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Reconcilable Differences

I hate to see marriages end…especially ones where I preached the ceremony.  I still call marriage holy matrimony.  Most marriages end with these two words:  “irreconcilable differences”.  Anything, it seems, is grounds for divorce these days.  I personally know of a couple that divorced over a cheeseburger.  Yes, a cheeseburger.  Now, the issues were much deeper than that, like forgiveness, offense, bitterness, etc. but all they could talk about was the cheeseburger.

Irreconcilable differences are the catch all phrase for the opposite of the hope we see in Jesus in 2 Corinthians 5:18-19.  It says, “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”  Did you catch that?  First, Jesus reconciled us to Himself.  If He can save us He can save a marriage.  After all, He created it (Genesis 2:24).  Most marriages I’ve seen end did so in a hurry.  I tell couples often, “Don’t haul off and get married and don’t haul off and get a divorce.”  Slow down the engagement and slow down the disengagement.  Everyone getting married or getting divorced needs speedbumps like Godly counsel, Biblical principles, people who have “been there and bought the t-shirt”.

Most marriages I’ve seen end didn’t have to.  Those that did just plainly refused to do what Scripture instructs.  Following Jesus isn’t hard unless you are following your own selfish desires, worldly wisdom, and carnal flesh.  “There is a way that seems right to a man/woman but in the end leads to destruction” (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25).  “Plans fail for lack of counsel but many advisers brings success” (Proverbs 15:22).  Every marriage has differences.  I hate wedding dress shopping shows, Haley loves them.  Haley loves shopping, I love saving (although she says she’s saving me tons when she does shop).  Point is we have differences.  But when we have disagreements that have potential to have disunity and bring division we remember, “What God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6).  Man is in the business of separating.  We are selfish by nature!  God is in the business of joining together.  He is miraculous by nature!

If we say our differences are irreconcilable however big they are then we really say Jesus Himself, you know…the One who raised the dead, resurrected, forgives sin, and the Author of Marriage cannot reconcile us.  Cannot the one who joined you together keep you together?  Can the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present, sovereign living God be stumped by your issues?  If you’ve lost hope then remember you’ve placed it somewhere other than Jesus Who is our blessed Hope (Titus 2:13).  You say you’ve fallen out of love?  Maybe you’ve lost your First Love in Jesus (Revelation 2:4)?  Because we have been reconciled to God (saved), our marriages can be saved (reconciled)!  All differences are reconcilable through the reconciliation power of Jesus Christ!

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Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.

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