Devotions for July 12, 2017

MATTHEW 5:31-32

31 “You have heard the law that says, ‘A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.’[a] 32 But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.

MATTHEW 19:1-12

19 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went down to the region of Judea east of the Jordan River. 2 Large crowds followed him there, and he healed their sick.

3 Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?”

4 “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’[a]” 5 And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’[b] 6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”

7 “Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?”[c] they asked.

8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. 9 And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.[d]”

10 Jesus’ disciples then said to him, “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!”

11 “Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps. 12 Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry[e] for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”

WE ARE BROKEN

I think we can all agree that divorce is a complex and challenging issue. Most of us have been impacted by divorce even if we have never been through it ourselves in our immediate families. All of us have some form of brokenness in our lives. Yet, here are no throw-away people in the Kingdom of God, nor are there second-class citizens. This passage is relevant to all of us, whether single or married.

PERSONAL REFLECTION

Q: Was divorce part of God’s original design for marriage?

Q: In what ways does divorce harm people? In what ways has it impacted you?

Q: If you are married, what are some things you can do this week to strengthen your bond with your spouse?

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