bride and groom

Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. ... "I hate divorce," says the Lord God of Israel. —Malachi 2:15-16

Here we meet one of the most important things God has said in relation to the family: "I hate divorce." Why is this so relevant? We are living in a time when some newscasters, politicians, and many people who make headlines laugh at the family. The nuclear family, a husband, wife, and children, is God's institution. God loves the family, and His Word teaches the sanctity and permanence of marriage. This is something Dad drummed into me, and it is something that we should be drumming into our children. I thank God for a father who used to say to me, "Son, marriage is for life." Sometimes it made me afraid to go out with a girl, for I would find myself wondering if I wanted to marry her and be with her all my life. The idea of divorce was out of the question.

And that is what Malachi is saying here. Jesus allows divorce in the case of infidelity, and the apostle Paul adds the case of desertion. What God is saying here through Malachi is what pleases Him best.

In Malachi's day this divine institution was being threatened just as it is today. It is my belief that the only hope for Britain, America, and the West at the present time, when marriage breakdown is bringing about a disintegration of the family and children grow up lacking sexual identity, is for fathers to be as strong as mine was. They would make a big difference, both as role models and through teaching. I believe that the lack of strong parenting, especially strong fathering, is one of the reasons for the ever-increasing homosexuality in the West, where it is even being taught in schools as a valid option. How that must grieve the heart of God. There is no hope for the family if this continues, and the only thing that will stop it is a massive turning to Christ. God's way is right. It is integrity.

Excerpted from Between the Times (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 2003).

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