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Rebuilding Broken Homes
Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage from the gospel of Mark 10:1-4, part 1
Let me warn you in advance, what I am about to say is shocking! Recently, Jean and I had to drive to Hemet early in the morning. It was a beautiful morning, and it became scary, because Hemet looked . . . nice. But the worst part was, Jean said she liked it, adding that I may have to change my opinion of Hemet–what? This has brought about a marital crisis–pray for us . . . not really.
But how is your marriage, especially after the holidays, family, kids being home and the excessive stresses of this season? What do your kids think of your marriage? You should ask them. Someone did ask some children, ”How do you make a marriage work?”, and this is what they said . . . Rick, age 10, said, “Tell your wife that she looks pretty; even if she looks like a truck.”
How do you decide who to marry? Kirsten, age 10, said, “No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all before, then you get to find out later who you’re stuck with.” Alan, age 10, said, “You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.”
Men and women are so different–even in marriage. A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband. A man never worries about the future, until he gets a wife.
To be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot, and love him a little. To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.
Married men live longer than single men, but married men are a lot more willing to die. Hmmm?
Any married man should forget his mistakes–why? Because there’s no use in two people remembering the same thing.
Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed. Women somehow deteriorate during the night.
A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn’t. A man marries a woman expecting she won’t change, and she does.
A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
There are only two times when a man doesn’t understand women–before marriage, and after marriage.
Today, we are going to study marriage, divorce and remarriage. Why did I pick that topic? I didn’t. At FBC, we study the Bible verse-by-verse, seeking only the author’s intended meaning. As we work our way through the gospel of Mark, we have come to Mark 10, where Jesus answers a question on divorce. Therefore, because Jesus answers the question and Mark records it for us, and we are now in Mark 10, that is what we are teaching on this morning. God wants us to study divorce.
So open your Bibles to Mark 10 and take the outline and follow along, as we expose God’s Word on this hot potato topic in Jesus’ day, and this crucial issue in our day. I think you’d agree, divorce is a big problem.
You have heard it said that half of all marriages end in divorce, but statistically speaking, that number is not true. That figure is derived by taking the number of marriages per year and comparing it to the number of divorces per year. And since there are nearly half as many divorces as marriages, some have concluded that half of all marriages end in divorce. This statistic would be correct if everyone married only once and divorced only once, but thanks to the Larry Kings and Elizabeth Taylors of the world, the numbers don’t add up. The actual number of marriages that end in divorce is closer to one in four, or 25 percent—but this is still a problem.
Divorce is a huge dilemma, even for believers. But to fully understand how a marriage can be broken, you have to have a clear picture of what God’s original design looked like. When moving, sometimes some items will break. But there is one essential to be able to fix them or glue them back together–you actually have to know what they looked like in their unbroken state, right?
It’s the same with marriage and divorce. In order to understand how a marriage can be broken, you have to fully understand what God designed marriage to look like, to work right.
What is MARRIAGE?
It is a permanent relationship of one man and one woman before God, consisting of a VOW to God, witnessed by people, and a consummated UNION, designed by God for the purpose of propagation, pleasure, praise, proclaim, provision, protection, etc.
Do you love weddings? I love weddings. I love being asked to officiate at weddings. As a college pastor of 800, I was asked to do a lot of weddings. By God’s grace, I learned how to make them personal, each one super unique, Gospel-saturated, celebrative and fun. I love it when couples I know ask me to do their ceremonies–and when we meet together to work through the details, I help them think through what their wedding is all about. I remind them that the most important part of the ceremony is the vow before God and those witnesses.
Skip the cake, flowers, dress, and expense, the couple is there to make an unbreakable vow to God in front of a crowd of family and friends. “I, [man], take you, [woman], to be my wedded wife. And I do promise and covenant, before God and these witnesses, to be your loving and faithful husband, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.” An unbreakable vow before God–one life, one wife.
The wedding is not the marriage–the wedding and honeymoon are the beginning of the marriage. The wedding is for the purpose of making a public vow to God. And the honeymoon is to consummate the union of two becoming one–more than a physical act, but the permanent joining of a man and a woman. Marriage before God is begun by a vow and a physical union. Get this down–marriage is the vow and the union. By making this clear, it will help you understand what genuinely breaks a marriage.
What could justify a divorce, and biblically, what dissolves a marriage? Ready? There are two major ways. You break your marriage vow, or you violate the marriage union. Breaking the vow through abandonment (1 Corinthians 7:15), or breaking the consummated union through adultery (Matthew 5:32). There are a lot of opinions on divorce postulated by Christians today.
#1 There is the no divorce, no remarriage position
#2 You can divorce if you have to, but no remarriage view
#3 The divorce and remarry for a variety of circumstances position, and what the Bible teaches (which is the only one we care about)
#4 The divorce and remarriage, but only for adultery and desertion
Why does the Bible teach only those two exceptions? Because the marriage vow is broken through abandonment, and the marriage union is broken through adultery. You don’t have to divorce, but because of human sinfulness God allows divorce and remarriage when the vow and union of a Christian marriage are broken by adultery or abandonment.
Now God is really clear—God hates divorce. He hates it! He makes his hatred for divorce really clear in Malachi 2:14, “The Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant,” defining marriage here as a promise, a vow. Verse 15, “…let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth. 16 ‘For I hate divorce,’ says the Lord, the God of Israel.”
As we progress in our study of Mark 10, with Deuteronomy 24, Matthew 5 and 19, and 1 Corinthians 7, you will see God’s heart, and you’ll see the two exceptions allowing for divorce and remarriage. But as we open up Mark 10, you must know, like many today, the Jews had two schools of thought on divorce. The strict Jews, under Rabbi Shammai, taught you can divorce only if the wife had committed adultery. The liberal Jews, under Rabbi Hillel, taught you can divorce for anything as long as you give your wife the paperwork.
Broad Rabbi Hillel had died about twenty years previous to the Lord’s words in Mark 10, but his liberal view became the dominant view. Like today’s irreconcilable differences, back then you could divorce your wife for almost any reason. And the Pharisees believed they could use the issue of divorce to make Jesus unpopular or get Him killed. So what are . . .
#1 The CIRCUMSTANCES for CLARIFICATION on divorce
Read verse 1, “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.” Mark says, “Getting up”–the parallel passage in Matthew 19 adds, “when He had finished those teachings.” We know what those teachings were–He was in a house in Capernaum, and had been teaching on humility and discipleship so His men would not be distracted from their mission to grow to be more like Christ and to make Christ known.
In the rabbinic tradition, Jesus sat while He was teaching–and now chapter 10:1, “Jesus [got up] and He went from there.” He not only left Capernaum, but now He’s left Galilee. He ministered in the northern region of Galilee for over a year, and now He’s finished in the north and is heading south. He gets up, leaves, and travels, verse 1, to the region of Judea in the south. This is where Jerusalem is, the temple is, and is “religious leader central”. This is where they hate Christ and want to kill Him the most. The Greek word region is describing an entirely new territory. So now Jesus will invest about six months in the Judean region, ministering to the people in the towns and villages of this area, teaching, healing, and doing miracles like He had done in Galilee.
Now do not misunderstand this detail–neither Mark nor Matthew give us the details of the six-month long Judean ministry. Luke 10 through 18 and John 7 through 11 do describe many of the events during those six months, some of them in great detail. What happened during this time that Mark skips over? Jesus declares Himself to be the Light of the World . . . He’s almost stoned when He says, “Before Abraham, I am” . . . the Lord sends out the seventy . . . He tells the story of the good Samaritan . . . He visits Mary and Martha . . . Jesus is the Good Shepherd . . . the parables of the lost coin, lost sheep and prodigal son . . . the rich man and Lazarus . . . Mary and Martha’s brother, Lazarus, becomes sick and dies, so the Lord raises him from the dead . . . and Christ heals ten lepers.
All of that happens during the six-month-long Judean ministry, which Mark does not mention. But at the close of the Lord’s Judean ministry, Mark does describe what Jesus does beyond the Jordan. Mark details the Lord’s ministry in Peraea, and it starts in verse 1, “Getting up, He went from there to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan.” He went to Judea, about six months went by, and now the Lord is just beyond the Jordan River.
This area is called Peraea–it’s across the Jordan River and the eastern region beyond. On the east side of the Jordan River, from the south end of the Sea of Galilee, all the way to the city of Jericho is the region of Peraea, or as referred to here in verse 1 as beyond the Jordan. From this region, then Jericho, the Lord will make His final trek to Jerusalem to die. He’ll be unjustly accused, brutally tortured, experiencing six unjust trials in one night, finally to be crucified, then willingly give up His life so that God’s anger for your sin could be satisfied and your just punishment for sin could be paid for by God. Then three days later He’ll rise from the dead, conquering death. He will choose to suffer Hell so that you don’t have to.
Religion is you do it–Christianity is Christ did it
The Jewish religion taught external conformity will save you–Jesus taught only internal transformation will save you
The Jewish beliefs taught doing good works will bring forgiveness–and Jesus taught being forgiven will result in your good works
The Jewish leaders taught keeping the law and its rules saves–Jesus taught the law just showed you how sinful you really are, and how much you need God Himself to save you
The Jewish leaders taught as long as you looked good on the outside, you were a spiritual man–Jesus taught it was actually inside of your hearts which showed just how sinful you really are
The point is, what the Lord taught is in direct opposition to what the vast majority of the Jewish leaders taught, which created hostility between the religious leaders and our Lord. It took an entire year of ministry in Galilee for their hostility against Christ to have him leave. It took only six months of ministry in Judea for their hostility against Christ to have Him move on. So now, just before the final week before He goes to the cross, Jesus is now in Peraea, ministering here. He will not be in this region long, but Mark covers it in chapter 10.
So Mark 10 is the Lord’s ministry in Peraea just before His final week which leads to the cross. Mark chapter 10 is Peraea, then look at chapter 11, verse 1–Jesus enters Jerusalem to become the Passover lamb, the one who’d die for sins so His children might be forgiven.
Look at verse 1 again–crowds gathered around Him again. Where did those crowds come from? Well first, Herod the Great had encouraged settlements to be developed in Peraea, so by the time his son, Herod Antipas, is in charge, there is a large Jewish population in Peraea. But verse 1, “the crowds gather(ing) around Him again” were not just locals. What you’ve forgotten is, the Galilean Jews will now be traveling through Peraea to get to Jerusalem for the Passover feast.
They’d not travel directly south because they’d have to go through Samaria, which was filled with the hated Samaritans, the half-breeds who married Gentiles, and who defied God by designing their own form of worship which law-loving Jews despised. So instead of traveling on the west side of the Jordan River through Samaria, the God-fearing Jews would travel down from Galilee on the east side of the Jordan river, making them travel through Peraea all the way down to Jericho, then from Jericho travel up to Jerusalem–which is the road built by the Romans which still exists today, with the same stone bridges over potential streams. And the same road Jesus takes to go to Jerusalem.
The locals and the pilgrims passing through were, verse 1, “gathering”, literally flocking to Christ. Like a stampede they were seeking Jesus out, while others were caught up in the rush. And what did Christ do? What He normally did. Verse 1, “and according to His custom, He once more began to teach them.” This was what Christ did—“He began to teach them.” And Matthew 19 adds, “He healed them there too.”
Christ consistently demonstrated God’s compassion, authority and deity by healing others. And He’d teach them the truth concerning true salvation, the good news that God alone can save someone from their sins, and their need to turn from their sin in repentance, and depend on God alone through faith in His Son. So where are they? Read your Bibles–look at verses 32 and 46, “They were on the road going up to Jerusalem, . . . 46 Then they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho.” As verse 2 opens up, Jesus is on His way to Jericho, which then turns west, then up toward Jerusalem. And now as He travels on the pilgrim path for the Passover, there’s an incident.
While Jesus is in Peraea, He’s closer to Jerusalem, which means His actions and teaching are more doggedly watched by His relentless enemies. Verse 2, “Some Pharisees came up to Jesus.” The Pharisees never leave Jesus alone. They want to do three things:
One–discredit Christ to the people
Two–damage Christ’s popularity, and if possible
They have been plotting to kill Christ since Mark 3:6. So they’ll make another attempt to get Christ in these verses using the issue of divorce. The Pharisees believe they can trap Christ by using this hot first century issue. Just like the enemy is using the issue of homosexuality today to discredit, divide and silence Christians, so the Pharisees believe they can discredit or destroy Christ by entrapping Him over the issue of divorce, leading us to verse 2.
#2 The CONFRONTATION over the QUESTION of DIVORCE
Verse 2, “Some Pharisees came up to Jesus, testing Him, and began to question Him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife.” The Pharisees are not asking for information. They’re not interested in the Lord’s teaching or guidance here, nor are they asking a sincere question. As a young naïve pastor, this was very hard on me. There were people who came to church who were not interested in the truth of God’s Word, but just to find some weakness in me, some chink in my theology, some flaw in my personality.
There’re plenty who just want to make themselves feel good or superior or justified. It is not about pursuing Christ–to them, it’s all about being better than someone else, being righteous. It doesn’t happen often, but it still does. I remember a guy who was chasing me all over this auditorium after a service like some sort of sadistic Labrador, trying to prove a theological point, which requires more than a five-minute discussion. I tried to set up a longer time. God was kind enough to give me grace, so I didn’t hit him, which is what he needed, and would’ve been more fun. I did hit him in my heart. But in his pride he wanted to win a point over a complex issue, so he could say to others he’d trumped me over his pet doctrine.
The Pharisees are just like that–they’re chasing Christ, trying to prove they’re better than Him. They’re right and Christ is wrong. Thankfully, hypocrites can never be better than sinless perfection. They’re going to lose, but they can’t help but be, verse 2, “testing Him.” The participle “testing” is also translated pressuring. They were pressuring Jesus . . . and the Greek tense is continually pressuring. You have to give them credit–they kept trying to test Jesus, even though they’re soundly defeated every single time.
But this time, they’ve really done their homework. This was a well-conceived and well-executed trap to “get” Christ. What’s their plan? Look at the rest of verse 2, “and began to question Him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife.” What were they trying to do? Two creatively evil things.
1 They tried to discredit Christ with a test over divorce in front of a massive crowd, so that Christ would lose popularity, making Him an easier target to terminate.
2 They’re trying to destroy Christ by causing Him to declare a position on divorce that would get Him in trouble with Herod Antipas.
So how does asking whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife cause Christ to be discredited with the crowd or in trouble with Herod? Matthew’s gospel gives us a little more information, helping us understand their evil strategy. In Matthew’s gospel he tells us the Pharisees asked Christ this way. Matthew 19:3, “Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?’” Can you divorce for any cause? Can you release your wife/abolish your marriage for any reason at all? This is no random question, but is a very calculated attack.
Again, like today, divorce was rampant at this moment of history. The everyday folks are terminating their marriages, and the religious leaders were divorcing (literally unbinding) their wives. It had become commonplace. So how did that happen? The rabbis debated the Old Testament passages on divorce, and ultimately they broke into two major schools of thought. The strict minority school taught you could only divorce when a spouse committed adultery. The liberal majority school said you could divorce for and over anything.
I’m not making this up–what were men divorcing their wives for during Jesus’ day? Burning the dinner . . . for spinning around so that someone saw her ankles–that hussy! She let her hair down (not metaphorically, but literally)–divorce . . . speaking to another man—divorce . . . making a negative comment about your mother . . . or simply finding someone else you preferred. And in this school you were obligated to divorce her if she was infertile. William Barclay says, “Human nature being as it is, it was the laxer view which prevailed. The result was that divorce for the most trivial reasons, or for no reason at all, was tragically common.”
Lust was driving divorce–trade in your wife for a hot, new model. Don’t resolve your marital conflict, just give up and start over. Go after the younger version. This broad, liberal, divorce over anything was the dominant opinion of the Lord ’s day. Almost everyone had embraced easy divorce, and the Pharisees knew that Jesus did not, but actually upheld the teaching of God’s Word.
The Pharisees already knew what Jesus believed–He’d already taught the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:32, “But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” And repeated Himself clearly in Matthew 19:9, “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Our Lord exposes God’s heart on divorce–He hates it.
The Pharisees knew what Jesus believed, and hoped by asking in verse 2, whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife, that the Lord would appear like a hardliner to the people . . . that it would sound like Jesus was calling the people adulterers . . . that the Lord would sound harsh and unforgiving, so that the crowds would turn against Christ because of it.
Circle the word “lawful” in verse 2. The Greek lawful also means possible, and is continual action. They’re asking Jesus, “is divorce an ongoing, continual possibility?” They’re pressing Jesus to answer, “are you continually free to divorce?” By asking this, the Pharisees are forcing Jesus to pick a side, so that He might alienate a large portion of the population who are divorced, or are in support of divorce.
It would be like you appearing on the TV show, The View, and declaring homosexuality is sin, and all divorce except for adultery is sin. In that context, they’d eat you alive. Just like that, the Pharisees want Jesus to be dated, discredited, and potentially discarded by the crowds. That was goal number one–discredit Jesus.
But the Pharisees are even more calculating, for they’ve saved the divorce question until Jesus enters the region of Peraea. They shrewdly ask Jesus to declare His position on divorce now, because the ruler who oversees Peraea has already arrested and killed John the Baptist, because John condemned the unbiblical marriage of Herod Antipas and his wife Herodias.
You remember–Antipas was married, and Herodias was married to Anitpas’ brother, Philip. But Antipas lusted after Herodias and wooed her away from her husband, his own brother Philip. Herod Antipas divorced his wife, and she divorced her husband, Philip (Herod Antipas’ brother), then she married Herod Antipas. John the Baptist spoke out against their marriage–he kept saying, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife–even though you are a pagan, you can’t just divorce your wife, then steal another man’s wife, your own brother’s wife. That’s adultery.”
Herodias hated John for condemning her marriage, and she pressured her husband, Herod Antipas, to arrest John and put him in a dark prison, which is not far from this very spot where the Pharisees are talking to Jesus in Mark 10. Herodias had a grudge against John the Baptist. And you know what happened next. A banquet, a seductive dance, a foolish promise led to “off with his head.” John confronted Herod and Herodias about divorce, and it cost him his life.
Now the Pharisees hoped, in tricking Jesus into publically declaring the same position John held, the biblical view, while in the very territory ruled by Herod with Herodias, that Jesus too might make Herod or Herodias really mad, so they’d arrest Jesus and behead Him, like they did John. This is a very Machiavellian scheme to destroy Christ.
What would you have done? How would you have answered? Under the same circumstances, where it’d cost you your reputation or potentially your life, would you answer their question? Today, you and I might avoid the issue, walk away and not answer, change the subject, give our opinion, or quote someone–but not the Lord. How does Jesus answer this “wily” question?
#3 CLARIFYING the true AUTHORITY on DIVORCE
Read verse 3, “And He answered and said to them, ‘What did Moses command you?’” I love it–Jesus says, “What does the Bible say? What did God command you to do through Moses?” And because we know Jesus is the creator of marriage and God incarnate, He’s actually saying, “What did I already tell you to do?” Almost like your mom–“What did I tell you to do? Then do it.”
The Lord doesn’t avoid their question, but He cut right through their customs, overlooked their culture, smashed their tradition, discarded everything the rabbis taught, ignored everyone’s opinion–and like a laser, focused on God’s Word as the only solution to their question, and the only authority to obey. The Word of God is the truth that trumps all opinion. It is the Bible which overrules the rabbis. It’s the Scripture Jesus relies upon to answer the controversy. And in doing so, He exposes their errant interpretation. He shows them where they went wrong. He proves to them God had a different plan for marriage.
They respond in verse 4 with, “They said, ‘Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.’” Of course you see the error right away, don’t you? You don’t? What is their error? How are they interpreting the Old Testament incorrectly, giving them the wrong view of divorce? And what was God’s design for marriage, and the biblical way to understand divorce? For the answer to that, you have to come back next week. But for today . . .
A. Understand what BREAKS a marriage
Adultery, Abandonment and pre-Christ Actions
Breaking the vow through abandonment is described in 1 Corinthians 7:15, “If the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace.”
Breaking the union through adultery is described in Matthew 19:9, “Whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
Divorcing a spouse, or remarriage prior to becoming a Christian–we have to believe 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
God does allow for divorce, and for remarriage, but only when there’s been abandonment, adultery or actions prior to Christ. Some are innocent when their marriage ends in divorce. Though none of us are truly innocent, sometimes in marriage it’s one spouse who breaks the marriage, and the other spouse who does all they can to remain one with their spouse. When a partner breaks a marriage through adultery or abandonment, then divorce may become necessary–though for a true Christian, an undesirable option. But it is allowable, and the innocent party is free to remarry.
Christians who battle with this usually don’t understand that marriage is a vow and a union, of which both can be broken by adultery and abandonment. The innocent party must forgive as Christ forgave them, but they do not have to reconcile when there’s been adultery. Our culture winks at adultery–they call it having an “affair”. God sees adultery as a sin that marks you and destroys a marriage. That’s why God tells believers to run–flee from the temptation of unfaithfulness. It is true that the innocent party must forgive, and they can choose to reconcile, but they are not required to.
Some of you need to know the forgiveness that Christ offers. Those of you bound by the shackles of guilt need to be released of your chains and discover the freedom you have in Christ. But getting the freedom of forgiveness might be hard for some of you, since forgiveness only comes after repentance. Some of you are divorced and have little for which to repent. Some of you have repented, and yet have not taken up the freedom, clarity and joy of the forgiveness that Christ offers. But others of you may not have repented of a divorce that you were involved in, and you now need to make things right with God, and potentially others.
And never forget, there are no second-class citizens in heaven. There are no second-class citizens in the Church. We all stand here by His grace. We are all here because of what Christ has done on our behalf, even if you’re divorced.
B. Embrace God’s HEART on divorce–HATE it
Divorce is not God’s desire, not God’s design–nor is it the unpardonable sin. Restoration is possible, and a divorced believer is not a second-class Christian. How do you prevent it in your marriage, and truly help others you love to not divorce?
1 Cherish, adore, delight in and take care of your spouse–are you?
2 Forgive your spouse like Christ forgave you–70×7
3 Love your spouse, even when they act like an enemy (love your enemies)
4 Endure under the trial of an indifferent or difficult spouse
5 Stop all damaging behavior, habits or words that hurt marriage–like removing the idea of divorce from your mind and mouth
Remember when Ruth Graham was asked if she ever considered divorcing Billy? She said, “Divorce, never—murder, yes!” Take divorce out of your thinking and vocabulary–it’s not an option.
6 Fight for regular time with your spouse without the kids
7 Become a member of FBC
Go to a church where they love you enough to pursue you, chase you, confront you, and even spiritually spank you if you ever give into the temptation to leave your spouse
8 Study marriage
Read great books and listen to helpful series. If you were not here when we went through Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 3 on marriage, download those from the website and listen through the messages. You need to know what God says. Next to Christ, your spouse is your highest priority, over your kids, ladies–and over your job, men. Work at your marriage, husbands—cooperate, wives.
C Singles, pursue your PURPOSE–undistracted devotion
Fill out your MAIN job description, singles–God says to you in 1 Corinthians 7:35, “secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.” Don’t try to impress, flirt, allure or play games to get married, but disciple others in order to learn to parent. Serve in ministry to the body to grow healthy and whole. Be mentored by older, godly couples to be a model for you. Dream about doing great things for Christ, and pursue them. Passionately share the Gospel with the lost so you’re ready to model and share with your own children. Grow deep in the Word, and in greater intimacy with Christ. As you do, the Lord will bring the spouse He’s chosen for you to you.
D Embrace your GREATEST need–SALVATION in Christ
You can’t do this on your own. You can’t live out Ephesians 5 or 1 Peter 3 without the salvation described early in both those letters. You need Christ and daily dependence upon the Spirit of God in order to have a truly biblical marriage. Have you turned from your will, your sins, your desires, and embraced God’s work on the cross for your sins? You are in trouble with God until you surrender your life to Him. Do that right now–cry out for His salvation.
Let’s pray. Open our hearts to Your plan. Help those who’ve been hurt by divorce. Help each of us to repent of the sins we commit that hurt others. Help us to understand Your heart. Make us more like Your Son, for Your glory.