MAXIMUM LOVE MENTALITY
As marriage increasingly comes under attack, pray for God’s design for marriage to be upheld in the church and in your own life.
Read Matthew 19:1–15
19 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
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 flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one 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 sexual immorality, 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 there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”
The Little Children and Jesus
13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.
14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect“Marriage should be honored by all…” (Heb. 13:4a).
The Pharisees pose a craftily worded question: “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” (3). Refusing to be drawn into the divorce debate of the day, Jesus, quoting Genesis 2:24, raises their sights to the Creator’s design (4–6).
When sin is rampant, the law steps in to regulate sin. Minimum wage legislation, for instance, aims to protect employees from exploitation, not discourage employers from paying just, even generous, wages. Moses’ regulatory laws (Deut. 24:1–4) are misquoted by the Pharisees in support of divorce (7). Jesus points out that the Mosaic law was merely a reluctant concession to human sinfulness (8), a protective measure for innocent victims, not a mandate for divorce. For disciples of Jesus, the standard for marriage is nothing less than God’s original intention in creation (8).
Divorce is never God’s ideal; but lest any of us be tempted to grow complacent or to condemn, let’s remember that neither is it God’s intention that we simply “stay married” without growing in oneness and self-sacrificial love. And there is mercy and grace for all.
In all your relationships, what steps will you take to move beyond “minimum wage” thinking to a “maximum love” mentality?
God, show me what Your definition of love really means.