The Question of Divorce

The Question of Divorce 1 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2 and large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. (Matthew 19:1-2 ESV) 3 and Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 and I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:3-9 ESV) When thinking about marriage or divorce, think about the gospel and Genesis. Matthew 18 addresses the impact of the gospel on our lives. It challenges us to share love, mercy, grace and forgiveness with others as we have experienced it from God. Too often people strive to find the right person to marry, when more importantly, God wants to use marriage to develop righteousness in us. When families experience difficulties, challenges and struggles, or when they experience happiness, celebrations and peace, God is using all of those experiences to draw them nearer to himself. Marriage is the God made, one-flesh union of a man and woman in a sacred, mutual and life-long covenant relationship. Marriage and even the struggles in marriage give great opportunities for us to be transformed by the Holy Spirit. Your spouse is like a full-length mirror that reveals your own hardness of heart. We can choose to allow the hardening of our hearts to continue until our hearts are like stones, or we can join the purposes of God to make them pliable again, filling us with love. When both husband and wife choose to deal with their hard-heartedness, then their marriage will flourish and beautifully display the gospel of Christ. Notables:  Guard yourself from breaking the one-flesh union with your spouse. Take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5b).  Adultery is not the unpardonable sin.  Divorce is not required when your spouse is unfaithful to you and God.  We cannot have too high a view of marriage.  Marriage is not the greatest call; serving the kingdom of God is our highest calling. 10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.” (Matthew 19:10-12 ESV) As a single person or as a couple, are you serving the gospel well? Married? Communicate the gospel in your marriage. Single? Focus your passion and life on serving Jesus and his kingdom.

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