However, for the Christian who knows the teaching of the Bible, it ought to be distressing. I am talking about the reponse often heard by a husband and/or wife made by someone upon learning they have been married to one another for many years, especially 50 years or more. The response may be in this form; “Well, you sure don’t hear of that much anymore”. It may be stated as a compliment, or in envy, or even in ridicule.Some may think it preposterous that one would have any inclination to remain together that long. They may have been schooled to think of marriage only as a convenience to be ended or changed at one’s whim or wish. This concept is the result of our society dismissing the divine order established by God in the “beginning”. (See Genesis 2:18-24).

Jesus referred to this “beginning” in Matthew 19:4 - 6 (NKJV) “And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the “beginning” ‘made them male and female,’ 5and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” The Lord intended in the beginning and intends now for there to be one man and one woman joined together as husband and wife for life.

The only cause recognized by God for severance of this divine order is the death of one, or the infidelity of one, which is sin on the part of at least one and often on the part of both.

Divorce is destructive to our world, even from the standpoint of secularism. Our society today seems to care little about the preservation of an orderly civilization. Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975) an English Historian wrote a monumental 12 volume work called “A Study of History” in which he noted that of the 11 great civilizations which have come and gone, one of the precursors of the fall of each was the decline of the family.Mankind in general is slow to learn the lessons of history, and in these days cares little enough about God’s arrangement in this vital matter.

I think, I can remember, as a youngster that even the irreligious, that is, those who knew next to nothing from the viewpoint of a personal study of the Bible , yet they knew that divorce was a no-no. Those who were divorced became the objects of pity or scorn. When they were in the presence of others the conversation often became subdued and whispered; accompanied by sly glances and frowns.

I mention this to point out that in one lifetime, we (some) have gone to the opposite extreme of considering monogamy to be old-fashioned and quaint. Of course, the faithful Christian (is there any other kind?) is content to abide by the inspired Word of the Lord. Hebrews 13:4 (NKJV) Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” And we should hear of this truth much more often.

C A Burcham

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