"And Pharisees came up to [Jesus] and tested him by asking, 'Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?' He answered, 'Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh"? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.'" - Matthew 19:3-6
Here the Pharisees test Jesus on the subject of marriage and divorce, which in their day was just as controversial as it is in ours. Jesus answers by stating God's original intent for marriage and quoting Genesis 2. A married couple becomes "one flesh," the closest intimacy possible for two human beings. God is the one who joins together married couples, and it is not within man's jurisdiction to break up what God has joined.
Here's some applicational principles for us: (1) when dealing with fundamental questions of identity, gender, sex, marriage, and divorce, we are to turn to the first chapters of Genesis for answers; (2) we are to view marriage as sacred (God joins together married couples, not man); and (3) except in a small number of situations, like serious physical abuse, divorce is not to be an option for us.
Father, thank you for designing marriage. Marriage is such a blessing to us. Please bless every married couple today. Help us to remember our wedding vows and that you have joined us together in "holy matrimony." Thank you for the permanence and stability that marriage brings to our lives. May husbands love their wives, and may wives respect their husbands. Help me to prepare my second message on marriage today, and help me to deliver that message tomorrow. Thank you for what you are teaching our church about marriage. Father, may the marriages in our local church be strong. May the "d" word never be mentioned in our homes. May we be godly husbands and godly wives. In Jesus' name, amen.
- Jeff Coleman