In general, reconciliation and restoration is a beautiful sight. There is nothing more beautiful to see than a husband and wife working together toward reconciling their marriage. Both may be angry. Both may be hurt. Both may not want to reconcile the marriage. Both may feel that they have reached the end of their love rope. But because of the vows that they once made to each other and to God, they are willing to put feelings aside and make it work. That is beautiful. The couple is willing to put self aside and work on the marriage they voluntarily entered into, for their own happiness, yes, but for the happiness of their spouse. This is a thing of beauty.
At the heart of divorce is selfishness. At the heart of true reconciliation is selflessness. If one spouse has an issue with selfishness, reconciliation will be impossible. True reconciliation is born from a selfless desire to want to make things right between two people. Reconciliation is a characteristic of God. Who would not want to reconcile with his or her spouse? What spouse will reject the attempts of reconciliation from her/his spouse? Nothing but a selfish, self-centered spouse.
Paul, in the book of Philemon, wrote to Philemon concerning Onesimus. Onesimus was Philemon’s runaway slave. Paul encouraged Philemon to welcome Onesimus as he would welcome Paul. In his letter, Paul reasoned with Philemon, “Onesimus ran away from you. But since he has been gone, he has learned much. He is a changed man. He is no longer your slave but your brother. Who knows? He may have been separated from you for a short time only to return back to you for as long as he lives.” [i]
The slave-and-master relationship is arguably the most strained relationship in human relationships. If Paul, through divine inspiration, was instructing a slave master to reconcile with his slave and work with him and explaining to him that the two were now brothers in Christ and as such should love each other, how much more would that apply to the husband-and-wife relationship, the closest of all human relationships? Paul, under divine inspiration, encouraged a slave master to reconcile with his slave. It goes without saying that if any relationship is worth reconciling, it is the husband-and-wife relationship.
[i] Philemon 1:15.