Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Heart of the Matter

Matthew 19 (Holman Christian Standard)

The Question of Divorce

1 When Jesus had finished this instruction, (A) He departed from Galilee and went to the region of Judea across the Jordan. (B) 2 Large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there. (C) 3 Some Pharisees approached Him to test Him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife on any grounds?" (D)
4 "Haven't you read," He replied, "that He who created [a] them in the beginning made them male and female , (E) (F) 5 and He also said:

For this reason a man will leave

his father and mother

and be joined to his wife,

and the two will become one flesh ? (G) (H)

6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, man must not separate."

7 "Why then," they asked Him, "did Moses command [us] to give divorce papers (I) and to send her away?"

8 He told them, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of the hardness of your hearts. But it was not like that from the beginning. 9 And I tell you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery." (J) [b]

10 His disciples (K) said to Him, "If the relationship of a man with his wife is like this, it's better not to marry!"

11 But He told them, "Not everyone can accept this saying, but only those it has been given (L) to. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb, there are eunuchs who were made by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way because of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can."

Hi everyone! On my other favorite network, Sistafaith, I try to pray every day with the prayer group and this month the focus is on marriage. I found this scripture and just wanted to give people a little more meat and bone to chew on. I hope that you find something new and insightful as you read. I think too often we take for granted the way God intended marriage to be. Most of us get married because we're "in love" and we don't take the time or brain cells to figure out if it is even something we want(or God wants)and then by year three (after the hormones wear off) we don't know who we married! I think a lot of times we jump right in headfirst because we think to WANT to marry someone must be a sign that it's right. We feel therefore we should, but I submit that there are tons of cases in divorce court where the feelings died and folks are wondering "Where is the love?" This scripture is of course a reminder to the married folks that there is no longer two singles but one unit/team that God has put together. So as you look at that man sitting on the couch in his underwear scratching himself and you're thinking, "Uhhhn!" Remember he is part of you and you wouldn't be the same without him. He has affected your life in many good ways and sometimes not so good but nonetheless you're joined at the heart no matter how you feel about him right now. And to those husbands that are looking at their wives and wondering why she insists on wearing those god-awful head scarves to bed and putting on that funky green facial goo when you were looking for those model good looks to make love to: Remember, she is still the woman you pledged to love, honor, and cherish. And although you didn't want her hourglass figure to change she is still the same where it counts. Time doesn't stand still and neither do we. We have to grow up and older because that is the way of life.

Whenever any of you get a chance, look up the standard marriage vows online and look at the graveness of the words that were used. Those vows are serious because marriage as relationship is serious. One more thing: God will never force you to do anything you don't want to do. If you have checked out of your marriage, but you're still standing in the lobby, God will not make you leave. You can always check back in. But if you think the marriage is unsafe or too expensive or even not of your 'caliber' God won't tie you to a chair. God always gives freedom of choice but please make sure you understand that all freedom comes with a price.

All the single ladies (and gentlemen)! Sorry I couldn't help it (tee hee). Although I'm married, I've seen enough of the pathology to qualify this statement: Don't feel like you just have to get married, or get married right now, or get married by this birthday or you're an old maid/man, or even marry this particular man/woman because this is "The One" and your ONLY shot at happiness. Not true. Many "The Ones" are now working on second marriages with "The New One". Jesus made it clear that not every one can or should get married and there is nothing wrong with it. Marriage is not for everyone but it is for keeps. However, there are those who will tell you that you can treat your marriage like a starter house. You can get a partner that's okay for the first husband/wife, but you're not really committed. When the spouse isn't meeting your needs/expectations you can then divorce and go get an "upgrade." Don't jump into a commitment that binds you heart, mind, and soul! All three parts of you will be affected if you were to split up (regardless of the reasons for it). You become like a three stranded cord when you make your vows, and to break them would be to destroy the integrity of the cord (the very fiber of who you are). I've see enough marriages fall apart to know that grief from divorce is worse than losing your spouse to death. At least with death you know the spouse is gone, but with divorce no matter where in the world you are, there is always a chance of seeing your ex, and without trying everything that led up to that breakup can re-introduce the negative feelings especially if it seems they or you have happily moved on. I'm saying all this to say, marriage is not an institution or a contract, it's a relationship that affects you completely and should never be taken lightly. Well, this has been fun and I can't wait to see if get any responses on this one. Be blessed!

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