Read thru the New Testament 2018
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids
Bible Reading: Matthew 19:1-15
It is sad to say, but according to studies done here in the U.S., approximately 50%, one-half, of all first time marriages…will wind up in divorce. But to me, as a follower of Jesus Christ, it is even sadder to say that the statistics for those claiming to be Christians…are almost the same. 50%. One-half. One out of every two.
- Marriage…the institution that God created to be the foundation of society.
- Marriage…the most intimate relationship on earth that can ever be shared between a man and a woman.
- Marriage…the safe-haven in which children are to be raised.
- Marriage…the picture that Jesus, Himself, chose to use to represent the kind of relationship that should exist between God and His people.
Marriage…50% wind up in divorce. What has happened? Where did we go wrong?
Could it be that we, Christians, have forsaken God’s command concerning marriage for the world’s convenience concerning marriage? After all, isn’t it a bit much to expect a man, or a woman, to put up with a spouse who doesn’t meet up to their expectations?
- Who isn’t pretty, or handsome, or witty enough?
- Who shows signs of aging, or sickness?
- Who doesn’t provide enough financial satisfaction?
- Who won’t jump to respond to our desires?
- Who…you finish the sentence. You’ve probably heard as many excuses as I have.
Isn’t marriage supposed to be a relationship of convenience? And if your spouse doesn’t meet your expectations…there are plenty more fish in the sea.
But that’s not the way that Jesus saw it. He only mentioned one reason why divorce should even be considered…if your spouse has been involved sexually with another person. And then…it is permitted, not required. And then…it is because of the “your hardness of heart” that it is even permitted. What does that mean?
It could mean that when your spouse has a sexual relationship with someone else…instead of having a soft, forgiving heart…you have a hard, judgmental heart…”hardness of heart”. Unlike God, who forgives you when you sin against Him…you are unwilling to forgive the one who has sinned against you. So, knowing that a hard heart leads to harsh treatment…God allows for divorce. It is interesting that this discussion is directed towards men…because in that day men were the ones who could initiate the divorce process. God told Moses that He would permit divorce…but not so that the husband could just hook up with another woman…but, so that the wife would be protected from the abuse she was likely to receive from her husband if she was forced to remain in the marriage.
Or, it could mean that their view of women had become so corrupt that their “hardness of heart” was their general attitude towards them. Women were nothing more than…cattle. Something to be bought, and used, and traded in for a new model. These men felt that they could divorce their wife for “any cause at all”…for any reason they wanted. After all, it was about them, not the woman.
The disciples were incredulous and thought that no one could live up to such a high standard…to remain married for a lifetime…to the same woman! The response of Jesus is both serious and comical. It is serious in that He recognizes that not all men can do this. Sad. Only those who are willing to make a commitment to God’s command and a commitment to his wife can do so. For the rest (and here is the humor)…you could become a eunuch. Ouch. Will that be door #1, or door #2? Which is more difficult? Stay married…go under the knife?
So, what does that say to us? God intends for us to be married to the same person for a lifetime. No divorce. Jesus said (and I paraphrase)…”God created humans as male and female with the intent that they be married, together. They become married when God unites them as one. What God has united into one…no man should attempt to divide into two.”
So, first, I need to make a commitment to God that I will be faithful to Him and that I will constantly seek His strength and wisdom to be faithful to my spouse. Second, if I am going to stay married to the same person for life…then I had better work diligently on our relationship…or else, it is going to be a very long, and miserable ride. I don’t want to be married to just fulfill the letter of the law. I want to be married that the law of love will be fulfilled in me.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
What are you going to be when you grow up? Any idea? If you could be anything that you wanted to be…what would it be? There are some really cool…and some really strange…things that people do for a living. Here are some of the strange ones…
A hotel hired someone to test the comfort of their beds.
Drying paint watcher:
A man spends his days painting sheets of cardboard to test how long new paint mixes take to dry.
Full-time Netflix viewer:
Netflix have hired someone to watch all of their content before it becomes available to the public.
In Japan people are hired to help cram as many people onto a train as possible by pushing them from the outside until the doors will close.
In South East Asia professional mourners are hired to cry and weep loudly during a funeral service.
This person collects the venom of poisonous snakes in jars for use in anti-venoms and other medication.
Dog food taster:
I don’t even need to explain this one.
In order to test the effectiveness of new products, ‘odour judges’ are hired to smell volunteers’ breath, feet and armpits.
Marmite is a food made in England. It is kind of like a paste and has a yeasty, salty, soy sauce flavor.
Scuba Diving Pizza Delivery Man:
There is an underwater hotel in Florida where you can order out for pizza.
I may not know what you will do for a living when you grow up…but I do know something that God intends for you to do when you grow up. Are you ready? God intends for you to get married. “Ooooh…married?” Yep, married. How do I know that God intends for you to get married? Because God said that was His intention when He made people. You see, when God made people, He made two kinds…men and women. He made them that way because He intends for a man and a woman to get married…and have children…who will get married…and have children…who will get married. Well, you see what I mean. And, God intends for a man and a woman to get married…and to stay married to each for their entire lives.
Now, I’ve got some friends who got married…but they didn’t stay married…they got divorced. One day some men came to Jesus and asked Him about divorce. Jesus said that God did not intend for married couples to get divorced. God’s intention is for them to stay married to each other for their entire life. “Their entire life? Wow, that seems almost impossible!” That’s what the disciples were thinking when Jesus made that statement. That’s a long time. But let me tell you something…it’s a wonderful long time.
Grandma and I have been married for 42 years. During those years we had children…your parents. I like to say that we grew up with your parents. I also like to say that we had way too much fun being their parents. I loved it. Spending time with them. Watching them learn. Going places. Having new experiences. Making memories. Time passed and they grew up…and they got married. Hey, that’s what I was talking about before, right? And the next thing you know…you guys came along. And now, they are having the same fun raising you…that we had raising them. Grandma and I have moved several times. We’ve made many, many friends. We’ve had different jobs. We’ve buried her Dad, and my Mom and Dad. We’ve buried a little granddaughter before she was ever born. We’ve been through a lot together. And can I tell you something? I love Grandma more today…than I have ever loved her, before. I’m serious. Somehow, every year seems to make our love stronger. Going through struggles. Celebrating joys. When you love each other…if you let them, they all work together to make your love stronger.
When Jesus was talking about marriage He said two things that I think help a marriage last a lifetime. First, He said that God is the one who unites a man and a woman together in marriage. Now, the way I see it, if God is the one who did the uniting…and He intends for a couple to stay united…then He’s probably the one to go to when you need help being united. Make sense? I know Grandma and I need help. We ask God for His help all of the time. There are so many pressures, and difficulties, and situations that can tear a couple apart. And to be honest…we’re just not strong enough to keep our marriage together, on our own. We need help. So, we pray together, and we study the Bible together, and we go to church together, and we serve the Lord together…and guess what? God keeps us together. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it? There’s one more thing that Jesus mentioned. Don’t ever just expect your marriage to be good and to last. Take responsibility for keeping it that way. That means that you work together at having a good marriage. Do things for each other. Think of what your spouse wants…before thinking about what you want. Oh, and one, really, really, really important thing. Tell your spouse that you love them every single day. In fact, tell them several times a day. And, tell them you love them in front of other people. It kind of makes them feel special. When your Mom and Dad were growing up I used to look at them and say, “You know what?” And they would say, “What?” And I would say, “I love your Mom!” I told them that so many times…that finally, it got to the place where I would say, “You know what?” and they would respond, “We know…you love our Mom.” And they were right.
One day, when you’re all grown up, and you get married…do it for life. Ask God for His help. And then, make sure that you are always working at making it great. I promise you…it gets better and better as the years go by. Trust me on this. I’m married to your Grandma…and she is something else. By the way, “You know what?”
Love you more than bunches and bunches,