“And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?”
Marriage is a miraculous relationship in a scriptural sense. Two people coming together and becoming one flesh is nothing short of miraculous. The dynamics of personalities in a marriage could easily cause division, but when a couple chooses to follow God’s purpose for marriage, the two can become one flesh.
The verse above is part of a dialogue that Jesus had with the Pharisees. The Pharisees attempted to destroy Jesus by tempting him to make an erroneous statement about marriage. They falsely took a statement Moses made and tried to make it as though he condoned divorce. Jesus took this opportunity to not only refute the teachings of the Pharisees, but also to show how to keep a marriage from division. Jesus shows five things that can cause division in a marriage.
First, wrong understanding of gender roles. Jesus said that in the beginning, God made people male and female. Jesus is teaching that you must understand that there is a difference between male and female. Too many people are trying to make their spouse think like them, and that will never happen because they were made different. You will be highly disappointed if you try to make your spouse think like you. A proper understanding of gender roles in a marriage keeps you from the frustration of trying to change your spouse, which only results in fighting.
Second, not leaving and cleaving. Many marriages have been hurt because of one spouse not adhering to this principle. Let me make this clear; your first responsibility is to your spouse. Every marriage is its own entity, and trying to bring in-laws into a marriage always causes strife. When you left your parents, you chose to cleave to your spouse and the responsibility of caring for your own home. Certainly, you should love your parents, but they need to care for themselves and you need to care for your spouse. This is your responsibility!
Third, no determination to make it. Verse 6 says, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” The only thing that is supposed to end marriage is death. You will never become one flesh if you don’t resolve together that divorce is never an option. You can’t resolve marriage problems when divorce is an option you keep open. Removing the option of divorce opens the door to several solutions to resolving your marital issues.
Fourth, hard hearts are marriage dividers. It was the hardness of their hearts that caused them to consider divorce. Marriage won’t work if you are not willing to have give-and-take in your marriage. Don’t be so hard-hearted that the only way is your way. A happy marriage has give-and-take, and this will only happen when you are willing to put aside your preferences to make your marriage work.
Fifth, unfaithfulness is a marriage divider. Adultery kills most marriages. Let me remind you that the temporary pleasure of adultery never measures up to the heartache it causes. If you want your spouse to stay faithful, you need to be sure to meet their needs. Never let adultery become a part of your marriage. Stay faithful to your spouse.