Big Idea: God has good plans for our marriages. The devil has devious plans. Whom we listen to is up to each of us.
Text: Getting up, He went from there to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan; crowds gathered around Him again, and, according to His custom, He once more began to teach them.
Some Pharisees came up to Jesus, testing Him, and began to question Him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife. And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”
But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. “But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
In the house, the disciples began questioning Him about this again. And He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.” Mark 10:1-12 NASB
- Jesus answered the Pharisees by taking them back to what the Bible says. Moses wrote: “When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favour in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house, and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man’s wife, …When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken.” Deuteronomy 24:1-5 NASB
But Jesus said to them, (note that he’s talking to husbands) “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.
What is a hardened heart? (The root issue) It is the opposite of a soft heart, which is softened, open, gentle, kind, listening – so it is hardened, crusty, closed, unforgiving and insensitive.
Peter addressed husbands regarding the keeping our hearts soft.
“You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honour as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For, the one who desires life, to love and see good days, must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it”. 1 Peter 3:7-11 NASB
What should a husband do when he finds something in his wife that he does not like?
Peter’s counsel is to begin by “understanding her”, watch your tongue, seek peace, keep humble, pray for her, repent of a bad attitude, and choose to be kind.
- Then Jesus took the Pharisees back even further to God’s original intentions for marriage. But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. “But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
Mark 10:5-9 NASB
~ God made males and females different in body and soul, but similar in spirit. We are different so that we can complement one another, and also so that we can challenge and sharpen one another. Our differences are what make marriage fun!
~ We begin marriage by breaking former primary bonds and then re-forging new bonds. Our primary bond was with our parents, but marriage forms a new bond which must supersede all other bonds. We are to be “glued” together.
~ The purpose of marriage is to model oneness, like believers and Jesus are one. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:28-32 NASB
~ Then we begin the process of “becoming one”. The marriage ceremony does not make us one. Sex does not make us one. Becoming one is an ongoing process of trying, failing, repenting, forgiving, learning and choosing to love.
- There is still the possibility of divorce, but divorce is a last resort. “For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” Malachi 2:16 NASB
In the house the disciples began questioning Him about this again. And He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.” Mark 10:10-12 NASB
Marriage is supposed to be difficult. We don’t learn anything from lessons that are too easy. I like the sign that I once saw in the front lobby of a home we were visiting. It read “Caution! God at Work here!”