The recent actions of a friend got me to thinking about a difﬁcult commandment. This person is divorced and has started dating someone. The circumstances of the divorce, to my knowledge, do not follow the instructions of Matthew 19:9: “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” If this person remarries (and about 75% of people do), the Bible says they would be condemned unless they repent (cp. 2 Corinthians 12:20-21; Revelation 9:20-21).
This breaks my heart, for my love for them is as strong as any of my friends. The disciples remarked that this commandment was difﬁcult in v. 10: “His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man is so with his wife, it is not good to marry.” Jesus went on to say that some will have to make themselves “eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.” They will have to live a celibate life or be reconciled to their mate (1 Corinthians 7:10-11). If they do not, they would be in adultery (Romans 7:2-3). With these admittedly difﬁcult commandments, the Lord reinforced the sanctity and importance of the marriage vows. Choose your mate carefully, and work tirelessly to make your marriage strong and permanent!