Mark 10:1-31; 2 Samuel 23; Hosea 3
Marriage has become a hot topic in our world. What should it look like? What is God’s idea of marriage? Are there limitations on marriage? As we discuss the issue, perhaps we should see how Jesus handled the issue of marriage when He was asked if it was legal for a man to divorce his wife. The Pharisees pointed out that Moses had provided a plan for divorce. Jesus responded with a pointed commentary on marriage: “And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation, God “made them male and female.” “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.’” (Mark 10:5-9) In short, God’s plan for marriage was for a man and a woman to be joined in marriage for as long as they live. That is the essence of Christian marriage. Today, unfortunately, this view of marriage is under attack from inside the Church. If we, as Christians, really believe that marriage is a covenant between a man, a woman and God for life, then why is it that divorce is not only prevalent among Christians, but our divorce rate is no better than that of society as a whole. Does God forgive when we break this covenant? Of course He does. At the same time, the teaching remains clear. We as followers of God divorce out of the hardness of our heart – the sin that keeps each of us from getting along with our spouse and ultimately then, our neighbor. While this is a touchy subject, there is a way out of our dilemma. If you are divorced already then seek God’s forgiveness and ask Him to mold you into the kind of person who can forgive a friend or a neighbor – who can find ways to get along. If your marriage is troubled, seek help in prayer and in wise counsel. If your marriage is going well, continue to forgive and show grace to your spouse. If you aren’t yet married then pray for God to make you the right kind of person for the spouse He has in mind for you and be content and faithful in your singleness if it’s not in God’s plan for you to be married. As followers of Christ we must uphold the sanctity of marriage in the Church above all other considerations.
Dear Lord, thank You for the amazing wife that I have. May I always remember what a gift she is from you and may I live in such a way that I am worthy of her and of You. I pray for those who are struggling in marriage today. Give those people a taste of Your grace and forgiveness. I pray for those who have suffered through divorce. Let them know of Your love and forgiveness also. Let Your people always stay true to Your plan for marriage.