Dear Presby Family: Promise Maker, Promise Keeper

“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.” Matthew 19:5-6

God’s design for marriage is for a husband and wife to leave their families and to form something new. This involves much more than a contract, or even a commitment. A married couple makes a covenant together, committing to love one another with the same gracious and undeserved love that God has shown to us.

Our model for marriage is Christ himself, who loved us and gave his life for us. Yet what we find is that this kind of self-giving love is not easy to imitate. While marriage calls for learning and growing, it often reveals our broken, selfish, and pride-filled hearts, where division and pain can lead to divorce. Sadly, many Chris­tians end up struggling in silence due to the stigma and shame.

In the verses we will be studying together this week, Jesus speaks into one of today’s deeply painful realities. Many homes have experienced the shattering hurt of divorce. As a child, perhaps your parents left you with the crushing reality of divorce. Perhaps you have experienced it yourself. Perhaps you are watching your own children navigate the mess of separation and divorce. Or perhaps your marriage is fraying at the seams, and divorce seems like the only option.

In an imperfect world, divorce is a reality we must contend with. However, as we will see together this week, Jesus is not offering us a loophole for rightfully pursuing divorce. Instead, he urges us to hold marriage in high esteem. That means that we need to both nurture our marriages as well as support those who have experienced divorce with grace and empathy.

As we talk about these difficult things together, my prayer is that it brings us to a place of greater prayer for one another and as a church. May God give us the grace to navigate this conversation, and the wisdom to see how our marriages reflect his love for us as the bride of Christ.

Grace & Peace,
Pastor Aaron

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