Furthermore it has been said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her... and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
Confession: I did not cherish my spouse--at least not enough or in the right way. Neither did my fashion model mother. She flew away from the fighter pilot. Therein, divorce bred even more divorce.** Truly, we both believed we had reasons, and plenty of people agreed with us.
Because we lived in times of equal rights. We were equal and our husbands weren't right--or so we self-justifyingly thought.
Forgetting political correctness, risking an unpopular opinion, I now trust the Lord's Words about marriage: wives do good by respecting their husbands, and husbands do good by loving their wives. Divorce should not be an easy option, but a last-resort step after prayer.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: I criticize no divorced person. If you, like I, have suffered divorce, let's forget those things now behind us and push forward into God's calling.*** Even so, you're cast as examples, as living testimonies of Christ. You bear a responsibility to represent truth, as best you can.
When our modern cultural values (like selfishness over sacrifice, showing off over simplicity or divorce over persistent love) conflict with God's eternal values, remember the only Source of joy. It's in God and following His Word. Other seemingly good ideas will soon reveal themselves as dead ends.
Excellent marriages are precious. I've experienced the great pleasure of being around happy couples.**** I can unequivocally affirm: They advertise the love, hope and joy found in God and mutual respect.
To Be Continued...
* Entire section, Ephesians 5:22-33: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+5%3A22-33&version=NASB
** The storybook romance of my parents, the New York fashion model marrying the WW II fighter pilot, ended in divorce during the women's liberation movement of the 1970s. They were married 25+ years. Later in life, my mom regretted her decision. By then, my dad had remarried a wonderful woman. My mom did not remarry. My own college romance/marriage ended after 30+ years.
*** 'Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus' (Philippians 3:12-14, NASB).
**** With many decades behind them and many more ahead... like AMTC'ers: John and Janice, Dan and Krystal, Bob and Faith, Willie and Saundra, Nat and Betty (and many more, thank God!).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Do-Gooders series.