TEXT: Matthew 5:31-32: "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery."
The Council of Aries stated in 314 AD, "As regards those who find their wives to be guilty of adultery, and who being Christian are, though young men, forbidden to marry, we decree that, so far as may be, counsel be given them not to take other wives, while their own, though guilty of adultery, are yet living."
Those of us who are conscious of the divorce epidemic in the church and the world are likely to see it as a terrible result of society rejecting God's laws and the traditional principles of marriage, family, and sexual chastity. We think of it as a relatively recent cultural phenomenon. But, commentators tell us that the situation was almost just as bad during the first century which is why Jesus' teaching on the matter was deemed a "hard saying," with His own disciples concluding (in their flesh, of course) that if a man could not divorce his wife for whatever reason he wanted, that it was better not to get married.