forgive the offence and keep rewinding the mistakes of the spouse. A hardened heart is not even willing to understand the spouse and just stubbornly clings to its own position.

Humility in Heart

In my experience of counseling married people, I find it quite difficult to handle a couple or a spouse whose hearts are hardened. But it is very easy to resolve issues when hearts are humble.

Here is what I assert—if hardness of heart is a number one reason for divorce, then humility in heart is the reason for healthy marriage.     

A humble heart is broken over its sins for failing to live as a better spouse. A humble heart is willing to accept correction and admit its flaws. A humble heart strives to obey the commandment of God to love his wife and to submit to her husband. A humble heart is glad to forgive offenses of the spouse and stretches out a helping hand. A humble heart seeks to understand the spouse and patiently work towards cultivating a better marriage for the glory of God.

My dear readers, let me ask these sincere questions:
  • Are we cultivating a hardened heart or a humble heart in marriage?
  • Do we humble ourself to obey God’s word and faithfully endeavor to fulfill the biblical responsibilities of a spouse?
  • Are we just finding faults with our spouse and blaming the other person without examining our own heart and confessing our flaws?
  • Are we quick to forgive and be patient with our spouse?
  • Are we, out of a God-fearing heart, striving by His grace to become a better spouse in whom God takes great delight?
Finally, let me close saying that a hardened heart is a threat to healthy marriage. Sooner or later, it destroys what God has joined together. I urge to seek to cultivate a humble heart and let God take delight in us for being a godly spouse He wants us to be.

God bless your marriage!


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