Hardened Heart–The Main Cause of Divorce


    Matthew 19:3-8

    Some Pharisees came to Him to test Him.  They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”” Haven’t you read,’ He replied, “that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one.  Therefore what God has joined together let man not separate.”  “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”  Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hardened.  But it was not this way from the beginning.  I tell you that anyone divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness and marries another woman commits adultery.”


    A hard heart is the only cause of divorce.  No matter what has happened, it can all be traced back to a hard heart.  If someone commits adultery, their heart has hardened toward their spouse.  Abusiveness–hard heart.  If a couple fights over finances, one or both have hardened their hearts to the other by putting finances first either by being inconsiderate of the other’s wishes in managing the finances or placing the importance of money over their spouse.  No matter what the situation is, it all can be attributed to a hard heart.  Either one or both had a hardened heart from the beginning or they allowed it to happen over time.


    The good news is that a hardened heart can be fixed.  Much of what goes on in marriage counseling is trying to get both parties to see the other’s point of view.  Why?  Because when you understand what the other is really going through, your heart is softened toward them.  Also, it helps you prevent yourself from doing the things that caused your partner’s heart to be hardened in the first place.


    Steps to a softer heart

  1. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.  You must understand each other’s point of view.  If it is your spouse that has a hardened heart, then put yourself in their shoes to see why this has happened.  After you find the cause, then take practical steps to reverse it.  For example, if your spouse desires a clean house and environment and you are a slob, then this may be why their hearts have hardened.  Once you discover this, then create a clean environment for them and watch how their hearts will soften towards you.  This may take time because people are generally skeptical.  They may not think it will last, so you must remain consistent.
  2. Prayer.  Many times a person’s heart is hardened due to past hurts.  It may be nothing you have done and nothing you can change in yourself to fix it.  If there is nothing you can do, then there is one thing you can do–prayer!  You can pray that your spouse be free from all past hurts.  Jesus not only came to heal our bodies, but He came to heal the broken-hearted (Luke 4:18).  God said he would replace our hearts of stone with a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19).  Well, what is stone? HARD.  That is simply saying that God can soften our hearts.   You can pray that the love of God can be shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).  If you spouse is not saved, there is still hope.  God can not only soften our hearts toward each other, but towards Him. 
  3. Intimacy.  Intimacy softens the heart.  Spending time in worship with God is intimacy with God.  Worship doesn’t change God, but it changes us.  It softens our heart.  Spending intimate time with your spouse will soften your partner’s heart towards you.  Intimacy is focusing solely on that person and blocking out distractions. 

    Throughout all of this, the key is to be patient.  When dealing with people, it sometimes takes time.  While you are waiting, remember that God honors marriage and it is His will that every marriage be successful.  If you seek Him with all of your heart, He will not only repair your marriage, but make it better than it has even been.

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~ by Michele Benson on February 19, 2009.


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