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Matthew 19:1-15

Tuesday, 14 November 2023

And God said, ‘So a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one body.’ -Matthew 19:5[NCV]

The essence of a family and marriage is explained by Christ in today’s reading. The very idea of marriage originated in the heart of God—notice how Jesus uses the phrase, “at the beginning..” (V.5). In our day, the family, the fundamental unit of a society has cut for itself a sorry figure with divorce, ungodly unions, hideous practices—far from what God intended it to be!

A few fundamentals we need to remind ourselves from our text today:

I. Gender Difference

God made them male and female (V.4)— a fact to be reiterated in our day with the chaos going on around with the freedom to choose one’s gender. It is so pathetic to see how carelessly people give themselves to perverted notions, discarding what God had originally intended- the uniqueness and purpose of the genders- male and female. This difference is not to undermine the equality of both genders before God but to understand the physical differences and the unique roles each has for harmonious living.

II. Godly Union

Jesus then speaks of the godly union of man and woman with the principle of “leaving and cleaving” (cf. Gen.2:24). Without a leaving, there cannot be a total cleaving. Many who have entered into marriage have not swerved their emotional ties with their parents to be joined to their spouse. Some parents still hold the invisible cord of keeping their children “tied” to themselves. Instead of the separate new unit of a family under God, they are still under the authority of parents, their control and protection. The “one body” concept is to be honored both by spouses and parents so that splits and break ups are avoided. The leaving and cleaving does not mean dishonoring parents or not heeding to their advice but to have the onus of decision making left to the husband-wife pair.

III. Gravity of Divorce

It was to the question of divorce put forward to Him, that Jesus made the principles of marriage clear. The emphatic “NO” to divorce except for marital unfaithfulness is the answer Jesus gave. A bitter pill to swallow for many today! Why a No? The godly union of a man and woman in marriage into one body is a mystery that cannot be unraveled. Think of something glued together that if separated will bring part of the other stuck to it!! That’s how divorce will look like! The gravity of divorce cannot be undermined and cannot be taken lightly, on understanding God’s Word. No matter how plenty the differences we can find in a marriage, the oneness factor helps us find solutions from God and His Word.

IV. Gift of Singleness

When the disciples comment that with such tough stance, it’s better not to marry, Jesus turns to the subject of celibacy. To remain unmarried for the sake of the Kingdom of God, can only be done by a few. Not all have the gift of singleness, so we must fulfil God’s purpose of making a family. Paul also highlights certain principles of marriage in 1Corinthians 7.

Brethren, let us understand that Marriage is God’s idea- not just for posterity, but the building block of society that ideally reflects the Architect of family. It is where love and companionship, respect and submission go hand in hand. An ideal family reflects God’s glory in the reverence they have for their Creator, where prayer is the bedrock of their unity and God’s Word has its primary role in the guidance and strength of its members. Can we come back to the Creator’s purpose for marriage and ask His help in patching up those cracks that are seen in our families so that for generations we will reflect God’s ideal?

Food for Thought: “Your marriage is the gospel you are preaching to your children.” – Matthew L. Jacobson

Listen: 'GOD made one'



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