Divorce: When the Dream Is Shattered - Matthew 19:3-9 - Skip Heitzig
Start building the home of your future today-- Smart Home.
Love the Christmas season. And unfortunately this is a topic that, say boy, way to bring a Christmas season to an all time low. At the same time it is precisely this season of the year where people who have struggled through a bad marriage, or are suffering through the weight of a divorce, that's when they feel it the most. So in that sense it is appropriate.
But I'd like you to turn in your Bibles, please, to Matthew, chapter 19 this morning-- Matthew chapter 19. I was talking to my wife Lenya and I said, Lenya, will you love me when I'm old and unattractive? And she said, of course I do.
Well, that's a good thing. When I was in college in 1975, Paul Simon released a song that became an instant hit. I bet many of you know that song. Some of the lyrics are, "the problem is all inside your head, she said to me. The answer is easy if you take it logically.
I'd like to help you with your struggle to be free. There must be 50 ways to leave your lover. If you just slip out the back, Jack. Make a new plan, Stan. Don't need to be coy, Roy. Just get yourself free."
You know the song. Unfortunately, marriage begins as an ideal that can soon turn into an ordeal. And at that point people are looking for a new deal. When that happens, divorce is in their sights. We're doing a series called Smart Home-- how to build a home of the future, Smart Home. I found, however, a business located up in Denver, and also in Chicago, that is advocating what they call a smart divorce. It is called Split Simple.
That's their title, Split Simple. Hope you're not like writing this down to find that. But Split Simple, and they advertise a smarter way to divorce. Their tagline, no stress-- I read that, I go, no stress? In what universe are you living in?
No stress, less expense, less time. It's easy! Let's make it easy. Let's take out the stress, let's take out the fuss.
A book called Divorce, How and When to Let Go. The authors write this, and I'm quoting, "yes, your marriage can wear out. People change their values and their lifestyles. People want to experience new things. Change is a part of life.
Letting go of your marriage if it's no longer good for you can be the most successful thing you've ever done. Getting a divorce can be a positive, problem solving, growth oriented step. It can be a personal triumph," end quote. Well, not everybody agrees with that.
Ask all the kids of those relationships what they think about the positive change that takes place. Broken homes produce broken lives that produced broken homes that produce broken lives that produce broken homes and the cycle continues. No wonder millennials, that generation, they're not beating down the door to get married. Millennials are saying they would rather go slower and wait much longer and enjoy the fringe benefits of a marriage relationship without any of the commitment.
A study done by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research explores the views of two generations, Gen X-- Generation X-- and now the millennial generation. And the interview and the study was on marriage success rates. They discovered that two out of five of those generations, two out of five, said that marriages have failed for most of the people they know. So you've got this generation looking out at the world around them, wide eyed and understanding, why should I get into that institution when it does not work for the people that I know?
Well, the subject that I'm dealing with today is one that I treat carefully. And I am sensitive to the fact that many people here have gone through or are going through a divorce. I also understand that it is that very painful experience that awakened your need for Christ and brought you to Him, for which we are grateful. And though I tread carefully and prayerfully, I also tread unapologetically because I have seen the devastation in countless of lives for many, many years.
And I am comforted by the fact that in our text of scripture Jesus was asked the question about divorce and he did not skirt the issue at all. He didn't marginalize, didn't push it away. He honestly confronted popular theories, the popular theories of his day and age, with Biblical truth. So Matthew chapter 19 is that conversation and it's pretty straightforward. It's a question between religious leaders and Jesus himself.
Jesus is gaining popularity. The religious leaders don't like that. So they come with a strategic question in order to trap him. And it's a question about marriage, knowing that It's a volatile issue.
So they ask a question. He gives a direct answer. They don't like his answer. They give a rebuttal. Jesus gives what they would call in legal parlance a surrebuttal, a rebuttal to the rebuttal, and brings it to a close.
All of that in nine versus. Verse 1, Matthew 19, "it came to pass when Jesus had finished these things that he departed from Galilee and came to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And great multitudes followed him and he healed them there. The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?"
Now, just a little FYI. He's in the area beyond the Jordan. It was an area called Perea. Perea was the place where John the Baptist was put in prison and beheaded because he brought up the issue of Herod having an illicit marriage with his brother's wife. So in that region, they asked Jesus the question about marriage to test him, probably hoping that it's going to create such a discrediting stir among the people that maybe Jesus will get beheaded.
So they ask him, is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason? "And he answered and said to them, have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female? And said for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, be joined to his wife, the two shall become one flesh? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore , what God has joined together, let not man divorce."
That's the word, [NON-ENGLISH]. Same word Paul used in first Corinthian 7 for divorce, let not man separate. "They said to him, why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce and to put her away? He said to them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts permitted you to divorce your wives. But from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife except for sexual immorality and marries another commits adultery. And whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery."
Now, the passage that we read reveals four characteristics about divorce for any culture at any time for anyone. First, divorce is a practical issue. They brought it up because they dealt with it all the time. It was common even in the Jewish culture-- and I'll explain why-- to deal with the subject of divorce. It was a common question.
And I would say it still is. There's not a person here who has not been touched in some way by divorce, either in your family or someone you love. Now notice, again in verse three, the Pharisees came testing him. You see, they just didn't come up with this at the last minute. They strategically brought in a question hoping that by bringing it up and having Jesus answer the issue would discredit Jesus, would trap him, so that he would lose popularity among the people.
Why'd they do that? Because they knew divorce had been a topic, and still was at that point, a topic of hot debate among the Jews. And it was. And by New Testament times there were two different schools of thought regarding divorce. I'll speak that in a moment.
Now theoretically-- theoretically-- there was no nation on earth that had a higher standard when it came to the covenant of marriage than the Jewish nation. They regarded it as a sacred duty. In fact, did you know that one of the sayings-- they have many of them. But one of the beliefs was that the only reason that would exempt a man from getting married was him devoting his whole life to the study of Torah, the law. That was his only out.
If he refused to marry and have kids it was said that he broke the positive commandment to be fruitful and multiply and he lessened the image of God in the world. Furthermore, if he didn't get married they said he has slain, killed, his posterity.
Now the rabbis had all sorts of wonderful lofty sayings about marriage and how infidelity and adultery ruins it, et cetera. Here's a few of them. One of their sayings was, unchastity causes the glory of God to depart. A second saying that was famous was, every Jew must surrender his life rather than commit idolatry, murder, or adultery. And a third saying, the very altar itself sheds tears when a man divorces the wife of his youth.
Now those are beautiful sayings. They're lofty sayings. But talk is cheap. The truth of the matter was, women of that day and age had no legal rights. They could never divorce their husbands. But the husbands could divorce their wives. Women had no legal rights whatsoever.
So they come to Jesus with a question and they follow it up with a rebuttal, about this Moses giving a command. Now, what was in their minds when they approached him? What was in their minds was a text of scripture from the Old Testament-- I'm going to read it to you. The book of Deuteronomy, fifth book in the Bible, Deuteronomy chapter 24. It's the only passage in the Old Testament that even speaks about a divorce procedure.
Deuteronomy 24 reads this. "When a man takes a wife and marries her and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, when she is departed from his house and goes and becomes another man's wife if the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her as his wife, then the former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled for that is an abomination before the Lord and you shall not bring sin on the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance." That's the text.
That's the text in their minds as they say, is it OK to divorce your wife, to dump your wife for any reason? And why did Moses then give this commandment? Now, that's the text. But there were two opposing viewpoints as to what that text meant.
One was a narrower view, a more conservative view, and that was the view espoused by one of their esteemed rabbis in history, a guy by the name of Rabbi Shammie-- S-H-A-M-M-I-E if you're taking notes. Rabbi Shammie interpreted Deuteronomy 24 and that clause, uncleanness in her, to be only adultery, only unchastity. It was a very strict view.
There was another rabbi, however, who had a different idea of the meaning of that text. And he was a more recent rabbi. He was just about a century, even less than a century before the time of Christ. His name was Rabbi Hillel-- H-I-L-L-E-L. Rabbi Hillel had a liberal view of the meaning of that text. He believed and defined uncleanness in the widest possible way.
If a wife put too much salt in her husband's food, that was unclean. I'm not making this up. He actually said that. So if she burns his bagels, doesn't prepares his meal right, that's an uncleanness and it's up for divorce. If she is a quarrelsome wife, that's an uncleanness.
If she went in public with her head uncovered, if she spoke to men in the streets, if she spun around in public so that people could see her knees, if she spoke disrespectfully of her husband's parents. Wow-- all grounds for divorce. That was the liberal view. Now to make matters worse, another rabbi came much later named Rabbi Akiba even after the time of Christ who widened it even further and said, if there is a husband who finds another girl more attractive than his wife, he can divorce his wife to marry her.
Now, I have a question for you. Given those two interpretations, which was the most popular among men? Not the first one, not the narrow one, not the conservative one-- the liberal one! Because sinners always go to the lowest level. So they thought, I like Hillel. And so all you had to do to make it legal is provide a certificate of divorce, because it's mentioned in Deuteronomy 24.
Here was the bill of divorce. It had to read this. "Let this be, for me, thy writ of divorce and letter of dismissal and deed of liberation that thou mayest marry whatsoever man thou wilt." That's all that was necessary is, come up with a legal paper that says you're done. And she was done.
So, what does all that translate into? And it's simply this. By the time of Jesus, there was rampant no fault divorce taking place. Men, even religious men, even leaders like the Pharisees, were dumping their wives for any reason. That's why they asked the question, is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?
They knew the controversy. They were trying to trap him. Now I agree with whoever wrote this. There are two processes that ought never to be entered into prematurely, embalming and divorce.
But they were entering into divorce at the drop of a hat. So it was a practical issue they brought up. Now Jesus gives his answer. And this gives us the second characteristic of divorce. Divorce is a biblical issue.
And Jesus takes it back to the Bible, takes it out of the culture and back to the Bible-- back to the beginning, in fact. Verse 4, "and he answered and said to them, have you not read--" I love Jesus. I love this. You know, there's sarcasm in those words.
He knows he's addressing Bible scholars, guys who read their Bibles and teach and memorize scripture. So there's, well, in all your reading have you never read, "that he who made them at the beginning made them male and female and said for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. So then they are no longer two but one flesh." How do you divide one? Therefore what God has joined together, let not man [NON-ENGLISH]-- divorce, separate.
Now, first of all notice Jesus does not give them a direct answer. They asked him a question. He answers it with a question. They asked a question about Deuteronomy 24, and his question brings them back to Genesis chapter one verse 27 and Genesis two verse 24. Takes them all the way back to the very beginning before Moses was ever born and God spoke on the issue.
Now here's what I love-- one of the things I love. I love so many things about this. Jesus gives to us a good model of Bible study. Have you never read? Jesus expects you to read your Bible and to know what He says on a number of issues. This question could be asked of many Christians, have you never read?
I was speaking to a young man this week about some issues and prayed with him, and had just a little bit good time of just sharing and counseling out in public. And after I did he said, you know, Skip, I was told to go to another church because Calvary is too advanced. Because you're always giving Bible studies all the time. You meet and you have Bible studies.
And so I heard that guy. I did not know quite how to take that. But I said, let me ask you a simple question. How can you ever obey God if you don't know what God said? How are you ever going to know what God wants if you never read what God wants?
You have no knowledge of it, how are you ever going to do it? So the reason we teach and emphasize Bible exposition is, this is our response to the biblical illiteracy of our culture, and I would even say Christian culture. Too many Christians are biblically illiterate. Have you not read? It's there for the reading.
Well, the Pharisees want to talk about divorce but Jesus takes them back before divorce to marriage, to the beginning, when God first established marriage. Before you can understand divorce you have to understand marriage. Before you can understand anything you have to understand why that anything was designed to exist. So if you're going to understand divorce, you have to understand marriage. If you're going to understand marriage, you have to understand what it was originally designed to do and be.
Make sense? So Jesus gives to us in a nutshell what it's designed to do and be. Number one, marriage was God's idea. It didn't come from some brilliant sociologist or some cultural innovation over time. It came from Heaven. God made them. God did this.
Number two, marriage is between a man and a woman. Notice how Jesus parses his words. "Have you not read that he who made them at the beginning made them male and female." And in the original language, male and female are in the emphatic form. One of the most damaging things done today is to blur the lines between male and female.
I understand we live in a free society, a democratic society, and that all people should be given basic human rights-- heterosexual, homosexual, transgender. I believe that and I affirm that. However, we must take a stand for God ordained the historical definition of marriage between one man and one woman. That's how God made them. One man, one woman.
So you Pharisees can talk to me about divorce, but let me take you back to the beginning. And this is what God said. He made them, one man and-- He made Adam and Eve. There were no spares. He didn't make Adam and three women and if Eve didn't work out he had a couple more to go.
He had no options. He made them one and one. So, marriage is God's idea. Marriage is between a man and a woman. The third thing Jesus affirms about marriage is that it was God's plan to create oneness with marriage.
He quotes Genesis. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, be joined to his wife," the King James word, cleave to his wife. "And the two shall become one flesh." That's the process we spoke about weeks ago-- leaving, cleaving, weaving. Leave mom and dad, establish a new relationship, cleave means to be glued. I've had people say I feel stuck.
Good. You are. I'm hoping it's the good kind of stuck, not the bad kind of stuck. But that's the concept of the word. You are glued. You are stuck together.
"And the two shall become one flesh." So if you take two and make one, how do you divide one? You can't cut them in-- cut one in half and have two, you have a half. So that's God's arithmetic-- 1 plus 1 equals 1. So, marriage is a romance novel in which both the hero and the heroine die in the first chapter and a new person is created.
That person is one flesh. "The two shall become one." Jesus then goes on to say that there's a fourth component of God's original design, marriage was designed to be permanent. He says therefore-- I love Jesus. Just sort of come to a conclusion really quickly. "Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate."
So he's telling them, look, whatever your view of marriage is and divorce, God's view of marriage is a high view of marriage, that it's to be a permanent lifelong commitment. Divorce was not in God's original blueprint in Genesis, even though He permits it in limited circumstances. We'll talk about that in a moment. So, get the idea.
The Pharisees see Jesus. They come to him with one verse in mind, one little concept in mind, negating all of the other versus of scripture-- one verse in mind. By the way, this is classic proof texting. They just want to just force their interpretation. Jesus goes back to the beginning to show God's intention of one flesh. And if they're one flesh, how do you break that up? That's his point.
How do you separate what is one? So therefore, for a guy to say, I'm going to dump my wife because we're going through some problems, that's like a guy saying I'm going to cut off my leg because I found a splinter in it. There are other ways to deal with it than an amputation. Takes us to a third characteristic of divorce. It's not just a practical issue and a biblical issue, it is also a controversial issue.
Look in verse seven. They're not done. "They said to him, why then," you could see their feathers ruffled. "Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce and to put her away?" Can you spot the misconception in their question? Can you hear it?
Well let me ask you, did God ever, through Moses or anyone else, ever command anyone to divorce, ever? Was there ever a command in the Bible where God says I command you, divorce your wife. Never. Ain't one.
But they ask him the question, why did Moses command for that to happen? Now that's their proof texting. That's their scripture twisting. They have made a divine concession into a divine command, which it was never intended to be.
By the way, that's the definition of divorce-- a biblical definition. Divorce is a divine concession to human weakness. A divine concession to human-- never a command. God invented marriage, man invented divorce. And in certain cases God will concede or permit a divorce to take place.
Now the question is still sort of hanging in the air. They're thinking Deuteronomy 24 in mind. So what does Deuteronomy 24 mean? You've got these two definitions, the narrow view and the wide view, Shammie and Hillel. So what does it mean?
First of all, understand how God feels about divorce. We know how He feels about marriage. But God feels something about divorce. And you know probably the passage in Malachi chapter two, where it says, "the Lord God of Israel hates divorce."
Does not hate divorced people. He loves divorced people. But He hates divorce. So because of that, you're never going to find any scripture anywhere that says, if you don't like your wife or husband, dump him. Unload the turkey.
You'll never find that. Second point on that, a careful reading of Deuteronomy 24 reveals that it's not teaching about divorce. It's not even teaching about the certificate of divorce. Those are incidental. It's teaching about remarriage. It is forbidding marrying a former spouse that you have let go of, you pushed out, who has remarried and now divorced again.
It's forbidding the remarriage of that. Why? To protect the woman. So there's a little phrase in there that Shammie and Hillel were arguing about. "When a man takes a wife," Deuteronomy 24:1 "it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her." And so the question is, what does that refer to? Something improper or something impure, but what?
Well, let me suggest it cannot refer to adultery. You know why? You know what the punishment for adultery was? Not divorce, death in the Old Testament-- stoning to death. So whatever the uncleanness was, it must have been some infraction that falls short of actual adultery-- some impurity, some promiscuity perhaps.
We're not told what it is. Whatever the uncleanness was, it did not warrant a divorce. How do I know that? In verse 4 of that text, Deuteronomy 24:4 says, "then her former husband," husband number one, who's divorced her. Now she's on two and divorced from him and he thinks, I want to take her back. "Must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled for that is an abomination before the Lord."
Now, how'd she get defiled? By her first husband divorcing her, pushing her out for any reason. For some reason short of unchastity. And then she subsequently got married again. That brought the adultery to the relationship.
It was the first husband's fault. So the text is not advocating divorce. It's protecting the woman from the first husband. Listen, in that day and age it was a man's world. As I said, women had no rights.
And this was a law given by God to protect a woman. So in the controversy they bring to Jesus about divorce as Jewish scholars, they're neglecting the one thing God wants to protect and that is that woman. One rabbi, a recent rabbi, a contemporary rabbi, believes that divorce can actually be worse than death. He said in death, the big difference is death has closure. Divorce is never over.
So, it's a practical issue, a biblical issue, a controversial issue. Don't have to tell you that. The fourth and final, divorce is a moral issue. It's a moral issue-- verse 8. Jesus now is rebutting their rebuttal.
He answers them, he says this. "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts permitted," notice the difference. Moses commanded! No, "because of the hardness of your heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wise. But from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you that whoever divorces his wife," notice these are red letters.
These are Jesus' words. "I say to you whoever divorces his wife except for sexual immorality and marries another commits adultery. And whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery." Now, as silent as it is right now in this room-- and I think people are going, whoa. That's heavy.
I'm guessing that the response in the crowd that day when Jesus spoke those words was, whoa. This is heavy. You know why I know that? Verse 10. "His disciples said to him, if such is the case of a man with his wife, it's better not to marry."
They got it. They understood. Wow. That is the biblical standard from the beginning and that hasn't changed. Now Jesus here gives the right interpretation.
He gives it to them. He unfolds Genesis and Deuteronomy and says, this is the meaning of it. And he says it's because of the hardness of your hearts. Divorce always includes a hardening of the heart-- always. Whether you're the victim and you've been abused and somebody has cheated on you and you feel the horror of that and you harden your heart against repairing anything.
Understandable or not, that's what happens. Or, somebody says I'm just going to divorce my wife. I don't love her anymore. I found somebody prettier, more exciting. He hardens his heart. Whichever, it always involves a hardening of the hearts.
A friend of mine that I knew who's now in Heaven, Terence Kelshaw said, divorce tells us the truth about man. It tells us nothing about marriage. Now here's the core of Jesus' teaching in these two verses. It's called the exception clause. Have you heard that before?
The exception clause is, no divorce except-- and here's the clause. Except, the only permissible reason, except for sexual immorality. That's the exception clause. The word sexual immorality is pornea-- one word in Greek, pornea.
It's a word that describes a wide variety, a wide range, every kind of illicit sexual intercourse. And the way the verb is written it indicates a repeated, unrepentant, ongoing pattern of behavior-- no change. That's the only allowable reason for a Christian to initiate a divorce. No wonder the disciples said, it's better not to get married.
To which Jesus will respond, and we've already covered that, well, since you brought that up, that can be a gift from God as well-- to remain single, right? Now I'm going to read to you another passage that's a parallel to this. Same book, Sermon on the Mount. Everybody loves the sermon on the mount.
I meet unbelievers who say, ah, I love the Sermon on the Mount! And I always get mystified by this. You do? Yeah. I live by the Sermon on the Mount. Oh, really?
Wow. I need your autograph because you're the first one I've ever met. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said-- and there were Pharisees and common people. He said, you have heard that it has been said by those of old, you shall not commit adultery. But I say to you if you lust after another woman in your heart, you've committed adultery in your heart.
And then he said this, Matthew 5, furthermore, it has been said whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce-- Deuteronomy 24. But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. So here's how we approach it.
This is what you've heard. You've heard that it was said. You heard by Shammie and Hillel and all the different interpretations by your system that all you need is the certificate. That's the paperwork. But I say to you-- now, when he said that he's saying, this is what you've heard. But I'm saying the opposite. I don't allow divorce for any reason.
And he gives the exception. Now what Jesus said was more than they required, but not more than Moses required, and certainly not more than God, the Father, required. Now the Pharisees were in the crowd. They were priding themselves in the fact, well, I've never committed adultery. Now, they've divorced several wives for any reason-- salted their food too much or whatever.
And Jesus sort of nails them on to things. You guys pride yourself that you've never committed adultery but you know what? You lust after women and you divorce your wives for any reason, therefore you are spreading adultery all over the place. You're spreading it around. Every time a man divorces his wife without proper cause and remarries commits adultery and causes her to commit it as well.
His words. J. Allan Peterson wrote a book called The Myth of the Greener Grass. It's a great title. The myth, the grass is always greener on the other side. The Myth of the Greener Grass, and he writes this.
"A call for fidelity is like a solitary voice crying in today's sexual wilderness. What once was labeled adultery and carried a stigma of guilt and embarrassment is now an affair-- a nice sounding almost inviting word wrapped in mystery, fascination, and excitement, a relationship, not sin. What was once behind the scenes, secret and closely guarded, is now in the headlines, a TV theme, a best seller, common as a cold. Marriages are now open and divorces are now creative."
I want to give a final word to those here who feel the weight. They're being crushed under the weight of a divorce for whatever reason. Maybe you were unfaithful in their relationship and this has happened and you're looking back with regret, and remorse, and shame, and embarrassment. Others of you a going through one right now. You didn't cause it. It was caused by your spouse.
I want you to know something. God understands. And I want to encourage you to let forgiveness rule the day. You've come to the right person. He specializes in forgive-- say, well, divorce is sin! You're right. That's why it's forgivable.
It's precisely why it's forgivable. The reason that God speaks so strongly about divorce is that He was divorced. That's right, God was divorced. In the Old Testament He speaks about His people, Israel who has committed unfaithfulness, broke the covenant, they committed spiritual adultery over and over again. Jeremiah, the prophet, was given the message that God has given her the nation a certificate of divorce.
So He understands the pain. And if you have failed, if you have sinned, understand the meaning of the name of Jesus that we celebrate this time of the year. The angels said, you will call his name Jesus for He will save his people from their sin. That's what he's about. He forgives sin.
And just in case there's some hard liners around who think, no, you need to get harder on this. It is sin! I'm going to read to you-- I marked it somewhere. Yeah, here it is. And I hate to be quoting from my own book, but I-- I wrote a book on this subject.
There are several chapters about this in the book. I'm only giving you a smattering of it. But it's not real-- I'm quoting somebody. I got this illustration from somebody that I knew, Allan Emery from the Billy Graham Association.
"He said, one night his father got a call informing him that a well-known Christian was passed out on the sidewalk drunk. Immediately his father sent his chauffeured limousine to pick up the man. Meanwhile, his mother prepared the guestroom. My friend watched as she turned down the beautiful coverlets, revealing the monogrammed sheets on the exquisite old four poster bed.
But mother, he protested, he's drunk! He might even get sick. I know, his mother replied, but this man has slipped and fallen. When he comes to, he will be so ashamed. He will need all the loving encouragement that we can give him."
And let me suggest any divorced person you know needs all the love and encouragement you can give them. If they have fallen down, if they have caused it or if they are the victim of it, they need love and encouragement and they need a hand up, help up. Father, we want to commit to that. And as we close and we consider a very heavy topic that Jesus was not in any way willing to skirt, dealt with it head on, very honestly and openly, giving God's original standard, setting the record straight.
Thank You for that clarity in Your word. There's no way we're ever going to do what You say unless we know what You say by reading what You say. And so Father, we have applied ourselves to that today and I pray You give us grace in our own marriages.
And I pray also, Father, for those who have fallen and they need our encouragement, our love, our help, our smiles, our counsel, our prayers. That's the body of Christ. Help us be that. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
We hope you enjoyed this message from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Church. How will you put the truths that you learned into action in your life? Let us know. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And just a reminder, you can support this ministry with a financial gift at calvarynm.church/gift. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Calvary Church.