“Because your hearts were hard he wrote this law for you.” (Mark 10:5)

Jesus is speaking of Moses' allowance for divorce. Here is the exchange that led up to Jesus' statement above:
Then the pharisees approached him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He replied, “What instruction did Moses give?”
“Moses permitted a written divorce certificate to divorce her.” (Mark 10:2-4)
Thus we see that Jesus is giving context to Moses' teaching regarding divorce. We see that Jesus is stating that Moses' allowance for divorce is based upon their hard-hearted nature. What does hard-heartedness have to do with Moses' allowance for divorce?

The connection between divorce and hard-heartedness

What Jesus is talking about can be seen in most long-term marriages. Why do some marriages last many decades while others don't last but a few years?

Certainly, there can be extenuating circumstances, but for most marriages that work over the long term, there is usually a blend of humility, tolerance, compromise and mutual respect that runs through the relationship.

Such issues require a soft-hearted approach to many things. Soft-heartedness means having empathy and understanding towards someone else. Soft-heartedness means having some humility - not thinking that we know everything. And being able to admit that we are wrong sometimes.

But when a person is self-righteous, uncaring and uncompromising, these increase the likelihood of splitting up. Whether it is one of the couple or both, self-centeredness and self-righteousness are the epitomai of what Jesus is referring to as being hard-hearted.

It is not that Jesus is literally speaking of the heart being hard or soft. Having a hard heart means not caring for others and feeling self-righteous. And having a soft heart means caring about others and having empathy for what others are going through.

The soft hearted marriage

For those of us who are not innately soft-hearted, we need to develop a softer heart. How do we do this?

By realizing that we need God in our lives, and coming to a point when we know that we not in control, we can accept that all things - including our spouse - are part of the arrangement of the Supreme Being.

The reality is that often the person we end up married to is specifically suited for us in terms of providing a range of learning experiences. Often the person provides just that right combination of opposition and counter-intuition that requires us to compromise and become more tolerant. This is part of God's arrangement.

Understanding that God is all-powerful and we are not requires some immediate humility. As such a realization grows during our lifetime, we become increasingly humble from within.

When such a realization is mutually accepted in a marriage, this can yield a multiplication of humility and mutual respect.

Otherwise, if the purpose of a marriage is to use each other for gaining self-satisfaction, such a marriage has little foundation. As soon as one or both partners find the marriage does not achieve their self-centered objectives, the marriage will fall apart.

This is compounded by the tendency that over time, the physical body of a partner yields less attraction. This is typically called, 'familiarity breeds contempt.' What this means is that after spending a lot of time together, the sexual intrigue will wear off. And without a spiritual bond or foundation, such a shallow marriage will provide no purpose for staying together.

But if the partners' lives are geared towards growing their relationship with the Supreme Being - and helping each other for that reason - there is no reason for divorce. They will both be fulfilled - not by each other but by their growing relationship with the Supreme Being.

If this is absent in a relationship, the couple will often put their need for unconditional love and the perfect person upon the other person. This will only yield disappointment, as the marriage partner is just as imperfect as we are.

Such a need for unconditional love can also manifest as a desire for a big family - thinking that the children will provide us with unconditional love. Soon we find, however, that children are also imperfect, and they are seeking satisfaction elsewhere. Thus we often find materialistic families in a constant state of argument and hostility, because no one is satisfied.

Unconditional love can only be provided by the Supreme Being. He is our only Soul Mate, and thus only He can provide us with satisfaction. Thus having a loving relationship with God provides inner fulfillment - eliminating the need to seek fulfillment from our spouses or elsewhere.

Jesus is indicating that Moses' allowance for divorce was to accommodate a society that had not arrived at such a consciousness.

Guidance by God's representative

This illustrates the importance of being guided by a representative of God who is present - during current times and circumstances. For a person who tries to apply the teachings of one or more of God's representatives who were on earth centuries, even thousands of years earlier, their ability to apply those teachings to their current life may present difficulties.

This opens up those written teachings - scripture - to speculation and misinterpretation - as people seek to apply them to a different time and circumstance.

Many among today's ecclesiastical sectarian institutions will scoff at such a notion, proclaiming that their particular prophet or representative of God is the last word and the only teacher.

But such a proposal is in itself hypocrisy. How so? Because such a person will be putting themselves in the position of God's representative by teaching that this earlier teacher is the only teacher.

They are essentially professing a particular doctrine. Such a doctrine is defining how God reaches out to us - through a particular teacher and so on. By presenting such a doctrine, they are saying they represent God - or they represent Jesus. The hypocrisy comes when they say that someone is the only teacher and we can accept no other teacher.

For example, some teachers from sects that claim to be following Jesus teach that Jesus is the only representative of God. They teach that we don't need any other teacher other than Jesus.

Therein lies the hypocrisy: They teach we don't need any other teacher other than Jesus.

If we don't need any other teacher other than Jesus - why are they teaching? Why are they getting dressed up in all the robes and standing in front of the assemblies and presenting themselves as teacher, if we don't need any other teacher other than Jesus?

This also goes for Sunday school teachers and street teachers who profess this same hypocrisy. They are standing up teaching, yet they are teaching that we don't need any other teacher other than Jesus. If we don't, then why are they trying to teach us? Why were they wanting us to listen to them and join their sect?

Because they do not have real  authority. 

Such sectarian teachers are doing precisely what the pharisees were doing - and why Jesus was teaching them about Moses' teachings. They thought they were the big teachers, but their big teaching was to follow Moses' instructions - which they were misinterpreting. If they had true authority from God to teach, they wouldn't need to incorrectly represent and parrot Moses' instructions to his followers over a thousand years previous.

The issue relates to time and circumstance. Moses' taught his followers that divorce was okay because those followers were not pure enough to come together for the purpose of serving the Supreme Being. Moses was directing his teachings to a particular people at a particular time and circumstance.

Many then and for many today, marriage is about materialism. Women marry men and men marry women for sexual gratification, to achieve greater wealth, or to have a family. Or all of the above.

While having a family could also be a service to God - assuming the kids are taught about God and taught how to praise and worship God - for most people today, having a family is about possessions.

Yes, the mother and the father will fall into the illusion that somehow the child that emerges from the mother's womb belongs to them. They see the child as their possession - as an extension of themselves.

This is part of the illusion of the material body. The fact is, we aren't these physical bodies. The body is a vehicle - a tool that we operate for a few decades. Then we leave this physical body. (See the science here.)

Our composition is not material. 

Our composition is spiritual. Each of us is composed of spirit - not matter.

This could be compared to a driver of a car. The car is made of metal and plastic. The driver is not. The driver is made of another composition altogether. This allows the driver to stop the car and get out - thus separating himself with the car.

Using this same analogy, let's say that someone used some of the parts of our car to build a second car. Could we say that the second car came from the driver? No. The second car was built from parts of the car. Since the first car is separate from the driver, the second car, made with parts from the first car, must also be separate from the driver.

One might ask: But doesn't the car belong to driver? In other words, is the physical body my possession?

Yes, we could say that the physical body is in my possession. But do we own it? Did we create it? Can we control it? Can we prevent it from dying?

The answer is "no" for all of these things. The physical body is an amazing creation - made by the Supreme Being. He owns it. We are essentially borrowing it. It is on loan to us.

And the same goes for the body of a child that our body has given birth to. That body is also on loan - and not on loan to us - it is on loan to that spirit-person who has entered that body that we call "our child."

What this all means is that none of these things - our house, our car, our body or the body of our child - belong to us. They are all forms and shapes presented to our eyes by light reflecting off of molecules.

And those molecules are constantly changing. They recycle from one form to another. It is like looking at a movie screen and thinking those are real people on the screen. No. They are reflections - a recording - of people.

The bottom line is that this fantastic and amazing material world has been put together by the Supreme Being. We don't own anything. We come and we go - leaving everything behind.

The only thing we truly own is the decision whether we want to love and serve God or not. If we don't want to love and serve God, we are left to an ever-changing landscape of our dreams, built of molecules. Within such a molecular world there is no shelter. No protection. Only loneliness and sadness.

The only true shelter available to us is that of the Supreme Being - who loves us and wants us to come home, back to the spiritual realm where we come from.

(The New Testament verses in this article are quoted from the Gospels of Jesus unless otherwise marked.)