To have and to hold, for better or worse, till death do us part…
On my wedding day, I made a vow to my husband. My father married us in the church I grew up in for 20 years of my life, and before he stepped in front of us on that day, he sat on a couch with us for pre-marital counseling.
I remember the words he said…partially, because as a child, I had grown up hearing that exact phrase. “Once you’ve made this decision there is no ‘out’. Marriage is a promise, and divorce is not an option once you’ve committed to it.”
This wasn’t life-altering. As a little girl sitting on the steps with my sister, we had asked my parents about “divorce” one day. We had never heard that word in our home, and it shook our world with frightening power that such a thing could even be plausible. But typical of my dad, he had this calm answer. “Divorce isn’t an option. It isn’t in our vocabulary.”
His words reassured my heart!
In many ways, those poignant moments in my mind pointed me to a truth which took many years to comprehend. The Old Testament tells a story of God’s faithfulness to Israel. He pursues them with love and mercy. In Exodus 20, He writes out the start of a marriage contract beginning with the Ten Commandments. By His own hand, He delivers this contract to Moses in Exodus 31:18. It’s a powerful moment that signified God’s commitment to His people and His expectations in the relationship.
Unfortunately, we see over and over the failure and wayward hearts His people possessed. Yet God, continued to pursue them. By His grace, we arrive at the New Testament—Jesus’s story. And in Matthew 19, he talks about divorce.
Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.
No, it was not…See, from the beginning of time God started the story, and in God’s unfailing love, He had pursued the least worthy of us. When we failed, He remained faithful (2 Timothy 2:13). We can’t fathom the forgiveness and grace in that extensive love. We deserved divorce, but God loved us anyways.
In that, there’s a truth about your worth. Whether you’re facing the incomprehensible or feeling defeated in areas of your life, God still loves you despite it all. When you fail at work, when your kids struggle in school, when your life seems on the verge of shambles, God still loves you. I can’t speak for your exact situation, but in my heart, there’s a reassurance in such knowledge. Divorce isn’t an option…not for Him. He’s with me wherever I walk in life, and His love extends to have and to hold, for better or worse…