John 2:1-2 (Love and Hate)

reception edit

The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee.
Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. (John 2:1-2)

Daily Bible Reading: Exodus 10:1 – 12:5

Relate: About six months after their wedding the bride met her husband for his lunch break. “I have some very important news.” She says, “pretty soon there will be three of us living in the house.” Tears of joy well up in her husband’s eyes. He steps into a hug, spinning her in the air. As he sets her down, his hand rests on her belly and says, “This is a surprise but it is so good to hear. I love you so much.” The bride smiles and says, “And I love you too. I just found out. My mom sold her house and will be moving in with us next weekend.” The tears begin to flow in her man’s eyes, but they are no longer tears of joy.

All joking aside, there are few things that more beautifully represent the love God has for us as does the love of a groom for his bride. More than once Jesus uses the illustration of a wedding feast to paint a picture of the Kingdom of God. A common phrase for the end of time when God gathers His people to Himself is the marriage supper of the Lamb. If God is to climax His second coming with a wedding feast then it was only fitting that He would finally go public with His first coming at one as well. God loves a good wedding.

React: That is why it breaks His heart to see how in our culture this ceremony has become so profaned. As deeply as God loves a good wedding, He hates divorce. Some might call getting a prenuptial agreement wise, but I would say the opposite. If you plan for failure, that is what you get. Why would you stand before God, your friends, and family and vow “to have and to hold from this day forward” if you know that in a few years you will be letting go? What would you say “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health” if you don’t truly mean it? Do you think God doesn’t hear when you say, “till death do us part?” Does He not weep when these words are used so flippantly?

This might not be the happiest or most joyful way to talk about what is such a beautiful and happy and godly institution, but there is someone reading this who needs to hear a bit of truth. God hates divorce. He hates it. If the word has entered into the conversation between you and your spouse, bite your tongue. If it has begun to enter into your thoughts as you are going through a rough patch, root it out. Find a loving older couple who has had a long successful marriage and begin to get counseling and advice from them. Dig deeply into the Word and prayer. Begin dating and doing those things that first caused you two to fall in love. God is the minister of reconciliation. From cover to cover the Bible is all about His love pursuing us and winning us back even when we have run from Him. He did everything even to the point of torture and death to win us back. That is why divorce is an antitheses to His character and nature. He hates it. And so should we.

Respond: 

God, we have been so unfaithful. Time and time again we have left You and abandoned You for other lovers. We have made You second, third, or even last place in our hearts. We have sold ourselves to spiritual (and sometimes physical debauchery). We repent. I repent. I am so grateful that in spite of my unfaithfulness You continue to pursue me. You continue to love me. You forgive me. Help us to do the same. Even if we have been cheated on, even if we have been wronged, even if we have been sinned against, it is nothing compared to what we have done to You. The hurts and offences we have born are so small compared to Your carrying our cross, taking on our sin, and experiencing separation from the Father so that we don’t have to. Help us to embody your faithfulness. Help us to live out and model Your grace and mercy. Help us to hold marriage in the same sacred, high regard that You do. Help us to be more like You.

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13 thoughts on “John 2:1-2 (Love and Hate)

    • There is no good that we could ever do that would cause God to love us more. There is no evil we could ever commit that would make Him love us less. Our terms with Him are always completely and totally dependent on His grace.

      • Would not your 02/10/14 reply comment belie earlier apparently absolutist comments. As for me, I am very glad you did add that comment. My experience with God is that as soon as I make an absolutely definitive statement about the nature of God God moves away from where God was when I made the pontification. (On a personal note: I divorced after 20 years in an abusive marriage. God then gave me the most spiritually beautiful woman to love and marry for 26 years and counting.)

        • My response gets right to the heart of why God hates divorce. Our actions might break His heart, but they cannot negate His love. Like Hosea pursuing his faithless prostitute bride, God is always looking for ways to win us back. So when we as Christians, allow a marriage to end, we are demonstrating that we are not truly “Christ like”. Can God’s grace cover even this tragedy and disrespect of His character and nature? Yes. But just because God forgives our action does not mean He likes our act.

  1. Hi BJ,

    On a personal note, I’m a Christian who has been divorced (my fault) and now in a marriage which has been going through some bigtime shakes, divorce even raised as a topic. Having been through the trauma of divorce, I obviously don’t want this one to go the same way. My husband is not a believer. That makes trying to reconcile like trying to rescue someone with an arm tied behind your back.
    I will be and am doing everything I can think of to resolve issues and lots of time in heartfelt prayer. You are right, God detests divorce. But he also knows human hearts and this is why he has said that if a spouse who doesn’t believe is willing to live with you, you should stay in the marriage. however, if they don’t, there isn’t too much you can do except ensure that you forgive, take no bitterness (give it to God) and trust God to help you through the trauma.

    I’m obviously praying that this second marriage doesn’t come to this.

    We have to tread very carefully when speaking of such events, being careful to state God’s views but also to be sensitive to the pain and hurt that comes and not be condemning.You are brave to take on such a subject and have done so relatively sensitively but, like Gary, I’m pleased of your additional comment which balances the post with God’s forgiveness.
    God doesn’t like divorce because marriage is there as a example of our love relationship with him. That’s why he is so against it. I believe it breaks his heart and he is angry with the devil for lying to us.
    But there is forgiveness, there is healing when we go walk through the fire of divorce. Is it God’s best for us? Of course not! is it a sad condition of life in a fallen world? Yes, I’m afraid it is.

    I pray for any who read this and are in marital difficulties – hold on to God, he will not abandon you. Do all YOU can to remain in the relationship but your spouse is responsible for their actions. Your job is to do as God directs.

  2. “A married woman who is unloved is an abomination to the Lord.” That’s how I felt in my marriage. I begged my husband to kill me. He told me to commit suicide. I am too ill for intimate relations. He said he wanted to be “well-sexed.” I am still so lost in the sea of emotion about this relationship, a year and a half after the divorce was finalized. I love him. I want him back. I just don’t know if he wants me back, I don’t think he even cares any more. I blame myself. I have self-published a book, “The Lord Put Us Asunder.” After reading your post I am feeling less sure that this is true. Maybe He wanted more of me. But I was so ill, and my son needed help, and I wanted to follow him to stay with him near my parents. Still it all seemed so unreal. But the hurt runs so deep, for both my husband and for me, that it is an impasse and I think he gave up. Everything got sooo bad at the end, but it could have been saved, I don’t know, I just don’t know.

    • Malachi 2:15-16 says, So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. “For I hate divorce!” says the Lord, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.”

      When one half of a pair emotionally or spiritually shuts down from a union there is only so much the other person can do. I don’t know your situation beyond what you have shared so I don’t know if there was more that could have been done. As you said, even you don’t. Only God knows. What I do know is that God is a healer of broken hearts and a restorer of wrecked relationships. Sometimes after the deed is done, the healing needed is to move on and move forward. Know that no matter our past, God still deeply loves us and longs, He yearns, for an ever closer relationship with us. He will never leave us or abandon us. He will never give up on us. Let the fact that a divorce has happened not be a source of self condemnation but rather a stirring for a better world, a greater kingdom.

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