Faithlife Sermons

Faithful Marriages

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Intro

Malachi 2:16 NASB95
“For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”
ILL: Test questions with no right answer
“God hates divorce” — Malachi
ILL: Test questions with no right answer
The Pharisees test question for Jesus:
Mark 10:2 CSB
Some Pharisees came to test him, asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
NO (not lawful)
Malachi 2:16 NASB95
“For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”
Malachi
Malachi prophesy, Ezra/Nehemiah history
YES (it is lawful)
Deuteronomy 24:1 CSB
“If a man marries a woman, but she becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, he may write her a divorce certificate, hand it to her, and send her away from his house.
Same question is thrown around today (an historically)
Jesus answered (not yes or no) with a question
Mark 10:3 CSB
He replied to them, “What did Moses command you?”
Mark 10:4 CSB
They said, “Moses permitted us to write divorce papers and send her away.”
Which is it?
Does God permit divorce?
Or does God hate divorce?
Malachi prophesy, Ezra/Nehemiah history
Mark 10:5 CSB
But Jesus told them, “He wrote this command for you because of the hardness of your hearts.
God does hate divorce, but when the heart is hardened against the other partner it becomes permissible.
Not to be taken lightly.
Adultery, abuse, neglect, abandonment, etc.
I believe God can heal amazing hurt when both parties are willing to humble themselves and seek God’s purpose for their marriages.
God’s design for marriage is not divorce, but life-long commitment.
Paraphrase Nehemiah story (13.23)
Paraphrase Genesis cf. Jesus
Paraphrase Deu (Moses)
Jesus says Moses was only because of hardness of heart—path of least sinfulness.
“God hates divorce” — Malachi
Within 100 years after leaving exile, the Jews had made their religion into a mere ritual.
Attitudes were demeaning, hard-hearted
Characterized by outward religion with hearts full of sin and disobedience.
cf. — The Jews had married women from Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab (idolators; pagan). None of the children could speak the language of Judah…so I contended with them…the foreign women caused even him to sin…by marrying foreign women…even the son of the high priest…
They divorced their Jewish wives to marry these Gentile women.
Neh is the history; Malachi is the judgment of it.
The Jews had rationalized their purpose in divorce and God hated it.
But Moses
Analysis of what Moses said and why… ()
Jesus’s comments on Moses
Divorce was an accommodation because of hardness of heart.
But, it’s not the way God designed marriage, that’s why Malachi can say, ‘God hates divorce.’
I don’t want to talk so much about divorce as marriage. — divorce prevention instead
4 realities of marriage that will help us be faithful and for our marriages to endure/persevere

Marriage Realities

Marriage Realities

Exclusive: Designed to be between one man and one woman

But from the beginningj of creationk GodA made them male and female.

Mark 10:6 CSB
But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female.
“But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female.”
But from the beginningj of creationk GodA made them male and female.
j ;
k ;
A Other mss omit God
Christian Standard Bible (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), .
Durable: Unbreakable covenant consecration
The Romans in the time of Jesus and nearly all other ancient civilizations had ambiguous categories of relationships to justify sexual encounters between two people who are not biologically male and female.
The questions about gender and sexuality, and sexual fluidity that we are wrestling with in our culture today are not new questions.
Homosexuality and gender dysmorphia are not new ideas at all.
There’s a difference between how you feel and how you are. God determines who you are and from the beginning that was male and female.
Male and female are biological terms.
God made a male and a female fit together biologically so that He can accomplish something between them spiritually.
When a man and a woman get married, they are participating with God in something he designed specifically for the two of them. — it is exclusive
Other categories
Not polygamy (question being asked today) — one male and three women do not fit together. Not how God designed it.
Not open relationships — just polygamy without living under the same roof.
Not multiple partners
Marriage is designed to be exclusive between one man and one woman.
Grace for failures — But, we need to name our sin if we want to be free from our sin.
Durable
Mark 10:7–8 CSB
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Mark 10:7 CSB
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother
Mark 10:7 CSB
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother
“…for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and the two will become...”
ILL: Post in concrete (if you think putting up a fence is hard, try moving a fence) — two substances become one
Mark 10:7–8 CSB
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Mark 10:7–9 CSB
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother 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.”
Two implications of one flesh: first is durable.
(In general I think it’s a bad idea to get married in order to cure problems in your relationship.)
Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 CSB
Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.
(In general I think it’s a bad idea to get married in order to cure problems in your relationship.)
But, on the flip side, when you are married and troubles of life come, you are stronger together.
Partners compensate for the shortcomings of the other.
That makes life easier to traverse—you can endure more together.
Cord of 3 strands — reminds us that the true power behind the durability of marriage is that God is in it — He has made the two one flesh.
There is a durability to your relationship when you are married that you don’t have otherwise.
You have a new life together. When hardships happen in life, your relationship will be able to last because you have become one flesh/one person.
Marriage is just ‘us’
Discourage separate bank accounts
Discourage separate friends (especially of the opposite sex)
Friends your partner doesn’t like — Don’t say, “Don’t make me choose...” — You chose when you got married. — even family!
In marriage you come together to form an inseparable bond and you don’t want to let anything wedge its way between you.
You have a new life together. When hardships happen in life, your relationship will be able to last because you have become one flesh/one person.
Unifying
Mark 10:8 CSB
and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
“…one flesh. So, they are no longer two, but one flesh.”
“…one flesh. So, they are no longer two, but one flesh.”
2nd implication one one flesh:
One is an indivisible number. 1 + 1 = 1
ILL: Anyone who has been through or witnessed a divorce where property had to be divided knows how hard it is to divide one household into two households.
Only one house
Kids have to have ‘stuff’ at two houses. (difficult and expensive)
Marriage unifies us (easier and cheaper, cf. arranged marriages and utilitarianism)
Share more with your spouse than anyone else
Money
Property
ILL: My bass, Jami’s bass, whatever…
Dating is ‘me and you’ — foster unity
Marriage is just ‘us’ (ILL: When I bought a car without telling Jami—it never occured to me she would even care)
Discourage separate bank accounts
Discourage separate friends (especially of the opposite sex)
Friends your partner doesn’t like — Don’t say, “Don’t make me choose...” — You chose when you got married. — even family!
In marriage you come together to form an inseparable bond and you don’t want to let anything wedge its way between you.
Merging personalities (Jami — temperaments)
Conflicts become opportunities to come together in one unified direction (i.e. raising kids)
Need one set of values not two.
Not the husband overshadowing the wife or the wife overshadowing the husband
It’s the true coming together of the two people into one.
Otherworldly: Marriage is God’s Work
Mark 10:9 CSB
Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
“Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.”
Marriage isn’t something people do (we may choose our spouse but God does the joining)
Marriage isn’t something the government does
They issue licenses, but God is the one who does the joining.
God joins to people together when they are married.
Therefore, if God did it, we should not be the ones to undo it.
In fact, we can’t
Mark 10:10–12 CSB
When they were in the house again, the disciples questioned him about this matter. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. Also, if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
The New Testament authors speak of marriage using the terms of covenants—a binding agreement between two parties.

Application—Covenants

Marriage Covenant
Human Choice
Shouldn't be Broken (but sometimes are)
Hardness of Heart
Is there ever an acceptable time for Christians to get divorced?
Covenant of Grace
God's Choice
Can’t be broken
Deuteronomy 31:6 CSB
Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For the Lord your God is the one who will go with you; he will not leave you or abandon you.”
New Heart
Divorce vs. Eternal Security
Hardness of heart vs. New Heart
Is it ever possible for a Christian to become hardened of heart?
Is it ever possible for a Christian to become hardened of heart?
Theologically, it should not. If you are regenerate, then ‘you should forgive as God has forgiven you.’
In practice yes. Although we are regenerate, the spirit wars with the flesh and the heart can be hardened towards an individual.
Marriage was designed to be an unbreakable covenant between man and woman, but God made account for the breaking of the covenant when there is hardness of heart.
God’s covenant with His church.
Can covenants be broken today?
Marriage (vv. 10-12)
God’s covenant with His church?
God — I will never leave you nor forsake you…
ILL: Some people teach that you MUST divorce when there is adultery because the person has consummated an illegitimate marriage with another person. But, that oversteps the premise of this passage. If you can overcome and move forward without hardness of heart, then there is no grounds for divorce.
Us — …
This is about divorce among God’s people
for issues of unbelieving partner
Is hardness of heart a thing today? Should God make accommodation for it?
It shouldn’t be.
Verse about forgiving a brother when sinned against
In Christ, there should be no hardness of heart—no sin which cannot be forgiven.
In Christ, there should be no hardness of heart—no sin which cannot be forgiven.
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