Finding God in Marriage
3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”
11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”
I. “In the Beginning” Jesus shows the marriage is God-ordained, and it began with Him alone joining together the first couple in marriage.
- Tension between the secular and the sacred.
- Ruling clergy concentrated on the Law of Moses that came after the institution of marriage. Jesus reminded them that God joins together people in marriage. So if God is greater than man, how could man separate what God has joined.
- Moses made a concession because of the hardness of people’s hearts. “Command” v “Permitted.”
- Today, law makers do the same.
- Ronald Reagan, influenced by Hollywood, signed into law NO FAULT DIVORCE. Other states followed suit.
- Tension between the secular and sacred.
II. Better not to marry than risk being unhappy for life.
- Joke, Ant and Elephant, Digging a grave.
- Jesus acknowledge that if you have the gift of singleness than use it.
- “Not everyone can accept this word.” The gift of singleness is not for everyone.
1 Cor 7:7
7 I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
- Singleness is a gift and so is marriage.
- Gift is charis, and in charisma. Grace.
- Why do some renounce marriage for God’s kingdom? So they could be happy or holy?
- Why do some become hermits? So they can become happy or holy?
- Why did you get married? So you can be happy or holy?
- A new view of marriage must be adopted: that God gave you marriage to be holy.
- Married couples have unique ways to grow in the Lord.
- Commitment and carrying for another person.
- Having children to care for.
- Interestingly, this dialogue with the Pharisees about marriage is sandwiched between Jesus discourse on forgiveness and His blessing children.
- Lesson: when you get married you will have plenty of opportunities to forgive your spouse and when you do so, your children will be blessed.
- To err is human; to forgive is divine.
III. People do one of four things if they are unhappy in their marriage:
- Find someone else that will make you happy.
- Fight with the person who makes you unhappy.
- Find ways to make yourself less unhappy
- Find a deeper meaning in your marriage.
IV. Four blessings of marriage:
- Producing of holy children.
1 Cor 7:12-14
12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
- Holy outlet for sex.
1 Cor 7:2
2 But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.
- Intimate union caused by an exclusive, lifetime commitment between two people. Faith, love, loyalty
7 Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot wash it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of his house for love,
it would be utterly scorned.
- Sacrament. God joins together two people. Experience the enabling grace of God to keep your vows for life.
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
2 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
V. Jesus view on Marriage:
- Jesus added something not explicitly said in the Genesis account but clearly taught. “God joins a man and woman in holy matrimony.”
- God says, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”
- God says, “I will make a helper”
- God causes Adam to fall into a deep sleep.
- God makes a woman from Adam’s rib.
- God brings the woman to the man.
- God is completely responsible for holy matrimony.
- Animals procreate but they do not enter marriage.
- If you had a paten to an invention and someone added something to the invention, is it your paten? Is it your invention?
VI. Grace. Trees on the Western slopes of cascade in the state of Washington.
- Trees are so old because there is so much rain.
- Lightening strikes just as more and usually more, but the trees rarely get destroyed because they are so wet.
- Sacrament is God’s rain of grace over a marriage, and even though lightening strikes just as often on Sacred Marriage, and perhaps even more, because Satan attacks sacred marriages more than secular, yet those marriages are not destroy because of God’s grace in their lives.