"Haven't you read the Scriptures?" Jesus replied [to the Pharisees' question about divorce]. "They record that from the beginning 'God made them male and female.' And he said, 'This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.' Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together."
— Matthew 19:4-6 NLT
Rather than getting caught up in the religious debate, Jesus makes the biblical point, God's point, on marriage. When a man and woman marry, they are to become one for life. He emphasizes this essential unity in four ways:
- They are united socially. Their two lives are pledged in partnership to each other as they leave parents and begin their life together.
- They are one flesh (Genesis 2:24 NIV). They become one physically through sexual intimacy.
- The two become one emotionally. They share their lives together and depend on one another as complements and strengtheners.
- God has joined them together. They enter into covenant with him and are one spiritually because God makes them one.
When a husband and wife think of themselves and their marriage in these terms, especially that God has joined them together, that should be a very strong incentive for loving each other and working through their difficulties.
Holy and righteous Father, please strengthen the marriage commitment in my friends, in my family, in your church, and in myself. It seems marriages are in trouble everywhere. Pour out your Spirit upon us as we commit our lives to your gracious covenant of marriage. Make our relationships a light to the world and a blessing to our children. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.