Read Mark 10:1-12
As you can imagine, this text is not one of my favorites (especially vv. 11 and 12). It is why I stayed in an abusive marriage for 15 years. I was beaten and watched my children be beaten. I cowered at any loud noise or raised voice. I prayed and prayed for God to rescue us. I had made a bad decision. It not only left me broken, but it has left a lasting scar on each of my children’s hearts. For that I am devastated. I cannot fix it. I caused it.
I have worked through recovery, like an alcoholic or drug abuser. I was broken. I had been brainwashed to think I was nothing; that I was stupid. I believe in a loving God who does not want us to live a life of torture and fear. I continually pray for forgiveness for what I have done. I have devoted myself to serving him and using my story to help other women avoid making the same mistake.
My story has a happy ending as I have found the man of my dreams. His story is his for him to tell, but suffice it to say he was hurt and abused, too. Two broken souls have united to make a beautiful union, stronger than ever to serve God together. That is exactly what we do. I believe in my heart that God intended for us to be together. I don’t know where either of us would be apart, if we had stayed unmarried to avoid adultery.
In studying a commentary or two on this text, here are some helpful insights. Some marriages fall short of God’s intention. While Jesus didn’t say “do NOT remarry”, he made it clear that to do so would affect the divorced spouse. A residual relationship exists by the mere fact we were married and shared those years together. As I understand it, my remarriage then negatively affects my abusive spouse. (I wrestled with this during my recovery phase, worked the 12 steps was amazing journey.)
We are also taking these words quite literally. For us to follow to the letter sets a very steep expectation. While Scripture, especially the words of Jesus, are alive for us today, this passage reminds us that we should not take the marriage relationship lightly. It is intended by God to join the couple forever as a beautiful union. So friends, be careful in choosing your mate. Make sure they are the one God intends for you. Keep God at the center of your marriage, always and forever.
Let’s pray. Lord I struggle still with this passage. I thank you that I am now in a position of strength. I thank you for the empowerment you have given me to overcome the hurts of my past. I pray as hard as ever for my children that they, too, will feel your peace and that their joy will be restored. Help them to remember that you, their heavenly Father, will never hurt them. I pray for all those women, and men, in abusive relationships. May they be looking to you for rescue and restoration. Forgive me for making bad choices that keep me separated from you. Thank you that you are burning brightly inside me to give others hope. In Jesus’ name. Amen.