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Briefing: The national divorce rate is fifty percent. That in and of itself is staggering, but if you look at what researchers say about police officers’ divorce rate, seventy-five percent, why would anyone who is, or ever plans on getting married, become a cop?

A recent study of police suicides in New York turned up even more disturbing news. Of the fourteen most recent police officer suicides, twelve were the result of divorce or relationship breakups. Police officers going through a divorce are five times more likely to commit suicide than officers in stable marriages.

Dispatch (Assignment): Read Matthew 19:1-12 and ask yourself if it is ok for a police officer to divorce their spouse?

On the Street: Divorce. What a hard topic. People are very sensitive to this subject. Everyone I know has been affected by divorce. We all fit into one of these categories: we have had one, our parents are divorced, one or more of our family members has had one, maybe our partner, or neighbors, are on their second or third marriage.

Jesus says, “Whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” We know from the Ten Commandments that adultery is a sin.

Let me ask you a question. When you saw that twenty year old kid drunk and passed out behind the wheel of his car, why did you put him in jail for public intoxication? It was because he was so drunk he could not take care of himself and could have easily been taken advantage of by others. You did it to protect him and the public you serve. Jesus did not come to this earth to make me comfortable. He came to save me from hell. As a law enforcement officer, you have to do things that make others uncomfortable for their safety.

Highlights from this Read: In verse three, the Pharisees ask Jesus a “hard” question. We have not seen the Pharisees since 16:1 when they asked Jesus for a sign. This is a good question because it gives Jesus the opportunity, again, to correct our misunderstanding of life and how God intended it to be.

In verse four, Jesus points them to scripture. This should be a lesson for all of us. How well do we know God’s Word? In verse seven, the smug Pharisees think they have got Jesus cornered. In verse eight, in the desert, Moses was the people’s judge and he made this law for the Jews. It is a man-made law. In verse nine, Jesus sets the record straight. Verse eleven makes me stop in my tracks and think, does our society place too little importance on marriage? How do I know if I am one of the ones for whom it is given”?

Investigational Resources: For additional reading on marriage, see 1 Corinthians 7:1-16, Ephesians 5:22-33, Proverbs 18:22. Also see Mark 10:1-12.

Officer Safety Principle: Our work is cut out for us. We are not given special exception to the rules. We must work harder and trust God more than the civilian when it comes to our marriages. I don’t have any shortcuts for you except to pray for your marriage; work to build it on God’s Word and work it out in a way that would glorify our great God.

from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!