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Divorce! - Matthew 5:31-32

"It was also said, 'Any person that divorces his wife must give her a written notice of divorce.' But I tell you that any person that divorces his wife is causing his wife to be guilty of the sin of adultery. The only reason for a person to divorce his wife is if his wife had sexual relations with another man. And any person that marries that divorced woman is guilty of the sin of adultery." (ERV) Full Text

Key Thought

The prophet Malachi said it forcefully, "God hates divorce!" Jesus' words here are equally emphatic. Jesus' condemnation is specifically directed to men because they were the only ones in Jewish culture in Jesus' time who could divorce a marriage partner. A woman was left with few options other than remarriage or poverty. While God hates divorce, Jesus' ministry demonstrates God's love for those broken by it (cf. John 4). In fact, God hates divorce because of the brokenness it creates in the lives of those involved and the loss of character in one or both parties that often causes divorce. Because of their love for God, husbands and wives have as their goal two key things: (1) loving each other and (2) learning faithfulness through their relationship with each other. By pursuing a loving relationship and remaining faithful sexually, they are guarding themselves against divorce and honoring God by maintaining their covenant with him and with each other. In an age where promiscuity and sexual indiscretion run rampant, we must heed the call to sexual purity and loving commitment so that divorce can be prevented and its devastation avoided.


Today's Prayer

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Holy and faithful God, please help me keep my heart loyal and true. I want to be a person of character. Empower me by your Spirit to stay free of sexual sin and to be faithful in the commitments I make. Holy God, if I am married, I pray that you not only keep me from divorce, but that you also lead me to a life of loving service with my marriage partner. In addition, dear Father, please strengthen and bless those that I know who are in marriage distress and ransom their marriage from impending divorce. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


Today's Verses in Context


"You have heard that it was said, 'Don't do the sin of adultery.' But I tell you that if a person looks at a woman and wants to sin sexually with her, then that person has already done that sin with the woman in his mind. If your right eye makes you sin, then take it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. "It was also said, 'Any person that divorces his wife must give her a written notice of divorce.' But I tell you that any person that divorces his wife is causing his wife to be guilty of the sin of adultery. The only reason for a person to divorce his wife is if his wife had sexual relations with another man. And any person that marries that divorced woman is guilty of the sin of adultery. "You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, 'When you make a vow (promise), don't break that promise. Keep the vows (promises) that you make to the Lord.' But I tell you, never make a vow. Don't make a vow using the name of heaven, because heaven is God's throne. Don't make a vow using the name of the earth, because the earth belongs to God. Don't make a vow using the name of Jerusalem, because that is the city of the great King (God). And don't even say that your own head is proof that you will keep your vow. You cannot make one hair on your head become white or black. Say only 'yes' if you mean yes, and say only 'no' if you mean no. If you must say more than 'yes' or 'no,' it is from the Evil One (the devil).

Matthew 5:27-37 (ERV)

 



123132: God With Us: 365 Devotionals from the Gospel of MatthewGod With Us:
365 Devotionals from the Gospel of Matthew

By Phil Ware

Join the author of the Gospel of Matthew in God With Us, a devotional that will immerse you in exploring the glories of Immanuel. The book uses one short passage each day and follows the Gospel text from beginning to end. Each day's passage is followed by a brief Reflection to open up the day's Scripture and a Prayer to show how the verses challenge you to live for Jesus.


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Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.


 
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You can cry and cover the Lord's altar with tears, but the Lord will not accept your gifts. The Lord will not be pleased with the things you bring to him. You ask, "Why are our gifts not accepted by the Lord?" Why? Because the Lord saw the bad things you did—he is a witness against you. He saw you cheat on your wife. You have been married to that woman since you were young. She was your girlfriend. Then you made your vows to each other—and she became your wife. {But you cheated on her}. God wants husbands and wives to become one body and one spirit. Why? So they would have holy children. So protect that spiritual unity. Don't cheat on your wife. She has been your wife from the time you were young. The Lord God of Israel says, "I hate divorce. And I hate the cruel things that men do. So protect your spiritual unity. Don't cheat on your wife."Malachi 2:13-16 (ERV)

I tell you that any person that divorces his wife and marries another woman is guilty of the sin of adultery. The only reason for a person to divorce and marry again is if his first wife had sexual relations with another man."Matthew 19:9 (ERV)

Now I give this command for the married people. (The command is not from me; it is from the Lord.) A wife must not leave her husband. But if a wife leaves her husband she must not marry again. Or she should go back together with her husband. Also the husband must not divorce his wife.1 Corinthians 7:10-11 (ERV)

 

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