Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of May 1, 2011
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
Divorce and remarriage
Jesus said, "It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his
wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.'
But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife,
except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to
commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced
woman commits adultery."
Matthew 5: 31-32
Divorce is deeply wounding to people of all sexual
orientations. Perhaps we can find grace, hope, and
mercy through this teaching of Jesus. We can learn
from our mistakes and life experiences. We can heal
through counseling and time. Be gentle with yourself
because a loveless or abusive marriage is always
What is the relevance of this teaching by Jesus?
After all, first century marriages had very little
to do with love. Women were considered property and
the men had all the legal advantages. In ancient
Jewish relationships, only the men could decide to
get a divorce. During Jesus' time both prevailing
viewpoints of divorce were based on Moses' prior
teachings. Moses assumed divorce was part of life
(Deuteronomy 22:13-21; 24:1-4). His patriarchal
view assumed the woman is always at fault. It is
well for us to note that "God hates divorce"
(Malachi 2:16), but divorce has been happening for
thousands of years.
F. F. Bruce makes an important point in his book,
"The Hard Sayings of Jesus." Old Testament divorce
was to a man's advantage. Women were not allowed
any choice in the matter. They could be divorced
if their husband found someone more attractive or
who was a better cook.
Jesus taught about divorce (Matthew 5:31-32; 19:3-9;
Luke 16:18; Mark 10:2-12), and did not endorse the
traditional anti-women viewpoints of his day.
Even today many people of faith struggle to understand
what Jesus really meant. Unfortunate people trapped
in loveless marriages have agonized over literal and
simplistic interpretations of these divorce statements.
Others have remarried without a second thought. Then
there are individuals who opt for the celibate life
after a bitter divorce. Yet another point of view
argues that these divorce teachings are only
applicable to heterosexual couples who are allowed
Whatever your situation and circumstances, let mutual
respect, healing, and God's grace be evident in your
intimate relationships. Work hard at nurturing your
relationship and strive to honor your commitment vows.
Many relationships are worth salvaging if both people
in the relationship are willing to try and to work
But sometimes even with the best of intentions and
effort, divorce is unavoidable and the relationship
is clearly over. Strive to be amicable whenever
possible. Seek counseling before remarriage and
learn what went wrong in former relationships.
Then humbly ask for God's blessing on your new life.
Commit yourself to your new life partner daily above
all others. Pray for your new relationship and ask
for God's help one day at a time. Remember, to love
and be loved are life's richest blessings.
God, many of us have been divorced and remarried.
Or perhaps the love has gone out of our holy unions
or marriages. Give us grace and mercy as we reflect
on this hard saying of Jesus. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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