Moses has given the people God’s Laws concerning divorce but he needs to address another aspect of it now. This is the area of remarriage to the original spouse. A rerun of the previous union.
Believe it or not, there are couples who marry, divorce and then remarry again to the same spouse. God isn’t specifically saying “no” to this exact pattern but if there is a marriage to another following the divorce then He says NO to reconciliation and remarriage to the original spouse.
I personally have no idea why someone would return to a spouse that they divorced. Maybe my memory is too long when it comes to that kind of hurts. Maybe I have seen too many nasty divorces. Maybe I have been too scarred from my own past. I know it has no chance of happening in my life.
I was watching a new television series called “Song Land” a few weeks ago and one of the songs competing for recognition dealt with this issue. It was about going back and remembering the reasons for the break up when you start to get tempted to return to the one who hurt you. Good advice here I think.
God knows our hearts. He knew that there would be those who would face this question. He set the ground rules for situations like this.
In Moses’ example the first divorce happens because the husband “found some indecency” in the wife. We are not given any specifics regarding the nature of the grounds for this divorce. We don’t know what kind of indecency or how long the original marriage lasted. We know nothing except that whatever caused the husband to divorce the wife must have been significant. I don’t believe God allowed “No Fault” divorces; at least not in the first marriage.
The second marriage used in the example doesn’t state “fault” beyond the husband “hates” the wife. We don’t know what this hate sprang from or feeds on. We don’t know if it is mutual. We don’t know if anyone has tried talking with this couple to help resolve their issues. We know nothing more than the man wants nothing more to do with the wife he took and that he is NOT her first husband.
Thinking about this whole progression reminds me of a piece of pottery. This isn’t the “Cracked Pot” story where an imperfect pot actually provided life along the way. Instead it is a pot that gets broken by abuse.
The pot is the heart. It has been struck with a blow severing pieces off of it. A handle is missing and maybe one side has a piece knocked out. The pot is discarded as it is no longer useful to its original owner. Someone sees potential in this cracked pot and decides to mend it. They take it home and patch the hole in the side and fashion a new handle for it. For a time it is useful again and it serves its purpose.
Some time later the pot is struck again. This time the base cracks and the spout crumbles. The pot is discarded again. It’s second owner has no desire to repair it again. He now deems it ugly and beyond repair.
The original owner sees the pot lying on the heap of broken pottery. He thinks there is something familiar about the pot so he looks closer. He recognizes that this was one of his pots from the past. But something is different about it. Things have been added to it that were not part of its original design. The handle doesn’t match the original design. It has been patched with something that doesn’t quite blend in. The original designs have also faded with time and wear.
Our original owner contemplates picking up this broken pot, mending it and returning it to his own home. But no matter how hard he tries, he can’t return it to its original design. The original owner will forever be comparing what it is now to what it once was. There is no turning back time and removing the influences of either the first or second hurts from the pot. Another may find this pot useful still and choose to mend it from its damage.
From the pot’s perspective the original owner and the second owner have altered its very core. How can the original be trusted to love and care for something he had originally discarded? How can the pot trust that the mending from the second owner wouldn’t become offensive if it were taken back by the first owner? Its original form was not fine enough to please the first so how can its patched form be appealing now? It needs someone who won’t hold it up to the experiences of the past and judge it wanting simply because it is different now.
I am that cracked pot. I was forever altered by the experiences and hurts of my past with my “original owner.” I carry those scars with me still. My “new owner” has put patches over some of them but they still bleed through at times. I have also taken on characteristics of my “new owner” that alter me even further. I am more that pleased that I am still valued and kept. I would NEVER wish to return to the original, even if I outlast this second one.
I put ALL my pieces into God’s hands. I will let Him make of me what He will. I will faithfully serve the “owner” of my heart now while relying on God to protect that same heart forever.
Father God, You see worth in me even now; broken as I am. THANK YOU. Thank You for sending someone to me who saw something of worth in me too. Someone who helps build me up and patches my broken spots. Someone who thinks I’m beautiful just as I am. As flawed as we both are, You put us together. We build one another up. We are each other’s answered prayers. Thank You for sending me someone special to love.
Thank You for loving me first. Without Your love I wouldn’t know how to love. Thank You for giving me parents who taught me about love. Their love wasn’t always perfect but they still found value in one another’s “pots”, broken pieces and all.