February 17: Divorce and Remarriage (Matthew 5:31-32)
Matthew 5:31-32 "It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery."
Matthew 19:3-9 And the Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”
The third aspect of a greater righteousness evidenced by citizens of the kingdom will be revealed in their marriages. All marriages have points of great joy and great struggle. For many the struggles and pressure of marriage are so great that divorce becomes an option for relief from the struggle. Jesus brings clarity to the importance of perseverance in marriage by revealing that God’s original design is that a man and woman would become one flesh. Consider your marriages in the light of Jesus teaching in Matthew 5:31-32 and 19:3-9.
Review and Apply
- How are you actively contributing to the unity of your marriage?
- How has the gospel been displayed through your marriage, your willingness to forgive and sacrifice for each other? Give examples.
- In what areas of your marriage have you settled for (or even made peace with) relational distance rather than pursuing the oneness that Scripture calls for?
- In what two areas can you move toward developing a greater unity with your spouse? Be specific.
- What is your practice of or struggle with extending forgiveness when you are wronged? Ask your spouse – do they consider you slow or quick to forgive?
- In what ways are you protecting the sexual purity of your marriage?
- How can you encourage one another in faithful marriages?
- For the single person, what are three considerations to be made before contemplating marriage?
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