September 26, 1999
O.T. Lesson Deut. 24:1-5
N.T. Lesson Eph 5:21-33
Jesus was confronted by the Jewish leaders about an argument that was going on in theological circles about how difficult divorce should be. The Hillel people would sanction divorce for anything — the Shamai only for sexual infidelity. So it didn’t matter what Jesus said, he would be politically incorrect. They asked the question on the basis of legality — so Jesus addresses it from that side, then goes on to discuss what God’s design really was, what he had in mind.
The Apostle Paul sets a base of love for the relationship- God’s kind of love. I Cor.13:4-8a, I Cor.7:12-16, and Eph. 5:22-33 describe what love really is; the issue of people who are married but one of them is not a Christian; and the basic pattern that marriage is — an earthly demonstration of the relationship between the Church and Jesus himself.
So what are some handles on how we can have successful marriages?
THE GREAT COMMANDMENT becomes the basis — Loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Being God-oriented helps us not be self-oriented. (See Mark 12:30,31) In Deut 6:5 the word love should be seen in the context of “To make one’s choice in”. Romans 12:1 says “Present your self to God as a living sacrifice”. I Cor 10:13 says that God will never saddle you with an impossible load. He will be there to help.
Successful marriages are based on what we contribute to the relationship rather than what we get out of it. When our focus is on Jesus and serving and pleasing Him, we will have marriages that will reflect that truth. John 13:34,35 indicates that Christians’ relationships will be the criteria of the society around being influenced by the Good News of Jesus. This includes singles. The integrity and sincerity and fidelity of their relationships to other believers is as crucial as anyone else.
Will you commit yourself to God to follow through in your relationships based on His rules?
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14. “When you seek for me with your whole heart I will let you find me” Jer 29:13b,14a.
©1999 D. H. Friesen
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