Mark: Words on Divorce

Read: Mark 10:1-12

Hardened hearts create a great deal of trouble in our world. We saw this all throughout Exodus, well, throughout history, merely highlighted in Exodus.

They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”
“It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. Mark 10:4-5

Most of the time I don’t think hearts become hardened overnight, it’s a process of slowly slipping away, avoiding confrontations, hiding thoughts, drip, drip, drip. One gallon of water might have 15,140 drops of water. We might be able to hold a gallon of water for a while, but the weight of those water drops will eventually be too much to bear. The featured image shows individual drops of water, each self-contained, some small, some large. When there are enough drops on the surface, they will combine to form bigger and bigger drops until the whole surface is covered in water. The individual drops are still there somewhere, but no longer distinguishable, they are lost in the bucket of water. Sigh.

We’ve seen it happen over and over again whether in the body of Christ or those far from His discipleship. One day it all seems fine, the next day, they’re driving in different directions.

During one of my discussions last week centered on the book, Multiply, this question is posed: how have you seen the pattern of sin, consequences, and God’s redemption in your own life? Part of my answer includes the realization that “in the moment” it’s not usually clear, but looking back, the small skirmishes that became huge battles is rather obvious, the evidence is almost always so easy to see.

I may not be as bold as Peter, but I do have a tendency to spout off, sending a text or email, or even face to face saying words that cannot be unsaid. Worse yet, according to Jesus’s teaching, my thoughts can run unchecked and beyond limits because they are only thoughts, right?

Sadly, thoughts become the background for the tapestry of our lives. Subtle movements that shift our way of thinking. In the context of this morning’s text, Jesus identifies this as hardening hearts and it’s something we need to be on the lookout for.

It’s not God’s plan.

Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. Mark 10:9

Jesus goes on to explain that both husband and wife are guilty of adultery if either party divorces the other — a concept that probably blew their minds!

The Cure Begins With Soft Hearts

If the root cause of divorce, or the allowance for divorce, is hardened hearts, it seems the cure would start with the opposite, we need to have soft hearts. Talk about a counter-cultural concept! We have to be willing to be vulnerable, say the things that hurt, completely transparent and brutally honest. These are difficult conversations to have, primarily because of the drip, drip, drip build-up mentioned above.

I know it’s a lot harder in reality than concept, but consider the prospect of undoing one drip at a time. If it took ten years to build-up animosity, it may take ten years to tear it down.

The key, in my mind, is this: it is possible. Back to Jesus’s quote above, in reference to Genesis, if God has indeed joined man and woman together, it is possible to get back to that original place. That’s a whole lot easier to say than it is to see, but my prayer for those feeling this tension is they will understand it is within the realm of possibility.

I’m not trying to solve the problem of marriage and divorce in a simple blog post! But I can’t help to wonder what it would be like if all of our relationships were real, deep, and honest.

I talk a lot about disciple making these days and at the Forum I was fortunate enough to attend last week, the discussion constantly came back to healthy relationships. We’re not good at that. I’m not good at that! If you probe my thoughts deep enough, you’ll find someone within the church that I have a problem with. My solution is to avoid the issue, dodge confrontation, walk the other way.

Relationship building is difficult. I would suggest it’s impossible to have meaningful relationships, especially in marriage, if we avoid small issues when they happen and figure out how to unpack loaded issues that we create by allowing simple statements to build up.

Lord, you created us to have a relationship with you. We are best when we are in healthy relationship with each other. For those that are married, the best relationship should be between husband and wife. Help us to move in that direction, one drop at a time.

Thoughts about serving others

This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.

My prayer is for you to join me on this journey. Subscribe to this blog below to get an email when a new post is available.

Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.