There is a great deal of talk nowadays about reforming or abolishing marriage. Some psychologists are saying that marriage as it now exists is failing to meet the needs of modern society and that we have put the cart before the horse in the past. They say we have been forcing men and women to conform to the mold of marriage, when what we should be doing is changing marriage to suit the convenience and happiness of people. So, they advocate student or trial marriages, making marriage a five-year contract subject to renewal or cancellation, and abolishing the legal aspects of it.
Admittedly, many marriages are in trouble.
The divorce and illegitimacy rates continue to soar. But the problem is not with marriage. It is with the people who get married. It is people who need to be reformed, not marriage. Marriage and the pledge or commitment that seals it are here to stay. Marriage is written into the nature of humanity. The God who made us said, “It is not good for man to be alone.”
We need the love and companionship of marriage. It is natural for people in love to pledge themselves to love one another forever. Even if we were not required by law they would want to. People in love have a natural inclination to bind themselves by promises. Love songs all over the world are full of vows of eternal constancy.
Jesus teaches us that marriage is to be a permanent relationship and that divorce was not a part of God’s original plan. Furthermore, he taught that there could be no divorce without sin. The sin may come in a foolish and immature marriage or in later unfaithfulness or in the poor attitudes of one or both marriage partners. But divorce always involves sin.
Why is divorce wrong? Like all sin it is wrong because of what it does to people. It hurts women, men, and children. Everyone is hurt by a broken home. Bad and shaky marriages should not be ended but repaired for the sake of the people involved.
While divorce is a sin, it is not the unpardonable sin. If you have been divorced, all you can do is confess your share of the guilt to God, accept His forgiveness, and go on. If your marriage is shaky, repair it. If you need help, seek it. If you are not yet married, determine to marry well the first time, for marriage should be a permanent relationship.