Today’s devotion is based on Matthew 19:3-9. “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?" "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' 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'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate." "Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?" Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery."
Jesus has some stern words concerning marriage. Why does God take lifelong marriage so seriously? There is a profound purpose in the fact that in creation, God created them male and female with different natures and as a complement to each other. A man and a woman can grow together both in body and soul in a way that is isn’t possible for others. A person falling in love with another, while good in itself, seeks its own objectives. It expects happiness by owning the other. The desire to own the other is what leads to problems and divorce.
In marriage, another type of love develops, the love of serving the other person by being helpful and supportive of them. The love of putting them above oneself. The love that does not keep track of wrongs, or keep score on who is doing more for the other. The love that finds happiness in sharing the other person’s life and good and bad times. That is the love that God intends for marriage.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, you have given us the wonderful gift of marriage. You know how often we misuse this gift, as we use it to satisfy our needs instead of the needs of our spouse. Thank you for your words of wisdom and forgiveness when we don’t follow your word. Strengthen us in our commitment to our spouse. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen