Key Thought: Jesus steps into a hot debate about divorce and remarriage. Jesus’ response to the discussion takes the conversation all the way back to not just divorce in marriage but the design of marriage. By pointing to the original intent for marriage, Jesus is clarifying the ideal goal.
1. Jesus affirms marriage by pointing to God’s original design
- God created marriage
- God design marriage for complementarian relationship to thrive in community
- God designed marriage to be exclusive
- God intended marriage to be permanent
- Jesus is actually putting pressure on the men who were leaving their wives for younger women
- God didn’t intend on everyone getting married – Matthew 19:10-12
2. Jesus give us the real reason for divorce
- Hardness of heart
- Hardened toward God
- Toward one another
- Toward themselves
- Toward life in general
Is your heart becoming hard? Warm it by reflecting on God’s love and grace for you.
- Forgive each other
- Compliment each other
- Become a student of the other
- Serve each other
TALK IT OUT
- Pastor Rusty made the point that God’s plan for marriage was that it is to be exclusive, in other words, one man and one woman. Why did Jesus emphasize this foundational truth before answering the question about divorce and remarriage?
- Jesus also said marriage is to be permanent, that is, for life. How does this fact make the point that while sometimes divorce may happen, that isn’t God’s ideal?
- In verse 8 Jesus explained that Moses permitted divorce because the people’s hearts were hard. How might hardened hearts contribute to divorce?
- Since hard hearts are at the root of divorce if married couples soften their hearts it stands to reason that it will increase their chances of remaining married. How can married couples soften their hearts?
- Pastor Rusty said married couples are to forgive one another. While that is obviously good, it isn’t automatic. How can couples become more forgiving?
- Pastor Rusty also said we should compliment one another and become students of each other. How can that contribute to us having soft hearts?
- Jesus consistently set an example of what it means to be a servant. How could this too contribute to repairing our marriages if husbands and wives serve one another?
- In vs. 10-12 Jesus makes the point that not everyone should be married. Why?
- Jesus’ teaching brings us to Malachi 2:16, “‘I hate divorce’ says the Lord God of Israel…” While God hates divorce did that mean Jesus hated divorced people? Why or why not? How did He consistently treat hurting people throughout His ministry?
LIVE IT OUT
- List at least three ways you can guard against developing a hard heart.
- List at least three ways you can develop a soft heart.
- For those of you who are married, list three ways you can better serve your mate.
- Ask God to help you put into practice the above plans to guard against a hard heart, the three ways to develop a soft heart and the three ways you can better serve your mate.
- For those of you who are married, make time today to tell your spouse how much you love them, or write them a love note letting them how special they are to you.