A Nasty Word 

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Did you know there is a nasty word in the bible?

Really, there is.

For you folks who’ve memorized the Authorized Version, no, it’s not the word you’re thinking of.

The word speaks of pain, anguish, betrayal, brokenness, mistrust, disorder, and confusion.

It mocks the faithful, steals from the innocent, curses the efforts of the loyal, and raises a defiant fist at every attempt to stop it in its tracks.

It’s a word that’s used thousands of times each year.

Every year.

It’s a word which gains its strength in direct proportion to the hardness of one’s heart. The harder the heart, the stronger and more damaging the word.

A nasty word. 

DIVORCE.

Divorce is a nasty word.

Severed relationships, extinguished flames of love. Abandoned hopes, forsaken promises, magnified fears, and misplaced allegiances.

All because of a nasty word – divorce.

Though it’s in the bible, it was never God’s idea. Notice what Jesus said:

“Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.” (Matthew 19:8 ESV)

“The hardness of heart…”

I understand there are two sides to every story. But when a marriage is terminated, at least one person’s heart has become hard.

So how does a heart become hard?

A number of ways. For example:

When a person begins to think about their own needs and wants, rather than those of their spouse and family, the heart is hardening.

When good feelings replace the marriage vows, the heart is hardening.

When “I know what God said, BUT…” becomes an all too familiar phrase, it’s a warning sign of a hardening heart.

When flirting is acceptable, and warnings ignored…

When fantasies play unchecked in the mind…

…the heart is getting hard.

“For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,” says the LORD of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” (Malachi 2:16 NKJV)

If someone is beginning to look better to you than the one you’ve committed your life to, take heed to your heart. Pay attention, and soften it up with repentance.

Turn back to your spouse, your family, your God.

And leave the nasty word far behind.