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The Wife Of Your Youth


In Malachi 2:15 God told Israeli husbands not to break faith with the wives of their youth.  Contextually speaking, Israeli men were abandoning the Israeli wives of their youth to marry pagan women, something God specifically warned them never to do.  Besides the fact that divorce is a form of unfaithfulness that opposes every fiber of who God is, marrying pagan women would introduce pagan ways into the community of God, thus destroying a people who had been solely set apart to serve Him.  For this reason God eventually judged Israel by allowing the pagan nations of these wives to overthrow and conquer them.      


In case you don't know, Israeli wives weren't given the same admonition to remain faithful to their husbands because they didn't have the legal right to divorce.  That being said, in today's world when wives have the legal right to divorce their husbands, I'm sure the admonition of Malachi 2:15 applies to them as well.


Besides the fact that God hates unfaithfulness as seen in divorce, there might well be another reason for God's admonition to remain faithful to the spouse of your youth.     


Biologically speaking, we were created to marry as young adults.  In today's world, young adults haven't fully matured into the adults they will eventually be.  When a man and a woman marry as young adults, they mature into adulthood together.  During the process of mutual maturing, individuality is melted into a certain oneness which I believe was God's original intention at creation for a couple.      


One issue you face in a second marriage later in life that you don't exactly face in a first marriage early in life is that you've already matured into adulthood.  Who you have become is who you will be, and, much of who you have become is a result of the melting into oneness that took place in the maturing process with your previous spouse.  In other words, when you remarry, you're marrying someone who has been molded by a former spouse.  Like it or not, things you've learned and who you've become from a former relationship creep into the new relationship in many ways.  One might be asked why he sets the washing machine for a four minute cycle instead of eight minute cycle.  Well, as the obedient husband I thought I was the first time around, there's only one answer to such questions.  Of course, there are more serious issues than this light hearted example that puts stress on your second marriage vows. 


As an adult, it's not easy to unlearn what you've learned.  It may well be next to impossible to undo who you've become, despite the well meaning attempts of your new spouse to help you out.  Such attempts seldom work and often backfire.  It's best to work on changing yourself instead of someone else.              


Malachi 2:15 asks, "has not the Lord made them one"?  The answer is "yes'.  Undoing this oneness in a second marriage is not only difficult; it wasn't God's will for men and women at creation.     



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