This week’s Scripture: Matthew 19:3-12 (p. 873)
Hebrews 13:4 (CSB) Marriage is to be honored by all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, because God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers.
1 Corinthians 7:14 (CSB) The unbelieving husband is made holy by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy by the husband.
Deuteronomy 24:1-4 (CSB) “If a man marries a woman, but she becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, he may write her a divorce certificate, hand it to her, and send her away from his house. If after leaving his house she goes and becomes another man’s wife, and the second man hates her, writes her a divorce certificate, hands it to her, and sends her away from his house or if he dies, the first husband who sent her away may not marry her again after she has been defiled, because that would be detestable to the LORD. You must not bring guilt on the land…”
Malachi 2:14-16 (NIV) The LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not [the LORD] made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,” says the LORD Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.
Proverbs 18:22 (CSB) A man who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.
1 Peter 3:7 (TLB) Remember that you and your wife are partners in receiving God’s blessings.
1 Corinthians 7:7 (NLT) God gives to some the gift of marriage, and to others the gift of singleness.
Isaiah 56:3-5 (NLT) “Don’t let the eunuchs say, ‘I’m a dried-up tree with no children and no future.’ For this is what the LORD says: I will bless those eunuchs who keep my Sabbath days holy and who choose to do what pleases me and commit their lives to me. I will give them—within the walls of my house— a memorial and a name far greater than sons and daughters could give. For the name I give them is an everlasting one. It will never disappear!”
Take time to read the passage from Matthew 19:3-12. What comes to your mind when you hear each of the following words: Marriage? Divorce? Adultery? Re-marriage? Singleness?
How have you been touched most deeply by divorce in your life experience? What was your Mom’s advice to you about marriage? Dad’s?
What are the most hopeful, inspiring or helpful ideas you heard in this message about marriage? How has your thinking about marriage as a covenant between God, a woman and a man been challenged or encouraged by this message? How would you define “covenant marriage” and where have you seen a great example of it?
Which of the scriptures from this message have you found yourself mulling over most? Which would you like to have better understanding of? If you had been in on the discussion with Jesus and the Pharisees, what question would you have wanted to ask Jesus about what he said to them (or to his disciples later)?
Do Jesus’ words, “What God has joined together”, apply to all marriages, or only the marriage of believers?
What implications are there from this passage about how we should look upon those who are unmarried? Re-married? Engaged to be married? How does knowing Jesus change how we look at these personal situations?
A born teacher, Steve combines a depth of insight with unchanging biblical truths to provide messages that are both engaging & life changing. Married to Jean, his bride of 35 years, and the father of three adult children, Steve enjoys early mornings on his porch in study, time with family & friends at the coast, and playing Bluegrass music on his guitar.